What's the most amazing way to experience Big Sur? Driving coastal California Highway 1 years ago, this writer was passed by a P-51 Mustang flying at 200 mph 500 feet from shore. So, if you have $2 million...
Another option is a 66-minute Big Sur helicopter tour with Specialized Aviation. They have two helicopters: an off-shore equipped Bell JetRanger seating up to four with bubble observation windows and a Robinson R44 that seats up to three people.
The best times to fly are the early morning or late afternoon. You'll meet Steve, the pilot, at their facility in Watsonville, California, about 20 minutes from Monterey. After a safety walk-through, you'll lift off and fly over the Monterey Peninsula, seeing the Monterey Bay Aquarium, Pebble Beach, Carmel and Carmel Beach, and the rocky coast of Pacific Grove. You might see killer whales anytime of year, gray whales in the spring, and humpback and blue whales in summer and fall.
Flying south along the coast you'll see the Los Padres National Forest, Monastery Beach, the Carmel River, Point Sur Lighthouse, and the famous Bixby Bridge, built by inmates from San Quentin prison working alongside local laborers, like author John Steinbeck.
The best part of the trip is listening to Chief Pilot Chris Gularte share his thoughts and experiences about the Pacific coast and Big Sur. You can't find a better guide and as the customer comments attest, the personal knowledge and personal touch make the adventure even more meaningful.
Chris also offers plan tours, wine-tasting tours, whale spotting, aerial photography, and flight training.