Things to Do in La Mesa
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To the uninitiated, the dusty, mountainous expanse just north of the Mexico border might sound like a war-torn battleground—it has born the boots of soldiers in the United States 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 harnesses securely to the jumper with professional equipment 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.
13531 Otay Lakes Rd.
Leaving the bustle of the 805 freeway, visitors to Sweetwater Farms are swiftly transported to a pastoral scene alive with the sound of hoof clopping and constant horse-centric activity. The riding school has been tutoring riders in English-, Western-, and trail-riding styles since 1985, with programs that range from beginning horsemanship to hosting full-fledged hunter/jumper shows. Trail rides saddle guests atop steady, gentle dude-ranch horses or rehabilitated mechanical bulls for tours through nature, and horse camps immerse young riders in the world of horses to build riding skills, as well as confidence and responsibility. In addition to welcoming guests to their programs, Sweetwater Farms also boards and sells horses.
3051 Equitation Ln.
The instructors at J World San Diego, a US Sailing--certified school, furnish students with the know-how to safely traverse the seas while manning a sailboat. Teaching sailors of all levels, the professional instructors employ the world-renowned J boats, which are known for their quick responsiveness—appealing to beginners—and their ability to summon playful dolphins to their vicinity. Pupils can tackle the basics or learn advanced-racing techniques during group classes or opt for private instruction to hone transatlantic escape skills. The handpicked vessels are also available for chartering for corporate events or sunset cruises.
2240 Shelter Island Dr.
Pacific Sunset Cruises rims evening jaunts around MIssion Bay and the Sunset Cliffs coastline. Cast in the orange and purple hues of dusk, passengers aboard the Privateer pass the waning moments of daylight searching for wildlife sightings or kicking back with refreshments purchased from a fully stocked galley. The ship's resident naturalist comes along, too, sharing insights on the sparkling water and the life within it.
1717 Quivira Rd.
San Diego Sailing Tours’ crews guide patrons on oceanic adventures aboard the Lei Lani, a restored 36-foot sailing yacht hailing from 1967. Their two-hour tours and all-day sailing excursions give visitors a taste of the midday sun, sunset, or twilight on the San Diego Bay. Once out on the water, tour-goers witness the breath-taking sights that surround the San Diego skyline, including naval aircraft carriers, the Coronado Bridge, and Star of India trading ship that loom in the foreground while skyscrapers and the endless sparkling ocean line either horizon. Dolphins, harbor seals, and pelicans have been known to make appearances, frolicking and trading decorating tips in their natural habitats. To ensure patrons enjoy a comfortable ride, on-board drinks and snacks are on hand, in addition to gear including sunglasses, binoculars, and an iPod-compatible stereo.
1450 Harbor Island Dr
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