San Diego Adventure: Paragliding

Can't wait for the weather to warm up? With balmy temperatures year-round, miles of world-class trails, and a laid-back, kid-friendly atmosphere, L.A.'s southern neighbor has you covered.

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    Photo: Katie Arnold

Set on a grassy bluff 300-feet above the ocean in Torrey Pines, the Torrey Pines Gliderport is one of only two operational gliderports in the country (the other is in Kitty Hawk). Charles Lindbergh flew here in the 1920s, and thanks to consistent ocean breezes, it’s still home base for aerialists of all stripes. These days paragliders rule the show. On a windy weekend afternoon, it’s not unusual to see a dozen colorful canopies floating above the cliffs. When the winds pick up around 11 AM, aspiring paragliders start flocking to the gliderport for tandem lessons, no experience or reservtions required.

Your instructor will strap you into your harness and helmet and give you a few pointers about take-off, and the next thing you know you’ll be soaring high in the air. There’s no age limit, either. “As long as they want to fly, we’ll take them,” explains Jeremy Bishop, the manager. “Our record is a one-year-old—the owner’s daughter.” Twenty-minute tandem lessons go for $150.

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