Corey Ross

A Look At Aviara Golf Club – Host of the LPGA’s Kia Classic

Aviara Golf Club Photography - Brian Oar - Fairways+Greens
Aviara Golf Club Photography - Brian Oar - Fairways+Greens

Tee off where the pro’s play with a round of 18 at Aviara Golf Club

Aviara Golf Club in Carlsbad, the annual host of the LPGA’s KIA Classic, is routinely rated one of California’s top resort courses and is the only Arnold Palmer design in San Diego. Impeccable landscaping and being situated next to the tranquil Batiquitos Lagoon define the property, which also features dramatic elevation changes on the front nine.

Each hole is truly a unique experience at Aviara.

The property’s amenities include: a two-story, 32,000-square-foot Spanish Colonial clubhouse and the adjoining Argyle Steakhouse with indoor and outdoor balcony seating; showers, locker rooms; an upscale golf shop, driving range and an oversized practice putting green.

For those unfamiliar with Aviara Golf Club, we provide the following five highlights of the course and overall playing experience.

1. Immaculate landscape

On the first tee, the starter welcomes you to an 18-hole botanical garden, and that’s exactly what Aviara Golf Club is. An amazing array of plants and flowers accent every hole. The course is truly a visual treat. There’s always something in bloom at Aviara.

2. Oversized greens

Aviara is known for having greens the size of helipads. Get ready to stroke some of the longest putts you’ve ever hit if you can’t knock it close.

The greens are the course’s defining characteristic, which is funny considering they were originally a construction mistake. The construction crew doubled the size of the greens on the front nine. Rather than tear up the greens, course officials chose to double the size of the greens on the back to match.

The result is what you might term a happy accident, as players now look forward to the sizable undulating greens at Aviara Golf Club.

3. Outstanding par 3s

The strength of the course is its par 3s, which many consider as a group to be the best in San Diego. Three of the four feature carries over water and are, again, impeccably landscaped. No. 3, a short par 3 with ponds in front and right, is considered the course’s signature hole. No. 6, the only one without water, is the toughest of the bunch. It’s a long uphill, a nearly 200-yard carry, to a blind green. An ocean crosswind can complicate matters even more here. The two par 3s on the back are all carry over water, with No. 14 being from an elevated tee box. You will want an iron and a camera phone on the par 3s because they are truly beautiful golf holes.

4. Sweet Treats

Aviara loves to tempt your sweet tooth. There are fresh-baked cookies available next to the putting green and a special treat waiting for you on the course. The course marshal usually greets you on the 8th green with a bucket of Tootsie Pops. Hopefully you’re walking off the green with birdie, but if not, you’ve at least go a consolation prize.

5. 18, a beauty and a beast

Besides having the best par 3s, Aviara may also boast the toughest closing hole in the county. This dogleg right offers a beautiful view of the Batiquitos Lagoon from the tee. Savor the view because you might not like what happens next. There’s water right, OB left and likely an ocean breeze in your face. Ideally, you want to place you tee shot just inside the fairway bunker on the left and we recommend clubbing down to a 3-wood if necessary to do it.

You just want to be in the fairway here and not the water. Then you’ve got a long, narrow approach into a green where water is still in play on the left, cascading down a gorgeous waterfall. Par is a great score here, but here’s guessing it’ll take you a few rounds to card one. After playing this course nearly a dozen times, I’m still waiting.

> Book a Tee Time at One of San Diego’s 90+ Golf Courses

Aviara Golf Club Information

Where: 7447 Batiquitos Drive, Carlsbad, CA 92011
Book a Tee Time: 760.603.6900
> Find out more about Aviara Golf Club

Robert Arends

Rock Out – Rock Climbing in Mission Valley and Beyond!

Nope, we’re not talking rock concerts, but rather rock climbing! Located in the center of San Diego, within easy reach of most major attractions and activities, Mission Valley is the gateway to some of the best rock climbing and bouldering in Southern California.

If you’re looking for some serious face climbing (ascending a vertical rock face using finger holds and edges), scaling the best new handcrafted rock climbing wall in San Diego or just hiking to amazing photo-worthy rock formations (bring your camera!), Mission Valley and environs has something for everyone.

