Fly ithaca

Ready to soar above Ithaca? Join Southern Tier Balloon Tours for an enchanting ascent and experience the magic of the Finger Lakes at sunrise or sunset.

embrace the skies above ithaca, NY

Immerse yourself in the breathtaking beauty of Ithaca, a gem nestled in the heart of upstate New York’s Finger Lakes region. Southern Tier Balloon Tours offers you an exclusive opportunity to experience Ithaca from an unparalleled vantage point. As you gently drift across the sky, the panoramic views of Cayuga Lake’s shimmering waters and the rolling hills that characterize the Finger Lakes will leave you in awe. This unique aerial journey showcases the natural beauty of Ithaca, making it a must-do activity for both locals and visitors alike.

The Finger Lakes region, known for its stunning waterways and verdant vineyards, is perfectly complemented by the city of Ithaca’s vibrant community and rich cultural heritage. As you ascend into the sky, the sprawling campuses of Cornell University come into view, offering a rare perspective on one of upstate New York’s most prestigious institutions. The sight of Cornell’s historic buildings and meticulously maintained grounds from above is a testament to the enduring beauty and intellectual spirit that Ithaca and the broader Finger Lakes region are known for.

Embarking on a hot air balloon ride over Ithaca and Cayuga Lake is not just an adventure but an invitation to witness the serene beauty of upstate New York from an extraordinary perspective. The tranquil waters of Cayuga Lake, surrounded by the lush foliage of the Finger Lakes, provide a peaceful backdrop to your flight, making every moment in the air a picturesque memory in the making. Whether you’re a photography enthusiast, a nature lover, or simply seeking a unique way to experience Ithaca and the Finger Lakes, our balloon tours are designed to offer an unforgettable journey.

Southern Tier Balloon Tours is proud to be your gateway to exploring the skies over Ithaca and the majestic Finger Lakes of upstate New York. Our commitment to providing safe, enjoyable, and visually stunning balloon rides ensures that your experience with us will be a highlight of your visit to the region. From the awe-inspiring views of Cayuga Lake to the impressive sight of Cornell University and the natural beauty that abounds in Ithaca and the Finger Lakes, your balloon adventure awaits to lift you above the ordinary into the extraordinary realm of upstate New York’s sky.

choose your package for your ithaca adventure

Discover the unparalleled beauty of Ithaca from above with our versatile flight packages, each available for both the tranquil hues of sunrise and the vibrant glow of sunset. Choose your preferred time of day to embark on a breathtaking journey that showcases the majestic landscapes of the Finger Lakes region in the perfect light.

General adult reservation


general child reservation


Private reservation


custom or winter reservation


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Fly Ithaca for any occasion

Elevate your special events with a breathtaking balloon ride over Ithaca, where the sky itself becomes a part of your celebration.

What better way to honor the love and time spent together than by soaring above Ithaca, reminiscing and creating new memories? The gentle motion of the balloon ride reflects the beautiful journey of a relationship, making it a profound and touching way to celebrate another year of companionship.

Celebrate the joy of another year in the awe-inspiring calm of the open sky. Whether it’s a sweet sixteen, a fabulous forty, or a golden seventy, a hot air balloon ride adds a touch of adventure and a splash of grandeur, marking the occasion as truly one-of-a-kind.

Gather with your loved ones during your family vacation as you gently ascend into the Ithaca skies. A hot air balloon ride brings families together for an exhilarating shared experience, floating above the earth and strengthening bonds. It’s a peaceful yet thrilling activity that family members of all ages can treasure, creating new memories while enjoying the panorama of the Finger Lakes below.

Imagine drifting over the scenic vistas of Ithaca as you pop the question. Hot air ballooning provides an intimate and unforgettable setting for a marriage proposal. The peaceful serenity of the skies and the stunning backdrop of the Finger Lakes below create a picture-perfect moment to ask for a lifetime together.

