Takeoff and fly along the coast to Palomar/Carlsbad airport, and then go directly to Hector VOR, avoiding the Restricted Airspace over Twenty nine Palms. From there, go straight to Las Vegas, flying over dry lake beds, sand dunes and painted mountains. The airport is right next to the Strip, so try not to get distracted by all the sights; you will have plenty of time to see those later.
A little under 1 hour and 40 minutes – much better than that 5 hour drive!
Once on the ground, request a taxi over to Signature Aviation; this is the best way to start your Vegas experience. Once inside, you will be greeted with refreshments, a pilot lounge and a full line crew. Signature has a shuttle that runs 24 hours and will drive you anywhere you need to go. From there, you will find something to do, but we don’t need to tell you about Vegas. There are too many things to list! However, there are a few that stand out above the rest. Go to the Bellagio for a poker tournament that is held daily at 2 p.m. Surrounded by TVs, rich wood and comfortable chairs, you will be living the high life. Gambling not your style? Well go hit the links and test your skills at Shadow Creek. Designed by Tom Fazio, this championship course, with awe-inspiring views, will remind you why you fell in love with golf in the first place. Want to stay inside? Go see KA at the MGM Hotel and Casino; this will truly blow you away. A mix of martial arts, acrobatics and puppetry, this story of love and conflict will captivate your imagination.
After all the fun and games, it’s time to get some shut eye. Of course there are many wonderful places on the Las Vegas Strip to rest your weary head. A few of our favorites are:
Palazzo – Built as an addition to the Venetian Hotel, The Palazzo features unparalleled service, accommodations and luxury amenities that will make you feel like you’ve found your second home.
Bellagio – The timeless water fountain show is just something you can’t get enough of. Be sure to get a room that faces the lake so that you can watch the show from your room. Each hotel room features a Heavenly Bed for your good-night's sleep, and believe us, it will be heavenly!
Vegas is known for its food. Whether it’s an all out smorgasbord or fine dining, Vegas fits the bill.
Fly along California’s scenic coast from La Jolla to Newport Beach, over LAX and Santa Barbara, past California Condor nesting areas. From there, you can follow the 101, fly over the Golden Gate Bridge, and then turn to the east and explore the beautiful backcountry of the San Francisco Bay Area.
A little over 2 hours and 20 minutes from the time you take off to the time you land in Napa Valley.
Once you arrive in Napa, taxi to the Bridgeford Flying Services ramp; they will greet you with a full range of services. Take the crew car for a spin or get a great rate through the FBO with Enterprise rental cars, cabs or even a chauffeur. From there, the day is yours! Go to one of the best wineries in the valley: Cakebread Cellars. Tour the vineyard, presses and wine cellars. You can also go golfing at Eagle Vines Vineyards & Golf Club, and experience golf at its finest in some of the most panoramic scenery in the country. Experience the wildlife of Safari West, with open jeep adventures, dining and lodging, which will make you feel like you are in heart of Africa
There are many choices of places to rest your head after a long day, but one stands out above the rest: The Meritage Resort and Spa. With a wine tasting bar, world class spa and outdoor amenities, such as a covered terrace, heated pool, fire pit, bocce ball court and poolside food and bar service, you will feel that you actually got away from it all.
Napa is known for its world famous wine and food. Here are a few of the recommended restaurants to dine at while staying in Napa:
Proper flight planning will remind you that there is no fuel available on the island, so be sure to bring enough for the return trip. The recommended route to Catalina Island is to fly low along the coast line all the way to John Wayne Airport, then shoot over and start a slight climb to get to a safe cruising altitude for the 25nm trip across the water. You will come in higher than normal. This approach can be a tricky one because of the slope of the runway. Also note the winds, as there is only one runway, which can set you up for an exciting landing. Catalina is an uncontrolled, publically owned airport that is maintained by the city of Avalon. Don’t be surprised when you land as the runway surface will be a little rough.
A little over 45 minutes
Taxi over to the ramp on the south side of the airport. Be sure to place chocks or set the parking brake as the ramp in on a slight slope. There is also a landing fee of $25 that can be paid at what looks like an ATC tower. There is an airport shuttle that costs $25 round trip that will take you into town. It leaves at 9:30AM and departs every 2 hours after that. Once you’re in town, there is plenty to do! Here are some ideas:
Rent a Waverunner from Catalina Jetski or Waverunner Rentals and tour the island by sea.
Play golf at the oldest golf course west of the Rockies: the Catalina Island Golf Course. This historic, 9-hole golf course is set in the hills of Catalina and gives you the chance to play the same golf course that many professionals have played on in the past.
Take a nighttime flying fish tour; this is a true thrill and an unforgettable memory. Watch as the crew uses 40 million candle powered lights to spot these fish out of water “flying” over your heads
Avalon has a long history of entertaining Hollywood’s A-list and other famous clients, and it still is able to wow. After a long day of physical activity, you will be beat and want to relax. The premier boutique hotel located right next to the water, The Avalon Hotel, is the 2008 winner of the Traveler’s Choice Award. It will delight and surprise you with its service, style and views. Take time to enjoy the scenery from the roof top deck, or enjoy the weather in the garden patio. No matter what your style is, you will find a home here.
There are numerous great places to eat!
Palm Springs is just a short hop over the mountains from San Diego. To make it a really exciting flight, fly due east over Mt. Laguna and then drop down into the desert. From there, head north and fly low over the Salton Sea, the farms of Coachella Valley and countless golf courses of Palm Springs. You will land right alongside regional and corporate jets, so be aware of wake turbulence.
