For both seasoned enthusiasts and first-time attendees, navigating the Temecula Valley Balloon & Wine Festival, May 17-19, 2024 will make the most of your experience. Let's delve into what you need to know before immersing yourself in this celebration of balloons, wine, music, and culinary delights. 

  1. Parking 

First things first, with thousands flocking to the venue, parking logistics are vital. Carpool if you are going with a group of people. The festival website provides information on parking, including accessibility and shuttle services. Familiarize yourself with these options beforehand to streamline your arrival process and ensure a hassle-free start to your day. You can pre-purchase your parking ticket HERE.  

For those opting to forego the hassle of parking, ride-sharing services present a convenient alternative. After the event, ask your driver to pick you up across from the General Store at the Rideshare tent just outside the festival entrance gate. The main parking entrance closes to all inbound traffic at approximately 8:00 p.m. so be sure to have your ride arrive prior and wait for you.  

  1. Hot Air Balloons 

The heartbeat of the festival lies in the majestic ascension of hot air balloons against the canvas of the Temecula sky. Timing is key to witnessing this awe-inspiring spectacle. Balloon launch is at sunrise; you will not see them after 8:00 a.m. If you wish to reserve a flight during the festival (weather permitting), book HERE. There will also be tethered rides on a first come basis from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. These flights are anchored to the ground and rise 50-75 feet. If you plan to take a flight, wear layers as it gets warm when the burner is on and comfortable shoes to climb into the basket; and if you are bald, bring a hat to cover your head. At nightfall on Friday and Saturday evenings is the popular Balloon Glow (weather permitting). The balloons are grounded with their flames lighting up their colorful envelopes. 

  1. Entertainment 

Live music begins in the early afternoon on the Wine Stage and headliners perform on the Main Stage in the evening. Stone Temple Pilots, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and George Thorogood & The Destroyers are the featured performers. General admission tickets include the concerts; however, preferred seating and VIP tickets are available HERE. You can bring your own chair or blanket, otherwise expect to stand. Arrive plenty early to save a good spot.  

  1. What to Expect 

Beyond the mesmerizing sight of hot air balloons at sunrise, the festival offers a plethora of activities to engage visitors of all ages. Wine and beer tastings can be enjoyed throughout the day. Explore the market stalls, indulge in culinary delights from local vendors, or simply bask in the festive ambiance as you meander through the grounds. There are plenty of food vendors to choose from if you get hungry. 

  1. What Else Can I Do in Temecula Valley? 

Temecula Valley offers activities, attractions, and memorable experiences in Temecula Valley Wine Country, Old Town Temecula, Pechanga Resort Casino, and around town. Looking for a place to eat? See our Dining Guide. Check out Things to Do from spas to outdoor recreation to events.  Extend your weekend to enjoy everything Temecula Valley has to offer, book your stay HERE.  

In conclusion, attending the Temecula Valley Balloon and Wine Festival is an experience to cherish, provided you arm yourself with essential knowledge beforehand. From mastering parking logistics to seizing the opportunity to witness hot air balloons taking flight, every aspect contributes to crafting a memorable and immersive festival experience. Lastly, review these Tips & FAQs while planning your trip.