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LOVE IS IN THE AIR

Feature Photo

Feature Photo

 
LOVE IS IN THE AIR by Allyson Marrs


From 20,000 feet, life just feels a little lighter. Everything below also looks a little a smaller; but that's to be expected.

Most getaways are planned with a destination in mind, but some of the best getaways aren't about the destination. Instead, it's all about how you get there. With unmatched views, and heights that may very well take your breath away, going up is often the best way to calm down.

Up in a Helicopter

For love as steady as the beat of propellers, this tour mixes a little bit of new with a different kind of view.

Hover in a way that won't annoy either one of you with Seattle HeliTours. There are three tour options with various durations. One cruises past downtown sites and various water highlights; another does the same with the added views of Bellevue, Medina homes and Golden Gardens; the third combines the first two's sites in addition to Snoqualmie Falls and Mount Si.

They may not look it, but helicopters are speedy, with an average velocity of 80 miles per hour (military choppers approach 240 mph). This type of tour may feel extra special simply because helicopters aren't most people's go-to form of transportation.

If you're looking to double date, the fleet's new JetRanger Turbine holds up to four passengers.

For pricing and more info: www.seattlehelitours.com or 206-767-0515.

Up in a Hot Air Balloon

If it's time to let the hot air out of your relationship and just enjoy each other's company, a ride with the Airial Balloon Company may be all it takes to clear the air.

You'll average about 3,000 feet during this ride, and contrary to popular belief, you won't freeze, since there's less wind resistance up high than there is on the ground.

The company offers a sunrise flight (about 60-90 minutes) and a sunset flight (about 45-60 minutes), and the balloon typically holds up to nine passengers. So if you want privacy, you'll have to take their early evening Romance Aloft tour.

During the February and March season, weather patterns typically allow for more morning floats, with evening rides picking back up in May. Views are of the Cascade and Olympic mountain ranges, Seattle and Everett skylines and valleys and farmlands. Tours also include breakfast or dinner.

Pilots are FAA-licensed commercial pilots with plenty of hours under their caps, and liftoff is from Snohomish.

For pricing and more info: www.airialballoon.com or 360-568-3025.

Up with Olde Thyme Aviation

To recapture some of your favorite memories over the years, buckle into an antique, courtesy of the Museum of Flight.

These vintage aircraft are what model planes are … well, modeled after. You can take flight in a WWII AT-6 "Texan" Warbird with pilot Lee Oman (one person only) and really feel like part of the sky.

This plane was one of the most widely used in history, and the Texan fleet was built between 1938 and 1945.

Cherry red 1940 and 1942 WaCO UPF-7s are big enough for two passengers, and there are only 80 of these planes left in the world that are airworthy. It's a relatively rare model, which makes your flight that much more special.

The 1936 Cabin Waco YKS-6 is more enclosed than the others (which is why "cabin" is in the name), and it can hold up to three passengers. So if you're a bit nervous about being exposed in the smaller aircrafts, this may be your best bet.

Similar tour attractions apply to these beauties, with downtown Seattle, Lake Washington, Bainbridge and Blake Islands, Hood Canal Bridge, Snoqualmie Falls and the Kitsap Peninsula among them.

These classics provide a special privilege to take in the beautiful sound, although you may find yourself staring more at the planes than at the sights.

For pricing and more info: www.oldethymeaviation.com or 206-730-1064 or 206-730-1412.

Up with Seattle Seaplanes

For couples that are new and oh-so eager, have it all—from Oregon to Canada.

Pilot Jim Chrysler has been in the cockpit for more than 30 years, and he's well past 20,000 hours of flight time. His water-ready plane will take you on a Seattle scenic tour, but it's really made to fly over nature's best.

The Olympic Mountains, Mount Rainier and Mount Saint Helens are all on that list of locations. But he can also take you into British Columbia to see the Butchart Gardens—a National Historic Site in Canada. Vancouver is another hot spot up north, and you'll fly over the heart of the city.

But if you prefer the sea, you can jet set to Port Townsend or the San Juan Islands. There are 176 named islands that make up the San Juans—accessible only by boat or plane, or a plane that can act as both.

For even more romance, Seaplanes offers fly and dine. You'll depart from Lake Union and be flown to either Poulsbo, Port Ludlow, Port Hadlock, Alderbrook, Port Townsend, Whidbey Island, San Juan Island, Orcas Island or Victoria, British Columbia, for a romantic dinner while your pilot is on standby to take you home. If you've ever wanted to feel like James Bond, this is the flight for you.

For pricing and more info: www.seattleseaplanes.com or 206-329-9638.

Look no further than the clouds for a romantic trip during this love-empowered month. Helicopters, balloons and planes are some of the best ways to see the city and the surrounding area, and if you don't fear heights, you and your co-pilot can seemingly have the whole city to yourselves.


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