There are a few ways to orientate yourself when you arrive in a new place. You can grab a good map and take a walk, hire a guide to show you around or climb aboard a tour bus. All are great ways to get your bearings depending on your personal travel preferences.
But there is one more way which is by far my favourite way to get the lay of the land and take in the bigger picture. It is to climb high above a city, town, region or area and get that view from above.
If your in a city it might be from its tallest building, or from the top of nearby higher ground. In a small town you might find yourself climbing hundreds of steps up a tower to see how the town is laid out and its surrounding countryside. Or if your exploring our great outdoors you could be tramping up mountains looking out over untouched wilderness as far as the eye can see.
In a new series that I’ll be rolling out throughout the year, I’ll be taking you above the world one region at a time. From Europe, Asia, North and South America, Africa, the Middle East and Oceania, nothing will be missed. And to start this series off is North America from above.
So lets get into it!
To help you find the best place to view various cities, towns, regions and areas of North America from above, I’ve enlisted the help of some well travelled blogger friends. Over the next few weeks we will be taking you on a journey across North America from above in search of some of the best views, giving you the inside scoop on how you too can get the view.
Tunnel View Observation Point – Yosemite National Park
Beth Williams – Travels in Translation
The view of the Yosemite Park was taken at Tunnel View Observation Point and is filled with visitors who are on their way into the park itself.
Fort Union – Watrous, New Mexico
Billie Frank – Santa Fe Travelers
Have you ever heard of Fort Union? Probably not; it’s one of the most obscure National Monuments in the USA. Located in Watrous, New Mexico (about a half-hour north of Las Vegas) it’s accessed off I-25 at exit 366. The view is of the remains of this Civil War era for and supply depot and the snow-capped Sangre de Christos Mountains beyond. It’s one of our favorite places in New Mexico.
Cadillac Mountain – Acadia National Park
Brianna Simmons – Casual Travelist
The views of Bar Harbor and its surrounding islands in Maine’s Acadia National Park are some of the best on the East Coast. Located 5 hours northeast of Boston Cadillac Mountain attracts early risers looking to glimpse the rays of the first sunrise to hit the US.
Miami Beach from a Jet
Charles McCool – McCool Travel
Miami Beach taken from a jet after take off from Miami International Airport.
Whistlers Mountain – Jasper National Park, Canada
Claire Drinkwater – Backpacking Bella
You get there using the Jasper SkyTram, which carries you up to an elevation of 2277 metres, for a birds eye view over the Canadian Rockies. From here you can walk further up the mountain for even more spectacular views. You can get very philosophical up here (if you’re anything like me) because you feel so small among such majestic scenery.
Walnut Street Bridge & the Tennessee River – Chattanooga
Cory Lee – Curb Free with Cory Lee
To get this exact view, head over to the Hunter Museum of Art in downtown Chattanooga. There is a viewing area behind the museum and it is completely free to stand there.
Vista House Overlook – Columbia River Gorge
Elena Tchijov – Traveling Bytes
To get to the Vista House Overlook on the Historic Columbia River Highway from Portland take highway 84 to Corbett, take exit 22 to E Historic Columbia River Highway. In about 23 miles from the exit you will see an octagonal tower overlooking Columbia River. Welcome to Vista House.
Calle Galeana – Old Town Puerto Vallarta
Sarah Hughes – Live Dream Discover
Old Town Puerto Vallarta, also known and Zona Romantica, is full of charm with its cobblestone streets and quaint buildings. Add to that the fact that it sits on the beautiful Bay of Banderas and you have a scene set for some great shots. To get a gorgeous birds eye view of Old Town head away from the Malecon a few blocks and climb the steep street of Calle Galeana all the way to the top. As with many great views the best times to go are sunrise and sunset.
Torre Latinoamericana – Mexico City
Susan Moore – Solo Trips and Tips
You can either visit the observation deck – cost is 70 pesos ($5.38 USD) or you can visit the restaurant/bar on the 42nd floor and enjoy a meal or cocktail while enjoying the spectacular views of Mexico City.
Columbia Tower Sky View Observatory – Seattle
Tracie Howe – Tracie Travels
Most people choose the Space Needle for it’s views, but I prefer the Columbia Tower. You follow signs to the observatory and pay your entry fee of $12.50 for adults.
Now one from me!
Top of the Rock – New York City
Most people visiting New York City flock to the Empire State Building for views over Manhattan, but my top tip is to skip it and head for Top of the Rock at Rockefella Centre. This way not only do you get equally great views of the city, but you’ll also get the city’s most famous building in your pics.
Over to you!
What’s your pick for the best view from above in North America?
Let me know using the comments section below or join me on social media to start a conversation.
Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed this post.