The BEST Episodes of Aerial America
Every episode ever - ranked by fan votes!
Last Updated: Oct 14, 2019
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 - Alaska's Fire and Ice
Season 5 - Episode 9
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.
#2 - Oregon
Season 2 - Episode 2
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.
#3 - Florida
Season 3 - Episode 8
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!
#4 - Made in the U.S.A.
Season 4 - Episode 5
"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 - Beyond Hollywood
Season 4 - Episode 7
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.
#6 - Alaska's Call of the Wild
Season 5 - Episode 10
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!"
#7 - Wisconsin
Season 6 - Episode 2
It's a state ruled by beer and dairy, a place full of wild, scenic beauty and bustling urban landscapes. This is Wisconsin, and this aerial tour celebrates the unique brew of dazzling landscapes, rich history, and contemporary culture that can only be found in the Badger State. Join us as we soar over colorful autumn forests, family-owned farms, the Door Peninsula and share stories of the ancient tribes, European settlers, and American icons who gave Wisconsin its one-of-a-kind identity.
#8 - Arizona
Season 3 - Episode 12
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.
#9 - Texas
Season 5 - Episode 1
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 - Hawaii
Season 1 - Episode 2
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.
#11 - Nebraska
Season 5 - Episode 7
This is a land of bold landscapes and brave history. It’s where uninhabitable desert plains have been transformed into cornfields and cattle ranges that feed America. Soar above this agricultural powerhouse as we explore the Cornhusker State’s vast farms, towering spires, desolate badlands, and gleaming cities. We also celebrate Johnny Carson, Warren Buffet, Carhenge, the College World Series, and other great figures, landmarks, and pastimes that call Nebraska home.
#12 - New Jersey
Season 6 - Episode 3
New Jersey is one of America's 13 original states, and one of its most fascinating. It's where the nation's first industrial city was built, where some of Hollywood's biggest studios began, and where a brilliant inventor devised a way to light the world. We trace the Garden State's most dramatic historic moments, from Washington's fateful Delaware crossing to Hindenburg's fiery crash to Superstorm Sandy's furious attack. We also celebrate Jersey's quiet misty valleys, fields of plenty, miles of sunlit shores, and plucky, innovative spirit.
#13 - Massachusetts
Season 2 - Episode 4
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.
#14 - Montana
Season 4 - Episode 2
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.
#15 - Pennsylvania
Season 3 - Episode 7
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!
#16 - The Dakotas
Season 5 - Episode 5
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.
#17 - Idaho
Season 5 - Episode 2
Soar over a state with much more to offer than just potatoes! This state contains millions of acres of untamed land, great ancient spines of stone, and the deepest canyon in America. Idaho's past is as rich as its volcanic soil and this tour over the Gem State reveals unique visual treasures. From Hemingway's haven to Hell's Canyon, and from the world's first atomic city to the birth of the potato boom, discover the beauty and history of Idaho.
#18 - Rhode Island
Season 1 - Episode 8
This aerial journey is short on mileage but long on history. Known as the Ocean State, even though 60% of it is covered in woodland and parks, Rhode Island features 400 miles of tidal shorelines and is the sailing capital of the world. With an array of lighthouses and even more stories of rumrunners, pirates and captains of industry, this state represents our nation's progress and its excesses. See it from the sky and witness the East Coast’s tiny gleaming treasure.
#19 - Utah
Season 5 - Episode 4
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.
#20 - Wyoming
Season 5 - Episode 6
Soar over Wyoming and explore the fertile landscapes that first lured men like Jim Bridger out West in search of furs and game. Then visit the Cowboy State's famous towns and landmarks, from Jackson Hole to the Teton Mountains, and from the Sheridan Rodeo to the Continental Divide. Delve into its controversial past, including a shocking hate crime, a notorious mining operation, and a 19th-Century fight for women's rights that continues to inspire today.
#21 - Virginia
Season 1 - Episode 3
It's been called the New World and the Old Dominion. It is the birthplace of eight U.S. presidents, and the legend of Pocahontas. It's the site of Williamsburg, perhaps the most ambitious history lesson in America. Virginia proudly celebrates its past without losing its sense of fun. Join us as we travel across a diverse and rugged landscape into the realm of pirates, the source of myths and the heart of American democracy.
#22 - California
Season 1 - Episode 1
The Pacific Coast Highway of California offers spectacular views while traveling along the edge of American culture. Buckle up for a non-stop flight over the mansion William Randolph Hearst built, the town Clint Eastwood governed and the farmland where Marilyn Monroe once held the title of Miss Artichoke. We soar over beaches and wine country, across Big Sur redwoods, under the Golden Gate Bridge and into the heart and soul of this magnificent state.
#23 - Washington D.C.
Season 6 - Episode 1
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.
#24 - New York
Season 2 - Episode 10
Take a memorable flight over a remarkable state, one rich with the stories of a nation that began long before European explorers discovered its mighty rivers. Explore New York's amazing beauty, from the roaring Niagara Falls to its stunning peaks and valleys, to a city full of abundant architectural heritage and infamous residents. Aerial New York tells the stories of expansive natural wonders, the city that never sleeps and the day we will never forget.
#25 - Amazing Destinations
Season 4 - Episode 1
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.