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hot air balloon experiences

These Hot Air Balloon Experiences Across the US Will Lift Your Spirits

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Aug. 4 2021, Updated 12:09 a.m. ET

Travelers are always looking for something new and different to spice up their vacations. While Hot Air Balloon Experiences are not exactly new, they are novel to most people. The idea of soaring above the trees suspended from a balloon is both whimsical and adventurous. CELEB took a look at some of the best hot air balloon rides being offered around the country. 

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California

hot air balloon experiences

California is a huge state, and it offers a varieties of views. From the breathtaking Pacific ocean to the rolling mountains, deserts, and lush green valleys, California hot air balloon rides are a unique experiences. Here are three of the most exciting rides to be had in CA:

  • Temecula: Sitting in the heart of SoCal wine country, Temecula offers a verdant view of rolling hills, vineyards, and SoCal’s ideal weather. Some of the businesses offering premiere rides in the area are California Dreamin‘, Magical Adventures, and A Grape Escape. Picturesque locations to see while visiting Temecula include the Temecula Museum, a number of wineries and their accompanying vineyards, and the Peltzer Pumpkin Farm. Once you come back down to earth, indulge in a delectable local wine and consider attending the annual Balloon and Wine Festival in ’22. 
  • Sonoma: Another wine-country haven; when you think of California wine, Sonoma County almost certainly springs to mind. After enjoying Sonoma Brut sparkling wine breakfast with Sonoma Ballooning Adventures, embark on a beautiful early morning ride. You may be able to see the San Francisco skyline on your journey, and you’ll certainly see the gorgeous gentle rolling hills of another SoCal gem. The ride takes you over historic downtown Sonoma, Petaluma Valley, and the Napa Valley.
  • Greater Palm Springs: For something a little different, the Palm Springs area rides give you a vista of rolling hills; but with a decided desert touch. Palm Springs is home to some of the world’s most famous celebrities, and a ride over Coachella Valley will bring you some landmark and famous sights. 

South Dakota

hot air balloon experiences

South Dakota still has a lot of what some would call America’s Wild West flavor. With a low population density and breathtaking natural resources, the state is the perfect place to take a hot air balloon adventure. The following cities offer some of the best views from the air and best hot air balloon experiences:

  • Rapid City: While taking flight over the Black Hills National Forest, Rapid City ballooners will  be able to enjoy a serene and unpopulated view. Included in rides around the area is the Stratobowl, a historical site where the first high altitude balloons reached the stratosphere in 1930. 
  • Hot Springs: Every august, hot air balloon enthusiasts gather for the Fall River Hot Air Balloon Festival. The festival caters to all ages and offers a variety of activities to thrill.
  • Sioux Falls: Sioux Falls is set amongst prairies and plains, allowing for unbeatable views that stretch as far as the eye can see. Every year, racers gather here to compete in the Great Plains Balloon Race. 
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South Dakota is divided into two regions; one half reliant on agriculture for its rich soil and wide open plains, and the other half more reliant on defense spending and tourism. The state was once the province of the Sioux tribe, and has seen gold rushes, railroad rushes, and was a stepping stone to the West in the early stages of the Wild West. 

Texas

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Texas is another massive state with a little bit of something for everyone. Most of the state is flat and desert-like, with a pop of lush green along the Gulf of Mexico. Rolling plains and hills make Texas a perfect place to balloon, because your sight lines are out of this world. The Plano Balloon Race and Great Texas Balloon Race are two industry events that gather some of the best in the business together each year to compete. 

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While hot air balloons are often seen as a slow and serene way to travel, they can move quite quickly and the races gather spectators from all walks of life to watch and cheer on their favorites. Hot air balloons go as fast as the wind, and in Texas the open plains allow for some impressive gusts making it a perfect place to race. The state has a rich history of agriculture, oil, cotton and timber and is considered one of the country’s most self-sufficient states, with its own power grid system. Texans often consider themselves unlike residents of any other state and as the saying goes, “everything’s bigger in Texas.”

Hot Air Ballooning

hot air balloon experiences

Every state offers ballooning, so if you’re not interested in California, Texas, or South Dakota, you’re sure to be able to find a state that does offer the vistas you’re searching for. If it’s rugged mountains you seek, Colorado has a flourishing hot air balloon industry. New England states also offer a variety of experiences, which is especially tempting if you take a trip during the breathtaking Fall season of leaf changes. 

And in Florida, a number of companies offer hot air balloon rides that will take you over the state’s hilly central spine or the stunning coastlines.

While hot air balloon adventures may not be first on the list of people who have a fear of heights, it’s a gentle and peaceful way to see the sights. A hot air balloon ride is not as expensive as a helicopter ride and stays much lower, so it has much to recommend it. If you want to simply drift among the clouds and see the world in a different way, it may be time to take flight in a beautiful balloon. 

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