Temecula Valley's Balloon-iest Bash to Rise

Look up: The Temecula Valley Balloon & Wine Festival brings libations and lighter-than-air adventures to Lake Skinner.

Karol Franks

WHAT RISES FASTER? A teeny bubble, the sort of ethereal orb that starts at the bottom of a glass flute and quickly floats to the shimmering surface of a fine libation? Or a hot air balloon, a colorful and colossal envelope that takes a charming wicker gondola high into the sky? It isn't a competition, of course, though you may have a chance to find out which rises in a more expeditious manner at the Temecula Valley Balloon & Wine Festival. It's one of California's largest gatherings of hot air balloons, and it all unfolds over the first weekend of June 2022. This is when people gladly gather with glasses of locally made wine while watching dozens of photo-ready balloons take off at Lake Skinner Regional Park.

JUNE 3 THROUGH 5... are the 2022 dates and the scintillating schedule has as many events as a flute has bubbles. Well, maybe not quite that many, but the days will be full of things to see, shop, admire, sip, eat, and watch, and planning before arriving in the valley is a wise course of action. And the opportunity to join a hot air balloon adventure? That happens, too, at this festival, which will turn 40 in 2023. Note that you'll need to book a morning balloon ride online, and perusing the details before going? It's essential, so look at this page before plotting your lift-off. Prefer a tethered ride? Those are available, too, giving you an "up there" view while you hover above the ground. Book online for $15, or pay $20 at the gate.

BALLOON GLOWS, concerts, interesting vendors, savory bites, and lots of local wineries are a part of one of the valley's biggest annual bashes. For more on the 2022 festival, how to see balloons, where to park, and what to know, steer your own gondola by this site now.

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