Know Before You Go!Did you know a hot air balloon Napa ride may actually be further away from your Napa Valley hotel or even San Francisco lodging than you think? While some individuals plan their Napa Valley tours and excursions in advance, many others find themselves online searching for popular attractions such as “best Napa wineries near me” or “hot air balloon ride near me” once they’re in town. If you’ve ever done online searches like that while you’re at your vacation destination, you’ve seen an overwhelming number of options pop up.
When it comes to a hot air balloon ride, be sure to research where the actual meeting location is. So many guests visiting Napa have discovered that a drive to hot air balloon Sonoma Valley is just as close to their Napa hotel or Napa vacation rental. Or for those staying in San Francisco, Sonoma Ballooning is actually the closet to them. Save 20 vacation minutes each way! Take a look at where Sonoma Ballooning’s meeting location is compared to Napa Valley balloon locations (where the majority of Napa hot air balloon companies meet). It’s basically the same distance from downtown Napa! Or, if you happen to be coming from American Canyon, The Meritage Resort and Spa or the Carneros Resort and Spa, for example, Sonoma Ballooning is closer.
- Views of Carneros: For those who don’t know, this is the gateway between Napa to Sonoma and is the only AVA in the country that spans over two counties. AVA stands for American Viticultural Area. You won’t find these kinds of views anywhere else and this is an amazing wine making region known for its Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grape varietals.
- Flying over in Sonoma, on a spectacularly clear day, you might catch parts of the San Francisco skyline from a distance, including the Sales Force tower. Sometimes the Golden Gate can even be seen from afar, tucked behind the fog. This is pretty unique because there is no option to hot air balloon San Francisco.
- Guests have also spotted Mt. Diablo from a distance, which is located in the east bay region, a rare sight from wine country, and also many other mountain regions that span over in Sonoma and Napa counties. Your pilot will happily point those out while going over some fun facts and/or history of the region(s)!
- Sonoma Valley is actually the birthplace of California wine thanks to Buena Vista winery, California’s oldest commercial winery, and Gundlach Bundschu winery, California’s oldest family-run winery! Both are a more convenient drive when you’re already in Sonoma.
- Buildings and neighborhoods are more sparse/less packed in Sonoma, making for more scenic views! Some buildings around Sonoma Skypark (Sonoma Ballooning’s meeting and main launch location) have interesting stories behind them and a vineyard is located right near the runway, which is delightful. You’ll have a wide variety of views from wineries to historic downtown Sonoma and farmland sprinkled in between vineyards. Even a farm animal rescue sanctuary called Charlie’s Acres with whom Sonoma Ballooning has a package with can be seen from up above.
- Your sunrise air balloon experience is topped off with a champagne toast celebration post-flight, and the bubbles that are served come from a local Sonoma winery.
*Keep in mind your flight may differ from some of the above highlights because you float with the winds. Because of this, no two flight experiences are 100% the same, but that’s why it’s called an adventure! Don’t forget, reservations are required in advance.