Yes, you really can go to “war” during your otherwise tranquil vacation in San Diego . Biplane Air Combat & Warbird Flights (800/759-5667, www.barnstorming.com , $200–450 per person, depending on type of flight) offers the rare opportunity to fly an air combat mission in a light plane designed for dogfighting. Or take a ride in an SNJ-4 Texan, a real World War II aircraft. For a more peaceful aviation experience, book a scenic flight for one or two people in an old-fashioned biplane.
If you prefer jumping out of planes to riding in them, head up north to Skydive Elsinore (20701 Cereal St., Lake Elsinore, 951/245-9939, www.skydiveelsinore.com ). This full-service skydiving school and outfitter can take you on a great jump, regardless of your experience level. Beginners can take a tandem jump after a brief introductory lesson, or go more intensive with a full-fledged skydiving course culminating with a solo jump. If you’re a more experienced jumper, take a look at the website for your diving options.