koh tao thailand aerial

World’s Best Destinations for Drone Photography

 

With drone photography becoming more and more popular, more parts of the world are being captured from this unique new perspective. Many places that have been shot for years from the ground, look even more magnificent from the sky. We put together a list of our top destinations for drone photography around the world.

New Zealand

New Zealand is one of the world’s most beautiful and remote countries and is a paradise for aerial photography and video. The two islands that make up this country are loaded with diverse scenery that is gorgeous both from the ground and from the sky. Because most of this country is so sparsely populated, much of it is untouched by humans, and has endless natural land formations to be discovered.  These different terrains include glaciers, rain forests, and fjords. And New Zealand has 7 times as many sheep as people, so be sure to capture a photo of these furry beasts from the sky!

Koh Tao, Thailand

The next spot on our list is Thailand, a gorgeous country with a seemingly infinite number of spots perfect for drone photography. But if you can choose only one location in this beautiful country, we recommend the remote island of Koh Tao. Because the government prohibited fishing near the island, an abundance of marine life has returned to the island, making this island is just as beautiful from the sky as it is from under the water. This island is remote and secluded, but accessible by ferry, and the views are unbeatable. From the sky, you can capture an entire island in one photo!

Bali, Indonesia

It’s easy to see why Bali is one of the top tourist destinations in the world, and one of the most dreamed about by drone photographers.  The opportunities to capture great imagery are plentiful; however, as a result of its massive popularity, many landmarks in Bali have started prohibiting the use of drone near the respective properties. But there are still plenty of places to fly. Bali is loaded with natural beauty, with beautiful beaches and stunning waterfalls. In addition to the natural landscapes, one of the unique things about Bali is the vertical terrace faming, producing interesting landscapes that create beautiful patterns from the sky.

Bar Harbor, Maine

Maine is an ideal spot for aerial photography because of its diverse landscapes throughout all 4 seasons.  Maine has everything from miles of rocky coastlines on the Atlantic Ocean, to the majestic peaks of the Appalachian Mountains, to energetic city scenes in Portland.  And these landscapes look equally as stunning in the summer with lush greenery as they do in the winter, covered in snow. And in the fall, Maine is covered in gorgeous yellow, red, and orange foliage, with some of the most vibrant colored trees in the country. Unlike other New England states that turn brown in the colder months, Maine is full of color year-round. This stunning state has so much to offer aerial photographers and it and transforms with every season, making it one of our top drone photography locations.

Newport & Narragansett, Rhode Island


Although Rhode Island is the smallest state in the United States, it can seem enormous when it comes to exciting activities and fun beach opportunities. And it is definitely an ideal location for capturing great aerial photography and drone footage. Some shooting locations include Narragansett, the epitome of a New England beach town, Newport, a coastal town with expansive mansions and educational activities, and Block Island, a secluded, remote beach getaway. And because Rhode Island is the smallest state, it’s possible to shoot all of these locations in one day! From rocky cliffs to pebbly beaches, it’s not hard to find a spot to catch a stunning sunset over the water.

Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Our next top destination for aerial photography is Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Whether you are an amateur film maker, or a professional drone photographer, the Cape is the perfect place for a quaint and relaxing beach getaway in Massachusetts. This arm-shaped peninsula is separated from the mainland of Massachusetts by a canal with two beautiful bridges, which can be popular panorama shooting locations. But the main attraction is, of course, the beaches and unique marshy land formations. Cape Cod features over 550 miles of gorgeous coastline, bordering both Cape Cod Bay and the Atlantic Ocean.

Malibu, California

Southern California is full of beautiful landscapes perfect for drone photographers, but with the dense population of people and airports, it can be challenging to find a location with unrestricted airspace. We recommend Malibu as an ideal location for aerial photography as it is just far enough from the chaos and noise of the city in Los Angeles to capture some truly beautiful natural landscapes. From cliffy shores to wooded mountains, Malibu’s diverse terrain offers a wide variety of shooting locations just waiting to be explored.

Cancun & Playa Del Carmen

If you’re looking to shoot somewhere outside of the US, Cancun, Mexico is an amazing and accessible destination for drone photographers. The beaches of Playa Marlin are picture perfect, with crystal clear water and sand so white you will need a ND filter!  While taking off and landing in the sand can be a challenge, and it might be difficult to see your phone screen because of the sun, the photo opportunities here are worth all the struggles. The final results are breathtaking ocean views that make you want to drop everything and take a vacation!

 

Hawaiian Islands

Most Americans are aware of the beauty of Hawaii and can imagine the 50th state as one of the country’s best destinations for aerial photography.  However, most photographers are probably undecided on exactly where in Hawaii they can go to capture breathtaking drone footage and aerial photos.  We hope to make that decision easier.  The answer, in our humble opinion, is Kauai.

 

The Florida Keys

If you’re looking for a setting to capture aerial photos of South Florida, but would prefer a more low-key, remote, area than Miami, then the Florida Keys is your answer. Depending on the traffic but it usually takes about 4 hours from Miami to get to the most southern part of the North America continent through the Overseas Highway.  That might seem like an excruciatingly long drive, but it’s definitely worth a visit. The Florida Keys has good food, great music, and rich nature, but that’s not all; the islands offer plenty of activities to keep a traveler occupied and has many sights to see while there and on your way. It is a perfect weekend getaway for family, couple, or a group of friends.

 

Puerto Rico

I recently traveled to Puerto Rico, DJI Mavic Pro drone in tow, to capture aerial photos for the first time since hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico in September of 2017.  The Category 5 hurricane had a devastating impact on several islands in the Caribbean including The Dominican Republic, the Antilles, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.  The storm caused irreparable damage in terms of lost life, not to mention physical damages to a tune of about $91 billion.  Despite everything the territory has been through in the approximately two years since, the beautiful island is still just that; its tourism industry is up and running and the island remains an idyllic getaway for U.S. mainlanders and foreign tourists alike.  

 

 

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About the Author

Adam Shore

Adam is a Central Florida alum who recently left the Orlando area to relocate to Denver, where he enjoys shooting aerial photography of the Rocky Mountains. And to ski. He is a member of the AMA and was been a drone photographer since the early days of the industry. Follow him @dronegenuity.