Above Ithaca: Real Stories from the Clouds

Read through testimonials from our Ithaca flyers and let their stories lift you up and inspire you to embark on your own journey into the serene skies of Ithaca. Each review is a personal tale of joy experienced at the hands of upstate New York’s Finger Lake Region.

This was the first time we took a balloon ride and it exceeded expectations. Details about the trip and how to prepare were clear and overall communication went smoothly. Once at the launch site the crew took care to explain procedures for take off, flight, and landing, and these were reviewed again at points. The flight was smooth and effortless. We simply glided along while enjoying breathtaking views of the Ithaca skyline, Cayuga Lake, and surrounding hills. The ride was 100% safe so if you're at all skittish about heights have no fear. Landing was smooth and topped off with a toast of champagne, local beer, or a soft drink (whatever your preference). I highly recommend Souther Tier Balloon Tours for this experience. Go on. You know it's on your bucket list just ready to be scratched off.

I would highly recommend this to anyone in the area who is looking for something exciting and different to do. It is expensive but well worth the money. Dar and his crew are amazing so friendly and professional. They walk you through everything and make you feel safe. We went on Thursday 10/19/23: the view was amazing fall foliage was beautiful. We saw so many deer. I wish the crew took a picture of the balloons as it was going up with everyone in it that they could send to us. That would be cool to have. I never realized how much work it takes to get the balloons in the air. It was amazing start to finish. I can’t wait to do it again.

What a delightful experience! The staff were knowledgeable, experienced, and professional. It was our first hot air balloon ride, and the team getting us into the air helped make us feel comfortable and safe. Once in the air, the pilot provided details of the landscape. Upon landing, we celebrated with a champagne toast. Highly recommend!!

It was pleasent experience. Good communication. Good views. Definitely a must try.

This was a great birthday gift for my girlfriend. I was terrified but Dar took care of us and we had an awesome experience. Would highly recommend to take this tour. Especially during autumn.

Second lift off for me. Absolutely amazing. The owner Dar does a spectacular job making everyone feel comfortable and safe.The ground crew are amazing. Dennis shares his wealth of knowledge of the area during your transport. Won't fly with another company. Southern Tier Balloon Tours 5 STARS! AWESOME

We loved everything about our ride with STB tours on a beautiful Autumn morning. Dar and his crew are personable, knowledgeable, and highly skilled. The whole experience was exhilarating from beginning to end. We also appreciated that Dar contacted us to reschedule our ride a few days prior to our original Friday afternoon trip which was likely to be cancelled because of bad weather moving in.

Wow!! what a great experience! It was a beautiful day to fly!! The trees were turning beautiful colors!! Dar and the crew were awesome to work with!! They were polite, knowledgeable and very experienced crew!! We highly recommend the Southern Tier Balloon company to fly with!! Thanks for a wonderful experience!! Oct. 5, 2023

Great experience! Pilot was very knowledgeable and the view was beautiful with the fall foliage. Highly recommend!

My family and I had a great experience with Dar and crew taking us up over Ithaca where we had a great view of Cayuga lake, the Apple Harvest festival in downtown Ithaca, Cornell, and the rolling farms and hills around Ithaca. It was all of our families first time in a hot air balloon and it went really smoothly. It felt like a very personal experience with Dar also helping us catch a view of our own points of interest as well.

Great crew and smooth ride. Experienced operator and crew. Highly recommend

Dar and crew were great! Such a great experience, highly recommend!

I would HIGHLY recommend these guys. Dar and his crew did amazing for our birthday celebration everything was very well communicated and coordinated and super professional. They were very accommodating and knowledgeable about the area. We will be using them again for sure

Absolutely amazing! Took my mother for her 80th birthday and we were not disappointed! Dar was an amazing guide, and we felt very confident and comfortable with him, as well as the ground crew. Would absolutely recommend!!

