Hot Air Ballooning in Texas.
A chance encounter with tranquility,
color and grace. Come. Be amazed...
Have you ever dreamed of floating through the sky on a cloud? Dreamed of drifting aimlessly along, pushed only by the wind, like a leaf plucked from a sapling tree by a warm summer's breeze?
With a boarding pass from Hot Air Balloon Adventues USA your dreams will soar as we carry you aloft for a scenic adventure flight high above the piney woods of northeast Texas. Your magic carpet for this journey is one of our fleet of professionally maintained and operated hot air balloons. Celebrated as man's oldest form of aviation, the Hot Air Balloon is little more than a bubble of hot air that you ride across the sky. Below, all the earth's beauty unfolds beneath you... pristine lakes, the piney woods, freshly cut hay fields. Soaring along, yours is a view of the world as seen only by the birds. You can smell the fresh blossoms, feel the warmth of the sun, reach out and pick a leaf from the top of a tree..... all common in a Hot Air Balloon.
Founded in 1977 Balloon Adventures, USA is a full service hot air balloon company offering adventure flights, sales, training, advertising and promotions. Located in Longview, Texas in the heart of the Ark-La-Tex, Balloon Adventures USA operates a fleet of Hot Air Balloons with the largest able to accommodate up to 4 passengers at one time. Larger groups of up to 30 can be accommodated with advance notice. Sunrise and sunset flights are available year round at a cost of $250 per person (Sunset flights not available from June 1 - September 30), with children ten years and under $120. Gift certificates (valid for 1-year) are also available and private flights for members of your party only can be arranged with prior notice and an additional fee.
Unfortunately no rides will be sold during the Great Texas Balloon Race
While your time in the air will average 1 to 1-1/2 hours, the entire Hot Air Balloon Adventure -- from preflight briefing to the traditional champagne toast -- will take about 3 hours. To commemorate the event, each passenger is presented with a certificate suitable for framing and a souvenir balloon pin. Souvenir t-shirts and sweat-shirts are also available. For a quick look, check out our merchandise page. Now, who wants to fly?
Your Hot Air Balloon Adventure begins upon your arrival at the Balloon Adventures USA Balloonport, located at 801 N. 2nd Street in Longview, Texas. Here you will find the crew busy inspecting and loading all the necessary equipment and vehicles. You'll be greeted by Kathy and Larry Aldridge and meet your pilot, Dr. Bill Bussey. Be sure to take a few minutes to look around. The balloonport tells the history of Dr. Bussey's more than twenty-eight years in the sport of ballooning. It's a personal museum complete with historical photos, banners, awards, trophies, plaques and more. Be sure to see the Wall of Records, where the plaques honoring Dr. Bussey's various World Record flights are displayed.
Once all the scheduled passengers for this flight have arrived we gather for a pre-flight briefing. This is mandatory for all passengers. Here you'll receive instructions on a few safety do's and don'ts as well as learn a little history about the sport and more of the journey you're about to undertake. No doubt you'll have questions and they are always welcome. However, you may find that many of your questions have already been answered on our Frequently Asked Questions page.
Following the pre-flight briefing it's a short drive to our selected launch site. Here the crew aid in rigging the balloon envelope and basket for flight. Next the Hot Air Balloon is inflated using a gasoline powered fan to blow air into the balloon.
Once filled with air, Dr. Bussey enters the basket and lights the burners. At his command a 25 foot long flame leaps from the burners heating the air inside the balloon's envelope. Everyone knows that hot air rises, so as the air inside the envelope is heated the balloon gently lifts itself upright.
Now you and your fellow passengers are invited on board. A final check all around and with the command "weight off" you're bound for the sky!
Don't expect any sudden lurch or other movement. Lift off in a Hot Air Balloon is smoother than riding a slow going elevator. As you slowly climb up, up and above the treetops you'll marvel at an entire new world that opens up before you!
Your adventure flight is just that, an adventure. You never know what you might encounter. The area around Longview offers a variety of scenic venues, from the reflective waters of Lake Cherokee to heavily forested piney woods; from farmlands rich with fresh cut hay or grazing livestock to the neighborhoods and commercial districts of Longview itself. It is indeed a birds-eye view.
Unfortunately what goes up must indeed come down. Eventually it will be time to land. Part of the romance of Hot Air Ballooning is that each flight is different, we never know exactly where we're going or where we will land. For this reason our landing site may be a friendly farmer's field, a school yard, city park, or even an empty parking lot.
Wherever we touch down the chase crew will be there to meet us. Once the balloon is packed away, we load up for the return drive to the balloonport, but there's always time for one last group photo!
If you do not live in the Greater Longview area you might want to consider an overnight or longer stay in conjunction with your adventure flight. The Longview area offers a variety of hotels and motels but two of our favorites are the Honeycome Suites Bed and Breakfast and the Woldert-Spence Bed and Breakfast. While you're in the area there are many attractions suitable for short day trips or an evening's entertainment. For example...
Just ten miles away in Kilgore you'll find Kilgore College, home of the world-famous dance team the Rangerettes. Also found here is the East Texas Oilfield Museum where you can learn all about the "black gold" that Texas is famous for. The nearby towns of Gladewater and historic Jefferson are gold mines of their own for those who enjoy antiques and collectibles. A trip to Marshall Pottery offers acres of shopping or a short one hour drive away is Shreveport, Louisiana. There you can enjoy riverboat gambling or take in dinner and a show at one of several Casinos. Others might prefer a visit to the Ark-La-Tex Antique and Classic Car Museum (located downtown) or a drive-through tour of Barksdale Air Force Base, home to an operational wing of B-52 bombers.
Whatever your interests, don't wait! Our Champagne Hot Air Balloon Adventure flights depart on a regular basis. Call or email us today to book your reservation on one of our next flights. Remember, Gift Certificates are also available.