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7 Ways to Experience San Diego from Above

Just when you thought San Diego couldn't get more breathtaking

Living the high life is easy in San Diego. With perpetually clear skies and warm temperatures, enjoy the scenery by flying high—whether that means learning to paraglide, taking a helicopter tour, or just enjoying a cocktail 40 stories up. Check out these unique ways to explore San Diego from above.

By: San Diego Magazine
Bike Rental by Moment Cycles

Top of the Hyatt


Leave casual beach attire—and the ground—40 stories below when you enter the refined aura of this establishment serving beer, wine, cocktails, and small eats (beef sliders and churros, anyone?). To say that it gives a “bird’s eye view” would assume that there are birds who enjoy high-end cocktails, Dom Perignon, and craft beer while gazing out of floor-to-ceiling windows framing the San Diego Bay and downtown.

Torrey Pines Gliderport

Torrey Pines Gliderport

La Jolla

The bluff-top 350 feet above Black’s Beach attracts expert paragliders, but novices of just about any age can take to the air right away on tandem flights with instructors. The spring and summer months offer the best conditions for two-person flights. If you get the bug for more, you can get certified to fly on your own. Once your stomach settles, amble over to the aptly named Cliffhanger Café, where the menu consists of sandwiches, salads, and skies full of paragliders.

Flightline Safari

Flightline Safari

North Inland

You’ll feel like a bird in flight over the savanna as you zip 130 feet over giraffes and rhinoceroses at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. After a shorter training run, you step to an exposed platform and zip for two minutes and two-thirds of a mile over animal enclosures and the hilly North County landscape.



La Jolla

The ocean view from Hotel La Jolla’s Cusp on the 11th floor is always beautiful. At this Mediterranean-themed bar and restaurant serving breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner, there’s never a bad time to soak in the view. Menu items range from steak and eggs to salmon frittada, margherita flatbread, and New York steak. Happy hour cocktails can be paired with stuffed dates, ceviche, and other small bites.

California Tower

California Tower

Balboa Park/Downtown 

Take in all of San Diego with one 360-degree vantage that includes the Coronado Bridge, Balboa Park, San Diego Bay, downtown, and the Pacific Ocean from inside the iconic California Tower. Topping Balboa Park’s Museum of Us, the 462-foot tower and its viewing deck are newly reopened after being closed to the public for 80 years.

Fly with a Bird

La Jolla

Let a trained raptor lead the way as you soar above the Pacific Ocean. Parahawking is a once-in-a-lifetime experience offered at the Torrey Pines Glideport by Fly With a Bird, where a trained falcon freely flies by your side while you paraglide with an instructor, whenever both the weather and bird agree the time is right. 

A Balloon Adventure by California Dreamin

A Balloon Adventure by California Dreamin

North Coastal

There's no better way to experience the beauty of the Southern California Wine Country than from the vantage point of a hot air balloon. This will be a moment that will last a lifetime! Hot Air Balloon rides are great for any event, whether it's on your "Bucket List" or to celebrate an Anniversary, Birthday, family fun, or vacation adventure. You'll escape the ordinary and sail among the clouds in man's oldest form of flight. Your hot air ballooning adventure will begin at Vindemia, a private vineyard in the middle of Southern California Wine Country – located in North San Diego County.

Mount Soledad National Veterans Memorial Park


Mount Soledad National Veterans Memorial Park

La Jolla

The memory of 3,500 veterans dating back to the Revolutionary War lives on at the top of Mount Soledad, arguably one of the best viewpoints in San Diego. The 823-foot mountaintop, adorned with a cross and granite memorials, overlooks vast parts of La Jolla, coastline stretching to the north, the Scripps Pier, and of course, the endless blue of the Pacific Ocean.

Explore More Sunny 7 Experiences

Get out and explore more of San Diego’s unique neighborhoods, attractions, and experiences. View more Sunny 7’s here.

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