With more dropzones then days of the year, deciding where to skydive in the USA can be a tough decision. So if you’re looking for a rundown of the best US dropzones, you’ve come to the right place! Here’s the cream of a very extensive crop.
The number of dropzones in the United States is not just high but still growing. Not only could you skydive every day of the year in a different location, but there is a dropzone within almost every state. Whatever your location, there is bound to be at least one place to skydive within relatively easy reach.
California and Florida lead the way with over twenty places to skydive and the states of Georgia, Illinois, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas and Wisconsin have ten or more dropzones each. Only Wyoming and New Hampshire are devoid of dropzones, but in both cases there are places to jump in bordering states.
With so many to choose how do you decide where to skydive in the USA? Arguably, the best US dropzone is different for everyone. In most cases it will be your local centre – purely because you can reach it more easily and so skydive more often.
However, taking proximity out of the equation what are the 10 best US dropzones?
To find out, we asked highly experienced and well respected American skydiver Annette O’Neil to pen her top 10 and reasons why. Annette is not only a skydiver, but paraglider, speed flyer and BASE Jumper. Among her many exploits she was the first female to achieve BASE – building, antenna, span and earth – in just four jumps.
So if you are trying to decide where to skydive in the USA take a look at what Annette considers to be the best US dropzones. As with any top 10, this is the author’s opinion and we are sure your’s will differ, so please leave a comment at the bottom letting us know your favourite dropzones.
The first thing to welcome you to Skydive Arizona will be the sight of the on-campus wind tunnel on the horizon. Smack-dab in between Phoenix and Tucson, popping out of the flatness of the desert like a prehistoric flower, the tunnel’s four thrumming tubes sing the song of airflow from dawn to dusk (and long after, on boogie days.)
That’s one of the reasons (though far from the only one) that skydivers come to SDAZ from all over the world to hone their skydiving chops. Skydivers from wintrier lands especially appreciate the opportunity to do 10 jumps a day –with way-talented athletes – in the dregs of February.
Find out more at: www.skydiveaz.com
This author had the pleasure of taking in the airborne (and ground-bound) madness at this past summer’s Skydiving World Championships. The event’s location – the manicured, parklike campus at Skydive Chicago – met the enormous challenge with aplomb.
The shiny, top-tier aircraft make the rounds on constant rotation, dropping some of the world’s best jumpers from 13,500 feet. But that’s not all that makes this one of the best US dropzones. The list of amenities drops one’s jaw: Swimmin’ pond! Cabins! Auditorium! On-site café! Fitness center!
Suffice it to say: It’s easy to land at Skydive Chicago and leave a couple of weeks later without ever having set foot off the property.
More info at: www.skydivechicago.com
There are very few dropzones in the world that beckon more hard-training, passionate skydivers than Skydive Paraclete. As one of the longest operating dropzones in the country, Paraclete’s pedigree is sterling, but its bona fides go far beyond those venerable roots.
A tunnel-and-sky combo facility run for driven, competition-focused sport skydivers by driven, competition-focused sport skydivers. Skydive Paraclete XP enjoys a long-standing reputation as the destination training facility for the world’s best bodyflight talent.
Paraclete’s extensive fleet of turbine aircraft, up-to-the-minute amenities and on-site wind tunnel ensure that it continually hosts a who’s-who of top-skydive talent.
Visit their website: www.skydiveparacletexp.com
Fancy a mountain view? Jump at scenic Skydive Snohomish. This – the only American dropzone to receive The Travel Channel’s accolade as “one of the world’s best places to skydive” – shows its lucky jumpers one of the prettiest peak views they’ve ever taken in, and it’s only 20 miles from the beating heart of downtown Seattle.
It’s been running since the early 1950s, when brave adventurists made their first jumps over the dropzone’s historic Harvey Field. The historical photos scattered around the place are excellent gazing material when you’re waiting for the occasional Seattle weather to blow through.
If friendliness is important to you when deciding where to skydive in the USA, then Skydive Snohomish is for you. The community is immensely welcoming, befitting the DZ’s family-owned atmosphere.
