Must-Try Hot Air Balloon Spots
The best time of year to take that hot air balloon ride you’ve been thinking about is between April and October.
In other words, right now is the sweet spot for that next adventure on your bucket list.
Why between April and October? For one, it’s a lot more comfortable to fly with blue skies, mild breezes, and no rain.
Also, the temperature you feel on the ground will be higher than the one up in the air, so just think about what that December chill might feel like up to 3,000 feet up.
Comfort aside, the other issue with waiting till the late fall and winter months is that you might not even be able to fly at all. If it’s too windy or too rainy, hot air balloon companies simply won’t operate.
So, rather than wait and risk it, why not strike now while the summer’s hot for your high-flying (or is it more of a high-floating) adventure?
To help inspire you, we’ve gathered a few of the must-try hot air balloon spots from around the US.
Where To Try Hot Air Balloons In The US
Albuquerque, New Mexico - On Planetware’s round-up of internationally renowned hot air balloon spots, the top spots go to places you might expect like Turkey and Tanzania. The first American spot on the list? Albuquerque, home of the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta in October. Even if you don’t make it to see the sights of hundreds of balloons ascending at once, the mountains, desert, and colors of the New Mexico desert are worth a visit.
Southern California - If you’re in the area, why not opt for a two-for-one hot air balloon adventure? Make San Diego your first stop for a beautiful tour of beaches, skyline, and distant mountains. Time it right (and with a little bit of luck) and you just might end your tour with a clear Pacific sunset. Follow it up with a trip up north in Temecula (a whopping 55 minutes) for stunning views of the region’s iconic vineyards.
Letchworth State Park, New York - For a verdant, lush hot air balloon tour, head toward upstate New York. Sporting the nickname “Grand Canyon of the East,” this is a ride that’ll have you enjoying gorgeous views of gorges as you’re guided over three waterfalls.
Winter Park, Colorado - As Colorado residents, we need to shout out the hot air balloon rides that take you up around the Rocky Mountains. With views of snow-covered mountains up to 100 miles away and the Fraser River below, this is certainly one of the most epic views you’ll get in the US.
- Teton Valley, Idaho - Whether you make it for the Teton Valley Balloon Rally or just to enjoy the landscapes, this is another beautiful place for hot air balloon rides. Set near Yellowstone National Park and Grand Teton National Park, this is a dream setting for any nature enthusiast.
Though these spots are great throughout much of the summer, many of them have specific dates for their own hot air balloon festivals, too. Plan your trip around a festival for an amazing long weekend for the whole family, and a summer moment they’ll be sure to remember.