Balloons Above the Valley
603 California Blvd.
Napa, CA 94559
The Napa Valley is best known for its boundless vineyards and world-class wine but also well known for hot air balloon rides. Based upon a local poll, this business has been voted the best hot air balloon ride for more than 15 consecutive years. Guests will enjoy breathtaking views of the California wine country and an elegant champagne brunch at the conclusion of the ride. Balloons Above the Valley offers an any-day internet special for $209, but special discounts are also available through its holiday weekday special for $159.
P.O. Box 801
Alameda, CA 94501
Based in the East Bay community of Alameda, Icarus Bungee provides bungee trips to 14 different bridges in Northern California. In business for over 22 years, the company has a perfect safety record with no accidents or injuries. The closest bridge from San Francisco is a 2.5-hour drive, as no bungee jumping is allowed at closer locations such as the Golden Gate Bridge, for public safety and traffic reasons. Prices for two bungee jumps start at $139 per person, and includes safety instruction, on-hand supervision and necessary equipment.
San Francisco, CA
Paragliding is a very popular adventure sport in the Bay Area and one of the best local schools for instruction is with Oxygen Paragliding. A single-day introductory lesson is $249, which covers required equipment, basic paragliding skills and a chance to experience the sport under a controlled environment. The company also offers certification courses and private instruction. Oxygen Paragliding was recently spotlighted in an episode of a popular reality television show, where a contestant was given an opportunity to paraglide with members of his family.
242 Redwood Highway
Mill Valley, CA 94941
A great way to see many of the most famous attractions in the Bay Area is on board a seaplane. Based in the North Bay community of Mill Valley, Seaplane Adventures has a shuttle from San Francisco’s Pier 39 to the launch point. A 30-minute tour of the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz Island, AT&T Park and other Bay Area attractions start at $170 per passenger with a two-passenger minimum. Flights depart and arrive at Richardson Bay in Sausalito, just north of the Golden Gate.
Related: Spend the Day at Fisherman’s Wharf
Vintage Aircraft Company
23982 Arnold Drive
Sonoma, CA 95476
It’s not often a thrill seeker can take a ride in a vintage fighter plane or a biplane, but this company offers both. Based in the wine country just east of Petaluma, Vintage Aircraft Company operates out of the Sonoma Valley Airport. A scenic 20-minute flight on board a 1940′s biplane starts at $175. For the more adventurous, visitors can also experience aerobatic maneuvers such as a barrel roll for an additional $50.
Randy Yagi is a freelance writer covering all things San Francisco. His work can be found on Examiner.com.