Sportations connects amateur adrenaline jockeys to certified professional adventurers, drawing from a nationwide network of aeronauts and speed demons to introduce habitual pedestrians to the wonders of skydiving, ballooning, hang gliding, and stock-car racing. Thrill seekers can zipline across a forest canopy, hollering like Tarzan or taunting nearby birds until they agree to race. Helicopter tours ferry patrons skyward over landmarks and cityscapes, whereas paragliding adventures get up close and personal with blue skies and clouds. For most sports, Sportations accommodates groups of any size, from physics classes empirically proving gravity's existence to solo ballooning supervillains declaring dominion over all they see.
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.
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.