Best Flying Adventures Near Washington DC

March 30, 2013 8:00 AM

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

Leonardo da Vinci once said, “Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return.” Whether you dream of taking to the skies as a certified private pilot or wonder what it takes to be a trapeze artist, the Washington DC area has the best flying adventures just for you.

TSNY of Washington DC
4th St. S.E. and Tingey St.
Washington, DC 20003
(410) 459-6839

Sign up for a flying trapeze class at the Trapeze School New York in Washington, DC and you will fly through the air—literally. Each beginner class provides a run-through of basic skills, like takeoffs and knee hangs, plus helps build your trust with the trainers and other students before you learn the big tricks. Upon approval of mastering the basics, the Trapeze School New York in Washington, DC also offers intermediate- and advanced-level classes where students learn how to do cool tricks, like swivel hips and twists. The school also offers aerial silks, trampoline, lyra and acrobatic classes.

Washington International Flight Academy
7940 Airpark Road
Gaithersburg, MD 20879
(240) 246-7529

If you’ve always wanted to see what it’s like to fly an airplane, then the Washington International Flight Academy has a special program just for you. Sign up for the Discovery Flight program and you will take control of a small aircraft. Climb aboard and learn what it takes to taxi down a runway, take off and cruise at a high altitude. A certified FAA flight instructor will be on board with you as you soar high above the Washington DC area. If you love the entire experience, the Washington International Flight Academy offers a variety of courses including private pilot license and certified flight instructor training. Sign up for a course and the Discovery Flight program counts towards your training. The Washington International Flight Academy also offers romantic flight programs.

Silver Wings, Inc.
6032 20th St. N.
Arlington, VA 22205
(703) 533-1965

Hang 10—in the air, that is. Silver Wings, Inc. features hang gliding courses that take you up and above the gorgeous rolling northern Virginia hillside. Learn about the history of hang gliding as well as the basics of aerodynamics, how to control a hang glider and micro-meteorology during the ground school training. Then, the class heads to a large field with a grassy hillside where you learn how to assemble and inspect a hang glider then take to the skies for the ultimate flying experience. One class may include over 10 flight attempts, to which Silver Wings, Inc. provides expert supervision for at least five flight attempts. Students will also learn to master such skills like takeoff and landing. Silver Wings, Inc. also offers advanced hang gliding courses.

Related: Best Dates for the Adventurous Couple in the DC Area

Tailwinds Over Frederick
(240) 415-8094

Whether you seek a romantic evening with your sweetheart or breathtaking views of the Appalachian Mountains, Tailwinds Over Frederick is the flying venue just for you. Climb aboard one of the company’s beautiful hot air balloons and depart on a three-hour journey, which includes a safety briefing plus the opportunity to gain hands-on experience as you watch the balloon fill up with hot air. Take stunning photos or video while you float among the clouds. Tailwinds Over Frederick offers both sunrise and sunset flights. After your exhilarating trip, recap the beautiful journey over a complimentary champagne or sparkling cider toast. Tailwinds Over Frederick also offers private charter flights with catering and tethered balloon rides.

OC Parasail
312 Talbot St.
Ocean City, MD 21842
(410) 723-1464

The next time you’re down at the beach, hitch a ride on the back of a motor boat and fly high in the sky and see the Boardwalk like you never have before. Located at two convenient locations, OC Parasail offers both bayside and oceanside rides with three different parasailing heights to choose from, guaranteed to provide participants a mild or wild ride. Too timid about heights? OC Parasail also welcomes spectators. With more than 75 years of combined experience, the veteran crew at OC Parasail promises a fun, safe, smooth and dry flight.

Related: Best Boating Trips Near the City in DC

Susan Diranian is a freelance writer living in Ashburn, VA. She is covering Travel & Outdoors. Her work can be found at

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