We had an amazing time-- it was a wonderful experience. Bring a hat, as suggested. My only suggestion to the staff -- my husband and I both agreed we would have preferred to spend more time at higher altitudes than so close to the ground.

Always a great experience!

Recently (about 10 days) had the chance to go on one of STBs Tours with Mr Farzad and down to earth crewman. And as for someone who has never been on a hot air balloon ride before… Let me tell you, it was well worth every second of it. From the buildup of the team staging the balloon and getting it ready launch where we had to lie down horizontally in the basket, too fully flying experiencing the wonderful views of Ithaca, to the thrilling adrenaline pumping descent and landing experience (that one will get you clinching everything just before Dariush yells “Brace for impact” hahaha. The whole experience was pretty awesome. The guys were so friendly and down to earth and you could ask them anything. I even love the little champagne tradition that you have at the end after you’ve had a good flight and you toast to the next one. It’s just an all-around cool experience to go and be a part of if you’ve never been and fully suggest anyone going and doing it if they can do it! P.S. Hoping to take my parents at some point as well!

Such a fun and unique experience! One we will definitely never forget. Dar and his crew are awesome and I would highly recommend!

Southern Tier Balloon and Dar were top notch! Three ladies celebrating very special birthdays took the private tour and oh, the views we saw! What an incredibly peaceful experience. Dar's helpers, two wrestlers from Cornell, were so helpful and very personable. Do not hesitate to book Dar and his tour. You will not regret it!

Amazing experience for all the family

INCREDIBIL !! MINUNAT !! Nu pierdeți ocazia unei astfel de experiențe !! SENZAȚIONAL !!

STB was incredible from the moment we arrived. I would recommend this experience with them. They put us at ease and made this ride smooth, safe and one of the most spectacular things I have ever done.

An experience that was absolutely worth it! Crew is super friendly and efficient, and Dar is an amazing balloon navigator and guide. Ride was smooth and I had people in my party who are terrified of heights, but they didn’t feel afraid at all after the take off. Views were gorgeous- make sure to trust them when they say the weather will be good!

Phenomenal experience. Dar is a great pilot and his crew is top notch. I highly recommend you do it yourself.

Definitely a bucket list dream come true! I had the best time flying over gorgeous Ithaca with my friends- such an unforgettable experience. The staff was super knowledgeable & friendly- If you haven’t gone yet you’re missing out!

This was a great experience! I highly recommend this to anyone in the area. The pilot was friendly and clearly loved what he does and the views were incredible 🫰🏽

Such a great experience. Floating high above the treetops and low over Cayuga lake, the views are awesome! Our pilot Dar was terrific. I plan on doing it again in a few weeks from one of their other locations.

Beautiful experience! Dar is a very skilled and knowledgeable guide! The trip was beautiful across Ithaca! Would recommend wearing a hat as encouraged by STB and perhaps ear plugs. Will definitely fly again!

Cannot recommend enough. The flight was amazing and Dar, Dave, and Brittany made sure we had an amazing time.

My husband surprised me on my birthday and I could not have asked for a better ride. Dar and the crew, Brittany and Dave, were amazing! If you are considering a hot air balloon ride, I would highly recommend this company!

Just finished an AWESOME ride over ithaca NY. Great ride. Fantastic fun. I'd give 6 stars if I could.

As a person that doesn’t do well with heights, this was an amazing experience. Just while walking towards the meeting spot for starting the balloon ride, the STB crew were very friendly and welcoming. Getting to meet the crew and help set up the balloon was a very unique experience. In the rush of hopping in the basket and bracing myself for takeoff, I didn’t notice how fast we got a couple hundred feet in the air. It was so smooth and relaxing, and the views were amazing (even with some smog in the air). It definitely would be worth to go again for different seasons and views. Overall great experience made better wi try great people.

This is hands down one of the coolest ways to experience New York. Also I felt extremely safe and comfortable with the pilot. I fly paragliders all over the world, and usually like to trust myself in the air, but you can tell Dar is dialed. I could just sit back and enjoy the view, because safety is at the forefront of his mind. If you’re a little unsure, just do it, these guys know what they’re doing.

