Aerial Photos of American Amusement Parks and Leisure Spots

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During his travels across the country, pilot and photographer Alex S. MacLean captured aerial images of playgrounds, parks, and other American leisure spots. From the air, these places of play become abstract and almost painterly (who knew tennis courts could look so appealing?). The photos reveal how the American amusement industry has inserted itself, often quite garishly, into the landscape. “Sports terms like out-of-bounds, foul ball, and home run have integrated into our everyday thinking,” MacLean told Co.Design. “Play is sort of a reenactment of real life.” This kind of artifice is best seen in the plastic, candy-colored maze of amusement park rides jutting from the earth, which feel just as surreal from the sky as they do when viewed on foot.

Photo credit: Alex S. MacLean

Ocean City Amusment Park Ocean City, MD

Photo credit: Alex S. MacLean

Poolside Tanning Cambridge, MA

Photo credit: Alex S. MacLean

Unmarked Tennis Courts Manchester, New Hampshire

Photo credit: Alex S. MacLean

Universal Studios, Pedestrian Walks & Amusement Rides Orlando, Florida

Photo credit: Alex S. MacLean

Picknickers Listening to Live Concert at Tanglewood Lenox, Massachusetts

Photo credit: Alex S. MacLean

Free-Wheeling Clark County, NV

Photo credit: Alex S. MacLean

Baseball Diamond Under Construction Westborough, MA

Photo credit: Alex S. MacLean

Surfers Walk on Beach Oahu, HI

Photo credit: Alex S. MacLean

Mini Golf and Shuffle Board on Parking Roof Deck Atlantic City, NJ

Photo credit: Alex S. MacLean

Flag Playground and Basketball Court Stow, MA

Photo credit: Alex S. MacLean

Atlantic City Steel Pier Atlantic City, NJ

Photo credit: Alex S. MacLean

Play Park with a Plastic Center Las Vegas, NV