Following are a few standouts:

Grotto Climbing & Yoga

Mission Valley's new Grotto Rock Climbing & Yoga

Mission Valley’s cool new Grotto Climbing & Yoga

The new Grotto Climbing & Yoga is perfect for all experience levels (translation: you don’t need to be a pro). This urban rock climber’s dream features a massive 7,000-square-foot climbing/bouldering wall with 13,000 handmade holds that mimics San Diego’s rocky climbing trails. This is the spot to hone your rock climbing skills before heading into our great outdoors. Afterward, relax your weary muscles and Zen out in their studio offering 11 types of yoga classes.

Check out this cool time-lapse video of the action at Grotto Climbing!

Mission Trails Regional Park’s Mission Gorge

Climber's Loop Trail along Mission Gorge in Mission Trails Regional Park

Climber’s Loop Trail along Mission Gorge in Mission Trails Regional Park

For climbers ready to ascend real rock walls, Mission Gorge, part of Mission Trails Regional Park – one of largest urban parks in the U.S. – is San Diego’s best and oldest established climbing area, encompassing over two miles of the San Diego River. The granite slopes here are steep (40 to 80 feet high) and slick, offering a mix of crack and face climbing.

Main Climbing Wall in popular Mission Gorge

Main Climbing Wall in Mission Gorge

The one-mile Climber’s Loop Trail leads to a great mix of rock climbing areas, including a popular Main Climbing Wall, The Thumb, Skyline Pinnacle, Lunch Rock, Limbo (full of granite towers) and Middle Earth (calling all J.R.R. Tolkien fans!).

Santee Boulders

A bouldering playground at Santee Boulders!

A bouldering playground at Santee Boulders!

East of Mission Valley, the Santee Boulders is San Diego’s most popular bouldering area. (Bouldering is the practice of climbing on large boulders vs. rock cliffs 😉

Potato Chip Rock

The popular Potato Chip Rock atop Mt. Woodson Trail

The popular Potato Chip Rock atop Mt. Woodson Trail

There’s also the famous Potato Chip Rock on the Mt. Woodson Trail in Poway, which attracts shutterbugs galore. Our friends at So San Diego Tours did a great write-up on the hike up to this aptly named, narrow strip of stone.

If you’re up for a rock solid adventure in San Diego, look no further than Mission Valley and a couple popular points to the east. 🙂

Brent Bernasconi

San Diego Crew Classic Returns to Mission Bay – March 28-29, 2015

Mens Competition - San Diego Crew Classic
Mens Competition - San Diego Crew Classic

Catch the excitement of one of the premier regattas, the San Diego Crew Classic on Mission Bay

Regarded as the first major regatta of the year, the San Diego Crew Classic brings together thousands of athletes from more than 100 universities, clubs and high school programs from across the United States to participate in this premier rowing event in San Diego’s Mission Bay.

What to Expect at the Crew Classic

The Races

There will be plenty of racing to see whether you’re an early bird or a late riser. Racing starts at 7:30 AM and ends each day at 6:30 PM.

Amenities

You can get up close to the action by watching the races on the Jumbotron located near the Sierra Nevada Beer Garden. There will also be a food court, merchandise tens and a trade show.

Sierra Nevada Beer Garden

Located right on the shore, the beer garden is one of the best spots to watch the races. Bartenders will be pouring Sierra Nevada’s brews from 2:00 to 8:00 PM on Friday, 10:00 AM to 8:00 PM on Saturday, and 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM on Sunday. You must be 21 to enter the beer garden.

Classic Brunch by the Bay

Located in the Champions Pavilion, Brunch by the Bay will feature a delicious brunch by Peartree’s catering and the chance for brunchers to see the boats cross the finish line, participate in raffles, and auctions to raise funds for the continued support of the regatta! Brunch by the Bay will take place on Sunday, March 29th and tickets are $195 each.

> Purchase Brunch by the Bay Tickets

Getting to the San Diego Crew Classic

Free parking and a free shuttle are available at Ski Beach Park, Vacation Rd, San Diego, CA 92109. The shuttle will start running around 5:30 AM and finish about 45 minutes after the last race.

