Impressive views from the sky! Here are 6 amazing images that are truly inspiring and allow you to see these locations in a different light.
As the sun rises over the Atlantic Ocean on a warm summer morning, Miami Beach‘s luxury resorts and rental services like Miami Beachsports set up their wares. So, the result is an orderly pattern of lounge chairs, umbrellas and cabanas casting long shadows on the sand (pictured). Early risers will take full advantage of the solitude (while the late-night crowd is still snoozing) to soak up some rays or take a quick dip in the blue-green waters before all the crowds begin to gather on this world-famous shoreline. And as the day goes on, bronzed locals and visitors just starting on their tans join in on the fun with some beach volleyball, WaveRunner rides and people-watching while the see-and-be-seen set appears — sporting only the very latest in fashionable beachwear.
When viewed from high above in the air, the serpentine network of marshes that literally makes up much of the Florida Everglades runs as long and as wide as the horizon. Contrary to popular belief, this is not a stagnant swamp. For most of the year, the waterways south of Lake Okeechobee flow slow ly toward the Gulf of Mexico, at the rate of about a half-mile per day, as if the entirety of the Everglades were a river as wide as the state’s peninsula. November marks the beginning of the dry season, when humidity drops and mosquito swarms thin out — the most hospitable time to visit the “river of grass.” The classic way to explore the waterways is still among the best: Don some ear protection and hop into a high-powered airboat. And a one-hour private safari from Miami-based operator Airboat in Everglades will have you spotting gators and crocs in the only place in the world where the two coexist, along with ospreys, eagles and maybe even a rare glimpse of the elusive Florida panther.
An archipelago made up of about 1,700 islands in a tropical paradise is bound to wow with some jaw-dropping views, especially when ogled from above. The shallow, clear aquamarine water and uninhabited islands of the Florida Keys — some just yards from the Overseas Highway that connects the main island chain — look like they belong in the Caribbean Sea. Pilots like Dan Haggerty of Fantasy Dan’s Airplane Rides will take visitors on the flight of a lifetime to catch a glimpse of views like the one pictured above. Knowing that such calm waters and pristine islands are just a short boat ride away helps to explain the laid-back lifestyle that pervades the Keys and quickly infects anyone who crosses into this island time zone.
It’s been called one of the top 10 bridg- es in the world and is among the most photographed man made structures in Florida. On April 20, 1987, the Sunshine Skyway Bridge opened to traffic, allowing the first cars to drive the 5½-mile length of this construction marvel on the state’s west coast. But only the sky and the bridge’s 240- foot towers are visible on the ascent to the peak — 191 feet above Tampa Bay, just south of St. Petersburg. Crossing over the bridge during sunset definitely adds to the allure — the yellow pipes housing steel cables seem to glow in the evening light as the sun drops behind the bay. More than 50,000 vehicles drive the Sunshine Skyway every day.
Sunrise in the Ocala National Forest is truly a majestic sight. Seen from the air, it’s nothing short of stunning. Mist rising from Juniper Creek, which flows through the Juniper Prairie Wilderness, reflects the pink and orange hues of morning light, looking like flames rising from the woods. The spring-fed creek is often referred to as Juniper Run because of its popularity with canoeists and kayakers from Florida and across the United States. The run starts at the Juniper Springs recreation area, where you can rent a canoe or launch your own kayak, and goes for about 7 miles before emptying into Lake George to the northeast. Paddlers often report seeing gators and turtles in the water, ospreys and herons in the tree tops and deer on the banks.
Winter brings all kinds of Northern visitors to the Sunshine State’s warmer climes, including 70-ton North Atlantic right whales. These massive mammals swim down to Florida’s east-coast waters every January. They escape frigid temperatures from as far north as Nova Scotia to give birth to and rear their calves, and are often seen near their smaller cousin: the dolphin. These stunning whales swim close to shore and can be spotted from the beach when they surface for air. However, whale-watching boat tours are prohibited, which explains why this aerial shot is so price- less. These beautiful creatures are highly endangered, with a total population of about 400, making their success in Flori- da’s nursing grounds vital to the species’ survival. Around mid- March, the whales begin their trek back to the North.