Seasoned skydivers, hang gliders and biplane pilots will find it all happening over Atlanta, and the options for tandem flying keep novices thrilled. If soaring through the atmosphere intrigues you, yet you’d like something spectacular but more tame, hot air ballooning and helicopters will give you amazing views of Atlanta and surrounding natural Georgia wonders. Best of all, take your sweetheart, your family and friends along for the thrill. Groups are welcome at the venues below.
2333 Delray Road
Thomaston, GA 30286
A member of the United States Parachute Association, Skydive Atlanta offers solo jumping for seasoned skydivers and tandem leaps for novices. It emphasizes its safety priority with top-of-the-line equipment, aircraft and FAA-certified mechanics, all critical to the sport of skydiving. It boasts its association with the U.S. Army/Ft. Benning Command Exhibition Parachute Team, designating them as certified with the Department of Defense Intrastate Paratroop Carry Certification, reserved for very few operators in the nation. Since safety is such an understandably important aspect of the skydiving sport, Skydive Atlanta believes its scrutiny by the DoD is one of its top selling points. Its prices for dives are all-inclusive with the equipment, airplane, altitude and weather insurance you need.
Lookout Mountain Hang Gliding
7201 Scenic Highway 189
Rising Fawn, GA 30738
Another way to fly through the air over Georgia is with Lookout Mountain Hang Gliding, where you can soar in tandem with an instructor or do your own solo flights over beautiful Lookout Mountain. Tandem flights are popular with novices of all ages, and can be reserved at 1,800 or 3,000 feet, with ultralight aircraft hauling the glider up the mountain for you. Prices start at $149 per ride, with price breaks for multiple flights. If you’re a young adventurer who dreams of hang gliding, or are already a seasoned flier, the company offers a Spring Break package that includes a range of accommodations to fit your budget and lifestyle. Sleep on the ground and hang glide for five days for $299, in a tent for $399 or in a cabin for $499.
One Corsair Drive, Suite 111
Chamblee, GA 30341
If skydiving and gliding sound a little too exciting, Atlantans have another option for getting a bird’s eye view of the city and its surroundings. Prestige Helicopters offers individual tours and event charters with spectacular views of local attractions, historical sites, geological wonders and the natural beauty of Georgia’s lush landscape. The company’s charter service runs 24/7, will fly guests to venues and landmarks and will also coordinate with limousine services, hotels and catering. Tour packages that explore Atlanta and its environs fly from 15 to 70 minutes, and include downtown with the Georgia Dome, Turner Field, Centennial Olympic Park and more. Fliers also enjoy tours of the Chattahoochee River, Stone Mountain and Lake Lanier. Tour pricing is $65 to $325 per person, and charter pricing is $530 per hour.
Atlanta Hot Air Balloon Rides
213 Capitol Ave. S.E.
Atlanta, GA 30334
Gather up your sweetheart, your friends and your family and go on a peaceful, gliding sightseeing tour of the Atlanta and Georgia environs within one of the company’s beautifully colored hot air balloons. Launch sites surround the Atlanta area, and rides are considered either shared or exclusive, depending on whether or not you share the basket with others, usually up to eight people. A typical ride is up to one hour long. The company offers specials for holidays and military employees, as well as monthly promotions. Gift certificates are available and are good for two years from the purchase date. They are transferrable and can be used at any location within the American Ballooning Network, of which Atlanta Hot Air Balloon Rides is a member.
Biplane Rides Over Atlanta, Inc.
2000 Airport Road, Suite 106
Atlanta, GA 30341
Biplane rides offer sightseers and thrill seekers the opportunity to enjoy beautiful vistas and the sensation of open-air flying while safely buckled into a cockpit. Biplane Rides Over Atlanta gives fliers a spectacular view with rides and sightseeing tours in a Waco, a two-seat biplane, the Texan, a WWII combat trainer, and a Boeing PT-17 Stearman, a single-seat biplane. Flight tours include the Atlanta Skyline, the exploration of Stone Mountain, a combined Atlanta/Stone Mountain tour, a Lake Lanier tour and a romantic sunset ride. If you’re looking for more adventure and heart-pounding action, experience the company’s Fighter Pilot for a Day package. Pricing starts at $75 per person for a 15-minute flight, up to $675 per person for the 45-minute Fighter Pilot ride.
Di Chapman has been writing professionally for trade journals, audiobooks and a global business clientele since her early 20s. A coauthor of four books and a regular contributor to numerous blogs, she currently lives in the historic district of Roswell, Georgia, in the greater Atlanta area. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.