Travel Notes – Hot Air Ballooning in Oregon’s Wine Country

On a recent late summer morning, you know the kind, where the sky is deep blue and cloudless and the air is still, I saw these glorious balloons hovering over the fields near my home. Sometimes they are high in the sky, at other times they float low enough so one can hear the swoosh of the burners and even wave to the passengers overhead.

Newberg is in the northwestern corner of Oregon and is in the heart of our famous wine country. It’s a small town but is growing quickly as word of our fine wines and beyond beautiful natural beauty spreads. We have become a destination.
There couldn’t be a more thrilling way to see our beautiful countryside than taking a ride in a hot air balloon with

Vista Balloon Adventures

We see Vista’s balloons often during the summer months from April first through October. I recently saw one land in a field close to my house. I was driving home and saw a large shadow pass over my car, looked up, and there was a balloon coming in for a landing 50 yards away. That’s the last time I left my camera at home .

Your balloon adventure begins one half hour before dawn when you will have the opportunity to watch or join in the inflation process. First, huge lengths of rainbow colored nylon are unrolled. Next, industrial fans blow life into the fabric, and, finally, propane jets are ignited and the balloons rise ten stories into the morning sky.

If you live close by there isn’t a more exciting adventure you could have than taking a ride in one of Vista’s magnificent balloons. This is a gift of a lifetime for family and friends and a perfect way to mark a special occasion like a birthday or wedding. If you are thinking about coming to the area for a vacation you will be overwhelmed by the variety of activities available. Mt. Hood and year around skiing are two hours to the east and the Oregon Coast is less than two hours west. And, of course, the wine tasting.

Even if a hot air balloon ride isn’t in your immediate plans I know you will enjoy stopping by Vista’s web site to see the wonderful excursions they can plan for you. And you will see more of the balloon photos that Vista so generously provided.

You can find accommodations here in our wine country that range from luxurious to casual. A new, luxury hotel, The Allison Inn & Spa, recently opened with 85 beautiful guest rooms that feature outside terraces and views of nearby vineyards. The in-house restaurant, Jory, is getting rave reviews and the Inn will arrange chauffeured wine tours to the wineries of your choice.
This photo shows a typical cabin you will find in most of Oregon’s first rate state parks. You can find information about our parks at their website here.
Champoeg State Park is located on the Willamette River and has a good selection of cabins and yurts in addition to areas for RV and tent camping.
If you come to visit the area you can make a day trip to the north Oregon coast and try your hand at clamming, crabbing and fishing in addition to lovely walks on our beautiful beaches.

 That’s our little tour for today. I hope you’ve enjoyed your glimpse into life where I live. When you are planning your next vacation be sure to keep us in mind.



  1. La Table De Nana says

    My husband has always said Oregon was one of his fave states in photos:) You and Mary have reinforced this!

  2. SavoringTime in the Kitchen says

    What a gorgeous area you live in! I love when you show us more glimpses of your surroundings. The view from up in the balloons must be amazing!

  3. The Japanese Redneck says

    Looks like such a beautiful place. Love to see the hot air balloons in the air, but to chicken to get into one.


  4. Kate says

    Gorgeous! Oregon is my favorite place to visit. The Oregon Coast rates at the top of my list. I am not brave enough to climb into a hot air balloon!

  5. Lori (All That Splatters) says

    I've always wanted to visit that part of the country. How beautiful! One of these days…

  6. Mary says

    Your pictures are great, Cathy. You do our state proud. I didn't realize that hot air balloning was so close by. That's on my bucket list!

  7. Paula says

    Magnificent tour! I just love our gorgeous state! There's something for everybody, and so much to see and do! Mountains, Desert, Coast, Valleys, Forests, Lakes, Rivers, Ocean … we've got it all! :-)

  8. Foley says

    The photos are gorgeous – so serene high in the air! You do live in a beautiful area, I can see why you wouldn't want to go anywhere without a camera!

  9. the ungourmet says

    Well I think you should get a thank-you check or at the very least free camping for a year for talking up our lovely state! 😀

    Pretty photos!

  10. My Carolina Kitchen says

    Wine country and balloons – how fun. You live in a gorgeous area. I've never been to Oregon, but it's on my "to do" list now.
    Have a great weekend.

  11. Velva says

    I have had the pleasure of spending time in Oregon. Just stunning! Loved it! The wine country was so enjoyable. I came home with countless bottles of pinot noir.

  12. alexandra says

    What a dream! You live in an idyllic land, that's for sure. My husband and I are dying to go camping in Oregon. Thanks for sharing these excursion!

  13. Charlene says

    You are soooooooo singing my song. We spent some time on the central California coast this summer & I LOVED IT! We have been to Brookings OR & loved it… you see a pattern here. I am trying to talk "Honey" into getting us a 34' RV I have found & summering in this area. Would love to do the hot air trip. Thank you for sharing this info.

  14. Rosabela says

    Thanks for giving us a tour! I used to see hot air balloons flying over Regensburg. My husband and I always wanted to try it but never came around to doing it…esp. now that we live in a different city.

  15. The Liberty Belle says

    Looks like a wonderful place to visit!

    Um, the date nut spice bread that you posted the other day makes the mouth water. Delish!

  16. Kathleen says

    It looks beautiful! This is so educational. Your state parks look beautiful too. I remember when you stayed there during the summer…
    Did you see that hot air balloon on the news today?
    Supposedly got loose with a 6 yr old boy in it. Thank God he was found safe!
    You are a good spokeswoman for your beautiful state!

  17. Fresh Local and Best says

    These photos are so neat! Hot air balloon always seem magical to me. One of these days, I hope to have a closer experience. The park is gorgeous!

  18. Acorn Cottage says

    Just beautiful Cathy! Thanks for sharing. if I ever get to Oregon I want to come visit and cook with you! Thank you for all the wonderful recipes you share. You are such an inspiration. When are you going to write a cookbook? You really need to think about it! You just have too many good recipes not to share with the world! I haven't been bloggin too much lately, but I had to go back and look at all your recipes you've posted and am printing away!

    Smiles, Nancy

  19. Pam says

    Well, I did it. I finally made it to the Saturday farmer's market and you weren't there. I hope you had a great day off. We might try to hit the market on 10/31 – will you be there then?

  20. Susan says

    The website one of the best travel and tourism related site; check out the travel directory section of the site that contains comprehensive travel resources to guide you in your search for the ultimate travel destination.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>