Wine Country Balloon Rides

Thought those vineyards looked beautiful from the highway? Try the view from a thousand feet up, serenely drifting along with the wind, the only sound the occasional roar of the burners overhead.

Many companies organize hot-air-ballooning trips over Napa and Sonoma, offering rides that usually cost between $200 and $250 per person for a one-hour flight, which typically includes brunch or lunch afterward. If you were hoping for the ultimate in romance—a flight with no one else but your sweetie (and an FAA-approved pilot) on board—be prepared to shell out two to four times as much.

Flights typically take off at the crack of dawn, when winds are the lightest, so be prepared to make an early start and dress in layers. Flights are dependent on weather, and if there's rain or too much fog, expect to be grounded. Hotels can hook you up with nearby companies, some of which will pick you up at your lodgings.

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