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Nothing is more breathtaking than a panoramic view of New York City's landscape. In recent years, hot air balloon rides have become increasingly popular, with thousands of tourists seeking a brand-new perspective of New York from a bird's eye view. Hot Air Balloon rides hover hundreds of feet above beautiful lakes, hills, valleys, lush greenery, and sometimes exotic wildlife.

Balloon rides are ideal for fun outdoor activities like birthday parties, weddings, anniversaries, balloon festivals, and other special occasions. Hot air ballooning can be love-at-first-sight for many tourists, and the following are top-rated tours that ensure a breathtaking experience of New York from above.

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Above All Balloon Rides

As an experienced hot air balloon company in New York, Above All Balloon Rides takes air travel to a new level. From a sky view, soaring next to birds of prey, tourists can observe all types of wildlife like deer in Highland Forest. Travelers can also choose to glide over the hills or float over waterfalls for an adrenaline-packed experience. What's more, tourists are welcome to participate fully in the balloon inflation pre-flight.

Related: 10 Must-See Aerial Views You Can Only Get In A Hot Air Balloon Ride

Above All Balloon Rides can last between three and four hours, where tourists soar over the Syracuse area, Central New York, and Cazenovia area. Before the tour, travelers are briefed with pre-flight information that enhances a balance of maximum safety and fun throughout the air ride.

Ballooning begins at sunrise, as this is the time the winds are calmest. However, the timeframe is not negotiable due to fixed schedules within the daylight window. Besides hot air balloon rides, the company offers other services and activities such as tethered balloon rides, balloon walks, and static balloon displays.

  • Launch Locations: Enders Road, Highland Forest, Jamesville Beach, and Cazenovia Area
  • Prices: $300 per adult for shared rides, $800 for couples' private rides

Related: Not Just Hot Air: These Cities Are Home To More Than Balloon Rides

Sunkiss Ballooning

Ever wanted to experience a sky-high flight that dates back to 1872? Sunkiss Ballooning delivers an excellent floating ride to tourists all over New York. Whether with friends or family, tourists can enjoy sweeping views of the vast New York landscape under the colorful canopy of a hot air balloon.

Hot air balloons are always a memorable way to spend a day's trip or a vacation, and this company is one of the local's favorites. Sunkiss Ballooning offers professional hot air balloon rides over the scenic farmlands of Upstate New York, the rolling hills of Vermont, Saratoga Springs, and the Queen of American Lakes, Lake George.

The hot air balloon services by Sunkiss Ballooning are designed for comfort. Not only will tourists fly with an experienced pilot with over 3,000 flight hours, but they'll also be in a custom-designed viewing space for safety and luxury. The balloons fly in the morning and late afternoons, as most Sunkiss Ballooning schedules depend on sunrises and sunsets. In addition, travelers can feel like royalty thanks to the post-flight champagne toast held after a successful tour.

  • Meeting location: 40 Media Drive, Queensbury, NY.
  • Prices: From $275 to $500 per person, depending on the travel package selected

Fantasy Balloon Flights

One of the best ways to experience the beauty of New York is through a few hours with Fantasy Balloon Flights. It is also an awesome honeymoon idea for daring couples. The tour company flies travelers peacefully over waterfalls, peaks of trees, and the stunning landscape of the entire Hudson Valley Region, delivering breathtaking views in the process. Flights with this company open up tourists to a new world, thanks to the magical aviation adventures experienced by romantic couples and groups looking for outdoor fun.

Fantasy Balloon Flights glide through the Hudson Valley, Orange County, and Lower Catskills of New York. The balloons are available in various sizes, accommodating up to 12 passengers and a pilot. Tourists can also charter a balloon flight, an excellent way to have a party with family or friends while cruising through the gentle New York breeze.

Celebrating 38 years in business, the company's passion and experience boast unforgettable rides backed by FAA-licensed commercial pilots and good deals on flight packages. Fantasy Balloon Flights have been featured in shows like Discovery Channel's "Orange County Choppers" and The Ellen DeGeneres Show.

  • Launch Locations: Middletown, New York
  • Prices: From $210 per person and $800 for a private charter for two

Hot Air Balloon Ride Tips For First-Timers

Fulfilling a bucket list wish comes with a lot of anticipation and excitement. So here is a list of tips for first-timers looking forward to an enjoyable hot air balloon experience.

  • Dress casually, preferably in flat shoes and layered clothing for a more comfortable ride
  • Sunglasses are essential in ballooning. As the sun rises or sets, many tourists prefer tinted shades to block the sun and prevent eye damage.
  • Ensure you are in good health condition. Most ballooning companies caution tourists against flying with a neck, hip, or back problem. For travelers with a history of any medical issues, it's advisable to consult a physician before engaging in the ride.
  • The best way to ensure safety begins by attending the pre-flight briefing by the pilot and flying team, where tourists are educated on vital information on how to carry out fun activities during the tour safely.

Hot air ballooning is arguably one of man's oldest flight methods. The good news is that travelers can still enjoy that thrill in the modern world. Ballooning activities are suitable for all ages, where tourists come aloft to be amazed by New York's stunning beauty.