History of Hot Air Balloon Rides

There are few things as romantic as a hot air balloon ride over the lush vineyards of the Napa Valley. The hot air balloon industry in Napa Valley began in the 1970s and has grown steadily over the past few decades. The industry has expanded due, in part, to the favorable weather conditions that make Napa Valley hot air balloon rides a year-round possibility. Often-times paired with a winery tour or a champagne reception, these tours provide a breathtaking view of the Napa Valley landscape and offer a unique way to experience Napa Valley wine country.

The hot air balloon industry began in Napa Valley in the 1970s with a handful of hot air balloon companies. As the number of wineries increased so did the number of companies offering Napa Valley hot air balloon rides. Today, Napa Valley boasts one of the highest concentrations of hot air balloon tour operators in the country.

A typical hot air balloon Napa Valley ride will begin just before sunrise with a pre-flight breakfast while the pilot prepares the balloon for flight. Balloon size ranges from baskets accommodating four passengers to ones that accommodate almost 20 passengers. Hot air balloon rides typically last about one hour. There is a nice variety of tours available. Some balloon tours center around the scenic Napa Valley and its wineries while other balloon companies offer a more rural tour which includes floating over wineries, Old Faithful Geyser, the Palisade Cliffs and Mount St. Helena, the tallest mountain in the Napa Valley. Many of the hot air balloon Napa tour companies have been in operation for decades and one of the highlights of a balloon ride is the balloon pilot’s ability to point out local landmarks and wineries and provide interesting historical tidbits about the Valley.

The Napa Valley hot air balloon industry has grown over the past few decades keeping pace with the growth in popularity of Napa Valley wine tours. These rides provide a unique complement to a driving tour of the valley as you serenely float above the beautiful landscape and take in the wineries and natural vistas that make Napa Valley such a popular destination. There are many options and hot air balloon rides Napa deals to explore.