arrow-down arrow-left arrow-right arrow-up play-button plus tab-indicator dots close menu search facebook google-plus instagram pinterest rss twitter youtube rss-two heart Check FeaturedBadge linkedin minus apps placeholder linkedin

San Diego for Thrill Seekers

Dive with sharks, take flight, skydive and more

For the traveler who is looking for more of a dive-with-sharks vacation rather than a lie-on-the-beach vacation.

Sunny San Diego’s blue skies and pristine waters are the perfect playground for thrill-seekers looking for their next outdoor adventure. With an abundance of both aerial and aquatic activities, California’s beach city offers daredevils the chance to soar, spin, splash and dive, and even have unique animal encounters.

From flying with a raptor above the Pacific Ocean to swimming with great white sharks in Mexican waters and engaging in midair combat, the following are a few “thrill rides” to check off the bucket list on a San Diego vacation.

Paragliding

La Jolla’s coastal cliffs are a popular paragliding spot for thrill-seekers who dare to jump off the bluffs and soar high above Pacific waters. Head to the Torrey Pines Glideport — arguably one of the most scenic destinations in San Diego — and get ready to earn your wings and take flight! Get the best view of endless San Diego coastline by paragliding or hang gliding with trained professionals.

Parahawking

For a uniquely San Diego experience, take your paragliding to the next level by joining a falcon in flight! Parahawking is a once-in-a-lifetime experience offered at the Torrey Pines Glideport by Fly With a Bird. A trained raptor freely leads the way alongside a tandem glider, whenever both the weather and bird agree the time is right.

Skydiving

There’s no greater adrenaline rush than jumping out of a plane at 13,000 feet. Whether skydiving inland or along the coast, San Diego offers a variety of scenery for those who want to take the plunge and see San Diego from a bird’s-eye view. For a less extreme but still exhilarating experience, iFLY San Diego offers indoor skydiving in the heart of Mission Valley. Certified flight instructors teach you how to maneuver the air currents of their powerful wind tunnel.

Air Combat

With Sky Combat Ace, daredevils can ride shotgun while skilled pilots carry out unimaginable feats. Think midair aerobatic spins of up to 420 degrees per second, air combat engagements and pulling up to 8 G’s. This unique tour company in El Cajon, located 20 minutes from downtown San Diego, offers aerial rides and dogfighting experiences aboard aerobatic airplanes flown by professionally trained fighter pilots. Choose an extreme flight with aerobatic spins, rolls and tumbles and competitive air combat maneuvers. Or, opt for a more relaxing sightseeing flight.

Jetpacking, Flyboarding and Hoverboarding

Live out your superhero dreams by flying high above the waters of Mission Bay or San Diego Bay, powered by water propulsion jets at Aquatic Aviation. Fly up to 30 feet in the air. Skim across the water at speeds up to 30 mph. Dive below the surface of the water. Or, pull off the impossible: walking on water. Capes not required.

Shark Diving

San Diego’s Pacific Ocean boasts a rich marine life where dolphins and seals are a year-round sighting. But one of the most impressive creatures to call these waters home is the feared, yet highly misunderstood, shark. San Diego tour companies offer cageless shark diving off La Jolla Cove’s waters. Novice and experienced divers can get up close and personal with leopard, blue, mako, sevengill and hammerhead sharks. For a life-changing experience, Shark Diver offers 6-day great white shark cage-diving expeditions from San Diego to Mexico’s volcanic island of Isla Guadalupe.

High Speed Water Sports

San Diego’s waters are a playground for an array of water sports. Try sea-kayaking, jet-skiing, water-skiing, wakeboarding, parasailing and California’s official sport – surfing. For a skill-free, fast paced experience, board the Patriot Jet Boat. This 30-minute ride splashes and speeds through San Diego Bay’s scenic waters, carving 360-degree turns and reaching speeds upwards of 50 mph.

 

Find a place to stay

Book online or call 1-800-350-6205 to speak with a local expert

Related Articles and Features

Deals just for you

Entertainment

VIP Tandem Skydiving Adventure at the Beach!

Skydiving Innovations
Valid: Oct 24, 2020 - ongoing

Skydiving Innovations, with its perfect safety record, provides VIP Tandem Skydiving Experiences at the Hotel del Coronado. Now, in a once-in-a-lifetime moment, you can make a thrilling tandem skydive...

Accommodation

Good Neighbor Rate

Kimpton Hotel Palomar San Diego
Valid: Jan 12 - ongoing

California and neighboring states residents, plan your exclusive getaway in San Diego. 15% off our Best Flexible Rate Waived Guest Amenities Fee ($25 value per night) Complimentary upgrade based on...

Accommodation

Hotel Indigo Military Appreciation Rate

Hotel Indigo - San Diego Gaslamp Quarter
Valid: Jun 1, 2020 - ongoing

Whether you’re actively serving, or you’ve hung up the uniform, IHG wants to say, “thank you” with the IHG Military Appreciation Rate. We invite you and your family to enjoy a...

Events to check out

Event

Farmers Insurance Open

Farmers Insurance Open
Jan 28 - Jan 31, 2021

The PGA TOUR’s Farmers Insurance Open is played annually at the Torrey Pines Golf Course in La Jolla, home of the 2008 & 2021 U.S. Open. One of San Diego’s biggest events of the year...

Event

San Diego Bird Festival

Feb 17 - Feb 21, 2021

The San Diego Audubon Society invites you to the San Diego Bird Festival, which celebrates the birds and habitats of San Diego county. We're celebrating the birds and habitats of our county, which...

Event

Sunday Prime Rib Dinner

Flagship Cruises & Events
Jan 3 - ongoing

This is how we do Sunday Dinner in San Diego. Gather your family and friends for an exceptional dining experience. Enjoy our famous slow-roasted prime rib, live musical entertainment and amazing views...

Stay in touch

Sign up to receive the latest news, events, and updates about San Diego. Our monthly and weekly newsletters will keep you informed about the latest and greatest happenings in the destination.

Sign Up

Visitor planning guide

For the ultimate guide to planning your San Diego vacation, view and download the San Diego Visitor Planning Guide, packed with useful information that will help you plan the perfect San Diego getaway.

Read More

Partners

Explore

Plan

Stay

Follow Us

Language:

English | Change Language

Select your country or region

China FlagChinaGermany FlagGermanyGreat Britain FlagGreat BritainJapan FlagJapanMexico FlagMexicoKorea FlagKoreaSwitzerland FlagSwitzerlandBrazil FlagBrazilFrance FlagFranceAustralia FlagAustraliaCanada FlagCanada USA

Or use Google Translate

Afrikaans Albanian Arabic Belarusian Bulgarian Catalan Croatian Czech Danish Deutsch Español Estonian Filipino Finnish Francais Galician Greek Haitian-Creole Hebrew Hindi Hungarian Icelandic Indonesian Irish Italian Japanese Korean Latvian Lithuanian Macedonian Malay Maltese Nederlands Norwegian Persian Polish Portuguese Romanian Russian Serbian Slovak Slovenian Swahili Swedish Telugu Thai Turkish Ukranian Vietnamese Welsh Yiddish