Up, Up, and Away

Look, up in the sky! It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s … a hot air balloon. Adventures Out West, a Colorado-based company, recently expanded its operations to the Santa Ynez Valley, and they are offering flights daily at sunrise, weather permitting. Passengers meet the balloon pilot and two crewmembers at dawn in Los Olivos before heading to the launch site, which is determined each morning based on the wind direction. The balloon can carry as many as 12 guests at a time and most flights consist of low- altitude contour flying and high-altitude sight-seeing. After the flight, a continental breakfast is served in the field where the balloon lands. The cost is $250 per guest, although Internet specials and other discounts are available for locals, tourism professionals, retired folk, and others. For reservations, call (800) 755-0935 or visit

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