We recently took a trip to the Torrey Pines Gliderport, located across from UCSD, just next to the Pacific Ocean, in La Jolla, California. It had been a long time since our daughter and I had been there, and realized that my husband and our sons had never visited it prior.
It’s a super fun place to take the family and watch paragliders and hang gliders sail above the rugged bluffs above the beach. The view of the ocean and surrounding area is absolutely spectacular! It’s really relaxing with the coastal breeze and relaxed atmosphere, and makes for a unique and memorable day trip. It’s the type of place that helps you appreciate the natural beauty of life.
We visited on a Sunday afternoon, and it was pretty busy with paragliders coming and going. We found a nice viewing area, and enjoyed watching them take off, fly, and land. There were probably more than twenty paragliders flying in and out, relaxing on the grass, and repeating it all again.
Soon after we arrived we saw a man landing his paraglider with a dog in tow. The kids couldn’t believe it! We were pretty surprised too! The dog didn’t look the least bit nervous, as if it was part of his/her daily routine. We found out that there are actually a lot of “flying dogs” that are regulars at the Gliderport.
There’s no fee to visit or park at the Torrey Pines Gliderport. If you go, be sure to obey the signs, and stay off the grassy area reserved for those permitted to fly. Aside from the hang gliders and paragliders you might see model RC planes (remote control) and Sail Planes as well. There’s an on-site restaurant, and lots of tables with benches for seating. They sometimes host special events, such as car shows, and according their website they have live music every Saturday afternoon from 1pm-4pm.
Although our kids don’t have the interest (yet!), according to their website, tandem flights are available for “any age”. We viewed images of kids as young as age 3 flying! Pretty amazing!
We recommend you wear comfortable walking shoes, bring a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen when visiting the Gliderport. If you have the interest, there are some nice hiking trails with easy access from the same area. If you go hiking, be cautious of snakes.
A few weeks after we visited the Gliderport a handful of my friends took their first paragliding flights there. I loved watching their videos, getting the perspective of someone in the air. Here are links to a few of their adventures:
Here’s a LINK to the Torrey Pines Gliderport website, where you can find more info about tandem flights and more. As mentioned, it’s a beautiful location, and lots of fun to visit with the family. Perhaps we’ll see you there!