To the uninitiated, the dusty, mountainous expanse just north of the Mexico border might sound like a war-torn battleground—it has borne the boots of soldiers in the US Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps. However, the troops simply visited to practice plane evacuations at Skydive San Diego, whose private, skydiving-only airport is buffeted by steady winds and outfitted with state-of-the-art Cessna and DeHavilland jump planes.
Civilians can jump there too, drinking in views of the Pacific before leaping out of an aircraft for solo jumps or tandem dives, in which a USPA-certified instructor is securely attached to the jumper with professional harnesses and a powerful hug. With 8,000 square feet of padded packing area, the full-service facility not only houses an airport but also a bunkhouse for overnight stays and a deck for barbecuing post-jump feasts.
Staff Size: 2–10 people
Average Duration of Services: 2–4 hours
Pro Tip: RSVP and text us first.
Handicap Accessible: Yes
Parking: Free street parking
Most Popular Attraction/Offering: Happy hours and camping
Recommended Age Group: Adults
It can take a long time to build up the courage to skydive—and then, whoosh, the big moment passes in literal moments. Luckily, Skydive Perris lets you draw the experience out a bit. The company's Sensory Overload package, for instance, allows fledgling jumpers to try two indoor skydiving sessions in a 95-foot tunnel, followed by a very outdoor tandem jump from an airplane that soars to 12,500 feet. The instructor won't pull the cord until 5,000 feet, giving guests an entire minute to experience a free fall.
After alighting, visitors head down to the onsite restaurant, Bombshelter Bar & Grill, to watch a DVD of their flight on a big-screen TV. As their adrenaline cools on the windowsill, they can unwind on the bar's patio or with a dip in the adjacent pool before turning in for the night at one of the bunkhouses. If guests find themselves dreaming about the high-octane experience, they might consider returning for training in solo free falls or advanced group jumps, which teach participants how to form their bodies into patterns spelling "Look Ma, No Gravity!"