Hovering over the lakefront, helicopters give riders a fresh look at the breadth and beauty of Chicago's 'front yard.'
Chicago Helicopter Experience
Photo courtesy of Chicago Helicopter Experience

Even the tallest skyscrapers can't give Windy City visitors the sweeping, above-it-all views seen on a trip with Chicago Helicopter Experience. Riders soar over the sprawling parks lining Lake Michigan and past glass-encased skyscrapers reflecting the peach and copper sunset. On twilight tours ($178 per person), headphones and a microphone allow passengers to ask questions as the pilot-turned-tour-guide points out landmarks like Soldier Field and the Museum Campus. Depending on riders' interests, the pilot shares a smattering of history (Navy Pier's role during World War II) on the 17-minute flight. For an extra thrill, take a private 35-minute fireworks tour ($600 per couple) that hovers around the Navy Pier fireworks Wednesdays and Saturdays, Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day. chicagohelicopterexperience.com