View Attractions Related to: Active Adventureby TourGuideTim
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The first American to fly was John J. Montgomery off a San Diego hilltop in 1883. Nearly 50 years later, Charles Lindbergh set the distance record for motorless flight when he flew over the cliffs at Torrey Pines. Today, visitors come from around the world to fly off the ocean cliffs without the use of a plane. It’s just them and the quiet ocean breezes.
North Island, just across the harbor from the San Diego Airport saw the world’s first seaplane flight and first parachute jump. The Navy SEALS special forces now use the area for their training.
In 2009, the America’s Cup Challenger and eventual champion, BMW-Oracle, spent several months sailing in San Diego waters as they prepared to win back the Cup for America.
San Diego has always been and will always be a destination for those who thrive on adventure. Whether you want to SCUBA dive into the deep recesses of a submarine canyon, hike down steep mountain cliffs, or explore desert mud caves, you can experience all of that and much more in San Diego.
Start your adventure by selecting each of the picture tabs above to find what will get you to explore your wild side.
Location: La Jolla Shores (12 Miles / 20 Minutes North of Downtown San Diego)
Cost: Tours start at about $35; Rentals start at about $25
Features: Kayak Tours of the Ecological Reserve; Kayak Rentals; Kayak Fishing; Snorkeling
Location: Torrey Pines (15 Miles / 20 Minutes North of Downtown San Diego)
Open Daily: 9AM – 5PM
Features: Paraglide or Handglide above Ocean Cliffs; Or, come watch those who do!
Location: Imperial Sand Dunes Recreational Area (150 Miles / 2.5 Hours East of Downtown San Diego)
Open Daily: Open Year-Round (October – May are the Main Months)
Cost: $25 per Vehicle and Up. (See Fee Information Below.)
Features: World’s Most Popular Sand Dunes; Off-Roading; Hiking; Horseback Riding; Camping
Location: Julian (62 Miles / 1.25 Hours Northeast of Downtown San Diego)
Open Weekends: 10AM – 5PM (longer during holiday season)
Cost: $10 ($5 for Kids 5-12; $1 for Kids under 5) – Includes Mine Tour and Panning for Gold
Features: Gold Mine Attracted People from across the Country in the 1870s; Learn the History and Pan for Gold.
Museum Curators, Gemologists, Jewelers, and Rockhounds from around the world descend on northern San Diego County looking for the perfect specimens to add to their gem collections. California’s gemstones came to notoriety during the latter part of the 19th century when abundant pockets of high quality gemstones were discovered in the Mesa Grande and Pala Districts of San Diego County. A number of famous California gem mines are now open to the public.
Location: Warner Springs (75 Miles / 1.5 Hours Northeast of Downtown San Diego)
Open Daily: 9AM – 5PM (Weekday reservations strongly recommended)
Cost: Rides start at $125 for 20 Minutes. ($160 for 2 people)
Features: Glide over the Mountains and Desert on a Sail Plane
Location: Mission Bay (7 miles / 8 minutes North of Downtown San Diego)
Features: Water Skiing, Wake Boarding, Sailing, Catamaran Sailing, Wind Surfing, Jet-Skiing, Power Boating, Pedal Boats, Kayaks
Location: Downtown San Diego
Schedule: Summers at 11:30AM and 5:30PM; Public and Private Charters
Cost: $40 – $100 for Adults (Discounts for Kids)
Features: Sail on an America’s Cup Yacht in the Beautiful San Diego Bay.
Location: La Jolla Shores, Mission Beach, and Other Coastal Locations.
Features: Wreck Alley, La Jolla Underwater Ecological Reserve, Kelp Beds, Very Large Diving Community
Location: Harbor Island (2 Miles West of Downtown San Diego)
Schedule: Year-Round Chartered Tours
Cost: $65 – $75 for Adults ($50 – $60 for Kids)
Features: Naval Tour of San Diego Bay; Wildlife Tours to see Dolphins, Whales, and Mexico’s Coronado Islands; Custom Tours
Location: Balboa Park, Downtown along San Diego Bay, Coronado, Oceanside
Open Daily: Each Location is Open Year-Round but offer Different Hours
Cost: $20+ per Hour for Surreys and $10+ per Hour for Bicycles.
Features: Bicycle and Surrey Rentals for the Whole Family. Surreys can seat up to 6 Adults and 2 Small Children.