Each Groupon covers one person's flight, so couples, triplets, and ventriloquists need to purchase one Groupon per rider. Though pricing for the sunrise flight varies throughout the week, this Groupon is valid any day including weekends. Participants in the winery tour need to be 21+ with valid ID, and the age minimum for the sunrise flight is five years old. Both journeys lift off from Maurice Car'rie Winery in Temecula.
The staff members at Another Side Of Los Angeles Tours take an unconventional approach to sightseeing. The goal is to fashion an experience that is as much about the sights as it is about the tour itself. Sightseers glide along the surface of the sea during kayaking tours that can convert to snorkeling expeditions, hike through LA’s mountains, or steal behind-the-scenes glimpses at Warner Brothers Studios. The company’s segway tours wheel customers through downtown Los Angeles, down Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, and along the scenic shores of Santa Monica and Venice Beach like a king crab that discovered a more efficient way to move. In addition to information and adventure, the company frequently gives tour takers round-trip transportation, waives entrance fees, and serves bites to eat.
Even at 2,500 feet in the air, you may have never have felt as still as you do inside one of Skysurfer's balloons. It's quiet—"There's no noise from engines," one passenger remarked—and balloons follow the wind's lead instead of resisting it, making the colorful aircraft's motion hardly noticeable. And because there are no windows between you and the sky, as team member Kaleena Brundage says, "You can reach out and feel the clouds that you're next to."
Skysurfer's team of FAA-certified pilots, many of whom have been with the company since its inception more than 35 years ago, boast a perfect safety record. They embark on two flights daily, one around sunrise over Temecula wine country, and one at sunset in Del Mar. Each flight can accommodate up to 12 people in the balloons' roomy wicker baskets, which are large enough for each passenger to comfortably stand at the basket's side and look out over the Pacific Ocean and surrounding countryside. Pilots pour chilled champagne to celebrate the excursion, each of which lasts from 45 to 60 minutes depending on conditions and the balloon's curfew.
Across the nation, the skies are filled with giant, kaleidoscopically colored balloons languidly soaring over snowcapped peaks and green valleys. This is partly due to Balloon Rides Online, whose network of nationwide hot-air balloons paints the sky each day. Employing a FAA-approved basket and a professional pilot who has completed at least 500 flight hours, the company floats passengers over mountains, forests, and streams of caramel for one hour. While gliding with the ease of a cloud, pilots encourage guests to snap photos of sprawling landscapes and capture the moment. After landing, crew members and passengers celebrate with a champagne, mimosa or orange-juice toast—an important tradition in hot-air ballooning and preparing for inevitable hovercraft uprisings. With passengers' safety in mind, Balloon Rides Online also keeps a minimum insurance liability of $100,000 per guest.
Commercial pilots certified by the Federal Aviation Administration welcome guests to tours of Southern California aboard hot air balloons. As guests enter into sheared baskets, the pilots offer them complimentary champagne and non-alcoholic beverages before taking off. Sightseeing trips include flights over Temecula Wine Country at sunrise as well as romantic rides along the Pacific coast at sunset.
Since 1975, FAA-certified balloon pilot Dan Glick has whisked sightseers on picturesque sunrise flights over Temecula Valley wine country, packed with wining, dining, and professional photography. Each excursion feels like an occasion, with groups starting off at the Monte De Oro Winery for a preflight reception to sip and snack on coffee and mimosas before ascending through the troposphere. As the dirigible hangs over rolling vineyards, professional photographer Megan Franks captures the adventure and the debates between intellectual birds on camera, leaving floating tourists with an HD video of the launch and more than 100 photographs of the flight experience. The sky-high journeys conclude on the ground with a round of champagne and cake to celebrate the endeavor. For special occasions, Sunrise Balloons can play celebratory launch music or adorn the carriage with banners proclaiming birthdays, anniversaries, or weddings.
Sunrise Balloons also hosts tours of the vineyards they frequently fly over. As luxurious as their airborne counterparts, tours forgo the balloon for a limo party coach that escorts passengers from one stop to the next.