> Directions to the Race Site

San Diego Crew Classic Information

Where: Corona Oriente Road, San Diego, CA 92109
When: March 28-29, 2015
Cost: $12-$15
> Find out more about the San Diego Crew Classic

Corey Ross

Touring Golf Equipment Companies in Carlsbad

TaylorMade Factory Line
TaylorMade Factory Line

See how the perfect club is made and take one home with you after a custom fitting during a tour of San Diego’s three leading golf manufacturers

As the home of the headquarters of TaylorMade Golf, Callaway and Cobra, Carlsbad, in San Diego’s North County Coastal region, is akin to the Silicon Valley of the golf equipment industry.

The game-changing birth of the metal wood occurred in Carlsbad and those companies been leading the technology boom that has revolutionized the game ever since.

Carlsbad presents a rare opportunity to visit all three of these influential brands at once. They are all headquartered within a few miles of each other.

TaylorMade, however, is the only one still offering regularly scheduled public tours. They take place every Thursday at 10:00 AM. Cobra books private tours by appointment, while Callaway only books club fittings.

The following is a look at highlights and tips for taking the TaylorMade Tour, followed by information for booking appointments at Callaway and Cobra.

Touring TaylorMade

Please Note: TaylorMade is suspending tours for the rest of 2017 and is unsure as to when tours will restart.

TaylorMade Headquarters

Learn the everything from the manufacturers to the pros on a tour of the TaylorMade Headquarters

As most any golfer knows, TaylorMade is the world’s leading equipment manufacturer. Their campus encompasses two buildings – only one of which you see on the tour – and the driving range, the hallowed Kingdom, a domain for the pros and other elite players.

The TaylorMade tour offers some insight into the company’s latest club technology – the new R15 driver is under glass in the lobby with the club head dissected– as well a peek at the manufacturing process and an overview of golf’s technology revolution.

A rotating team of TaylorMade volunteers hosts the roughly 45-minute tour every Thursday, so your experience may differ depending on their experience. For instance, our host was an engineer named Matt, so we got a more technology-based tour.

Regardless of the host, be prepared to provide your ID and sign an electronic confidentiality agreement while you’re waiting. Note: No photos or phones on the tour.

While you’re waiting for the tour to begin, you can peruse the latest TaylorMade equipment, which is on display in the lobby along with the staff bags as such TaylorMade Tour players as Justin Rose, Jason Day and Sergio Garcia.

The tour begins with a bit of history about not only TaylorMade but its parent company, Adidas, a high-performance sports apparel manufacturer. For golf, the most pertinent history is the story of Gary Adams bringing TaylorMade to Carlsbad to pursue his dream of launching a medal wood to supplant the wooden clubs of the past.

That history is displayed under glass in the next story of the tour – the Wall of History. There, 12 clubs are exhibited that capture the evolution of the metal era. There’s everything from TaylorMade’s first driver, the head of which is about the size of a modern-day rescue club, to the latest, the state-of-the-art R15.

In between, you witness club head sizes growing, metal materials changing and then club adjustability coming into the picture. Even for those who know their club history, there’s likely something to learn and appreciate here.

The next stop is the manufacturing floor, where 10,000 clubs are assembled each day. You see everything in production from putters to drivers and learn what a golf assembly line looks like. The manufacturing floor shares space with the massive warehouse where thousands of equipment orders are being processed and shipped daily.

The tour concludes with a look at one of the most exclusive parts of TaylorMade – The Kingdom. Golfers are usually only granted access here with permission of a club pro and to be professionally fitted.

Otherwise, this is where TaylorMade’s professionals come to get their equipment updated in a state-of-the-art environment and to practice on the driving range.

The Kingdom has a country-club feel all its own, complete with a posh lounge just inside the entrance. Worth perusing: the guestbook at the front desk. Inside, you’ll find photographs and signatures from touring pros and celebrities who’ve visited The Kingdom. It’s a veritable Who’s Who.

Who was Adidas’ first sponsored athlete (hint: think track)? Where does TaylorMade gets its name from? Why did Gary Adams chose to relocate his company to San Diego? What does the R stand for on TaylorMade’s drivers?

If some of those questions pique your interest, the TaylorMade tour has answers for you.

