If you've ever tried to beat rush-hour traffic by tethering your car with helium-filled balloons, then you know that hot-air flight should be left to the professionals. The Federal Aviation Administration–certified pilots at Sky Drifters Hot Air Ballooning embark on journeys from the Sierra Nevada foothills daily, and their company has been named one of the 10Best attractions in Sacramento. Whether piloting a small group or private flight, the balloon captains show passengers a bird’s-eye view of the rolling hills, winding rivers and finely crafted comb-overs whose majesty can only be truly appreciated from above. Their aerial transports also play host to weddings in the sky and can provide a lift to those who enjoy BASE jumping from the clouds.
Aerostat Adventures' owner, Bob Barbarick, started flying back in 1977 and has flown more than 5,500 hours since. Bob channels his love of flight into private balloon voyages, which sail 1,000–3,000 feet above wine-growing regions such as the Dry Creek Valley, Chalk Hill, and Russian River. As passengers take in views of the earth below or finally settle arguments over which Beatle that one cloud is shaped like, they can also chat with their pilot about ballooning or the balloons themselves, which were all custom crafted by Cameron Balloons.