Destination California: A paraglider’s paradise at Torrey Pines Gliderport

Destination California

TORREY PINES, Calif. (KSWB) – It’s a paraglider’s paradise.

The Gliderport is one of the only places in the world with perfect conditions for soaring.

“Here at Torrey Pines this is possibly the world’s best-soaring site, the beautiful coastal breezes come up and hit these long straight cliffs and blow up and over like a big wave.”

For more than 90 years, this site has been a playground for people experimenting and mastering free flight.

Now you get a chance to be a co-pilot.

“We can teach you as much as you want to learn about the sport, give you a chance to steer the glider let you take the controls…and our strategy in flying along a cliff like this.”

After watching a few take-offs and landings, I decided I might as well give it a try.

As if flying off a cliff isn’t extreme enough, there’s a new type of experience where you can fly with a feathered friend.

Trying a style of tandem flight that’s only done in two known places in the world, is called parahawking.

An expert in falconry and paragliding from the Total Raptor Experience takes you along with one of his birds to see these animals in action.

“It really gives you the sensation of being a bird, being up there next to a bird and flying so close to him… to me that’s kind of the ultimate bird watching experience.”

For those looking for a different cliffside adventure while keeping their feet on the ground, a few miles north is the Torrey Pines Nature Preserve with 1,500 acres of land and miles of trails with views of the Pacific.

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