The Best Places to Watch the Blue Angels & Hydro Races This Year

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This year marks the 70th anniversary of the official Seafair Weekend and along with the hydroplane races, wakeboarding competitions and inaugural classic car show, comes the Boeing Seafair Air Show featuring the US Navy Blue Angels. But that’s not all. This milestone year also brings a new flight path which will allow the planes to soar over Seattle without any bridge closures. Scroll down to see our favorite places to watch this year’s Boeing Seafair Air Show and HomeStreet Bank Cup.

photo: Seafair

Can’t-Miss Weekend Activities

Boeing Seafair Air Show
The Boeing Seafair Air Show runs Fri., Aug. 2 through Sun., Aug. 4, 2019 and it’s where you can catch the amazing flying aerobatics of the best of the best pilots. This year’s lineup includes the US Navy Blue Angels, the US Army’s Golden Knights, US Air Force, US Coast Guard and many more! Festivities kick off at 9 a.m. on all three days.

For 2019, The Blue Angels flight area over Lake Washington will shift a bit south, so the I-90 Bridge and Seward Park will remain open. Practices will be held on Thurs., Aug. 1 from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. and again from 2:30 p.m.-3:30 p.m. Performances over Seafair Weekend (Fri., Aug. 2-Sun., Aug. 4) will take place from 3 p.m.-4 p.m.

HomeStreet Bank Cup
The HomeStreet Bank Cup is a H1 Unlimited Hydroplane Boat Race held at Genesee Park (4316 S. Genesee St., Seattle, Wa 98118) on Lake Washington. The race is an integral part of Seafair festival that was started in 1950. Psst! Seattle is the third oldest Unlimited race site.

Graham Trucking Seafair Cup & Other Events 
Additional events happening this year include the Graham Trucking Seafair Cup, the Hyperlite World Class Wakeboarding competition, Monster Energy’s BMX Stunt Bikes, a Classic Car Show and the Kids Zone with inflatables, games and more! Check out the Commemorative Magazine online for more info.

photo: Rachel Brandon

Going to the Races

What to Bring
Be sure to lather on the sunscreen and bring lots of water and some extra cash as many of the beaches will have tasty treats to purchase. Your wingmen will enjoy the show best if you gear them up with some ear protection, especially if they can sport some cool ear muffs like the ones the pilots wear.

The Best Way to Get There
Genesee Park on Lake Washington will be your best bet for a front row seat for both the air show and hydroplane extravaganza. However, getting there by car is no picnic and when you do, the parking is pretty expensive ($40 per day). Instead, we suggest you take advantage of buses and lightrail for your transportation needs. In any case, here are your options:

Sound Transit Link Light Rail
Guests arriving via Link Light Rail can get off at the Columbia Center Station and take advantage of a free round-trip shuttle service from the station to the park Friday through Sunday from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. If you are coming from the north, park at the University of Washington. If you’re coming from the south, the Sea-Tac Airport Garage or a Light Rail station will be your best choices. Check here for fare information.

Sound Transit Buses
Check the Sound Transit Trip Planner here for the most direct route from your home.

Metro Transit Buses
Metro Bus Route 50 will be operating a standard schedule with stops at Genesee Park and Columbia City Station. This route will operate every 15 minutes from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. on Seafair Saturday and Sunday. Members of the military and their families will receive free rides on Metro Transit by simply showing their military ID. Parking is available for pre-purchase by clicking here.

Bike to Seafair
Anyone riding their bike to the festival on Aug. 3 or 4 will be allowed to use the North Gate entry to gain access to a free and secure bicycle pavilion. Seafair will provide anyone riding and storing their bike in the pavilion with a half-price general admission ticket to the event and a free bottle of water.

ADA Parking
Limited paid ADA event parking will be available on-site on a first come, first served basis. A state-issued, accessible placard is required for access.