A fabulous flight with great views

We loved our first ever hot air balloon ride!! Dar was very communicative and patient with us, navigating the whacky weather, he kept in contact over the days of our finger lakes trip…we were so happy to make it happen even with the many thunderstorms

Our evening balloon ride was spectacular, and the staff was very knowledgeable about the balloon and also the area we flew over. They are very attentive to your physical needs, as well as your overall safety.I highly recommend this company.

We had the best time on this bucket list activity. It was so neat to get a birds eye view on the area. The crew was professional, friendly, and willing to answer any questions we had. You can tell they all love their jobs.

This was one of the best of many hot air balloon experiences I have had! From travel-to-launch, preparation, launch, flying and landing, it couldn’t have been more smoothly handled. The entire team from pilot to ground crew were personable and great to be with. The pilot provided a fun and varied flight from high above the gorgeous view to skimming through treetops. As an Ithaca resident, I plan to provide future out-of-town guests with this fantastic experience!

We had an amazing time! Professional, safe, amazing crew. Our whole family loved it. Such incredible views and really fun. 10/10 recommended!!!

Dar and his crew were fantastic! Dar was very knowledgeable and funny too! Highly recommend flying with him!

Amazing experience! Dar Farzad is very thorough in preparing you, and his crew is truly expert in their teamwork. I am 76yrs old, and would have liked a rope ladder to get into the basket, but other than that, with some help it was truly an uplifting experience! Post Script: Dar explained why even a rope ladder would be dangerous...

We checked off our bucket list tonight with an awesome flight! The team was friendly and professional and prepared us for everything we needed to know. Thank you for a great experience!

Amazing ride and professional crew! Finished it off with a glass of champagne. Will definitely ride again!

Had a great flight with Dar and some friends! Conditions were great and the flight was smooth, very professional and was a breathtaking experience.

Paid for a private flight and was glad we did. It was a great experience with just the three of us. Dar is an incredible pilot and constantly interacted with us during the flight. We flew under, in and above the clouds for 12 miles. He answered all my stupid questions and even pointed out a great "burger joint" from around 3500 feet that we ate dinner at after the flight. (Glenwood Pines). The ground crew was entertaining and efficient. The ride back to our car was a lesson on Ithaca thanks to Max. A great time!!

My girlfriend and I went up last weekend and it was an incredible experience. Kynan was our pilot and not only did he make the take off and landing seem effortless, but he came ready with fun Ithaca related facts and landmarks to make the tour even more one of a kind. The views were spectacular! Great for mental photos and of course actual photos :). Truly a fantastic adventure!

I had an amazing flying experience! 😍 Kudos to Dar and his crew.

Totally phenomenal!! The entire crew was so professional and fun. Everyone should add this to their bucket list!!

My wife found out about this place and it was three(my wife, my father and myself) us who went for the ride. They are very meticulous in ensuring you have a great time for your ride. They reached out to us via email multiple times to confirm about the whereabouts of the flights and weather conditions. The best part they do not charge you unless you have completed the flight as they understand the weather can be unpredictable. Their staff is super friendly and helpful. If you are doing this for the first time or 100th time I can assure you this will be the greatest ride you will take. Our pilot was very well trained ( also he is a pilot for Niagara EMS) and made us all feel super safe. Our crew was always in contact with us during our flight. Each flight is 45 - 70 minutes in the air, but make sure to plan for 2.5 - 3 hours for the whole experience (meet, flight, drive back, and post flight toast). We were in air for almost 1.25 hours. Safe for kids as long as they listen to adults. Will do another ride for sure with them. Special thanks to Dar Farzad(President), who was super considering for adjusting us at the last minute.

Great communication with the team on weather the day and night before. Fantastic flight with a very experienced and friendly ballooner. Very well organized and safe!

