The BEST Episodes of Aerial America
Every episode ever - ranked by fan votes!
Last Updated: Sep 20, 2021
Network: Smithsonian Channel
Take off on a thrilling flight across America. This epic series offers rare glimpses of our nation's most treasured landmarks, all seen from breathtaking heights. From busy cityscapes to quiet landscapes, we capture the history and the pageantry of our amazing country, which is as diverse as the people who occupy it.
#1 - Wilderness
Season 5 - Episode 11 - Aired Sep 10, 2014
Some are vital sanctuaries for endangered species. Some can only be reached by plane. All are magnificent. These are the untamed pockets of the U.S. protected by the Wilderness Act of 1964. Take a cross-country flight over icy landscapes in Alaska's Denali, vast wetlands in Florida's Everglades, and over 100 million acres of badlands, deserts, and mountains where nature rules. Then learn how the nation's wildest places are tied to America's native history, its pioneering spirit, its extraordinary leaders, and its untouched beauty.
#2 - Alaska's Fire and Ice
Season 5 - Episode 9 - Aired Jul 6, 2014
It's twice the size of Texas, features 16 of the 20 tallest mountains in the nation and is home to the biggest earthquake of the 20th century. Everything about Alaska is larger, tougher, and more extreme than any other state. This breathtaking two-part journey soars over its one-half million square miles of winter wonderland and shows why countless adventurers have come to the 49th State over the centuries in search of gold, silver, mountain-peak views, dog-sledding glory, and more.
#3 - Oklahoma
Season 3 - Episode 11 - Aired Nov 18, 2012
Oklahoma is home to great tallgrass prairies, where herds of buffalo roam free and oil jacks gush black gold. Where the Trail of Tears ended and a mass exodus began 100 years later, prompted by a wave of dust. This flight over the Sooner State whisks you over the home of famous "Okies" Will Rogers, Brad Pitt, and Geronimo. Where native cultures have flourished for thousands of years and where countless hopeful settlers arrived for a shot at the American Dream.
#4 - Made in the U.S.A.
Season 4 - Episode 5 - Aired Aug 11, 2013
"Made in the USA" isn't just a label. It's a testament to American ingenuity and the pioneers and risk takers who have given us everything from jumbo jets to microchips, and ketchup to cornflakes. This cross-country journey celebrates the nation's crowning industrial achievements and the people behind them. Soar above Starbucks headquarters, Motown Records, Talladega Superspeedway, and more, exploring stories of inspiration, innovation, and invention.
#5 - Alaska's Call of the Wild
Season 5 - Episode 10 - Aired Jul 6, 2014
For centuries, thousands of adventurers have answered Alaska's "call of the wild," seeking thrills and fortunes in a state rife with postcard-perfect beauty... and lethal dangers. Take flight across ancient glaciers, rugged mountain ranges, primeval forests, and pristine waterways. Then discover how the state's unique charm has attracted bold visitors, from Russian fur traders to a young survivalist on a one-way trip "into the wild" to the thousands of dog sledders facing off in the "Last Great Race on Earth!"
#6 - Arizona
Season 3 - Episode 12 - Aired Dec 2, 2012
The Grand Canyon is one of the seven natural wonders of the world, but it's just one of many breathtaking marvels you'll find in Arizona. Explore the Copper State's remarkable history and its awe-inspiring landscapes, spectacular sunsets and infamous gunfights. From Tombstone to tent jails, from the Valley of the Sun to lost cities of gold, this aerial tour celebrates and studies a colorful state filled with equally colorful characters.
#7 - Washington D.C.
Season 6 - Episode 1 - Aired Apr 26, 2015
Washington, DC, does not boast towering buildings, but its skyline still inspires awe through its history, purpose, and what happens inside its walls. Explore the Nation's Capital from above as we swoop over its monuments, memorials, historic neighborhoods, and beckoning waters. We celebrate a city of stately American symbols and turbulent history, including scandals, protests, assassinations, and battles that rocked it to its core. But through it all, D.C. has survived and thrived, proving itself a city worthy of the nation it represents.
