One of Florida’s best kept secrets and most unique ways of seeing unspoiled nature is in a hot air balloon. Millions of acres of wetlands, waterways, parks and groves make the Sunshine State one of the top destinations for hot air balloon rides.

Normally, when you think of Florida beauty, you think of the beaches. Nothing is more beautiful than a lofty view from high above a famous beach, cruise port or boardwalk teeming with tiny beach-goers. But the same warm breeze that makes Florida beaches so invigorating, makes flying a recreational balloon nearly impossible. Because hot air balloon rides require calm winds and predictable weather, they generally launch many miles inland and very early in the morning.

However, that shouldn’t stop you from trying the experience. There’s a lot of beauty to see in Florida even excluding the amazing beaches! Below are a few great hot air balloon experiences throughout the state that you may want to try.

St Augustine

If you find yourself near St Augustine – the oldest city in the U.S. – you’ll want to book a flight with A Hot Air Balloon Ride. Whether flying above the coastal areas and mangroves, the St Johns River and its bridges, or their historic downtown buildings – the view below is unique and perspective-changing.

happy couple smiling in red hot air balloon basket with rigging and sky in background for enjoy florida blog

Tampa

Big Red Balloon Sightseeing Adventures in Tampa is famous for the beauty of its sunrise balloon rides over the Hillsborough and Pasco County landscapes. These remote and undeveloped areas offer placid views of cypress wetlands teeming with real untouched wildlife. Perfect for birders or eco-tourists, as well as those looking for some peace of mind on their vacation.

Orlando / Disney Area

Based in Lake Buena Vista at Disney’s back door, Painted Horizons is a long-time destination for tours above the Orlando area. A great addition to your Disney, Universal or SeaWorld vacation, this hot air ballooning company can show you unique views of your favorite theme parks and venues.

Orlando / Davenport

Based in Davenport southwest of Orlando and Kissimmee, Bob’s Balloons offers flights over a large area including Orange, Osceola, Lake and Polk Counties. With over 100 takeoff and landing sites, and a flexible range of equipment and staff, this company specializes in custom flights to suit your occasion and desires.

hot air balloon burner shot from below with flames and colorful inflated balloon for enjoy florida blog

Miami

Possibly the southernmost of balloon ride options is available at Balloon Over Miami, offering aerial views of the Miami skyline, the Everglades and Key Biscayne. See tropical fruit groves including mangoes and avocados or soar above the vast cypresses and channels of the Everglades National Park.

And Many More

Of course, there are many more opportunities for hot air ballooning in Florida. We’ve only listed a few, and hopefully given you some ideas for your next excursion.

Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a long-time resident, there are always new experiences to try in Florida. If you’d like to stay informed about new attractions, events and travel tips, enter your email below to subscribe to Enjoy Florida Online.