Want to soar over the Sunshine State in a hot air balloon? Here’s how.

Want to Soar Over the Sunshine State in a Hot Air Balloon? Here’s How.

Photo courtesy of Canva

By Cynthia De Saint

January 31, 2024

Dream of floating among the clouds?  Any one of these balloon ride companies across the Sunshine State can take you “up, up, and away.”

If you like the oldies, then you probably remember these lyrics from the 5th Dimension’s 1967 hit “Up, Up and Away.” 

“We could float among the stars together, you and I/ For we can fly, we can fly/ Up, up and away/ In my beautiful balloon…”

And if you’re like most people, the idea of gently floating among the clouds seems like a nice way to leave all your cares on terra firma—at least for a while. Maybe the idea of actually carrying through on his dream by riding in a hot air balloon never came up, or you simply filed it under “Bucket List” and kept life moving. 

If you live in Florida, it turns out there are plenty of options to make that dream come true. To prove it, we’ve put together a list of balloon ride companies across the Sunshine State that can take you “up, up and away.”

However, a word before you embark on your adventure: Please make sure that any company you choose is properly licensed and is up to date on all the safety regulations, standards, and certifications. Also, as any expert will tell you, always be aware of the weather conditions—both in the present and forecasted for the near future. Flying is fun, but hot air balloon safety comes first. 

Balloon Over Miami

Miami

They call Miami the Magic City, and it’s not for nothing that Florida’s most populous area attracts tourists from all over the world. The warm waters and white sands of its gorgeous beaches, the relaxed vibe of the Florida Keys, and the peninsula’s lush greenery captivate even the most sophisticated urbanite. 

Ever wonder what it’s like to experience it all from above? Well wonder no more. Balloon Over Miami lets you soar above south Florida to take in the incredible views of the Miami skyline with its gleaming skyscrapers next to the ocean, the azure waters of Key Biscayne, and the majesty of the Everglades. 

To ensure that your flight among the clouds is as peaceful and magical as you’ve dreamed, visitors will be provided with a detailed pre-flight briefing to include all aspects of the ballooning experience. 

Post-flight, the family-oriented experience includes a champagne celebration—a tradition that dates back to the first manned balloon flight in 1783—and some light food.  

A Hot Air Balloon Ride

Saint Augustine

This company may not have the most user-friendly website in the world, but award-winning pilot David Fuller II isn’t here to build you a nice homepage, he’s here to give you an experience. 

You will meet with the team an hour before sunrise in the World Golf Village area of beautiful Saint Augustine, the oldest continuously occupied settlement of European and African-American origin in the United States

Depending on the wind and weather that day, a site for the launch will be chosen and a company vehicle will drive you to the launch site. There you will be welcomed to help the crew inflate the balloon or, if you prefer to leave the heavy lifting to others, you can take pictures and simply enjoy the sights.  

Flights last between 30 minutes and an hour, during which, as the company explains it, you become “part of the wind, almost not even realizing you are moving … drifting gracefully above the terrain where peace and tranquility reign as you float over the treetops.”

After the balloon lands and everything is packed away, you will enjoy some bubbly (or other special nonalcoholic drink) in a field nearby. The whole adventure generally lasts two to three hours, but the memories last a lifetime.  

Aerophile

Disney Springs, Orlando

Aerophile’s beautiful blue orb is the world’s largest hand-painted helium balloon specifically designed and constructed to feature the silhouettes of some of the most recognizable Disney characters as their recognizable features soar through the air in some form (Mickey Mouse’s ears are likely the best example). 

Custom-built for Disney by Paris-based company Aérophile S.A., the helium-filled Aéro30 ascends to heights of up to 400 feet. Once aloft, you will soar sky-high during a thrilling eight-minute tethered adventure. On clear days you will be able to enjoy stunning panoramic vistas that stretch up to 10 miles away. 

The balloon’s basket holds 29 people plus one Aérophile-certified pilot. 

Bob’s Balloons

Orlando/Davenport

How would you love to celebrate a special occasion among the clouds? Imagine peacefully drifting above the treetops as dawn breaks. It’s an experience that can make a birthday, engagement, or anniversary even more special and unique. You couldn’t forget it if you tried, however, as the company hands out mementos after each flight.

What makes Bob’s Balloons special is that they work to customize each flight for the rider. Heck, under suitable circumstances, they might even take off from your home for a free fly (that’s a term in hot air balloon flight, it’s not free of cost). Bear in mind, however, that safety comes first and the exact locations of your takeoff and landing will be determined by the wind direction at the time of flight. 

Bob’s Balloons works events, so if you’d like a hot air balloon in your backyard or parking lot (and hey, who wouldn’t?), they can tether it down and do captive flights.

 

READ MORE: 4 Family-Friendly Florida Vacation Spots to Visit on a Budget

 

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CATEGORIES: COMMUNITY | THINGS TO DO

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