Article •  Yountville, California, USA

Floating 3000ft Above The Vineyards Of Napa Valley

Last Updated On: September 18, 2020


Imagine floating gently above the rolling vineyards of Napa, watching the first light of morning cover the valley like a veil. Slowly but surely, you sail through the air. No set course. No set destination. Just you, the views and the wind to guide you. We pulled into the parking lot in Yountville at 5:30 am sharp and watched as the setup dance ensued. Trucks unloaded propane tanks and large wicker baskets. The crew quickly unrolled a deflated balloon stretching the length of a semi-truck. Definitely not a balloon you would want to try and blow up yourself. Large fans whirled to life, slowly inflating the canopy. Then came the fire. Just like an injection of helium, it brought the balloon to an upright and full position. This was our second time being lifted off the earth by a hot air balloon, but it was just as exciting. The blare of the burner cut through the silence and we were propelled into the air. Holding onto the edge of the wicker basket, we raced the rising sun into the sky, easily overcoming it in a few short seconds. The vineyards of Napa Valley looked quite magical from 3000ft up, especially with the warm sun rays of morning illuminating grapevines green. It was only yesterday when we meandered through the vines closely admiring the ripening grapes. Now rows upon rows of vineyards stretched for miles before our eyes, giving us an entirely new perspective of Napa Valley's picturesque landscape. There is an art to flying a hot air balloon. Unlike other forms of flight, in a hot air balloon, you can only control up and down but have to rely on the wind to carry you left and right, forward and back. You go where the wind takes you. Our pilot looked out for subtle cues as we slowly drifted through the sky. The direction of the dust coming off a tractor below, the movement of the trees, and the path of other balloons in the air. For an hour we floated south, basking in the 360 views of Yountville’s iconic landscape. We could see Mount St. Helena and the Mayacamas Mountain Range to the north and the sculptured terrain of the Vaca Range to the east. What a memorable experience. Should you find yourself planning an escape to Napa Valley, make sure to stop by in Yountville and add a hot air balloon ride to your itinerary with Napa Valley Aloft.

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How to book your hot air balloon ride

If you aren't afraid of heights then booking a hot air balloon ride is highly recommended. We soared the skies with Napa Valley Aloft, one of the first hot air balloon companies in all of Napa Valley. Located in the historic Yountville Estate, Napa Valley Aloft is the only company allowed to fly over Yountville’s iconic landscape. In addition, they offer a much more intimate experience because they fly with fewer passengers giving more space to enjoying the spectacular views of Napa Valley.


Duration:

~1 Hour

Location:

Yountville, CA

Price

$235 & up


Where to stay in Yountville

Yountville is not short on accommodations. From the European inspired North Block Hotel to the zen atmosphere of Bardessono, you have a wide variety to choose from. You will find some of our favorites below.


Boutique Hotel

The North Block Hotel

This property has been voted No.1 Hotel Resort in California for the second year in a row by Travel + Leisure's World's Best Awards and for good reason. Located in the “North Block” of Yountville bask in its Mediterranean flair amongst elegant and cozy rooms while enjoying outstanding customer service.


Boutique Hotel

Hotel Yountville

Imagine taking a nice hot bath in the oversized sunken tub or laying in the comfort of your four-poster bed, reminiscing about your day with a glass of wine in hand. This all-suite luxury hotel is the best of both worlds being surrounded by miles of vineyards as well as walking distance to all the attractions of Yountville.


Boutique Hotel

Bardessono Hotel

With its eclectic gardens, an onsite spa, a rooftop pool and fine dining, this is a place of rejuvenation. Just in case you do want to go out on the town, you are a very short walk from downtown Yountville.


Boutique Hotel

Vintage House

This French-inspired manor property is right on the main drag of Yountville and offers 80 bungalow-style suites with private patios & balconies to enjoy the sunrise as well as wood-burning fireplaces for romantic evenings.


Resort & Spa

Carneros Resort and Spa

The resort is about 20 minutes south of Yountville. Nestled on 28 acres surrounded by picturesque rolling vineyards, the property boasts 86 suites, multiple gourmet restaurants, and an award-winning spa.


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Yountville: A Guide About Where To Stay, Wine and Dine | Bare Escape
Yountville: A Guide About Where To Stay, Wine and Dine | Bare Escape
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