There is nothing quite like seeing a new place from the air! The unique perspective, the birds eye view, is what draws us to seek out skydiving dropzones when we go someplace new.
Nick and I have been jumping since 2004 (technically he made his first 4 jumps in 2001, but had to take a few years off due to a shoulder injury). In that time we've jumped at 22 dropzones and only lost two feet. #winning
You know, it's not the scenery that makes a drop zone great. It's the vibe. The people, the attitude, and the activities. We've met so many rad people on our journey through the years and want to say a few things about our favorite places to jump in the USA and why.
Out of the Blue Skydiving, Calhan, Colorado
Within moments of pulling up to this hangar in the middle of nowhere with our trailer (and I do mean nowhere because the nearest Walmart is 35 minutes away) and walked into the building the owner John walked over and introduced himself. He made us feel welcome right away and told us we could stay on their property for free for the weekend.
We made a handful of jumps out of their King Air over the two days, met tons of amazing people (some of whom we got to hang out with later on our trip and still keep in touch with), shared Colorado Moonshine, ate BBQ, and had a good old fashioned drop zone experience.
Skydive Sebastian, Sebastian, Florida
There's only one place to start here: that view! Sebastian is located on the Atlantic Ocean and the jump plane flies right over it. I seriously couldn't get enough of the view!
The drop zone is super cute, has a beach vibe with lots of space to roam around and chill between loads. Had we stayed in Florida for any longer, it would have been Sebastian.
Skydive Chicago, Ottawa, Illinois
Voted #1 dropzone for, like, ever now, Skydive Chicago is just plain awesome. Definitely our favorite place to be at the time of this writing. It's a skydiving destination. A community where everyone lives and plays there and does epic skydives and welcomes new friends and neighbors.
We arrived there in July of 2016 and didn't leave for 3 months. We stayed in our 5th wheel onsite in one of the 150 slots that make up the Skydive Chicago community.
Besides the jumping and general comrades, I'd say my favorite part of living there was how lush it is. I loved taking the dogs for walks around the lake (yup, there's a beautiful lake with a swimming beach next to the trailer park) and out to the edges of the property, all the while hearing parachutes open overhead.
GoJump Oceanside, Oceanside, California
The Oceanside drop zone became mine and Nick's favorite Southern California DZ when it first started and was named Tsunami Skydivers of Oceanside. I'm sad to admit that I have not jumped there since it changed ownership and became GoJump (I've been there and tried, but the weather did not cooperate).
GoJump Oceanside has the best view of all the So Cal dropzones as it's just a few miles from the beach. It's such a treat to admire the beauty of an ocean sunset while you're flying under canopy. What I loved about the original set up was that everyone who was there hung out under the same packing tent. It felt like a real community, rather than a bunch of skydivers spread out across a few dozen buildings and team rooms all over a large airport.
Nick and I are also a little partial to Oceanside because that's where he did his first jump back 18 months after his accident in 2011. What a special event.
The other dropzones we've been to are: Skydive Perris, Skydive Elsinore, Skydive San Diego, Skydive Santa Barbara, Skydive Arizona, Skydive Ogden, Alaska Skydiving Center, Mile-Hi Skydiving, Lincoln Sport Parachute Club, Chicagoland Skydiving Center, Skydive Deland, Skydive City, Skydive Lake Wales, Xtreme Divers Puerto Rico, Tsunami Skydivers Belize.