There’s not much wine tasting to be done at sunrise in Napa, but that doesn’t mean that adventurous visitors need to stay tucked in bed until the tasting rooms open. If you are ok with heights, then a hot air balloon ride over Napa Valley may be one of the most picturesque flights you’ll ever take.
Why so early? Part of the challenge of a balloon ride is that your flight path is at the mercy of the thermal winds, which can push you in all directions. These winds are calmest in the morning, just after sunrise, so that dictates the takeoff time. In the right conditions, you may have the opportunity to do some low flying approximately 15 feet above the vines.
Flights typically go from north to south over the vineyards and parks. You’ll see quite a few other balloons up in the air at the same time, adding to the gorgeous backdrop of the valley. We flew with Napa Valley Drifters, which limits group sizes to only six people per balloon, at $205/person. For a taste, check out this video footage of the flight.
Have you been ballooning? Tell us about it below.
Photo Credit: Ali Hamdany