If your visit coincides with one of the professional tour events in San Diego, you might end up keeping company with a tour pro. To register for the Thursday tour at TaylorMade, call 760.918.6000.

Touring Cobra

Cobra Golf Merchandise

Get everything you need to a day out on the course during a visit to Cobra Golf’s headquarters

Cobra Puma, the company represented by the stylish Rickie Fowler, has designated times of the month when tours are available, but they are by appointment only.

Cobra has more modest facilities than TaylorMade, but there are still things to be seen, including the hitting bay and swing simulator the pros use at Cobra. There’s also a warehouse and merchandise area where the colorful array of the Cobra Puma product line is displayed.

The tour can take 30 minutes to an hour depending on what guests want to see. Working in a club fitting can add another hour or two.

To schedule a tour, a fitting, or both, call 760.710.3502.

Getting Fitted At Callaway

Callaway Golf Headquarters

Make you club perfect for you during a custom fitting at Callaway’s Headquarters

Callaway Golf no longer offers public tours, but the headquarters does accommodate club fittings.

> Learn more about scheduling a custom fitting at Callaway

> Tee off at San Diego’s 90+ Golf Courses

Todd Bluechel

San Diego Sport Fishing – The Winter Season

Sport Fishing Catch
Sport Fishing Catch

Feel the rush of excitement when you hook one (or two) during a sport fishing excursion from San Diego

San Diego’s five main sport fishing landings are home to over 70 sport boats and while not all of them operate during the winter months, many run year-round offering exciting day trips or long range trips.

2014 delivered some of the best sport fishing ever and all indicators are showing 2015 offers fisherman another incredible opportunity to hook up. San Diego’s winter season is in full swing, with great weather so far, and boats reporting good catches.

Sport Fishing Day Trips

Day trips are available Monday through Friday, generally 8:00AM to 3:00 PM, with two a day trips offered on the weekends – generally 6:30 AM to 12:30 PM and 1:00 PM to 6:30 PM. Day boats fish along San Diego’s coast and kelp beds catching Rock Fish, Sculpin, Bonito, Kelp Bass and Yellowtail.

Multi-Day Sport Fishing Trips

Long range trips are running anywhere from an easy 2 day trip to 23 days for the hard core enthusiast. The shorter trips generally fish along the Baja Coast or Coronado Islands and with this seasons usually warm water continue great luck with Yellowtail, Yellowfin, and Bluefin.

Trips of 4 to 6 days typically fish along the Baja Coast and visit Guadalupe Island, San Martin, Geronimo, Cedros and San Benitos islands. Boats in this category are reporting excellent weather, calm seas, and great fishing.

Trips of 8 to 12 days offer the most variety in fishing action as fishermen explore the southwestern Baja coastline from San Pablo to Magdalena Bay, often with a run out to Alijos Rocks.  Hundreds of miles out at sea, and in sharp contrast to the surrounding blue sky and cobalt blue waters, lay the dark brown Alejos Rocks majestically projecting out of the surrounding deep ocean waters.

These pinnacles offer a sanctuary for life in an otherwise vast open desert. Migrating schools of yellowfin, bluefin, yellowtail, dorado and wahoo circle these rocks dining on the schools of bait, just waiting to be caught. Other productive locations visited during long range trips may include the Revillagigedo Islands, the Hurricane Bank, Clarion Island and the Clipperton Island to name a few.

Trips of 14 to 23 days offer the ultimate in big game fishing opportunities for the large pelagic’s visiting exotic locations such as the Hurricane Bank, Puerto Vallarta, Cleofus Bank, or even the remote Clipperton atoll. These long range boats not only offer luxurious accommodations and fine dining but because they utilize state of the art fish finding technologies they can locate yellowfin in the 200 to 300 pound range and when everything comes together (including weather, tides, the moon, quality gear, and no banana’s on board) there is a chance you too can become one of the few, the elite fishermen to join the 400 pound yellowfin monster club.

> Find out more about Fishing in San Diego

Todd Lynch

Lobster Season in San Diego – Things That Go Bump in the Night

California Spiny Lobster during Lobster Season
California Spiny Lobster during Lobster Season

Catch a California Spiny Lobster during the annual Lobster Season in San Diego. Photo courtesy of NOAA.