Regular Parking
Tickets for parking at Genesee Park are $40 per car and must be purchased ahead of time. Click here for more information.


photo: Rachael Brandon

Museum of Flight Jet Blast Bash

The Museum of Flight’s 5th Annual Jet Blast Bash is a two-day event that offers families the closest views of the Blue Angels as they will park and take off from the Museum’s parking lot. During the weekend, the Museum will be chock-full of outdoor family activities, plane displays, live music and more. All activities are free with Museum admission and free parking can be found adjacent to the Museum.

Dates and Times
Aug. 3-4, 2019 from 11 a.m.-4 p.m.

$25/Adults; $21/Seniors; $16/Youth (5-17); 4 & under Free; Discounts are available for AAA members, Military, Boeing employees, BECU members. AAA members can book tickets online.

Museum of Flight
9404 E. Marginal Way S.
Seattle, WA 98108

2019 Seafair Weekend Schedule

9 a.m.–H1 Unlimited Testing
10:15 a.m.–J-Hydro Race 1
10:35 a.m.–E350 Testing Presented by Graham Trucking
11:05 a.m.–Vintage Hydroplane Exhibition
11:25 a.m.–J-Hydro Race 2
11:45 a.m.–H1 Unlimited Qualifying
1:05 p.m.–Vintage Hydroplane Exhibition
1:25 p.m.–Golden Knights Performance Boeing Seafair Air Show
2 p.m.–Boeing Seafair Air Show Aerobatic Planes
3 p.m.–Blue Angels Performance at Boeing Seafair Air Show

9 a.m.–H1 Unlimited Testing
9:30 a.m.–J-Hydro Race 3
9:50 a.m.–H1 Unlimited Testing
11 a.m. –E350 Heat 1 Presented by Graham Trucking
11:15 a.m.–J Hydro Race 4
11:35 a.m. –Vintage Hydroplane Exhibition
11:55 a.m. –Golden Knights Performance Boeing Seafair Air Show
12:30 p.m.–Boeing Seafair Air Show Aerobatic Planes
1:40 p.m.–Vintage Hydroplane Exhibition
2:05 p.m.–E350 Heat 2 Presented by Graham Trucking
2:25 p.m.–H1 Unlimited Heats 1A and 1B
3 p.m.–Blue Angels Performance at Boeing Seafair Air Show

9 a.m.–H1 Unlimited Testing
10:10 a.m.–J-Hydro Race 5
10:30 a.m.–Golden Knights Perform Boeing Seafair Air Show
10:55 a.m. –Opening Ceremony
11:05 a.m.–Vintage Hydroplane Exhibition
11:30 a.m.–E350 Heat 3 Presented by Graham Trucking
11:50 a.m.–H1 Unlimited Heat 2A and 2B
12:25 p.m.–Boeing Seafair Air Show Aerobatic Planes
1:35 p.m.–Vintage Hydroplane Exhibition
2 p.m.–E350 Heat 4 Presented by Graham Trucking
2:25 p.m.–H1 Unlimited Heat 3A and 3B
3 p.m.–Blue Angels Performance at Boeing Seafair Air Show
4:05 p.m.–Graham Trucking Cup E350 Final
4:25 p.m.–HomeStreet Bank Cup H1 Final
4:45 p.m.–Awards Ceremony

photo: Seafair

Where to Find All the Action 

Genesee Park on Lake Washington is the official location and will be your best bet for a front row seat to the Air Show extravaganza, hydroplane hoopla and a lot more. The park is located at 4316 S. Genesee St., Seattle, WA 98118.

Regular Tickets
General Admission: Free on Friday (courtesy of Quil Ceda Creek Casino); $30 on Sat. & Sun.
Pit Pass: $10
3-Day Festival Championship Admission: $75
Festival Admission for Youth (6-12) & Seniors (62 & over): $10
Grandstand Seating: $30 on Fri.; $60 on Sat. & Sun.
Captain’s Club Seating: $125 on Fri.; $150 on Sat. & Sun.

