Exactly seven years ago we decided to go skydive in New York!
We weren’t exactly adventure enthusiasts or adrenaline junkies? It wasn’t about grabbing a good view? It was about doing something that pushed our boundaries, faced our fears, and let us feel a sense of freedom.
Yes, for many jumping out of a plane might seem crazy, but for us it was literally one of the best decisions we ever made. It was the first of many adventures that would follow in our friendship and travel partnership.
One day I had the crazy idea that I wanted to go skydiving. However, as with many things in life, going solo wasn’t ideal. So, I posted an invitation to any of my NYC friends to join me.
Michael, whom I had recently met on a dating site but had determined wasn’t the best romantic match (don’t worry, he felt the same about me) hesitantly expressed interest. It turns out, heights were one of his biggest fears. Instead of hiding from it, however, he wanted to face it head on…by tumbling out of a perfectly good aircraft and speeding toward to the ground.
We found a highly reputable company online, and made a date to go skydiving in New York – Long Island to be exact. A few threatened cancellations by one of us (I’ll let you speculate about that) and a short drive out to the island and we managed to find our way into harnesses and onto a tiny plane in the sky. As I was being edged toward the hatch I watched Michael fall out into the open sky and thought “there’s no turning back now”.
By the time I met him back on planet earth, a bond had begun to forge. Though, I’m quite certain neither of us were aware of that fact. The adrenaline had overwhelmed our brains; we were in a state of elation, after all.
Skydiving that day in New York was the most free I had ever felt in my life. It gave me the courage to ultimately change my life entirely and start a multi-year round the world trip and business with Michael.
So, if “skydiving NYC” is on your bucket list, do it!
Where are the best places to skydive in New York? Glad you asked. There are a lot to choose from, so we’ve got a list of the best and closest places where you can skydive in NYC. Including the very one Michael and I jumped from seven years ago!
Skydiving in New York City
For the record, and in case anyone is wondering, it is totally illegal to skydive directly over New York City. So your closest options are in Long Island and New Jersey. From there you might get some views of the famous Manhattan skyline, if weather conditions permit.
With that out of the way let’s explore your skydiving options in New York.
Skydive Long Island
Conveniently located at the Brookhaven-Calabro Airport on Long Island, this skydiving facility is only about 50 miles from the heart of NYC, making it the closest skydiving facility to the city.
During your jump, you’ll enjoy views of the Atlantic Ocean, the Long Island Sound, the Fire Island National Seashore, Westhampton Beach, and more. On clear days you can even see New York City and Montauk, so choose your day carefully if you want to take full advantage of the views!
Skydive Long Island is a tandem-skydiving center and specializes in skydiving for first-timers, so if you’re nervous there’s no need to worry! You’ll be attached to a trained professional every step of the way, from before the plane door opens until you’ve safely landed.
To document your adventure (and for proof you actually did it for everyone who doesn’t believe you), Skydive Long Island offers several photo and video packages of your trip that you can choose from. If you’re looking for the closest place to skydive NYC, Skydive Long Island should be your go-to option.
Skydive the Ranch
Suitable both for first-timers learning how to skydive and for experienced jumpers, the Ranch is one of the best for skydiving in New York. This facility has been a USPA drop-zone for almost 40 years, so these guys have plenty of experience. Located in Gardiner, NY, this facility is right next to the Shawangunk Mountains and is a little over an hour from NYC.
Whether you’re an experienced skydiver or you’re going tandem for the first time, you’ll jump from an altitude of 13,500 feet and enjoy stunning aerial views of the mountains on your way down.
There will also be a team of professional videographers to capture your entire experience so you can relive it as many times as you want.
This is the best place to skydive NYC if you’re looking to learn to skydive, as they offer instructor-assisted free-fall to help you become more experienced. They also offer camping and showers on-site, and there’s plenty to do in the surrounding area. Conveniently located directly on the bus route from NYC, this is one of the best places to skydive in New York.
This skydiving facility is actually in Pittstown, New Jersey, about an hour from New York, but it’s still a great place to skydive NYC. A smaller facility, this one only offers tandem skydiving, but if that’s what you’re looking for then this is perfect for you. Located on Alexandria Field, you’ll be surrounded by almost 130 miles of beautiful countryside – a peaceful contrast to the energy you’ll feel when you jump out of the plane.
Your tandem skydiving experience will include a 20-minute plane ride over some incredible scenery. The Philadelphia and Manhattan skylines, the Delaware River, Spruce Run Lake, and more. Once you jump with your instructor, you’ll enjoy almost a full minute of free-fall before the parachute is opened. After that you can relax and take in the moment on the way to your landing zone. There are also several video packages to choose from here.
Skydive Cross Keys
One of the closest centers for skydiving NYC, Skydive Cross Keys is located about 100 miles south of the city in Williamstown, NJ. Open year round, this center has been open since 1994 and has pulled off over 100,000 tandem skydiving operations, so you’ll be in good hands.
This is another facility that offers all kinds of opportunities: first-timers and other inexperienced skydivers can choose to do tandem, or you can opt to go through their training course to become a certified professional and solo skydiver.
Skydive Cross Keys also offers some unique options for those who are looking to push the envelope just a little further. If you choose to do the HALO skydive, you’ll jump from an incredible altitude of 23,000 feet with a full 90 seconds of free-fall. This is the only center on the East Coast where this type of skydiving is available, so if that’s what you’re looking for this is the place to be.
Long Island Skydiving Center
Located on the south shore of Long Island, this center for skydiving in New York is the only facility that overlooks beautiful scenery like the Hampton Beaches, Fire Island, and the beautiful Atlantic coast itself.
Established in 2002 by well-known skydiver Brian Erler, Long Island Skydiving Center is USPA certified and has been churning out new skydiving enthusiasts since the day it opened. Erler is famous in the skydiving industry for his skydiving photos and videos. They have been published in magazines around the world. Here, you will truly learn from the best.
This skydiving center focuses primarily on first-time jumpers, so this is the best and closest place for all you first-timers to skydive NYC in the trusted hands of trained professionals.
Located at the Sussex Airport in New Jersey, this skydiving center is about 40 miles from New York City. This skydiving center specializes in first-time tandem jumping. Once you’re hooked, they also offer training courses for you to become a licensed professional.
If you’re already an experienced solo jumper, Skydive Sussex offers one of the best communities around, with fully-equipped facilities and a friendly environment. One of the closest places to skydive NYC, you’ll be jumping from 14,500 feet. You’ll enjoy spectacular views of the New York City and Manhattan skylines, the High Point Monument, and all that northern New Jersey has to offer. After a minute of free-fall, the parachute will be deployed and you’ll gaze in awe at the views around you until you land safely on the ground.
If you’re an adventure enthusiast looking to skydive NYC, you’re in luck. You’ll find one of these centers on our list to fit your needs. Experienced solo jumper? Looking to learn how to skydive? First time tandem jumper who’s a little apprehensive? These centers will have something to cater to your needs in one of the most beautiful skydiving locations in the world.
When you skydive in New York, you’ll experience unbeatable views and an adrenaline rush like no other. Throwing yourself out of a perfectly good plane is a one-of-a-kind experience. So, make it count and skydive in New York at one of these skydiving centers.