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“This is the one!!!”

Napa Valley Drifters
Ranked #14 of 24 Outdoor Activities in Napa
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: Watch the sun rise across Napa’s picturesque mountains and wineries from a gondola high in the sky! Our balloons are flown by experienced FAA pilots who know the valley VERY well, creating the SAFEST and most amazing experience. Napa Valley Drifters takes flight early mornings, seven days a week, weather permitting. Each trip offers the unique opportunity to experience the balloon’s inflation, take pictures, enjoy the sunrise, and end with a complimentary bottle of champagne from Napa Valley’s very own vineyard.
tennessee
Level Contributor
35 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“This is the one!!!”
Reviewed 17 October 2013

If you want a small group, intimate experience with a small business feel...this is the one for you! Napa Valley Drifters is a small ballooning company with years and years of experience! Terry is the guys you will deal with most of the time, and regardless of what some people say he is a genuine lover of balloons and strives to give you the best experience you can have! We went up this morning with only 5 other people (most of the other balloons looked like there were 25 of them crammed in their baskets)! We were the first balloon in the air (which terry strives for each flight) and were up before the sun rose over the mountains! This allowed us to take in the amazing sunrise plus the sight of all the other balloons rising into the sky behind us! It was an amazing ride! My pictures are fantastic! If & when we return to Napa Valley we will always choose Napa Valley Drifters!!!

Visited October 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank msfrannymc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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16 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“"Sky Candy" Translated into "Eye Candy"”
Reviewed 13 June 2013 via mobile

We were picked up at our hotel by Terry owner of Napa Valley Drifters with our hot air balloon 'pilot' Mark. We took off before Sunrise and had an incredible 'bird's eye view' of the beautiful sunrise. Our teenagers enjoyed every minute of it but our 11 year old was a bit bored till landing. Landing was an adventure and our kids had a great time which they will probably not forget! Our ride was intimate with our family of six plus a couple and the pilot. We were in the air while other balloons were getting ready to fly. It was beautiful.

Visited June 2013
Helpful?
Thank UnitedCHB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Orlando
Level Contributor
37 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Great Experience!”
Reviewed 10 June 2013

Our first time in a balloon. We had a fantastic time with Terry and Napa Valley Drifters. There are quite a few options for balloon rides in Napa Valley. All of the others I looked into had baskets that carried up to 20 people.

Napa Valley Drifters takes at most 8 passengers. That's what sold me. The morning we flew there were 7 passengers and the pilot in the basket. NVD is a small local company. The guys are from Napa and know the area well. They all seemed to love what they do. The times I called, Terry answered. Not an answering machine or a phone tree or a reservation service, but Terry. I like that.

I made phone arrangements about 30 days prior to arriving in Napa. Terry will work with you make the best arrangements depending on what your schedule is in Napa. I gave him a credit card number to hold the reservation but nothing was charged until after the flight. We were scheduled to fly on a Saturday morning but on Terry's suggestion I called him when we arrived in Napa, Thursday afternoon and he suggested that Friday would be better as he wasn't expecting any weather issues and there were less people scheduled that day.

After calling in at 4:30 AM (eek!) the morning of our flight to make sure the weather was going to cooperate, Terry confirmed the flight and said he would be by our hotel at 5:30 AM to pick us up. The big blue van arrived when promised. We then stopped at another nearby hotel to get the rest of the passengers. A quick signing of waivers and we were off.

It was only a 10 - 15 minute drive to the field where were taking off from that morning, The truck with the balloon and basket was on site already and starting to set up. Within 20 minutes we were in the air.

Our pilot that morning was Mark. We were the first balloon aloft in the valley that morning. The sun was just cresting over the mountains to the east as we were ascending. Standing the basket, floating over the valley, it hardly felt like we were moving. Mark gave us a lot of information on the various vineyards we were flying over and the workings of the balloon. He was able to pilot the balloon so that everyone was able to appreciate full 360 degree views. At times we were high enough to take in the entire vista of the valley with the bay to the west and at times low enough to see rabbits in the vineyards. As we drifted towards town, Mark pointed out local landmarks, including the Napa Vintage High School football stadium (Go Crushers!) and his house. All in all we flew for about an hour but it went by very quickly. The crew met us and pulled us down to a smooth landing.

The packing up of the balloon after landing was quick and well coordinated and interesting to watch. Passengers were given the opportunity to participate but were not required to.

It was a quick drive back to our hotel to drop us off. As a parting gift we received a cold bottle of sparkling wine.

Thank you to Terry, Mark and the rest of the guys for a great morning. I would do it again in a heartbeat. Highly recommended.

Visited May 2013
Helpful?
4 Thank Rap1958
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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