#8 - Ohio
Season 4 - Episode 3 - Aired Jul 28, 2013
It's where the Wright brothers' visions of flight fully took off and where a young Neil Armstrong first dreamed of the Moon. Take flight over the Buckeye State and witness centuries of American history etched in its soil. From the Ohio River, where Revolutionary War veterans started life anew, to Marietta, where runaway slaves sought shelter, this aerial tour celebrates the state's spirit: built on freedom, sports, and rock and roll.
#9 - Texas
Season 5 - Episode 1 - Aired Feb 23, 2014
To capture Texas, you need to go big, and this aerial exploration spans thousands of square miles to reveal the great sites of the Lone Star State. Witness its lush forests, forbidding deserts, and shimmering modern cities. High-altitude views of landmarks reveal a rich, complex past where bloody battles for independence began and where the era of American idealism ended one dark November day. From humble beginnings to boastful proclamations, see why "everything's bigger in Texas."
#10 - Florida
Season 3 - Episode 8 - Aired Oct 12, 2012
Explore the grassy waters, sandy shores, and intriguing history of Florida. From big orange groves to Little Havana, from launching rockets to hanging chads, the Sunshine State offers spectacular views and seminal moments that are uniquely its own. Soar over the metropolis of Miami and the spring break mecca: Panama City. This is a first-class Floridian vacation, and you have a window seat!
#11 - Montana
Season 4 - Episode 2 - Aired Jul 21, 2013
Big skies, big adventure, and big spirits: this is Montana. It's where fertile plains collide with the Rocky Mountains and the country's fastest land mammals run the grasslands known as the American Serengeti. It's also where Lewis and Clark faced towering stone obstacles and Custer faced an even more daunting foe. This aerial journey showcases the Treasure State's mountains and milestones, its legends and landmarks, all from spectacular heights.
#12 - Beyond Hollywood
Season 4 - Episode 7 - Aired Aug 25, 2013
Virtually anywhere you go in America, Hollywood has already been there, telling a story and sharing it with the world. Join us on a coast-to-coast tour of countless locations made famous by Hollywood's greatest films. From the Manhattan skyline that Woody Allen romanticized to the steps at the Philadelphia Museum of Art that Rocky Balboa climbed, we bring you America as it's been captured and immortalized in film.
#13 - Amazing Destinations
Season 4 - Episode 1 - Aired Jul 14, 2013
From its Great Lakes to its Grand Canyon, its Rocky Mountain peaks to its Key West reefs, America is a land of amazing destinations. This adventure over the nation's most remarkable landscapes and landmarks captures her breathtaking beauty, while demonstrating how its sense of wonder has inspired countless artists, thinkers, and revolutionaries. Join us on this cross-country tour over iconic and unknown sights, and discover a side of America you've never seen before.
#14 - New York City 24
Season 8 - Episode 1 - Aired Jun 4, 2017
There's nothing like a day in the life of New York City, and there's no better way to appreciate it than from above. Join us as we span the five boroughs, capturing the city's man-made and natural wonders and revealing the surprising ways its citizens live, work, and play. From crane operators working 1,000 feet over Manhattan to beachgoers frolicking at Coney Island to the pulsing lights of Times Square, this aerial tour captures the excitement of a city that is always on the go.
#15 - Boston 24
Season 8 - Episode 3 - Aired Dec 8, 2019
A breathtaking aerial tour over Boston explores its revolutionary acts, art, infrastructure, and ideals.
#16 - Indiana
Season 6 - Episode 4 - Aired May 17, 2015
"Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines" and prepare to be whisked away over Indiana's famous racetrack and the Golden Dome, vast cornfields and large quarries, and bustling metropolises and a city of ruins. Here in the Hoosier State, Abraham Lincoln became a man, basketball became an obsession, and the nation nearly doubled in one of the biggest land grabs in U.S. history. This aerial tour captures the beauty, spirit, and stories of Indiana as seen from above.