Ticket Deals
Discount tickets are available at participating Safeway and Albertsons stores. You can find them here.

photo: pvland via Flickr

Other Locations to See the Air Show

Mount Baker Park
Located just two miles away from the Seafair epicenter, this beach park is the perfect spot to picnic while you watch in awe as the team displays the amazing agility and speed of the F/A-18 Hornet, performing a flurry of stunts that loop, roll and turn through the sky. The small, well-groomed space has plenty of entertainment to keep those jet-heads busy while you wait for the show, including a life-guarded beach complete with a roped off kiddie area, a cozy grass lawn perfect for a picnic, plus a small playground with a sturdy zip-line for small fries to attempt their own daredevil maneuvers on.

Insider Tip: Be sure to arrive early to beat the crowds and spend some time exploring the park before the show. Parking is limited, so consider using public transportation or venturing the neighborhoods on the hill above the lake.

2521 Lake Park Dr. S.
Seattle, WA 98144

photo: US Navy Blue Angels

Colman Park
Located adjacent to Mount Baker Park, this lush, grassy waterfront area offers an amazing view of Lake Washington and a stellar place to picnic with the crew while you do some plane watching. Spend some time wandering the walking trails, community garden and score some ice cream before the show.

Colman Park
1800 Lake Washington Blvd. S.
Seattle, WA 98144

Pritchard Island Beach
Tucked quietly away in the Rainier Beach area of Lake Washington is a little grassy beach that heralds panoramic views of Seward Park and Mercer Island. Here kids can splash around in the water, cannonball from the low or high diving boards and enjoy the show away from the noise and glitz of the big festivities.

Pritchard Island Beach
8400 55th Ave. S.
Seattle, WA 98118

Aubrey Davis Park – Mercer Island
Formerly called Park on the Lid, this huge green space, located just off of the I-90 bridge, offers an abundance of room to watch a stellar show with spectacular views of Lake Washington, the Olympics and Seattle’s skyline as the backdrop. The park also offers two softball fields, two playgrounds and trails throughout the park, giving everyone plenty of room to run around, throw a Frisbee or park for a bite to eat.

Aubrey Davis Park
2030 72nd Ave. S.E.
Mercer Island, WA 98040

Groveland Beach Park Beach – Mercer Island
This hidden gem is located in a residential neighborhood on the west shore of Mercer Island and offers a guarded, sandy beach and playground to hang with your flight crew during the show. Keep in mind that you will have to walk down a steep, paved path to get to the beach. Although not a direct vantage point for the demonstration, this area does offer a less crowded alternative for plane gazing.

Groveland Park
7740 S.E. 58th St.
Mercer Island, WA 98040

Medina Beach Park
Keep ‘em cool at this gorgeous lakefront park with a sweet panorama of Lake Washington with Seattle, plus Mount Rainier in the background. Bring along those shovels and buckets and let the kids play in the sand, or splash around in the water while scoring one of the best views around for watching the Blues.

Medina Beach Park
501 Evergreen Point Rd.
Medina, WA 98039

photo: Seafair

Chism Beach Park
It will be planes galore at this scenic Bellevue neighborhood park with its lakefront sandy beach, and sloping grass lawn, and the perfect place for your crew to convene for an afternoon airshow. With its play structure built right on the beach, tots can easily maneuver from water-play, to playground, to sand digging without missing a moment of all the high-flying action.

Chism Beach Park
9600 S.E. 11th St.
Bellevue, WA 98004

Meydenbauer Bay Park
Nearly walking distance from downtown Bellevue, this newly remodeled beach park will give you enough of a view, and plenty of activities to keep the chitlins busy both before and after the show. Take advantage of the quarter-mile of Lake Washington waterfront, beautiful swimming beach and swimming platform, plus a 400-foot-long curved pedestrian pier that extends into the lake, a hand-carry boat launch, paved walkways, picnic areas and a fantastic playground. The park also features a hilltop overlook with gorgeous views of Seattle, a new beach house with restrooms, changing rooms and boat rentals (think: canoes, kayaks and stand-up paddle boards) and a lifeguard station.

Meydenbauer Bay Park
419 98th Ave. N.E.
Bellevue, WA 98004

—Jeffrey Totey & Rachael Brandon


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