Riding a hot air balloon has been high on my bucket list for many years. I recently saw photos of people on a hot air balloon over Napa Valley and knew I had to do it. I had no idea this existed so close to San Francisco! I began my research to find the best option and found Napa Valley Aloft!!
Tips Before Your Visit
- Call for weather decision 1 hour prior to check in the morning of your flight (707) 935-9880.
- Meeting location is at 5:45am at V Marketplace (6525 Washington Sreet, Yountville, CA 94599) located in Yountville. Coming from downtown San Francisco it was roughly an hour and 15 minutes with no traffic.
- Coffee and pastries are provided, which I gladly enjoyed.
- Wear appropriate clothing: casual clothing with layers to adjust weather temperatures accordingly. It gets quite warm during the flight. Pants, closed toe shoes, hats (not necessary), sunglasses and don’t forget your camera or selfie stick =)
The Balloon Ride
The morning of our flight was a bit foggy in Yountville so they advised us we will be launching in Pope Valley which is 30 minutes away by shuttle. We were separated into 5 groups of 12. Once we arrived to our destination we could see the balloons getting ready for take off! I was so excited to see the vibrant hot air balloons, I finally get to experience them for the first time! The baskets were very spacious with more then enough space to fit 13 people including the pilot.
After a few minutes we were ready for take off! We were the second balloon in the air and I was not scared one bit. Everyone right away was mesmerized by the stunning views above Napa Valley and began snapping photos left and right. The overall flight was very calm and fear did not cross my mind for a second!
If this is something you would love to experience but afraid to, I recommend doing it because I guarantee it will be worth it!
Midway through the flight, our hot air balloon flew over a small lake and our basket took a quick dip! This was a fun experience but we were all screaming as water started flowing into our baskets. It made for a good laugh though. Soon enough we began gaining altitude again and back in the clouds we went!
Over the next 30 minutes we floated through the sky. Our pilot definitely knew what he was doing and was great at making us feel comfortable. We even went as high as 3,000 feet and when looking down everything looked so far away. We spent this time relaxing and enjoying the beautiful views while watching the other balloons in the sky.
The total flight was an hour but I wish it could have gone for longer! Once we landed the crew packed up the balloons and we were on our way back to V Marketplace. If you booked a champagne brunch you will be greeted with a lovely brunch! We did not choose this option but wish I had!! We decided to have brunch across the street at Bouchon. I’m sure the champagne brunch provided by Aloft would have been a great way to end the morning as well.
My first experience riding a hot air balloon was amazing! It was a fun experience and I can’t wait to go on my next hot air balloon ride! Thank you Napa Valley Aloft for helping me check this off my bucket list and for an incredible experience!
BOOK NOW: Napa Valley Aloft
Essentials For The Ride