Sky diving is an activity that most people only dream of doing. It’s a thrill-seeking experience for the daring few who are willing to take the plunge and literally jump out of an airplane.
But there are plenty of reasons why you should consider it, too. Not only will you get the chance to see how beautiful California really is from up in the air, but skydiving can also be incredibly exhilarating! Plus, you never know what might happen when you’re literally living on the edge like that…you could even meet your future spouse while trying to stay alive
1. Skydive Monterey Bay – Soledad, CA (Monterey County)
Aside from the beautiful California coastline, Skydiving Monterey also offers a unique view of central California’s historical missions and lighthouse.
They also offer tandem skydives with their USPA certified instructors for those who would like to try it out first before doing a solo jump.
Skydive Monterey is located at the Salinas municipal airport (KMRY). They will pick you up from your hotel if you are staying in Monterey or Carmel area.
2. SkyDance SkyDiving Center – Lake Elsinore, CA (Riverside County)
The views from SkyDance Skydiving near Lake Elsinore are unbeatable – you can see the snow-capped mountains in Big Bear, the Santa Ana Mountains and the Inland Empire.
This is a great place for experienced skydivers looking to progress their skills because they have a wide range of courses available.
This facility is located at the Riverside municipal airport (KRAL). They will pick you up from your hotel if you are staying nearby.
3. Skydive Monterey Bay – Santa Maria, CA (Santa Barbara County)
If you’re going to beach it out on California’s Central Coast during your vacation, why not add on some skydiving to the fun!
A trip out of Santa Maria airport (KSMX) will give you some jaw-dropping views of the Pacific coastline, Vandenberg Air Force Base, and Lompoc.
Santa Maria is located about halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles, about six hours away from both cities, on California’s scenic Central Coast. This facility is ideal for those traveling with friends or family since they offer group discounts.
4. Skydive Taft – Taft, CA (Kern County)
Skydive Taft officially opened in February 2012 after its long-time owner retired. It was taken over by a new owner who completely revamped the tour packages offered to customers – including tandem skydives with USPA instructors.
Skydive Taft is located at the Kern County airport (KLPC), which has both an asphalt runway and a large landing area for skydiving aircraft so that it can accommodate any weather conditions. They will pick you up from your hotel if you are staying in Bakersfield or Fresno areas.
5. Skydive San Diego – San Diego, CA (San Diego County)
Located just five miles away from downtown San Diego, Skydive San Diego offers multiday packages that include three tandem skydives and one solo jump for adventurous visitors looking to take their first plunge into the sport. You’ll be able to see some of California’s most famous landmarks, such as Mission Beach and the Coronado Bridge, during your jump.
Skydive San Diego is located at Gillespie Field (KSEE), a general aviation airport with two gravel runways. They will pick you up from your hotel if you stay in San Diego or La Jolla areas.
6. Skydive Perris – Perris, CA (Riverside County)
Located roughly 70 miles southeast of downtown Los Angeles, Skydive Perris is the only skydiving facility in Southern California with permits from the Federal Aviation Administration and the United States Parachute Association to conduct tandem jumps every week. You can get free pickup from your hotel near Riverside or Moreno Valley if you stay in those areas.
7. Skydive Catalina – Avalon, CA (Los Angeles County)
Only 20 miles south of Los Angeles, this famous skydiving center is located on historic Catalina Island off the coast of Southern California.
It’s one of the world’s top places to do the first jump because it has arguably some of the best views for newbies. In addition, you’ll be able to see landmarks such as Santa Catalina Island and Palos Verdes Peninsula during your freefall skydive!
Skydive Catalina operates out of Airport-in-the-Sky (KAVX), which has paved runways to accommodate large commercial planes and smaller diving aircraft. They will pick you up from your hotel if you stay in downtown Long Beach, Santa Ana, or Anaheim areas.