A little under 40 minutes
Once on the ground, request a taxi over to Signature Aviation. They will treat you like royalty, regardless whether you are in a SR22 or a Global Express. Once inside, you will be greeted with refreshments, a pilot lounge and a full line crew. You can rent a car, get a taxi or request a shuttle that will take you to the over 270 hotels, 600 tennis courts and 85 golf courses in Palm Springs. What to do once you are in this desert paradise is up to you, but here are some suggestions:
Take the Palm Springs Ariel Tramway. Travel two and half miles up on tram cars to the peaks overlooking Palm Springs and be amazed by the view. While you are up there, you can go hiking, camping and even enjoy a great meal while looking out over the vast desert.
Looking for some exercise? The Indian Canyons are an oasis where water flows and a variety of plant life flourishes. Take a hike in one of the multiple canyons and be impressed by the desert beauty that is offered.
Finally, if you want to see some neat, old aircraft, go check out the Palm Springs Air Museum. With its wide variety of aircraft and a friendly staff, this is a great place to see some old birds, many of which still fly today.
The Colony Palms Hotel which is located in downtown Palm Springs has been redesigned in a Spanish and Mediterranean décor. Being highly rated and reviewed, you will hardly be disappointed with its service, comfort and amenities.
Finally, try the Jackalope Ranch, a mix of Southwestern and BBQ will delight your taste buds. The new 6.5 acre property offers an indoor saloon, outdoor palapa bar, evening entertainment and a Sunday brunch.
This is quite the easy flight. We recommend flying up the coast going through the VFR corridor of LAX watching 747s takeoff on parallel runways, then up to Santa Barbra enjoying the sights of Central California. From there you can shoot through the Central Valley to Fresno and then up and over the snow capped peaks and arrive at the airport in no time. Be careful, there can be strong winds here and storms can appear out of nowhere especially in the summer time.
Just over 2 hours
Upon landing, taxi over to Hot Creek Aviation. The fine staff here will cater to your every need, this small town FBO will make you feel like you are the VIP client. After parking the plane and contacting your hotel, you can wait in the pilots lounge and enjoy the beautiful scenery. Depending on where you stay, you can either get a taxi or a shuttle so be sure to call ahead to let them know about your arrival plans. Once on the mountain, choose from a range of activities, besides the obvious, here are a few that many don’t think about.
Did you bring your clubs? At, 8,000 ft, The Sierra Star Golf Course is the highest in California which means your drives will go for miles compared to sea level. With white capped mountain peaks set in the background, pine tree and red fir lined fairways, it will be hard to find a more striking course.
Want to catch your own dinner? Then the Mammoth area is the place to be! With world class fishing; the numerous lakes, streams and rivers will provide you with endless opportunities at catching the big-one.
Want to go exploring? Mammoth is situated 30 minutes south of Yosemite, California’s pride jewel. With tours offered daily, you can see what so many have come back to experience time and time again.
If you are looking for a great place to stay and relax, the Westin Monache is the ideal location to rest your head. With a wide variety of guest rooms, a shuttle to the airport and stunning views, this is the place to be if you want to experience Mammoth to the fullest.
Mammoth, being a resort town, has plenty of great places to eat.
The Lakefront restaurant is the perfect place to go if you are looking for great food, rustic atmosphere and peaceful views. Overlooking the lakes, this well known restaurant will delight you with its menu and wine list.
Looking for something closer to town? Try Petras, located in the Alpenhof Lodge, the bistro and wine bar combination is a favorite for locals and tourists alike. With its extensive wine and alcohol list along with pool tables and TVs, this is the place to hang out and enjoy each other.
Or try, Sakdi, with its unique menu and warm atmosphere, you will be presently surprised. Fresh ingredients, clean innovative preparation, great service, and an excellent, reasonably priced wine list is what brings so many people back again and again.
This is quite the flight! There are many options on how to arrive at this mountain resort. This is a longer flight, so going direct is always an option. Whatever the case, you will get to test the capabilities of the aircraft as the higher elevations will create the need for higher cruising altitudes and even possibly the use of O2. However, if you want to see a bit more, we recommend flying directly to Palm Springs, enjoying the views of the desert valleys and the tall peaks rising up out of them. From there, you can go to Flagstaff, flying past the highest mountain in Arizona. Gazing out at the forests of Northern Arizona is truly amazing. If you fly high enough, you can see the red rocks from the Grand Canyon. It is also well worth it to fly over Winslow, Arizona, where one of the best preserved meteor craters in the world is located. From there, you can fly directly to Aspen. As you do this, you will watch the scenery change from dry, lifeless deserts to mountainous, tree-covered terrain and witness the beauty of the Rocky Mountains. This can be a tricky airport to land in, even for the veteran pilot, so be well rested and prepared for this landing.
About 3 hours and 30 minutes from San Diego and 4 hours and 10 minutes from San Marcos
When all is said and done, and you want to rest your weary head after a long day of exploring nature, the Little Nell hotel is well known for its services, comfort and value. Located near the heart of Aspen, with a wide range of room accommodations to choose from, the Molly Gibson will make you feel right at home.
Aspen’s world famous restaurants can serve the wide range of taste and desires. Need a place to hang out? The Social, a relatively new spot in town, has already drawn rave reviews from locals and tourists alike. From sushi to rack of lamb, this restaurant and lounge is a great place to relax and sample the menu.
Want a place that’s a bit lower key? The Steak Pit Restaurant, is a favorite of those who fly into Aspen, and for good reasons too! From surf to turf, this great place to eat has been an Aspen establishment since 1960.
Looking for a night out on the town? The LuLu Wilson is the perfect place to treat your loved one. With its modern-American cuisine, brick walls and wood floors, this restaurant evokes an urban dining experience that will make you feel you are in the heart of Manhattan.