This three-day festival, which began in 1983, attracts around 40,000 people every summer. It’s easy to see the appeal. Even one hot-air balloon is a spectacular sight; when 40–50 of them lift off from the ground and fill the sky with a rainbow of colours, it becomes a magical event.
Balloons can only fly when the air is cool, which means multi-balloon sightings only happen in the early mornings. Can’t make the sunrise wake-up call? You can still experience the thrill of this activity by climbing into a tethered balloon and floating 23 metres above the valley landscape. And come each night for the Balloon Glow event, when multiple balloons are inflated and illuminated, glowing like lanterns against the dark sky.
Of course, there’s plenty to do throughout the day as well. Temecula’s award-winning wines and craft beers are on full display, and aficionados can participate in wine and beer tastings as well as food-pairing seminars. These multi-course events bring together some of the valley’s finest experiences; multiple chefs prepare the meals, while a master brewer or winery representative discusses the nuances of the beverages. And entertainment? Absolutely. Every year sees a rotating cast of performers take to the festival stage, filling the Californian air with music.