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Where to Watch SF Fleet Week

Jeff Howard October 1, 2019

From air shows to ship tours, art galleries to music festivals, San Francisco’s Fleet Week offers a packed schedule of events all week long October 6th through 14th. Let’s explore where to watch SF Fleet Week and all the fantastic festivities planned for this year’s celebration of The United States Armed Forces!

Pier 39

San Francisco’s world-famous Pier 39 will be jam-packed with travelers from all over attempting to catch a glimpse of the awesome air show above. If you’re looking to find a seat or even standing room, make sure to arrive early to secure a spot before the Air Show takes place from 12-4 on Friday-Sunday October 11th-13th. Thousands of spectators will line the water around Fisherman’s Wharf hours in advance to enjoy seafood and take in the thrilling action from the Blue Angels overhead. For North Beach locals, such as the ones living at the nearby 2133 Stockton apartments, a quick stroll over to Pier 39 will be well worth battling the crowds. However, traffic is expected to be dense if you are attempting to venture to Pier 39 from further.

Marina Green & Crissy Field

 

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The most popular spot with likely the best view is along the shoreline at The Marina Green and Crissy Field. This vast grassy region will be the center of all the action with the Blue Angels flying directly overhead and Parade of Ships passing through the Golden Gate on Friday, October 11th. This former U.S. Army airfield provides a vantage point that gives viewers unobstructed views of the Air Show taking place over famous landmarks such as The Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, and Coit Tower. The beach and grassy landscape in this area make for the perfect picnic so make sure to bring plenty of snacks, drinks, and of course sunscreen! Luckily, the Marina Safeway is located nearby just next door to the luxurious Marina Cove Apartments.

Fort Mason

 

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Also next door to Marina Cove, Fort Mason is another excellent location to enjoy the Fleet Week festivities. A former U.S. Army post and coastal defense site for over 100 years, Fort Mason is now part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area and is one of the most popular public parks to visit in San Francisco. This sizeable outdoor venue in The City’s northern Marina continually plays host to numerous art shows, concerts, and food festivals in its fantastic event spaces. Whether you’re looking to pack a picnic basket or pick up some delicious eats off a food truck, you are sure to find something good around Fort Mason! Additionally, the Marina District has quite the selection of wonderful bars and restaurants available on the nearby Union and Chestnut Streets. Currently, Trinity has fully furnished and renovated apartments available for rent at 1550 Bay Street neighboring Fort Mason.

Coit Tower

If you don’t have a rooftop deck, the top of Telegraph Hill next to Coit Tower may be the best free high-elevation spot to see the Blue Angels. The small park surrounding Coit Tower, Pioneer Park, will absolutely draw large crowds for Fleet Week due to its unique view of the show. Climb the Filbert Street steps or make the trek up the winding Telegraph Hill Boulevard to enjoy this spectacular show next to one of the most famous landmarks in SF! This peaceful neighborhood may not be one of San Francisco’s most well known, but its proximity to downtown, The Embarcardero, and North Beach combined with fantastic views make it very desirable. There are currently fully-furnished studio apartments and controlled-access parking available at the 350 Union Street apartments on Telegraph Hill.

Aquatic Park

 

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Another lively spot on the waterfront is the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park commonly referred to as Aquatic Park. Located in the Russian Hill area next to Ghirardelli Square, this park is close to some of San Francisco’s most iconic restaurants such as Gary Danko and The Buena Vista. The cove already has permanent bleachers that will be filled with spectators during Fleet Week so you will not have to worry about seating. While going for a swim is a little chilly for most of us, the calm waters of this protected cove will likely attract some overheated visitors. Also just up the hill from Aquatic Park are the luxurious 1000 Chestnut Street Apartments. These fully-furnished homes offer an unbelievable view of the bay that will undoubtedly provide an unreal Fleet Week experience for residents and their friends. Take a tour today!

On the water

 

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The San Francisco Bay is annually filled with boaters during Fleet Week, and it truly is one big party on the water. If you do not know anyone with a boat, there are plenty of rental options and cruises available during Fleet Week to handle the influx of travelers coming to The City. While this will certainly be the most expensive option, there is no substitute for watching the Blue Angels fly directly over and around you. The Air Show will take place from 12pm-4pm each day on the weekend of Friday, October 11th – Sunday, October 13th but make sure to plan your boat trip in advance to ensure a spot!

Marin Headlands

Another option for viewers of Fleet Week looking to avoid the congestion of The City can found in The Marin Headlands. While this vantage point is a little further from the action, the backdrop of The Golden Gate Bridge and city skyline make for an unbelievable show. Marin County provides some of the most remarkable views of San Francisco and Fleet Week is an excellent time to hop on a ferry or make the trip across the bridge.

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