#17 - Hawaii
Season 1 - Episode 2 - Aired Jul 17, 2010
Join us on a non-stop journey by air over our nation's most exotic and breathtaking state. From lush green cliffs to black-sand beaches, from ancient ruins to modern city life, this aerial tour reveals the grandeur of the Aloha State. From Molokai to Maui, discover the stunning landscapes and astonishing stories of Hawaii's eight major islands without ever touching the ground.
#18 - Oregon
Season 2 - Episode 2 - Aired Jul 17, 2011
Individualistic, eccentric and freethinking: a mix that's intrinsically "Made in Oregon." These traits belong not just to the people of this diverse state, but also to the landscape itself. From Crater Lake to the High Cascades to the perilous Pacific coastline, this state is full of natural beauty. From Lewis and Clark's search for "land's end" to the thousands of emigrants who arrived via the Oregon Trail, the state has always attracted the adventurous type.
#19 - Pennsylvania
Season 3 - Episode 7 - Aired Mar 11, 2012
This thrilling ride over the Keystone State takes you over large cities and across small towns, where tradition thrives, Nittany Lions roar, and freedom rings. It's where the first football game was played and the bloodiest Civil War battle was fought. Where American Independence began and America's westward expansion commenced. Whether you prefer cheese steak or chocolate, Andy Warhol or Rocky Balboa, this aerial tour of Pennsylvania has something for everyone!
#20 - Utah
Season 5 - Episode 4 - Aired Mar 16, 2014
From the unearthly pinnacles of Arches National Park to the blinding white terrain of the Bonneville Salt Flats, Utah has an alien beauty that you must see to believe. It has a history uniquely its own, from the tragedy of the Donner Party to the arrival of Brigham Young, an American leader who built Mormonism into one of the most successful religions in the world. This journey over the Beehive State celebrates a land that offers endless surprises and possibilities.
#21 - Massachusetts
Season 2 - Episode 4 - Aired Jul 31, 2011
Henry David Thoreau said of its shores: "A man may stand here and put all of America behind him." In many ways, Massachusetts is America. The state is home to revolutionaries, a haven for artists, and the birthplace of education and higher learning. From the journeys of pilgrims to the ride of Paul Revere, from the witch trials of Salem to the Curse of the Bambino, we invite you on a flight spanning hundreds of years and just as many spectacular sights.
#22 - Yellowstone
Season 8 - Episode 2 - Aired Mar 7, 2019
When you soar above Yellowstone, it's easy to see why it became the world's first national park in 1872. It's a place of staggering beauty and fragile creatures, of stunning granite peaks that pierce the sky and colorful springs that may hold secrets about the origins of life. This aerial voyage takes you over high elevation lakes, snaking canyons, sputtering hot geysers, and snow-covered landscapes. Explore Yellowstone's history of Native Americans, European explorers, and 10 million years of tectonic upheaval.
#23 - Great Cities
Season 8 - Episode 5 - Aired Dec 22, 2019
Explore the awe-inspiring skyscrapers and dazzling public spaces of America’s great cities and meet the people who keep them running day and night. From Boston, New York, and Miami in the east to Las Vegas, San Francisco, Seattle, and L.A. in the west, and from Chicago in the north to Dallas-Fort Worth in the south, this is a cross-country metropolitan tour from breathtaking heights.
#24 - Natural Wonders
Season 7 - Episode 3 - Aired May 8, 2016
Massive forces have transformed our nation over billions of years, sculpting and shaping it into the breathtaking landscape we know today. All around us, natural wonders abound, from South Dakota's badlands to Yellowstone's boiling cauldrons to West Virginia's stunning spine of quartzite. See them all from towering heights on this cross-country voyage over America's most astonishing natural sights, formed inch-by-inch over a period of time.
#25 - The Dakotas
Season 5 - Episode 5 - Aired Mar 23, 2014
Take in the soaring views above a state that inspired a future president, launched the country's first millionaire, and kept a dark, rich secret under its expansive prairies for centuries. This lofty journey over North Dakota highlights the Roughrider State's grand beauty, which healed a grieving Teddy Roosevelt and transformed him into a defender of America's wild land. Explore the state's booms and busts, from fur trade explosions to frontier battles to the thousands of oil wells that dot the land and house flaming vents that are visible from space.