|The windy cliffs at the Torrey Pines Gliderport, 2800 Torrey Pines Scenic Dr., create one of the country's top spots for hang gliding and paragliding, sports that aren't for the timid, yet deliver a bigger thrill than your average roller coaster.
The difference between the two nonmotorized sports is subtle: Hang gliders are suspended from a fixed wing, while paragliders hang from a parachute. In both instances, watching the pilots control these delicate crafts for hours along the brink of the precipice is awesome. A 20- to 30-minute tandem flight with a qualified instructor costs about $150. Even if you don't muster the courage to try a tandem flight, sitting at the cafe there and watching the graceful acrobatics is stirring.
If you already have experience, you can rent or buy equipment from the shop at the Gliderport -- note that the conditions there are considered "P3" -- or take lessons from the crew of able instructors. A 3- or 4-day beginner's package is $795, or lessons run $150 to $250 per day. Winds in December and January are slightest (that is, least conducive for the activities here), while March through June is best.
The Gliderport is open daily from 9:30am to sunset.
Some resources for Hang Gliding:
Torrey Pines Gliderport
Hang Gliding at Glider Port San Diego La Jolla California