Lobster season opens on the Saturday prior to the first Wednesday in October and closes on the first Wednesday after March 15th, and is designed to protect the lobster population from overfishing during their summer reproductive cycle.

The California Spiny Lobster can live 50 years and grow up to 25 pounds. At a market value of 20 dollars a pound, even the typical two or three-pound specimen is a worthy catch. Unlike its East Coast counterpart, the Spiny Lobster doesn’t have claws, but it’s still a tricky business to catch one, especially when you consider that divers are only allowed to use their bare (gloved) hands. Nocturnal hunters, they hide deep in caves and crevices by day, so divers typically do their hunting at night as well, when the lobsters – or “bugs” – venture out into the open. And, on the eve of opening day, it’s traditional among San Diego divers to gather at favorite hunting grounds at midnight, when bug season officially begins. Dive clubs and shops hold organized events on opening weekend, with prizes awarded for the biggest catch.

Try a Night Dive during Lobster Season

Night diving is a surreal experience, focusing all your attention on the small area illuminated by the beam of your underwater flashlight. It’s not hard to spot lobsters, sideling across the bottom, and you’re likely to feel others bumping into you unseen. They’re not fast on their feet, but they can buck like a bronco when captured and jet backwards in a quick flip of the tail. The trick is to freeze them like a deer in the headlights, then quickly grab them from behind and wrangle them into your game bag. Lucky divers return home for a late night lobster feast, while non-diving spectators can enjoy the bounty of fresh lobster offered by local markets and restaurants this time of year.

What to Know about Lobster Season

In addition to knowing the dates of lobster season, there are a few other important rules and regulations to be aware of before trying your luck:

  • Residents and visitors alike (16 years and older) are required to have a valid California Sportfishing License
  • Lobster hunters of all ages must have a current Spiny Lobster Report Card
  • The minimum size limit is three-and-a-quarter inches measured from the eye socket to the rear of the body shell (divers carry a measuring device for this purpose)
  • The maximum bag limit per day is seven lobsters
  • Lobsters can only be caught by hand (not with nets, spears or other tackle)

It goes without saying that diving requires formal training, especially at night. Always go with a buddy, know your limits and dive safe. For more information check with California Fish and Wildlife or a local dive or fishing outfitter.

> Find out more about Sportfishing in San Diego

Corey Ross

See You at Torrey: The PGA Tour’s Farmers Insurance Open Returns to San Diego in February

Farmers Insurance Open - Tiger Woods

Tiger says “See You At Torrey!” Photo courtesy of Stan Badz/PGA TOUR.

The PGA Tour’s annual spotlight on San Diego will shine again on February 5-8, 2015, at the Farmers Insurance Open at scenic Torrey Pines.

Held in San Diego and at Torrey since 1952, the PGA’s annual stop is part of the Tour’s West Coast swing. The tournament falls between the Waste Management Phoenix Open in Scottsdale and the AT &T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am in Pebble Beach.

Highlights of the Torrey Tourney

Warm weather, a world-class course and the regular presence of such Tour stars as Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods. Woods is a seven-time winner of the event besides being the winner of the iconic 2008 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines.

Whether it’s to golf star gaze or spy a glimpse of a migrating whale, there are many great reasons to “See You at Torrey,” as the ad slogan says.

The tournament utilizes all of Torrey’s 36 holes. Play the first two days is held on both the North and South courses and moves exclusively to the South for the weekend.

Last year’s champion, Scott Stallings, emerged from a crowded field of Sunday challengers to capture the crown by one shot. Defending champion Woods missed the secondary cut, the precursor of a year he’d miss much of recovering from back surgery. Local favorite Mickelson ended up withdrawing for the weekend from the 2014 tournament with back pain.

Both are scheduled to return healthy for the 2015 event.

Farmers Insurance Open Schedule & Entertainment

Tournament week begins with practice rounds starting February 2 that are free and open to the public.

Wednesday is Preview Day for the tournament. The Zurich pro-am will be taking place.

The tournament begins on Thursday and will introduce two new changes of note for fans:

  • For security reasons, the main entrance has been moved from near the practice putting greens to near the Glider Port.
  • A new post-round concert series begins.

