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14 sights from an airplane

The next time your jet is soaring through the lower stratosphere, grab a window seat and take the opportunity to enjoy a short lesson in U.S. history, geology and geography.

Major flight paths across the United States offer the traveler a glimpse of killer volcanoes, impact craters, historically important rivers and mind-boggling manmade creations.

A new slide show on Bing Travel helps you identify these wonders from the air. Flying over Boston? You might catch a glimpse of the northern end of Cape Cod, where the Pilgrims first anchored the Mayflower in 1620. Flying from L.A. to New York? Perhaps the pilot will tip the wings to give you a better view of the Grand Canyon and its warm red glow, created by small amounts of iron oxides and other minerals in the rock below. Heading from New York to Dallas? You’ll have a shot at seeing the Mississippi River, which serves as a partial boundary for 10 states. The river experienced four “100-year floods” in the 20th century. When it isn’t covered by water, the Mississippi floodplain is ideal farmland. Look for patchwork quilts of cotton, rice and corn fields nearby.

Flying from L.A. to Seattle? Check out Mt. Rainier poking its head above the clouds. It may look like a giant vanilla ice-cream cone, but it’s one of 16 volcanoes worldwide to be designated “Decade Volcanoes,” which means they are worthy of study in light of their potential for death and destruction.

What landmarks have you enjoyed seeing from an airplane? Share your experiences with other travelers in the comments section.


  • Thanks for the slide show and insight.

  • It was enriching, thank you for this article..

  • This is good, because if memory serves me correctly, pilots are no long allowed, by law, to call out landmarks... something about helping the terrorists not know where they are. Also, hasn't the in-flight status system been removed?

  • I remember seeing the statue of liberty as I left NYC. It was stunning. I always look for mountain ranges and to see if I can identify ecotomes as we pass over.

  • That view of Mt Rainier makes me want to walk on the cloud to get to it. But the Grand Canyon picture isn't from a passenger jet as it looks too close.

  • On a flight from Philadelphia to Toronto Canada, i saw Lake Ontario as the sun was setting.  Beautiful!!!

  • Flying above the clouds is like surfing in a big-boeing jet.  An amazing experience in any sky.  It would be great to see peeps photos from the air, submit and guess the landmark.

    There are some great travel deals right now from coast-to-coast. I myself am busy promoting the with JetBlue & Hertz There are up to three daily prizes, and the top prize is a $500 JetBlue gift card.

  • The Painted Desert and Hopi Mesas region is gorgeous--as are the San Francisco Peaks

  • Lake Michigan at night from the air.

  • Devils Tower is really something to see even from 37,000ft.

  • I saw the Meteor Crater, just East of Flagstaff, AZ.  It's 3/4 miles across, 550' deep and was formed by a meteor 49,000 years ago.  Just beautiful from the air.

  • The Alaskan range between Fairbanks and Anchorage; Mt. Denali.  It's especially great at sunrise.

  • I've seen Mt Ranier, Golden Gate Bridge, Meteor Crater (AZ), Statue of Liberty, World Trade Center, Empire State Building,  the Northern Marianas Islands (Tinian, Saipan, Rota), Guam, Chase Field, Shea Stadium (LaGuardia), and that's about it i think.......

  • The Volcanos on the Hawaiian Islands are absolutely amazing, especially at sunrise.  

  • seeing Denali National Park from a plane on a sunny day is as good as it gets.

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