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Temecula Valley Balloon & Wine Festival TemeculaHotAirBalloon_1280x642
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Temecula Valley Balloon & Wine Festival

Hot-air ballooning is a popular activity in Temecula year-round—but every June, it becomes just a little more special, thanks to the Temecula Valley Balloon & Wine Festival.

This three-day festival, which began in 1983, attracts some 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 colors, it becomes a magical event.

Balloons can fly only when the air is cool, which means multiballoon sightings happen only 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 75 feet 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 multicourse events bring together some of the valley’s finest experiences; multiple chefs prepare the meals, while a brewmaster 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 California air with music.

Of course, all of Temecula’s varied activities are available as well: Stroll Old Town, visit wineries, go for a hike, or taste the locally grown delights at the Temecula Olive Oil Company.