August 23rd is Ride The Wind Day — that being the anniversary of Paul MacCready setting a record for human-powered flight back in 1977. The date has been picked up by hang gliders as their own special holiday, and as you can guess, plenty of those hang gliders are in California (the state is easily the top destination for hang gliders from around the world). You can’t blame people for wanting the glamour of riding the wind in San Diego, Los Angeles or San Francisco. But the Golden State isn’t the only place to hang. America has all kinds of mountainous terrain that’s perfect for a good leap off the ledges. Personally, we prefer the option of tagging along with veteran hang gliders in some Tandem Hang Gliding, which gives you the option of hanging on to a pro for dear life as you appreciate the complete flying experience. That’s another good reason to go off the beaten path in California and visit states where they don’t expect people to already be veteran hang gliders. Those types are everywhere, of course, but here are some states where you wouldn’t expect to see the real estate from 8,000 feet up:
Pacific City, Oregon
Too many people won’t even get past San Francisco when exploring the Pacific Northwest. That’s okay with the people of Oregon, who prefer to keep their amazing territory to themselves. Adventurous types should still seek out the state’s beaches and mountain ranges. You don’t get the reliable weather of California, but it’s hard to get let down by the amazing winds off of Cape Kiwanda in Pacific City. The place became a mecca for hang gliders back in the ’70s when they were seeking an alternative to what was becoming a crowded California scene. Also, the wind at Cape Kiwanda is ideal for people who don’t want to begin hang gliding by jumping off a cliff. You can work your way up to flying just by taking off from the dunes.