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April 07, 2015

Up, up & away: Hot air ballooning

Get the bird's-eye view on your next adventure

Travel Adventures
04062015_HotAirBalloon_AP Keith Srakocic/AP

Hot air balloons that are part of the Western Pennsylvania Balloon Quest drift eastward after taking off at the fairgrounds in New Castle, Pa., July 19, 2008.

For your next adventure, consider getting a bird's-eye view of some of your favorite local places.

Hot air balloon rides allow you to soar high above the ground for a view like no other. Enjoy a nice romantic dinner ride or sip some champagne with friends. 

Either way, ballooning gives you the chance to see the city and state in a new light. And it makes for some beautiful photos.

Below are just some of the local places that will take you on your next adventure in the skies.

1. Air Ventures Hot Air Balloon Flights, Inc. - Paoli, Pa.

Established in 1990, Air Ventures offers a number of packages for couples and groups, from a one-hour traditional champagne toast flight ($199 per person) to a Sunday brunch flight ($219 per person). Custom packages are available upon request. Air Ventures, located in Paoli, Chester County, is less than an hour drive from Philadelphia.

2. The United States Hot Air Balloon Team - Southeastern Pa.

The U.S. Hot Air Balloon Team offers hot air balloon launches from Lancaster, Chester and Bucks counties for views of Amish farmland and the Brandywine, Schuylkill and Delaware River valleys. Packages are available for groups and couples, as well as weddings and engagements. There are also private rides offered for those who are handicapped.

3. Endless Mountains Hot Air Balloons - Scranton/Doylestown, Pa.

Endless Mountains offers flights from two locations: in Northeastern Pa. near Scranton and near Doylestown in Bucks County. Prices range from $200 per person to $650 for a private couple flight. Balloons can carry up to five passengers plus a pilot.


4. Above & Beyond Ballooning - Chester County, Pa. & Hunterdon County, N.J.

Above & Beyond Ballooning offers lift off from Chester Springs, Pa. (approximately 45 minutes west of Philadelphia) and Readington, N.J. Both locations provide riders with views of varied landscapes, including farmland, hills, lakes and forests. 

5. The Sky's the Limit Ballooning - State College/Happy Valley

The Sky's the Limit Ballooning offers year-round hot air balloon rides over State College, Happy Valley and beyond. Flights cost $200 per person and fit up to four passengers with the pilot in the basket during each flight.

2015 Pa. & N.J. Balloon Festivals

Chester County Balloon Festival - June 19 to June 21, 2015

Western Pennsylvania Balloon Quest - July 15 - July 18, 2015

QuickChek NJ Festival of Ballooning - July 24 to July 26, 2015

Warren County Farmers Fair Balloon Festival (NJ) - July 25 to Aug. 1, 2015

If you know a good hot air ballooning spot that was left off this list, please leave it in the comments. The more adventure, the better!