As a travel photographer, it often feels like the stars need to align in order to capture those jaw-droppingly gorgeous photos we all desire. Bad weather or unforeseen circumstances can ruin a great landscape shot — especially if you have limited time in a particular destination — but sometimes, those situations can actually create magical images that you didn’t expect.
Here’s everything you need to know for taking a biplane ride over San Diego and getting one of the most stunning aerial views of this area!
A Magical Aerial View High Above San Diego (In a Biplane!)
I recently partnered with Viator to experience one of their tours and because I had yet to see the San Diego coastline from above, I picked their Open Cockpit Biplane Sightseeing Ride. I couldn’t wait to finally photograph some of my favorite places from the air.
When I woke up that morning, the sun was shining and it was the perfect day for flying — as well as postcard-perfect aerial photos! The open cockpit biplanes at Barnstorming Adventures have room for two passengers in addition to the pilot, so I invited a friend to join me.
I immediately regretted my decision because the left hand side of the cockpit had the perfect little cut out for taking photos. I did get a few shots by leaning out over the railing on the right, but with 80-mile an hour winds, it’s not easy — and you can easily lose a camera (or phone) that way.
As if he had read my mind, I heard Peter’s voice through my set of headphones. “It looks like we have some clouds up ahead. I’ll see if I can position us for the best photo opportunities.”
I loved the back and forth CB radio communication with Peter. It felt like we were in our own little world, above the miniature houses, surfers, and beaches dotted with people.
Know Before You Go:
My Barnstorming Adventures flight in San Diego was booked through Viator. Prices for this tour start at $219 and can be booked here.
Once you book the tour, make sure to print out your voucher and bring it with you.
If you want to take photos, sit on the left side.
Inform your pilot where you want to fly. If you want to only fly along the coast, let them know ahead of time.
Expect the pilot to climb in the back seat. They fly from the back!
If you have long hair, braid it or put it in a bun or you will have a mess on your hands the next time you brush your hair. A ponytail won’t do.