Ultimate Guide to a Hot Air Balloon Proposal in Napa Valley, CA

You found the love of your life, and it’s time to start planning the big proposal? First of all, congratulations! One of the first steps is to find the perfect place to pop the big question. If your girlfriend or partner loves adventure, nature, and wine — Napa Valley may just be the place! It’s been voted as one of the best romantic destinations in the US, alongside Kauai, Lanai, and Sonoma. Pair this with a mind-blowing view from a hot air balloon, and we’re sure you’ll be hearing the magic word ‘yes’! We mean, what’s a better way to propose than overlooking this view…

Aerial view of hot air balloon proposal in Napa Valley

3 tips and tricks for starting to plan your hot air balloon proposal

Let’s start with our top three tips and tricks for planning your hot air balloon proposal to help give you the extra ‘wow’ factor that your special someone will love! …not that you need that! But, you want to make sure both of you will have a phenomenal experience when you ask one of the most important questions of your life, right?

1) Fear of heights, not here

We’re assuming this goes without saying, but sometimes the excitement of planning your grand gesture makes it easy to overlook the obvious. If you aren’t 100% positive about how they feel about heights, we recommend asking before booking the hot air balloon flight. We happen to have a massive list of other unique places to propose in Wine Country. What about a 13th-century medieval Italian Tuscan castle and winery as the backdrop when you ask for your partner’s hand in marriage? We won’t go into details here, but this takes us to our next tip for your magical proposal…

2) Plan ahead

This is rule number one; make sure you plan ahead. Do you need help planning or don’t know where to start? Our passion is handcrafting exceptional experiences with the perfect blend of luxury, culinary delights, activities, and culture. We handle it all so you can enjoy being in the moment instead of worrying about the details. From private luxury vacation homes, tailor-made itineraries with curated adventures, planning flights, and ground transportation — we’re here to help guide you through the entire process from beginning to end.

3) Hire a professional photographer

Most, if not all, of the hot air balloon companies in Northern California can include a photo session with your package. We say this is a must — no matter if you personally hire a professional photographer to capture the moment or you add this to your flight plan. This way, you’ll have photos (and even video) to look back on years from now of the experience! If you don’t want to make anything seem suspicious, you can always plan to have the photographer meet you at the balloon landing site. No matter which you choose, don’t skip bringing your own camera! We’re positive you’ll be missing it if you leave it behind.


What to expect on your proposal flight

Hot air balloon rides happen in the early morning hours, typically before 7am, so plan to be up before sunrise to get to your launch location on time. If you are not an early riser, just watch the videos — it’s an enchanting and breathtaking sight to watch the sun come up over the rolling vineyards in Wine Country! Nothing else says, “I don’t want to start another day without you,” quite like watching the sun come up together.

Some of the companies include complimentary transportation with your flight package. Other offer breakfast or coffee when you arrive, before you take off. Depending on how extravagant you would like the morning hours to be, we can arrange breakfast to be prepared at your vacation rental that morning by a private chef.

So, the real question is… what happens during the flight? You should usually plan on at least 3 to 4 hours for the entire hot air balloon experience. This means from the time you get there to the time you leave. The time you’re actually in the air is ordinarily about an hour — it will really depend on wind speeds that day. You can also ask the company about any special arrangements you would like to make.


When should you propose on a hot air balloon?

Do you have a memorable date with your girlfriend or partner? Choosing an “anniversary date” is always a popular option — think about when your first date was or maybe the first time you kissed. Other traditional times for proposals are around the holidays or Valentine’s Day. You know your sweetheart better than anyone. What would he or she find appealing?

When choosing the timing of your proposal, keep in mind that the peak vacation season in the Napa Valley area is between August and October. If you will be visiting between these dates, just make sure to book your reservations well in advance. You can also learn more about when the best time to visit Wine country by following this link.


What about the weather?

We’ve already touched on this briefly, hot air balloon rides are a 100% weather-dependent activity. Meaning there is the chance your flight could get canceled due to inclement weather — like rain, dense fog, or high winds. Situations like this make for unsafe flying conditions, so it’s also important to be flexible if needed.

We’ve found the safest approach is to book your balloon ride towards the beginning of your Wine Country getaway so you can reschedule as needed without agonizing about the “what-ifs.”

Most hot air balloon companies throughout the Napa Valley region will call you first thing in the morning to let you know your ride will be canceled for that day. The majority of them will also allow you to rebook for the next day. Make sure to ask them what their cancelation policy is before you book. If you choose for us to help you plan your proposal, this is something we will let you know about before booking the flight.


Where to stay in Napa Valley

You have many different options when it comes to accommodations in and around Napa Valley! Imagine soaking in vineyard views from your secluded private pool and then whisking your beloved away for a hot air balloon ride.

Our private luxury vacation rentals are moments away from the hot air balloon launch sites, the top wineries in the world, and other activities you won’t want to miss while you’re here. You can browse through some of our Wine Country vacation homes on our website. If you don’t see a property that meets what you’ve been dreaming of or doesn’t have the date you’re looking for, we also have access to other exclusive vacation homes in Napa that aren’t currently listed. You can learn more about these luxury home rentals by either contacting us directly or filling out our trip request form.

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Where to book a balloon ride in Napa and Sonoma +

There are multiple hot air balloon companies in the Napa Valley and Sonoma regions that offer private rides for two that would be perfect for the occasion! All three companies provide hot air balloon rides throughout the Wine Country:

Napa Valley Aloft

Voted USA Today’s #1 Best Hot Air Balloon Company and known for their intimate balloon rides, Aloft typically launch from Yountville at V Marketplace. However, they also have access to a second location in Pope Valley for those interested. Learn more on their website: https://nvaloft.com.

Balloons Above the Valley

Balloons Above the Valley has been recognized as one of the leading hot air balloon aviation companies in America since its founding in 1976. They typically launch from downtown Napa Valley at Oxbow Public Market — right off the Napa River. Please contact them directly for rates. You can visit their website by following this link: https://balloonrides.com.

Napa Valley Balloons, Inc.

Founded in 1980, Napa Valley Balloons was one of the first hot air balloon companies in Napa to offer commercial flights for guests. If you want to launch from an actual winery, this is the pick for you! They have multiple launch locations throughout Wine County — from Napa Valley and Sonoma County to Healdsburg and Calistoga. Cost varies by location, with rates starting at $2160 for a private flight for two. Learn more on their website: https://napavalleyballoons.com


What to do in Napa Valley after you’re officially engaged?

We’re sure you’ll both be grinning from ear to ear after your hot air balloon proposal. But, the magical moments don’t need to stop there! Go for a personalized wine tasting tour curated by our sommelier, indulge in a private couples massage, or enjoy a dinner in your vacation rental prepared by a 5-star chef. No matter what you and your sweetheart (now fiancé) love to do, there’s something for everyone in Napa!

Want to learn more about our concierge services and how you can enhance your stay, or would you like for us to prepare a customized itinerary for you? We’d love to help you start planning the proposal of a lifetime! Either fill out the trip request form to get started or give us a call.


Tropical island paradise more up your alley?

You may remember we mentioned that Kauai and Lanai have also been voted one of the best romantic getaway destinations in the United States. If this sounds like you and your partner, we happen to offer travel services throughout the Hawaiian Islands too — including helping you plan your hot air balloon proposal.

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