Amazing bucket list experience. Great way to see Ithaca from a different perspective. Crew was fun and professional. Dar---owner and pilot---was super easy-going and accommodating even as he made sure everyone was safe.

What an awesome experience, Dar and the whole team are just real fun professionals. Highly recommended! Thank you guys so much for the ride, will be back to do that again.

Dar and his team were professional, knowledgeable, and just downright fun. I would recommend this experience to anyone who is looking to take a hot air balloon ride (and it was particularly beautiful over the finger lakes).

My wife and I took an evening flight with Dar as our pilot! It was a great experience! The team did a great job making the launch and landing as effortless and comfortable as possible! The views are fantastic and Dar was very accommodating and knowledgeable about the area and has a good sense of humor! We would miss landing fields due to the wind direction and he would just say onto the next one! We would highly recommend Southern Tier Balloon Tours! Just a great time!

We had a great time! Dar and his crew were awesome and enhanced an already great experience

Very friendly and wonderful staffs. The view is wonderful and the experience is remarkable.

The team was phenomenal. The experience was very easy and felt safe every step of the way. An incredibly beautiful and peaceful way to view the the finger lakes. Highly recommend!!

Did a Father, Son, Grandfather trip for Father's day weekend. First time for us and would definitely do again since every trip is unique! Everything was explained well and handled professionally by Dar and crew so we always felt very safe. A memorable experience we will never forget! Thanks STB!!!

We booked a balloon ride to fulfill a dream of my Dad's for his 80th birthday. We went in October just when the leaves were starting to change. So happy the winds were in our favor, because we had a fantastic flight! Dar and crew were very organized and friendly and gave us a great experience.

Dar provided an incredible tour over Ithaca. The hot air balloon experience is a must do for people looking for an adventure, sight seeing, or even a romantic date. Thank you Southern Tier Balloon Tours!

Fantastic views. Extremely friendly and fun crew. Would recommend highly recommend to anyone!

My husband and I took this balloon ride a couple days ago was on my bucket list for a long time. I actually had a few cancellations before I actually got to go up in the air but it was definitely worth the wait. The ride was awesome! It’s a calm as can be up there don’t feel motion, you don’t feel’s just an awesome experience. The people who run this are absolutely great ! they know what they’re doing, very professional and keep you informed I highly recommend it to anyone who thinks they want to go

First time flying in a balloon. Both wife and I were very nervous doing this, but this was one of the most enjoyable experiences I've had. It's not at all like flying, but very relaxing and sort of like gliding more than flying. However, we hit a small section of fog, so Dar took us up to 3,000 feet and above the fog! Yes, THAT was an experience. Scary as hell being that high up, but very cool. But most of the time we rode just above the tree line and that was extremely relaxing. Great job Dar and the whole STBT crew.

My wife and I brought our 3 daughters on this amazing trip. We absolutely loved it! Dar was an amazing pilot and the crew was fantastic. Flying right on the treetops is something we will never forget. The views were incredible and the landing was perfect. I completely recommend it!

My family went for a ride with Southern Tier Balloon Tours on 8/3/21 and we absolutely loved it! We had beautiful weather and Dar and his crew were very professional. It was an amazing experience that was absolutely worth it. Highly recommend!

Beautiful sunrise, flight over Cayuga and over our home. Great driving Dar!!

Great experience! Dar and crew were great! Very communicative and made it easy for our family!

Amazing experience with our pilot Keenan. They also have slots available daily in summer time. Definitely recommended to ppl visiting finger lake area.

Beautiful adventure!

Had a great experience. More than I could ask for.

The best experience ever! The staff was very knowledgeable and friendly. Asked for a specific request(engagement) and the owner Dar hooked me up!! Highly recommend!!

Had a wonderful time with Dar as our pilot! Crew was so professional and hard working. Guests got to be part of many areas of the experience and ended the tour with a champagne toast. Beautiful ride and experience. Thank you!