To find out more visit: www.skydivesnohomish.com
Ah, the beachside life. There may be many beachside dropzones in the world, but there are a few standouts – and in this, dear reader, is one of them.
Skydive Coastal Carolina’s claim to fame is the view. An immense, uninterrupted vista of protected waterways, marshlands and historical villages, miraculously devoid of the urban sprawl that tarnishes the loveliness of other waterside DZs.
When the day’s jumping is done, Skydive Coastal Carolinas offers its visitors a plethora of landlubber fun. From SUPing and kayaking the intracoastal waterways to visiting the beautiful old lighthouse. And hiking and birdwatching in the lush wilderness to clubbing – dancefloor-heavy Myrtle Beach isn’t far away.
Find out more at: www.skydivecoastalcarolinas.com
Skydive Perris is one of the only dropzones in the states to offer balloon jumps, which is reason enough to go. But if you need more when deciding where to skydive in the USA the listen up!
Skydive Perris has its own on-site wind tunnel, an expansive fleet of aircraft, and a bursting roster of coaching talent. It’s in a prime location not too terribly far from the wine-tasting wonderland that is Southern California’s Temecula making it one of the best US dropzones.
It’s close enough to the beach that you can pop over and stick your toes in the San Diego sand for sundowners – and a little bit of a drive will take you to the gleaming gates of Disneyland. How’s that for a long weekend waiting to happen?
Check them out at: www.skydiveperris.com
Primarily, jumpers head down to Skydive Sebastian for one thing: The party. Every New Years Eve, Skydive Sebastian holds a shindig called “The Invasion”, during which a boatload of jumpers bring in the new year. Expect beach jumps, island parties, bonfires, the occasional bikini jump – and a state skydiving record, every once in awhile.
The ocean views are choice, too. So much so that they’ve been used as the filming locations for such silver-screen eye candy as ‘Adrenaline Rush’. Based in Florida the weather isn’t too shabby either, and if you can’t decide where to skydive in the USA you won’t get much better.
More info at: www.skydiveseb.com
A trip to Alaska is an adventure in and of itself. You’re liable to get lost in the Yukon dreams of your beaver-cap-wearing forebears when you wander out into its wild forests and wind-swept tundra. That said: to really get a feel for Alaska, try taking a higher perspective.
The Alaska Skydive Center – one of America’s most remote – can show you Alaska’s wild wonders from 10,000 feet up. On a clear summer day, you can see the snowy glint of Mt. McKinley’s cap; the Denali range; the Knik glacier… and that’s all in one ride to altitude.
Check out their website: www.alaskaskydivecenter.com
There is plenty of skydiving in Florida, but Deland stands apart. The management runs a tight ship, the facility is extensive, and the bustling instructional program attracts a plethora and diverse group of multi-national jumpers. Despite this Deland always seems to be hosting a noteworthy skills camp.
The on-site restaurant flutters with optimistic energy. And if you’re looking for something posher than dropzone diner food after a long day in the sky, you’re in luck as the down of Deland is foodie heaven. This is one of the only dropzone in the states where you can go down the street to a wine-and-tapas joint when the green light comes on.
Find out more at: www.skydivedeland.com
Think a great skydive deserves its own luau (a traditional Hawaiian party)? We do, too. Hawaii’s a good-lookin’ state from ground level, but the gorgeous-ometer only climbs as the altitude goes up.
Skydive Hawaii’s beachside location has little equal on this blue planet. With 360-degree ocean views of the forest-draped archipelago unfurling beneath each lucky jumper it tops this list of the best US dropzones.
Visit their website at: www.skydivehawaii.com
**UPDATE: Unfortunately Skydive Hawaii is currently only open for tandem skydives. However, if you are a qualified skydiver looking for fun jumps, or a beginner looking to do a course, Pacific Skydiving – who are right next door – are also a great option.
Book a jump with them here: www.pacificskydivinghonolulu.com
Don’t agree with Annette’s top 10? Then leave us a comment below telling us you favourite dropzone in the US.
We hope that this list of the 10 best US dropzones has helped you to decide where to skydive in the USA. For more inspiration check out our skydiving articles and to possibly save a fortune take a look at the AWE365 skydive discounts.