Post-Round Concerts

The post-round concerts will take place inside The Fringe presented by Harrah’s Resort SoCal and will be located behind the 15th green of the South Course.

On Thursday, Friday and Saturday, entertainment will begin after play has finished on No. 15 (3:00 to 3:30 PM without delays) and continue until sundown (5:15 to 5:30 PM)

The University Day Challenge and University Day

The University Day Challenge and University Day will also return on Friday and Saturday. On Friday, Tour players with the support their alma mater’s mascots by competing in a glass-breaking competition on the North Course. The winner will have $10,000 donated to their alma mater’s golf team.

Competitors and patrons are encouraged to sport the colors of their college on Saturday.

Shortly after the conclusion of the tournament, a long-awaited renovation of the North Course will begin. The course will be closed during its construction phase.

The improvements are a part of Torrey’s preparations to host the U.S. Open again in 2021.

> Farmers Insurance Tickets and Schedule of Events

The Century Club of San Diego Charity

Pros Rickie Fowler and Charley Hoffman are also again scheduled to conduct a free youth that is part of the tournament’s charitable mission.

Since its inception, The Century Club of San Diego has generated more than $28 million for the San Diego community, with $2.8 million raised in 2014 alone.

As the host organization of the Farmers Insurance Open, The Century Club of San Diego is able to provide partnership fundraising programs and experiences for charities, local military families, community organizations and schools.

Sarah Weinberg

Del Mar Racetrack Adds New Fall Bing Crosby Season

Bing Crosby - Opening Day
Table at Fall Season courtesy Del Mar Thoroughbred Club

Sit in style or hug the rails for great views all around during the new fall racing season at Del Mar.

With the recent closing of Hollywood Park racetrack in Los Angeles, an opportunity for more racing at the historic Del Mar Racetrack opened up on the West Coast circuit. Del Mar has hosted a summer season since 1937 when Bing Crosby stood at the gate and collected the first ticket for admission. It’s been a San Diego summer tradition ever since.

Bing Crosby - Opening Day

Bing Crosby, one of the founders of the Del Mar Racetrack, takes the first ticket on opening day, 1937.

Ironically for my family, thoroughbred racing and Thanksgiving go hand in hand. My relatives would spend Thanksgiving afternoon at Bay Meadows racetrack while my Nana Rose stayed home and cooked the turkey. It was a way to keep us out of her hair while she prepared the big meal. All my relatives had a blast at the rails watching the ponies run. So today, San Diego families have a similar opportunity to enjoy the delicious fall weather near the coast, the excitement of live racing, and even a one mile family fun run on the actual track, followed by a delicious family meal together. It’s a recipe I can recommend.

The added season pays tribute to the glamour and excitement of 1930s when Hollywood icon Bing Crosby founded the track with some of his celebrity pals. The Bing Crosby Season will run a total of 15 racing days – primarily Thursday through Sunday.

What to Expect from the Bing Crosby Season

Vintage Hollywood Fashion Contest - Bing Crosby Season

Dress up movie star style on opening day to participate in the Vintage Hollywood Fashion Contest.

Vintage Hollywood Fashion Contest

The season kicks off on Friday, November 7 with a “Vintage Hollywood Fashion Contest,” including awards for Best Dressed Couple, Best Celebrity Lookalike and Most Glamorous.

Concerts, Food and Beer Festivals, and Giveaways

Del Mar is known for its exciting lineup of concerts, food and beer festivals, and giveaways – and the Bing Crosby Season continues that tradition and adds in Football Sundays, when fans can take in a day of racing and NFL action in Del Mar’s Paddock Football Lounge. Multiple TV screens, bars and food options will keep racing and football fans happy all day.

Race-goers can enjoy Reggae Fest featuring Iration on the 15th and alternative rock band CAKE closing out the season on the 29th. Food trucks are back Saturday, November 22, along with a plush black and gold diamond blanket giveaway. November 29 will feature a craft beer and cider festival, a Movember event and the biggest race of the meet – the Hollywood Derby. Closing Day – Sunday November 30 – is a free day.