My wife and I went out with Dar in Ithaca NY on 6/23/2021. The ride was amazing! The takeoff and landing was a lot smoother than I could have imagined and the views were out of this world! I cannot recommend Dar and Southern Tier Balloon Tours enough. The crew and pilot were super friendly, professional and extremely knowledgeable. Five star experience!

It was amazing. I would definitely recommend this.

Hads down the best experience booking with Southern Tier. The communication was on point all prior to the flight and all of the employees were professional and made you feel very comfortable. From beginning to end we loved every minute of it and would recommend to anyone. Ya only live once - book the damn flight! Haha

The balloon ride was beautiful and not scary at all! I highly recommend a sunrise trip! The champagne at the end was a wonderful touch and the crew were all trustworthy and fun to be around. We felt safe the whole time! #sandals #rdr

Wonderful trip around a gorgeous area! Dar was very knowledgeable and entertaining, and the whole crew was great. Would absolutely recommend this tour!

Dar was a great guide and his team was very entertaining. We felt very safe and had so much fun. The views were incredible! Would very much recommend.

I had such an amazing time!!! Totally worth it and I can’t wait to go again! It’s so beautiful and peaceful and I was so excited! It was a great experience and made my year. I hope that everyone gets a chance to go if they want to, I’ve never been before and I loved it. You don’t have to worry about being scared and it feels very safe and they do such a great job! The views were incredible and I have so many photos.

The balloon experience was very exciting and saw great views, the captain was very informative and helpful as well as the crewmembers very positive and made the overall experience great.

WOW just amazing. Dar is an incredible guide, so friendly and knows what he’s doing. Will do again and recommend to all my friends. Everyone come do this it’s amazing!!!

Incredible! Views were insane for peak foliage and so peaceful that high up. Staff extremely organized and fun.

Amazing flight and experience.

My husband and I were in the Ithaca region for our honeymoon (bc Covid). This turned out to be an amazing trip! We were searching for things to do in the area and my husband mentioned hot air ballooning. I jumped on booking a flight. The weather did cause a few reschedulings of our flight, but for good reason! The night we got to fly was absolutely incredible! The crew was super friendly. They did an incredible job. Dar was an amazing pilot and super knowledgeable. I would HIGHLY recommend flying with him!!

Such an outstanding flight. The crew was very personable and fun, professional and organized. Dar is a great pilot who answered any questions asked. Very down to earth guy who shook all my nerves away immediately. I was a big scared baby all day long leading up to the flight, and then after meeting him and the crew I had no nerves. They asked for some help inflating the balloon and I jumped up, which made the fun even more abundant. It was awesome getting hands on with the crew. All around a fantastic experience!

We were vacationing at Seneca Lake & are so glad we added this flight to our must-do list! It was one of the highlights of our week. Dar was an amazing pilot and made everyone feel at ease (even the shaky first-timers). He was very informative about the area & you could tell he absolutely loved his job. If you are looking for a memorable experience, I highly recommend Southern Balloon Tours. We hope to fly with them again!

Your Gateway to the Skies is Just Around the Corner in Ithaca, NY

For adventurers from neighboring towns and cities, the journey to our launch site in Ithaca, New York, a scenic city in the Finger Lakes region, is a convenient and short drive—a perfect complement to an impromptu getaway or a planned excursion for any occasion. Here’s how quickly you can find yourself at our doorstep, ready to take flight:

Experience Ithaca From Above

Don’t miss the opportunity to witness the enchanting beauty of the Finger Lakes from the best seat in the sky. Southern Tier Balloon Tours invites you to elevate your senses with a breathtaking balloon ride over Ithaca. Whether you’re a local or visiting from nearby, the majestic views are just a short journey away. Book your flight today and join us for an unparalleled airborne adventure that promises to be the highlight of your day, or even your year. The skies over Ithaca are calling you!