For hot air balloon enthusiasts, nothing the beats the feeling of soaring high above the ground on a sunny day, marveling at the landscape below. Across the United States, there are numerous places where you can enjoy the glorious freedom of a balloon ride. Some of the country’s most stunning scenery is found in the locations listed below, yet these are just a few of our favorites. From balloon rides in Los Angeles, to sunset glides across Taos, NM, there’s no limit to the beautiful views you will encounter when you hot air balloon anywhere in North America and the United States.
Unforgettable Balloon rides in Los Angeles, California
Generally speaking, the climate in LA is nothing if not agreeable, therefore most operators are available year-round to deliver incredible balloon rides in Los Angeles. Participants will be able to spot a familiar landmark or two but the natural scenery is equally if not more so impressive. You’ll be able to see crystal beaches and waterways, lush mountainscapes, orange groves and the palms that line canyon boulevard and tower over everything the light falls upon.
Hot air ballooning over Poteau, Oklahoma
The gorgeous landscape of Oklahoma makes it a perfect destination for a hot air balloon ride. With its breathtaking countryside and farmland, Poteau is a favorite among ballooning fans. In October, the area hosts the annual Poteau Balloon Fest, which features hot air balloons, tethered balloon rides, arts and crafts, games, food, carnival rides and a mud pit race.
Glides across Taos, New Mexico
Taos, known as one of the world’s prettiest mountain towns, is home to the Taos Mountain Balloon Rally in October. The event, held when the trees turn a stunning shade of orange, red, amber and yellow, showcases dozens of colorful hot air balloons, as well as mass ascensions in the morning, balloon glows in the evening, a parade and a grand ball. Vendors are on hand with food and crafts.
See the sites from a hot air balloon in Estes Park, Colorado
In Estes Park, CO, visitors can enjoy hot air balloon rides over the majestic Rocky Mountains, while taking in the splendid rugged peaks and forests of the Trail Ridge Road. The glorious valleys, home to wildlife such as elks and bears, are a sight to behold. Balloon rides in Estes Park are the perfect introduction to the sights tourists will see from the ground as they hike through the serene rolling Colorado plains.
Indulge in the scenery from above on a balloon flight in Napa Valley, California
Wine enthusiasts will enjoy the view from the skies of the Napa Valley while sipping on a drink. The countless vineyards and serene weather conditions make the valley an ideal location for a hot air balloon ride. The Sonoma County Hot Air Balloon Classic held in June is a chance to see balloon launches, take tethered rides and support local charities. The Dawn Patrol 5:00 a.m. launches before daybreak is a breathtaking sight in the darkened sky. The event also features food, live music, and crafts vendors.
Scenic hot air ballooning over Elkin, North Carolina
Elkin, NC, just two hours north of Charlotte, offers unspoiled surroundings and a charming small town atmosphere. Fifteen minutes south of Stone Mountain State Park and its location along the Yadkin River, as well as its mild weather and pristine air, make Elkin an enviable spot for a hot air balloon ride. There are also abundant vineyards in the Yadkin Valley, which holds the annual Yadkin Valley Wine Festival in May.
Catch sight of the stunning vistas afforded on hot air balloons over Monterey, California
Monterey, CA, a picturesque, seaside town is an ideal spot for a romantic getaway, which makes it the perfect setting for a hot air balloon ride. Located on the central coast of California, Monterey temperatures range from the low 70s in the summer and high 50s in the winter. From the sky, balloon rides offer views of the historic Fisherman’s Wharf, the Monterey Bay Aquarium, the Del Monte Forest, Cannery Row, and Lake Estero Park, as well as the numerous beaches along the Pacific Ocean.
View Barnard, Vermont from the skies in a hot air balloon
Barnard, VT, a small town in Windsor County, features several hot air balloon companies that allow visitors to experience the magic of Silver Lake State Park, which encompasses the northern shoreline of Silver Lake. The area is also home to rolling hills and stunning farmland. Nearby in Quechee, the Annual Hot Air Balloon Craft and Music Festival, the longest running balloon festival in New England, takes place in June and features music and entertainment, as well as a food festival with a beer and wine garden.
Rivers and more on hot air balloon adventures in Westport, Massachusetts
Near Cape Cod, Newport and Buzzards Bay, you will find the town of Westport, MA, a quaint hamlet with a dock on the Westport River. Hot air balloon enthusiasts can admire the Watuppa Ponds along the Fall River border and Westport Harbor, where two branches of the Westport River empty into Buzzards Bay. Balloon riders will also see Acoaxet, a coastal zone, which is inaccessible by land, except Rhode Island.
Catch a peek at dolphins and beaches from the air while ballooning Amelia Island, Florida
Amelia Island, off the coast of Florida, is a prime spot for a hot air balloon ride. Located on the southernmost point of the Sea Islands, a chain of barrier islands along the east coast from South Carolina to Florida, Amelia Island offers spectacular views of Fernandina Beach and Amelia City, as well as the numerous golf courses on the island, including the Long Point Course, the Oak Marsh Course and the Ocean Links Course.
Take off on a journey through the blue skies of Jefferson, Texas
The historic town of Jefferson, TX, in Marion County, features attractions such as Gould’s Railroad, the Sterne Fountain, Jefferson Carnegie Library, Excelsior House, the Four Seasons House, and the bayous formed by Big Cypress Bayou. With its hot and humid summers, one of the best ways to escape the heat and enjoy the landscape is on a hot air balloon ride.
So, if you happen to be at a loss of activities this year while on vacation or if you live nearby any of these destinations, gather your friends and family around and take off on adventures through the sky on balloon rides in Los Angeles and beyond.