Bing Crosby Season Schedule

Racing during the Bing Crosby Season will take place Friday through Sunday during the first week; Thursday through Sunday the other three weeks. Weekday post time will be 12:30 PM, 12 noon on weekends. The one exception will be Thanksgiving Day, November 27, with first post shifted to 11:00 AM. Admission is $6.

> Find out more about the Del Mar Bing Crosby Season

Cory

Skydiving in San Diego – Strap on Your Parachute and Get Ready for Breathtaking Views!

Skydiving over San Diego's Oceanside
Skydiving over San Diego's Oceanside

Take in views from the mountains of San Diego to the Pacific Ocean by skydiving with Tsunami Skydivers of Oceanside

Some of the most scenic views of San Diego can only be seen from the sky…So, what better way to take in these incredible views than by jumping from a perfectly good airplane at one of San Diego’s most popular skydiving facilities!

From an altitude of more than 2.5 miles high in the sky, you’ll get to see spectacular views of Downtown San Diego, the Pacific Ocean and its beautiful beaches stretching the coastline, the Coronado and Catalina Islands and even Mexico!

Regarded as one of the top locations to skydive in the world, San Diego’s perfect year-round climate offers thrill-seekers the opportunity of a lifetime with a refreshing view 365 days a year.

The Experience with Tsunami Skydivers Inc.

Skydiving Prep - Tsunami Skydivers of Oceanside

Getting pumped up and prepped for the jump!

As you begin your life-changing day of adventure, butterflies in your stomach will surely be buzzing! But once you arrive to the airport (commonly referred to as a Drop Zone), those feelings of nervousness quickly fade to feelings of excitement.

Owner Rich Grimm and his awesome staff at Tsunami Skydivers Inc. will greet you with smiling faces, eager to help you fill out your paperwork and schedule your jump. Once the boring stuff is complete, you’ll meet your tandem skydiving instructor who will chat with you while they get you all geared up for your jump. The instructions are pretty easy to follow and the instructors here are all very friendly and engaging. Next comes the worst part…the wait!

Wave goodbye to your friends and family (and people who were too scared to come along) as you walk to the awaiting aircraft with your instructor and other jumpers. Once onboard, enjoy the amazing views from your climb to 13,000 feet! Experienced skydivers usually exit first, so you’ll get to watch other jumpers exit the plane as you wait for your turn!

Since you’ll be tightly secured to your instructor, both of you will inch your way to the open door as you watch other jumpers exit the plane. Next up…You! Take a deep breath and follow your instructor’s commands to relax and arch your body.

The Thrill

Flying Pig - Tsunami Skydivers of Oceanside

Some people say they will only jump when pigs fly. Well, now you have no choice!

Ready. Set. GO!

To your pleasant surprise, jumping from an aircraft is not as scary as it may seem. There is no “roller coaster” feeling when you skydive. Instead, imagine standing up in a convertible car that is traveling at 120 mph on a cool day and that’s exactly what it feels like!

Before you know it, the 60 second freefall is over and there is a huge parachute flying over your head. If you are willing, your instructor will be happy to offer you full control of the ‘chute as you guys fly your way back to the airport via a relaxing 3-5 minute parachute flight down to the ground.

Touchdown! Congratulations, you’ve made it! You are now part of an elite club of people brave enough to take this amazing leap of faith. Time to high-five your instructor and smile for a couple of celebratory photos.

Skydiving Tips

  • Tandem skydiving appointments can be made online or over the phone, although they do accept walk-ins depending on how busy it is. (I highly recommend making the appointment before you get there to guarantee your spot in case they are really booked that day)
  • It’s best to arrive early to make sure you will be ready in time for your jump. The entire experience will take about 1-2 hours from your scheduled time, depending on how busy it is that day.
  • Dress for the occasion. The air is cool and refreshing when you skydive, but in the winter months it can feel a bit chilly so I recommend wearing pants and a long shirt if you get cold easily.
  • Bring a friend! If you are on the edge about making a tandem skydive, convince a friend, family member or even co-worker to share the awesome adventure with you. If you’ve ever heard someone say they’d like to skydive, now’s the perfect time to hold them to it!
  • Get a video of your jump. For an additional fee, you can have a cameraman jump with you and your tandem instructor and film the whole experience. This is a great idea because with everything happening so fast and your adrenaline pumping, it’ll be hard to remember some parts of your jump. Also, an outside cameraman will give you a unique perspective of skydiving since you will see the cameraman skydiving right in front of you! Surely, a video you will want to watch over and over for years to come.
  • But most importantly – Relax, Smile and Have Fun!

