Change your perspective: Ride in a hot air balloon or on a bike

The TribuneAugust 8, 2006 

Get a lofty view of Paso’s wine county — from the basket of a hot air balloon.

Watch the massive, colorful balloon being inflated then climb in the wicker basket for an unforgettable journey over the vineyards and tree-dotted rolling countryside. Let’s Go Ballooning (805-458 -1530) offers one-hour rides for $189 per person. Reservations are required.

Pedal your way around Paso’s Westside with Central Coast Outdoors (888-873-5610, 805-528-1080). The company offers a bike tour of the area that stops at wineries for complimentary tasting and a picnic lunch. The 22-mile route with 20 mile optional extra is hilly at times, but there’s always a van you can hop in. The full day tour costs $159 to $119 per person depending on the size of the party. The half day tour is 12 miles with an optional 5 miles added. The tour costs $139 to $89 depending on the size of the group.

If you’d rather spend a few hours biking in the morning then tour wineries by van in the afternoon, tack on an additional $40 per person. One travels through canyons northeast of Paso then visits the wineries of eastside, the other travels the Pacific coast north of Cambria then visits Westside wineries. Both include a picnic lunch, visits to two-four wineries and tasting fees. The company also offer bike trips in the Edna and Arroyo Grande valleys near San Luis Obispo.

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