Private balloon rides that create memories for life


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See Traverse City from a new perspective in a hot air balloon


Treat your loved one to the most outstanding views in Northern Michigan on an intimate balloon tour

Imagine watching the pink, purple, and gold colors of sunset reflect off the waters of Lake Michigan as you soar above Traverse City in a hot air balloon, hand in hand with your closest loved one. If you’re looking for a special experience that you’ll both remember forever, you’ve found it with Above Traverse Balloon Rides.

Above Traverse provides private sunrise and sunset hot air balloon tours of Traverse City, one of Northern Michigan’s top vacation destinations. You’ll see all of Traverse City’s famous sights -- Sleeping Bear Dunes, Wine Country, Pristine beaches, Crystal clear waters and more -- from a new perspective on this exclusive adventure.

What makes your experience with Above Traverse Balloon Rides different? With Above Traverse, you’ll be treated to a private trip for you and your closest loved one. Other balloon tours typically carry 10-14 passengers in one basket.

Your VIP hot air balloon tour also includes ground transportation, photography, and a traditional champagne toast upon landing. We are happy to personalize your experience for a special occasion, including engagements, birthdays, and anniversaries. We know how to make this one of the most memorable experiences of your life. 



(231) 590-5593

Private flights for 2



Are hot air balloons safe?

Yes! Ballooning is the oldest and historically safest form of manned flight. Hot air balloons operate under the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Your experienced pilot has an impeccable safety record and exceeds required standards for regulation and insurance. With Above Traverse Balloon Rides, you and your loved ones are in safe hands.

I’m on vacation. Why are your tours only offered early and late in the day?

Hot air balloons fly best in cool, calm, stable air. That usually happens just after sunrise and just before sunset. Plus, sunrise and sunset tours offer the most spectacular views and photo opportunities.

How long will our tour be?

Your flight will be aloft for approximately one hour. But the memories you create will last a lifetime.

How high up will we go?

The world record for altitude in a hot air balloon is 64,997 feet -- but we won’t be going that high! A typical balloon flight with Above Traverse Balloon Rides ranges from tree level to approximately 3,000 feet above ground, depending on weather conditions.

How many passengers does your balloon carry?

Each tour holds a maximum of three passengers in addition to your pilot.

What should we wear?

Dress comfortably and wear layers. We prefer if you wear closed-toed walking shoes. For morning flights, the coldest part of your tour will be on the ground. Evening flights offer a similar temperature at all altitudes.

I’m afraid of heights. Should I book a hot air balloon tour?

In our experience, the vast majority of people who have a fear of heights have a great time ballooning! Although most people ride without attachments, you have the option of wearing a safety harness if that will provide you with an additional level of comfort.

Do passengers ever get airsick?

No. Because the balloon moves at the same speed and direction as the wind, you’ll experience no sense of motion.


How to Book 

To book your experience with Above Traverse Balloon rides please call us
at 231-590-5593

Our Private Balloon flights start at $300 per person. This includes round-trip transportation, approximately one hour of flight time, and a champagne toast accompanied by a meat and cheese tray upon landing. Come enjoy our private atmosphere and create memories for a lifetime.  We will also take photos of you during your flight using our GoPro camera at altitude (outside looking back at you in the basket) and present you with a flight certificate to commemorate your experience. 

If you would like more information please let us know, we are happy to answer any questions you might have!

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Your Pilot  

Growing up in Traverse City, Matt nurtured his love for aviation while working at the National Cherry Festival Air Show with some of the best pilots in the business. He has since flown hot air balloons all over the country, including at the world’s largest balloon event, the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. With over 1,000 hours of flight experience over the past decade, Matt is an aviation professional who knows his balloon inside and out.

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The Balloon 

Our Balloon was built by Cameron Balloons in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Swahili for “paradise,” Peponi is your magic carpet ride above Traverse City’s spectacular natural views. Peponi stands 90 feet tall and holds 105,000 cubic feet of air. Her basket was hand-woven by Michigan craftsmen at Cameron Balloons. 


Our flying area 

Traverse City has grown into one of the top tourist destinations in the Midwest. The natural beauty of northern Michigan provides the perfect backdrop for numerous vineyards, wineries, breweries and world class restaurants that dot the landscape. A short drive from one of the United States most unique and pristine National Parks - Sleeping Bear Dunes National Park. We have flown balloons all over the country and can testify without question that this is one of the most beautiful areas to explore in a hot air balloon.. 


Sleeping Bear Dunes

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Park is one of the best kept secrets in the national park system. tremendous views and endless miles of hiking trails await after your flight. 

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Wine Country

The Grand Traverse region has quickly become known for it's world class wines, The unique geography provides a stunning backdrop for balloon flights and optimum grown conditions for best wines in the world.  



Shoppers and Foodies rejoice! Traverse City has Grown to become one of top food destinations in the Midwest. You can find everything from fine dinning to unique food trucks all serving one of a kind meals and treats that will not be soon forgotten.


Hot air balloons leave a lasting impression on everyone they meet, They also dominate the skyline - combining that impression with your company logo on the the balloon, you have a winning combination in brand awareness! We specialize in using hot air balloons for marketing all over the country leveraging flights, glows and tethers to optimize exposure. If you want to learn more about how using a balloon can help your company please contact us! Just ask yourself...when was the last time someone took a picture of your billboard?  


Grass roots 

Balloons can make a huge impact at a local level with attendance at local festivals and events in your target markets. . 



Sponsoring events is tried and true, but having your brand's logo 100 feet tall and 90 feet wide makes it impossible for your audience to miss you. 

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Social Media 

People love posting pictures! Sites like Instagram, Facebook and Twitter turn John Q Public into your marketing team. When a picture of your balloon is shared, the potential reach is exponential!