#25 of 109 Asheville Things To Do

Asheville Balloon Company

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Asheville Hot Air Balloons - Balloon Rides Over the Smoky Mountains
Written by: Vicky Reddish
Staff Score:
5.0 / 5
The Bottom Line:

Asheville Hot Air Balloons takes passengers up to the sky each morning (weather permitting). Where you’ll end up is dictated by the wind, but the hot air balloon ride is always enjoyable and offers unparalleled views.

- The SmokyMountains.com Local Expert Team

Asheville Balloon Company makes it possible for most people to enjoy the unmatched joy of a hot air balloon ride. The FAA-certified company offers daily rides over South Carolina’s beautiful geography. The hot air balloon rides are offered daily, weather permitting, and take off each morning at sunrise. Depending on wind conditions, the balloon’s altitude during a flight ranges from 500 to 2,000 feet.

Flight time is 45 minutes to 1 hour depending on wind speed, but participants should plan on spending 3 hours total. The added time allows for inflation, flight, packing up and a toast to the day’s ride.

While balloons take off from Asheville Balloon Company’s launch location, there’s no way of knowing where a ride will eventually end up. Distance and direction are dictated by the wind, and there’s even a team of chasers who track the balloon from the ground and help land it.

Since hot air ballooning always comes with some adventure, participants should be prepared for a variety of conditions. Layered clothing is recommended so that articles can be taken off and put on as the weather changes. Also, hiking boots and pants are suggested in case the balloon lands in a muddy area or field with briars.

As much adventure as there is, this is an activity that most people can enjoy. So long as participants are at least eight years old, able to climb into the balloon and weigh less than 250 pounds, they can generally enjoy a balloon ride. If someone over that weight limit would like to go for a ride, arrangements can be made beforehand.

In addition to the hot air balloon rides, Asheville Balloon Company also offers wedding packages and tethered events. For tethered events, they can drive to nearby locations (for a $1 per mile fee).

At $300 per person for most rides and $400 per person for private rides, hot air balloon rides aren’t an inexpensive activity. If the cost fits within your budget, though, there’s nothing like floating in a balloon across the Smoky Mountains.

A few of our favorite activities at Asheville Balloon Company include:

Hot Air Balloon Flights
There are many ways to take in the picturesque Smoky Mountains. None of them are quite like drifting across the region in a hot air balloon as the sun comes up, though.

Wedding and Engagement Celebrations
Asheville Balloon Company has a few ways to incorporate this unique idea into your big celebration. They can take a small party up in a single balloon, hold a wedding of up to 28 people in multiple tethered balloons or have a balloon in the background. All are magical ways to celebrate a major milestone.

Tethered Events
Tethered rides make corporate events and significant family celebrations truly magical. From a company picnic to a family reunion, this ensures the event will be enjoyed and remembered.

Insider Tips:
– If you have the option to, go for a hot air balloon ride during autumn. A ride in any season is fun and affords picturesque views, but it’s particularly beautiful when the leaves on the Smoky Mountains’ trees are changing color.
– The company has passengers for many of its flights meet at an area coffee shop and then go to the launch location. Don’t get a coffee while you’re waiting, though. There aren’t restrooms aboard hot air balloons.