Take to the Skies in Sonoma County

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With so many famous wineries, fine dining options, and luxurious accommodations to enjoy in Sonoma County, it can be easy to overlook the natural beauty of the surrounding countryside. One of the most exciting ways to enjoy this beautiful part of northern California is with a bird’s eye view of the sweeping mountains and sprawling vineyards. Mix in a little bit of adrenaline with a dash of romance, and you have the recipe for a fantastic getaway. Here’s a list of sky-high adventures that are guaranteed get your wine country experience off the ground.

Float with the Clouds

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Image Source: Yelp

Up and Away Balloons
2200 Airport Blvd
Santa Rosa, CA 95492
(707) 836-0171
TripAdvisor: 5 Stars, 715 Reviews
Reservations: Required

One of the more traditional Wine Country air adventures consists of floating peacefully over the landscape in a colorful hot air balloon. Up and Away Balloons is the premier provider of balloon flights in the county, and has been serving happy adventurers for two decades. In addition to ballooning over the countryside, guests are treated to a post-flight gourmet brunch, prepared with local, farm-to-table ingredients.

Insider tip: Thinking of tying the knot at a Wine Country getaway? Rumor has it that Up and Away owner Mike is ordained, and can perform marriage ceremonies mid-flight.

Top Flight

crazy-creek-air-adventures
Image Source: Yelp

Crazy Creek Air Adventures
18896 Grange Rd
Middletown, CA 95461
(707) 987-9293
TripAdvisor: 5 Stars 35 Reviews
Reservations: Required

Air enthusiasts looking to bump the excitement up a notch should consider soaring in a glider with Crazy Creek Air Adventures. Pilots Jim and Connie will take you on the ride of your life as you float on pockets of warm air and take in the incredible views over Sonoma, Lake, and Napa Counties. Once the flight is over, head to nearby Langtry Estate and Vineyards for a taste of their exquisite Sauvignon Blanc.

Insider tip: Adventurous gliders will want to request the “roller coaster” option for a more exhilarating ride.

Redwood Rush

sonoma-canopy-tours-680
Image Source: Yelp

Sonoma Canopy Tours
6250 Bohemian Hwy
Occidental, CA 95465
(888) 494-7868
TripAdvisor: 5 stars, 432 reviews
Reservations: Required

Few exhilarations compare to flying through an ancient redwood forest at nearly 25 miles per hour. Sonoma Canopy Tours gives adventurers the opportunity to experience the outdoors with zip lines, sky bridges, and a majestic spiral staircase, all high above the canopy floor. Sonoma Canopy Tour’s knowledgeable staff will shuttle you to the course, fit you with a harness and safety equipment, and provide an in depth orientation.

Insider tip: For an interesting spin on the traditional tour, try the Night/Full Moon Flight tour that begins after sunset and affords quiet forested views of the stars.

Turn Back the Clock

vintage-aircraft-co
Image Source: Yelp

Vintage Aircraft Co.
23982 Arnold Dr
Sonoma, CA 95476
(707) 938-2444
TripAdvisor: 5 Stars, 5 Reviews
Reservations: Recommended


Take a flight back in time with Sonoma’s Vintage Aircraft Company. Whether you are out with your significant other for a leisurely biplane flight over the vineyards, or are seeking an adrenaline soaked blast in a World War II fighter, Vintage Aircraft Co. has got you covered. Choose from several flight options: vintage bi-planes and P-40 Warhawks are available, and those who are willing to pony up the big bucks can treat themselves to a half hour or more in a real P-51 Mustang.

Insider tip: Dress accordingly. Bring a fleece jacket and a pair of earplugs, and make sure your camera has a wrist strap.

Wine Country Sky Fall

norcal-sky-diving
Image Source: Yelp

Norcal Skydiving
220 Airport Rd
Cloverdale, CA 95425
(888) 667-2259
Reservations: Recommended

Jumping out of a perfectly good airplane is arguably the pinnacle of any air adventure, and freefalling over the Sonoma County Wine Country is nothing short of epic. Norcal Skydiving instructors will provide orientation, flight gear, and the airplane; you bring the courage. After landing safely back on earth, head over to Ruth McGowen’s Brew Pub in nearby Cloverdale for a celebratory pint and a plate of fish tacos.

Insider tip: If you wear glasses or contacts, be sure to ask the staff at the drop zone if their goggles will protect your eyewear.

Winging It

coastal-air-tours
Image Source: Yelp, Coastal Air Tours

Coastal Air Tours
21870 8th St E
Sonoma, CA 95476
(415) 609-7273
Reservations: Required

For a simple-yet-elegant way to experience a flight around Sonoma Wine Country, look no further than Coastal Air Tours. Captain Bob Berwick and his rare 1926 Travel Air biplane have been providing romantic flights around San Francisco Bay area for decades. We recommend the “Over the Moon Tour” for wine lovers, which includes a driver, a catered picnic, and private tastings at Repris and Stone Edge Farm Wineries after the flight.

Insider tip: Ask Bob to fly you over the Golden Gate Bridge for unparalleled views of the San Francisco skyline.

Sonoma Thunder

helico-sonoma
Image Source: Yelp

Helico Sonoma
5000 Flightline Dr
Santa Rosa, CA 95403
(707) 526-8949
TripAdvisor: 5 Stars, 14 Reviews
Reservations: Required

Want to have the option to zoom around Wine Country at controlled speeds, and hover over your favorite vista? Helico Sonoma offers several helicopter tours around Sonoma County, perfect for photo ops and for exploring the Bay area. Start with a 20-minute flight over Santa Rosa or Healdsburg Alexander Valley, or extend your flight to a Russian River Pacific Coast tour. Custom flights are also available for those wanting a more personalized experience.

Insider tip: Beyond offering a great way to experience Sonoma County, Helico Sonoma is also a certified helicopter pilot school.

The Heart of Sonoma County Air Adventure

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Image Source: Sonoma County Airport

Charles M. Shultz – Sonoma County Airport
2200 Airport Blvd
Santa Rosa, CA 95403
(707) 565-7243
Reservations: Recommended

Kick off your Wine Country air adventure by flying into Sonoma County’s own municipal airport, Charles M. Shultz Sonoma County Airport. Named for the beloved creator of the famous “Peanuts” cartoons (and long time Sonoma County resident), Charles Shultz, the airport is centrally located to Santa Rosa, Healdsburg, and many of the other charming small towns in the county. Stop in at the airport’s Sky Lounge Steakhouse and Sushi Bar and try the Painted Hills Ribeye with a pint of Russian River Brewing Company’s Blind Pig IPA.

Insider tip: Every September, the airport’s resident Pacific Coast Air Museum hosts one of the most amazing air shows north of the Golden Gate Bridge called “Wings Over Wine Country.”

Lush vineyards, rolling hills, and meandering rivers are all a part of Sonoma County’s allure. Seeing the beautiful landscape from the sky is truly a breathtaking experience that’s sure to impress wine enthusiasts and adventurers alike.