Visiting Napa itself was definitely a bucket list item, but riding in a hot air balloon above Napa Valley was getting two for one. When I visited Napa Valley for the first time I was eighteen and I had no problem finding plenty of amazing things to do even though I could not actually drink wine, and riding in a hot air balloon was one of them. The balloon ride was through the company Napa Valley Balloons, Inc and I highly recommend them.
Thing to Know About Hot Air Balloon Rides in Napa Valley:
- At least for this specific company you have to wake up pretty early. We were awake way before the sun was up.
- The company provides early morning snacks, such as coffee, juice, and pastries, before the ride, and then after the balloon ride they provide brunch at the Domaine Chandon’s restaurant Etoile.
- I’m not one that gets scared off by heights, but for the balloon ride I was a little nervous. However, I was surprised at how safe and calm I felt in the basket so high in the sky. It was much sturdier and bigger than I had imagined.
- Throughout the entire ride you have to stand up, so be aware if that seems to difficult for you.
- Currently California is experiencing a drought, so there are dry spots in some areas instead of the consistent greenery you might expect. However, the view was still spectacular.
- The views are amazing and it is a most do, if you can, while in the Napa Valley area.
The photos below include shots of the grounds at the Domaine Chandon, the hot air balloon, and images from the view in the sky: