Hawaiian shores, Alaskan peaks, Floridian waters – you’ll realize their true beauty when you’re hurtling towards them at around 120mph (200km). Here are the best places to go skydiving in the United States.
Ask someone to read you their bucket list and jumping out of a plane could be quite high on it. Skydiving is only growing in popularity, with extreme sports pros turning a one-time thrill into a casual weekend activity. But what makes this adrenaline jump most spectacular – aside from the 60-second free fall if you’re leaping from 15,000ft (4,500m) up – is the view, whether it be of soaring mountains, sprawling tundra, or crystal-clear waters.
Tropical blue waters, white sand beaches, lush forests – few places in the US can compete with the beauty of the Aloha State. And what better way to experience that remarkable scenery than with a bird’s-eye view? Skydive Hawaii has jumps from 12,000ft (3,650m), 14,000ft (4,270m), and 20,000ft (6,100m) – the highest jump on Oahu, with 100 seconds of free fall. Meanwhile, the Pacific Skydiving Center in Honolulu features 10,000ft (3,050m) and 14,000ft tandems, both with views of the entire island from the North Shore to Pearl Harbor.
When looking to book a dive, heading towards the Arctic Circle may not be the first idea that comes to mind. But Alaska – with snow-capped mountains, colossal glaciers and unreal natural scenery – has some of the most diverse terrain in the nation. A prime destination for outdoor activities, Anchorage is also a gateway to experiencing the beauty of the Last Frontier from 10,000ft (3,050m) in the air. Alaska Skydive Center lets you jump over Denali National Park, home to Denali mountain, the highest peak in North America, before dropping you over the pristine waters of the Cook Inlet and the surrounding wilderness.
When it comes to drop zones, nothing beats forested peaks, alpine lakes and winding rivers. Pennsylvania Skydiving Center is only a short drive from New York and New Jersey, but it still offers an escape from city life with a drop over the foothills of the Poconos Mountains. Guided by instructors from the oldest USPA member skydiving center in the world, descend over the lush greenery of Pennsylvania, or opt for a fall dive when the foliage is ablaze with orange and red.
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