Warning: Skydiving is highly addictive.

Once you discover how much fun skydiving is, you can sign up to jump by yourself! All it takes is a couple of hours of training for your first solo jump and you’ll be ready to go for skydive #2! And #3. And #4. And #5! In fact, I loved it so much I’ve gone over 200 times!

Blue Skies!

Tsunami Skydivers Inc. Details

[youtube http://youtu.be/61IRvFDJSzE]

Location: 480 Airport Road, Oceanside, California 92058
Phone: 760.390.5867
> Find out more about Tsunami Skydivers
> Save $20 on a Tandem Skydive!

Photos courtesy of Tsunami Skydivers of Oceanside

Chelsea

Rent an Adventure: Great San Diego Family Bike, Board and Boat Rentals Spots

Family Kayaking in San Diego
Family Kayaking in San Diego

Rent a kayak or two and the whole family can explore the waters of San Diego

With all that a family needs to pack these days, the more that you can leave home, the better. Yet, there are so many fun ways to explore San Diego, that it’s tempting to try and “check” your boat at the airport luggage counter…kidding…kind of. Thankfully, instead of paying that fee, there are plenty of spots around town to rent transportation that can lead to some fun exploring with the family.

Water Fun in Mission Bay

Visit the Aquatic Center in Mission Bay and arm yourself with everything you could possibly want to do in the water! From wakeboarding to windsurfing and so much more in between, make this a destination stop for water sports fun.

Where: 1001 Santa Clara Pl, San Diego, CA 92109 > Find out more about the Mission Bay Aquatic Center

Boating in the Harbor

Visit Harbor Sailboats to pick up your rental or take a guided tour. Enjoy the breathtaking views of the Coronado Bay Bridge and sail past the aircraft carriers as you relax on the water. And keep your eyes peeled for dolphins and seals! Where: 2040 Harbor Island Dr, San Diego, CA 92101 > Find out more about Harbor Sailing

Bikes in Pacific Beach

Serious cyclists should visit San Diego’s biking page, but for some casual exploring on beach cruisers, head to PB. Check out Pacific Beach Bikes for for the whole family. Hop aboard your two wheelers and cruise the boardwalk to Mission Beach on the bike paths while you enjoy watching the waves. Where: 1852 Garnet Avenue, Pacific Beach, CA 92109 > Find out more about Pacific Beach Bikes

Kayak Exploring in La Jolla

Don’t miss out on the kayak rentals at La Jolla Shores! Paddle your way over to take in the breathtaking cliffs and caves. Keep your eyes peeled as you are likely to see a seal or two along the way! And if you want more sea creature fun, rent a snorkel to bring along and swim with the (harmless) leopard sharks in spring. Where: 2199 Avenida De La Playa, La Jolla, CA 92037 > Find out more about La Jolla Kayak

And Learn to Surf in La Jolla

It would almost be remiss to visit Southern California in general and not attempt to surf! Surf Diva and Menehune Surf Camp are both great options for getting use to the waves.  If you are already a seasoned pro and just didn’t want to bring along your board, check out their rentals, too! Surf Diva Where: 2160 Avenida de la Playa, La Jolla, CA 92037 > Find out more about Surf Diva Menehune Surf Camp Where: 2216 Avenida de la Playa, La Jolla, CA 92037 > Find out more about Menehune Surf Camp

Hot Air Balloons in Del Mar

Book a bird’s eye view of San Diego while floating around in a hot air balloon! A big thrill for my kids is just seeing them in the sky so imagine getting to ride in one! > Find out more about Another Side Tours

WaveRunners in Carlsbad

For some north county fun, visit the Carlsbad Lagoon! Fly through the water in your WaveRunner, or casually float along in an aqua cycle, kayak or stand up paddleboard. Boat rentals are available, too! Where: 4215 Harrison Street, Carlsbad, California 92008 > Find out more about Carlsbad Lagoon

> Plan your trip with more San Diego Family vacation itineraries