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The best places to watch San Francisco Fleet Week’s air shows

The Blue Angels fly overhead during a Fleet Week air show in San Francisco in 2022. | Source: Benjamin Fanjoy/The Standard

San Francisco Fleet Week is upon us, with air shows featuring the Blue Angels happening Friday through Sunday.

The Blue Angels took practice flights over the city Thursday as dignitaries held a memorial for the late U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein. When her remarks were interrupted by the roar of jet engines, Mayor London Breed thanked Feinstein, who brought Fleet Week to San Francisco in 1981.

READ MORE: Photos: Blue Angels Take Flight Over San Francisco for City’s 2023 Fleet Week Celebrations

The Blue Angels are based out of Oakland International Airport. You can view the air show schedule here.

Here are the best viewing spots in San Francisco, according to the Navy and city officials:

READ MORE: Where San Francisco Fleet Week Will Be the Loudest

Marina Green

The Marina Green is a large, flat lawn between the Palace of Fine Arts and Fort Mason that sits along the bay with views of the Golden Gate Bridge.

Fleet Week fans can also purchase VIP viewing tickets, which range from $125 for assigned box seats on the waterfront up to $395 for Flight Deck Club tickets, which include a full buffet and the option to sit along the waterfront or at patio tables with umbrellas in a “club-like setting.”

Marina Green is a popular place to gather and watch Fleet Week's air shows. | Source: Lea Suzuki/The San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images

Crissy Field

Crissy Field lies west of Marina Green in San Francisco's Presidio. Like Marina Green, it's a large grassy field, but bigger and fronted by Golden Gate Beach. It also offers sweeping views of the San Francisco Bay.

The Golden Gate Bridge is in the background at Crissy Field. | Source: Maryann Jones Thompson/The Standard

Presidio Tunnel Tops

The Presidio Tunnel Tops is a park in the Presidio that opened in July 2022 and spans the Presidio Parkway’s two highway tunnels. While further from the water, the park is higher up, making it a great spot to view Fleet Week's air shows.

And for air show spectators feeling peckish, there's a daily food truck pop-up nearby. You can check out the food trucks pulling up this weekend here.

Visitors to Presidio Tunnel Tops Park watch as U.S. Navy Blue Angels fighter jets soar above San Francisco on Thursday. | Source: Philip Pacheco for The Standard

Aquatic Park

Aquatic Park is east of Fort Mason and has a lawn and beach. While smaller than other viewing locations on this list, it is also closer to North Beach and Fisherman's Wharf—without being as crowded as Pier 39 is bound to be.

Unlike last year, the Aquatic Park Pier (Muni Pier) has been closed since October 2022 after an earthquake rendered it structurally unsound. The National Park Service plans to spend $100 million replacing it.

San Franciscans and tourists enjoy the sunshine at Aquatic Park near Ghirardelli Square in 2022. | Source: Camille Cohen/The Standard

Marin Headlands

A view from Marin Headlands overlooks San Francisco. | Source: Getty Images

Want to get out of San Francisco for an air show? Just across the Golden Gate Bridge, Marin Headlands is an excellent place to view the air shows—weather permitting.

Vista Point is a popular location known for its sweeping views of San Francisco's skyline and the San Francisco Bay.

Just be ready to pay a bridge toll if you're coming back to San Francisco.