Hot-air balloons give you the chance to ride around in a basket even if you can’t cram yourself in the one on a little girl’s bike without messing up her balance. Get carried away with this Groupon.
- $195 for a hot-air balloon ride (a $255 value)
- Ride includes in-flight champagne
Groups are driven to a launch point that’s chosen in real time based on wind directions. The three-hour excursion begins with a briefing on what to expect during the flight. The actual flight takes place at sunset and lasts anywhere from 45 to 60 minutes, during which time passengers sip on chilled champagne as they look out over the Pacific Ocean. Afterward, each person receives a first-flight certificate and is driven back to the original meeting point.
Skysurfer Balloon Company Inc.
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 8-16 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.