Some of our favorite things to share on social media are stunning photos of Charlottesville–particularly at sunrise and sunset. There’s simply no more incredible way to enjoy the views, though, than hot air ballooning over Charlottesville. The Blue Ridge Mountains, Shenandoah Valley, the Shenandoah River, it all contributes to the stunning vistas you’ll experience from above. Nature enthusiasts may enjoy hiking, fishing or boating, but there’s no comparison to the panoramic experience of the region’s natural beauty than what can be seen from an open-air balloon high above the ground. Plus, you’ll be enjoying one of the oldest forms of flight when rising off the ground in the basket of a hot air balloon.
Trust us, it will be a flight to remember.
About the Pilot
We recommend Bonaire Charters www.bonaire-charters.com to folks who very wisely chooes to make hot air ballooning over Charlottesville part of their getaway. Bonaire’s balloon pilot is Scott Cohrs, who also owns the company. He’s been hot air ballooning commercially in Charlottesville and the surrounding areas for over 23 years, making him one of Central Virginia’s most experienced pilots.
Although Cohrs completed his private and commercial licensing in Richmond, he moved to Charlottesville for the scenic and historical aspects of the Blue Ridge Mountains and Central Virginia–that’s quite an endorsement for the region!
About Hot Air Ballooning
The Bonaire Charters balloon is a Cameron balloon built in 2012. Cohrs assures fliers that the balloon features the latest in state-of-the-art equipment and offers every upgrade for passenger safety. The new basket features a padded floor and tanks that result in a lot of comfort and, importantly, soft landings.
Bonaire describes flights as “a romantic fantasy adventure,” and landings are celebrated with traditional champagne toast made popular after the first hot air balloon voyage.
Taking Flight Over Charlottesville
Hot air balloon flights leave twice daily, weather permitting. For the $225 charter (due after the flight), you get the flight and a beverage of choice (champaign or a non-alcoholic offering of sparkling cider, soda, etc.) You’ll also get digital photos of the launch, landing, packup and the toast.
Hot air ballooning flights last between an hour and an hour and thirty minutes in the air. The entire experience may take up to three hours. Passengers are encouraged to bring a camera and sunglasses. Dress is whatever would be comfortable on the ground; the balloon won’t go high enough for a temperature difference. Comfortable, casual clothes are recommended.
To round out your incredible Charlottesville adventure, why not book a stay at Prospect Hill? You’ll get an unparalleled view from the air while hot air ballooning, and an incomparable experience of the history and beauty of the landscape at Prospect Hill. If romance is what you’re after, cap off your romantic balloon ride with a candlelight dinner at Prospect Hill’s dining room. Or if your balloon voyage is more about the great outdoors, you’ll benefit from reading our recent blog post on Shenandoah National Park.
Download our free area vacation guide from our website and start planning your Charlottesville getaway today!