Torrey Pines Gliderport
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Gliding over the La Jolla cliffs in San Diego
The Torrey Pines Gliderport is located on the scenic cliffs above Black's Beach, next to the Salk Institute for Biological Studies. This area has been designated by the city since 1930 for model gliders, hang gliders and paragliding. The Gliderport has a school where you can take lessons or fly tandem with a more experienced flier. For those who are less intrepid, there is a cafe that sells sandwiches, soups and drinks so you can sit at the outdoor cafe and watch the fliers take off from the cliffs. The view at the Gliderport is gorgeous and it's incredible to watch the fliers take off and land. Sometimes the wind isn't right and it can take several failed attempts- there's usually clapping from the cafe when a flier succeeds and floats over the cliffs. Although you will find people flying here all year round, fall and winter months bring the best winds for this activity.
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Paragliding in La Jolla
If you are looking to see breathtaking views of San Diego whilst getting your adrenaline junkie fix on, I highly suggest paragliding at Torrey Pines Gliderport. What an experience! As I planned to have a relaxing day hike to Torrey Pines State Reserve, I decided to drive past Torrey Pines Gliderport and noticed how many para-gliders were in the air which I knew meant the weather must be perfect for paragliding! My friend who was accompanying me is deadly afraid of heights and as I told him that paragliding does not involve being high in the air, he accepted his fate and coughed up the $150 to go on the 25 minute tandem paragliding adventure. The price may shock people but I say it was well worth it. As I was the only girl jumping and screaming among the gang of cool paragliding guys, I could not wait to go. I even dressed the part with a full-body wind breaker suit. It was extremely cold in the air and I am glad I wore sunglasses, even with sunglasses my eyes could not stop watering. The most thrilling part was standing up and walking off the edge of the cliff. As I looked down while the parachute took us up in the air I looked down thinking "I sure hope I don't drop my iPhone in the Pacific Ocean". If you think you may be scared of heights, just show up and the culture of paragliding and the great attitude of all the people at the Gliderport will persuade you.
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