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.
It's a clear day, the blue sky stretching on into the distant horizon. Over a nearby hill, a strange shape appears. Round and colorful, it floats serenely, leaving viewers on the ground to wonder if they've somehow stepped into Around the World in 80 Days. This isn't science fiction, of course. It's just another day for the operators at California Balloon Rides. Since 1975, they've maintained one of southern California's finest hot air balloon fleets. Using a mixture of time-tested know-how and modern aerostatic innovations, they lead breathtaking tours over the rolling hills of Perris-Temecula Valley. Trips are leisurely affairs, with pre-flight snacks and celebratory post-flight champagne toasts along with breakfast at the airport cafe, adding extra bits of luxury to already memorable outings.
Whether soaring in a hot air balloon or freefalling on a skydive, you’re guaranteed picturesque aerial views at Above the Rest Hot Air Ballooning & Skydiving. On 45–60 minute hot-air-balloon rides, an experienced pilot and up to 10 passengers glide above the earth in a wicker basket, propelled by wind and an occasional flock of friendly geese.
In 1782 the Montgolfier brothers launched their first hot air balloon into the sky, where it rose to great heights before exploding. More changes were made—and promises to their father they would not personally fly in it—before they made their next attempt. A year later, three unlikely substitutes boarded the silk balloon: a sheep, a duck, and a chicken. The flight, witnessed by King Louis XVI, was a success, and the passengers returned safely. From that point on, countless inventors would make modifications until hot air ballooning became the safe and scenic trip it is today.
California Balloon Rides continues the tradition in balloon rides over Temecula, Perris, Del Mar and Palm Springs. Passengers simply show up at the designated time—typically early morning—and help prepare the balloon and basket, then sit back and enjoy the trip above the beautiful Southern California landscape. A “chase crew” picks clients up at the end of the flight and returns them to the launch site for a champagne toast.
The staff at Adventure Balloon Rides does more than merely steer giant balloons through the sky. As 38-year veterans of the industry and aerostatic technology experts, they also consult for NASA, certify future pilots in their training school, and even make movies and commercials with the help of their in-house special-effects team. For example, they contributed their skills to episodes of Portlandia.
They built their business around sharing their love for flying, though, which is something they still do every day if the weather permits. Their signature flight includes an opportunity to help set up and inflate a balloon before soaring over stunning Californian vistas. After the journey, a champagne toast concludes the trip before they take their guests to the Bomb Shelter Cafe for a full breakfast.
Eureka is a fitting name for Airship Venture's 246-foot-long zeppelin, an astounding aeronautical innovation. Longer than a Boeing 747, the gentle behemoth takes to the skies after filling its hull with nonflammable helium gas. The great ship is run by husband-and-wife team Brian and Alex Hall, who channeled their entrepreneurial spirit and love of aeronautics into the US's first and only zeppelin. The airship soars over San Francisco regularly on tours of the city and surrounding area, and can even do long-distance flights to Los Angeles, the Sonoma Valley, or Never Never Land. Intrigued passengers can also take the ground tour to see the zeppelin and its inner workings up close.