The staff members at Another Side Of San Diego 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 take to the air during helicopter tours, hot air balloon tours, and biking tours with optional ETs. The company’s segway tours wheel saunterers through Mission Bay or the Gaslamp Quarter and the Embarcadero at sunset, when San Diego twinkles and teenage werewolves cycle through awkward states of half-transformation. 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.
So Cal Ballooning drifts above it all with hot air balloon rides that send people soaring in the air, supported by a colorful balloon and a basket. Excursions sweep over the countryside, mountains, and lakes, giving riders a view from hundreds of feet in the air with the option for a champagne brunch back on the ground.
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.