Best Not-So-Cheap Thrill - 2001
Skydive America Palm Beach
If you get your kicks by hurtling toward the earth at more than 120 miles per hour from an altitude of about two and a half miles -- and who doesn't? -- Skydive America is your kind of place. But it'll cost you: as much as $159 for the jump. (Find four or more friends foolish enough to accompany you, and the price drops to $139 each.) What does it get you? A short video screening on what you're about to experience, a personal briefing from the instructor to whom you'll be harnessed, and then the jump: 65 seconds of free fall followed by another four to six minutes of "canopy flight" after you (or your instructor) deploy the parachute. Your view will include Lake Okeechobee and the sugar cane fields of western Palm Beach County. Factor in another $79 if you want to document the look of terror on your face with a video and still photos. And if you're too giddy to drive back home after all this, $20 will get you a night at nearby Clouds Edge Ranch, a 3.5-acre complex of air-conditioned bunkhouses, campgrounds, showers, kitchen facilities, and a pool. They'll even throw in a towel and soap.