8. Skydive Orange – Orange, CA (Orange County)
Located roughly 60 miles southwest of Los Angeles, Skydive Orange is one of the most popular skydiving centers among thrill-seekers. It provides scenic views of Catalina Island and Palos Verdes during its tandem jumps.
Skydive Orange is located at Fullerton Municipal Airport (KFUL), with two paved runways large enough for small aircraft to land. They will pick you up from your hotel near Disneyland or Newport Beach if you stay in those areas.
9. Sky Dive Lodi – Lodi, CA (San Joaquin County)
Located roughly 70 miles northeast of San Francisco, Skydive Lodi has one of the most significant drop zones in Northern California. This multi-tasking skydiving center is also on the list of places to be used as an aircraft gunnery range by local SWAT teams. You’re able to schedule a solo jump on weekdays, but if you are planning to do it on weekends or holidays, you need to call them for availability.
Skydive Lodi is located at the Stockton Metropolitan Airport (KSCK), which has two asphalt runways. They will pick you up from your hotel near Sacramento if you are staying in those areas. *This facility seems to have closed*
10. Skydive Santa Barbara – Santa Ynez, CA (Santa Barbara County)
This skydiving center is the only place in Southern California that offers tandem jumps for $99.
Located roughly 70 miles northwest of Los Angeles, Skydive Santa Barbara has one of the most extended drop zones in the area. The drop zone is also used as an aircraft carrier landing practice area by local naval aviators. You need to schedule a solo jump beforehand unless you plan to do it on weekends or holidays because they have limited tandem slots.
Skydive Santa Barbara is located at the Oxnard Airport (KOXR), with two asphalt runways for small plane land and takeoffs. They will pick you up from your hotel near Santa Barbara or Thousand Oaks if you stay in those areas.
11. Skydive Monterey Bay – Marina, CA (Monterey County)
Located roughly 70 miles southeast of San Francisco, Skydive Monterey Bay is one of the two skydiving centers in Northern California that offers tandem jumps for $99. Unfortunately, you need to take a bus ride to get there because it’s located at the Marina Municipal Airport (KMRY), which has an asphalt runway large enough for small plane landings and takeoffs. They will pick you up from your hotel near Watsonville or Salinas if you stay in those areas.
12. Central Valley Skydiving – Patterson, CA (Stanislaus County)
Located roughly 60 miles southeast of San Francisco, Central Valley Skydiving is one of the two skydiving centers in Northern California that offers tandem jumps for $99. They are located at the Castle Airport (KPQN), a paved runway large enough for small aircraft to take off and land. They will pick you up from your hotel near Stockton or Modesto if you stay in those areas.
13. Parachute Center – Minden, NV (Washoe County)
Situated roughly 130 miles north of Las Vegas, this well-known skydiving center is also known as ‘The Last Zone Before You Hit Reno.’
Parachute Center is located at the Minden-Tahoe Airport (KMEV), with a paved runway large enough for small aircraft to land. They will pick you up from your hotel near Lake Tahoe if you are staying in that area.
14. Skydive Elsinore – Lake Elsinore, CA (Riverside County)
Located roughly 50 miles southeast of Los Angeles, this skydiving center is perfect for thrill-seekers who want to experience action-packed jumps without leaving Southern California.
Skydive Elsinore is located at the Perris Valley Airport (KPKD), with an asphalt runway large enough for small aircraft to take off and land. They will pick you up from your hotel near Temecula or San Diego if you stay in those areas.
15. Los Suenos – Costa Rica
Located roughly 500 miles southwest of San Francisco, this skydiving center offers tandem jumps just like the others.
Los Suenos is located at the Daniel Oduber Quiros International Airport (LRC) in Liberia, a paved runway large enough for commercial jet takeoffs and landings. They will pick you up from your hotel near Playa Herradura if you are staying in that area.
Skydiving in California is an excellent option for thrill-seekers, especially those who want to experience the action without leaving Southern California. Now that you know about these different facilities and where they are located, it’s time to start planning your next adventure!