For most people, taking a ride in a hot air balloon is one of those “bucket list” items, a lifelong dream. What most people don’t know, however, is that being able to hitch a ride in a hot air balloon is actually a lot easier than you think.
And, regardless if you’re an old pro at hot air balloons or have always wanted to give them a shot, you’re in luck. There are a number of amazing hot air balloon festivals that happen each year across the U.S.
Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta
Perhaps the most famous of the hot air balloon festivals in the U.S. is the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. Taking place every October, it lasts for a week and features a number of events besides balloon rides like flying competitions, races, and fireworks.
The Great Texas Balloon Race
Held every July in Longview, Texas, the Great Texas Balloon Race lives up to its name! The event features a number of world class balloon pilots who put on quite the show for festival goers who want to see these balloons up close and personal. The event also has music and food vendors.
Sonoma County Hot Air Balloon Classic
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Napa Valley is already well known as a prime destination for year round balloon rides, so it shouldn’t be surprising they have their own popular festival as well. The Sonoma County Hot Air Balloon Classic takes place every June and features crafts and food vendors as well.
Stoweflake Hot Air Balloon Festival
When you think of Vermont, most people think of snow, but there are tons of outdoor activities to enjoy each summer including the Stoweflake Hot Air Balloon Festival. The festival is great for families with tons of children’s events plus live music, beer, wine, and food tents for the adults.
New Jersey Festival of Ballooning
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If you’re looking for one of the bigger hot air balloon festivals across the country, you can’t go wrong with the New Jersey Festival of Ballooning. At the festival you’ll find over 100 balloons, live music, fireworks, craft vendors, and balloon rides for participants.
National Balloon Classic
For over forty years hot air balloon enthusiasts have been headed to Indianola, Iowa for the National Balloon Classic each late July or early August. They feature over 100 different types of balloons, fireworks, food vendors, live music, and the popular nite glow extravaganza.
The Adirondack Balloon Festival
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What could be better than the beautiful fall foliage of Upstate New York in the fall? Adding hot air balloons to it! That’s what you’ll find at the Adirondack Balloon Festival each September. Featuring up to 100 different balloons you’ll see fireworks, art shows, and the moon glow event.
These are just a handful of the hot air balloon festivals you’ll find across the country, but many consider these seven the best you’ll see out there! If you’ve been dying to watch hot air balloons up close, make a trip to one of these events this year!