Best Places To Watch Blue Angels During SeaFair 2012

From Gene Coulon to Lakeridge Elementary and beyond, there are dozens of places in Renton to enjoy the Blue Angels air show. Do you have another favorite spot? Please share it with us in the comment section, below.

There are few places I have not seen the Blue Angels.

I've enjoyed the show from a boat and atop the Columbia Tower, just to name a few. Renton is host to many spots for great air show views without the aggravation of traffic and hassle of navigating through crowds of people.

Here are a few of our favorite locations:

Top spot - Lakeridge Elementary on the West Hill at the parkground. The school playground is in the direct line of the Blue Angels' flight path.

Other spots - North end of the , and Kennydale Beach Park. However, you won't get to see the direct result of all the moves because Renton is the southern boundary of their performance area.

If you're looking for an adventure and don't mind sitting in traffic or dealing with thousands of people, head for Mercer Island or the Leschi neighorhood to stand on the I-90 bridge.

Mercer Island - Options include the Park on the Lid (above I-90) and being on the eastside of the I-90 highrise. Arrive at least two hours early to pick out your spot. Entry to I-90 is via West Mercer Way.

Westside of I-90 - Access via Martin Luther King Jr Way at Sam Smith Park. Take a brisk walk in a tunnel which brings you directly to the bridge. Also plan to arrive at least two hours before the show; this is one of the more popular locations given the bridge and hillside access.

South of Stan Sayres Pits - This other great view is along Lake Washington Boulevard. There is limited parking and you will have to park and walk a few blocks.

Museum of Flight - in Tukwila. Although access is restricted to the fence, it's still a treat to watch the team perform their pre-flight ceremony, and see the pilots fire up the jets and roll onto the runway. Stay for the aftershow as the team comes back to Boeing Field.

Don't count on watching the show from Seward Park, which is closed during the Blue Angels' performance because the team's flight path goes right through Anderson Bay into the park.

Do you have a favorite spot or great photo of the Blues? Log in to Patch and share your spot to view the air show or upload your photos to this article. 

Don't forget for those trying to beat the bridge closures.

This is the current closure schedule for I-90:

  • Thursday, Aug. 2: 9:45 a.m. to noon, and 1:15 to 2:30 p.m., (practice)
  • Friday, Aug. 3: 12:45 to 2:40 p.m., (practice)
  • Saturday, Aug. 4: 12:45 to 2:40 p.m., (full show)
  • Sunday, Aug. 5: 12:45 to 2:40 p.m., (full show)

Ramp closures:

  • Northbound I-5 to eastbound I-90 ramp (closed up to 30 minutes prior to show or practice)
  • Southbound I-5 to eastbound I-90 ramp (closed up to 30 minutes prior to show or practice)
  • Southbound and northbound Rainier Avenue ramps (closed up to 30 minutes prior to show or practice)
  • 76th Ave. to westbound I-90 (closed up to 30 minutes prior to show or practice)
  • Island Crest Way to westbound I-90 (closed up to 30 minutes prior to show or practice)
  • Eastbound I-90 to West Mercer Way (closed up to 30 minutes prior to show or practice)
  • East Mercer Way to westbound I-90 (closed up one hour prior to show or practice)
  • West Mercer Way to westbound I-90 (up to one hour prior to show or practice)

The closures apply to all vehicles, bicycles and pedestrians. The closures are required by the Federal Aviation Administration to ensure safety and minimize distractions for drivers, cyclists and pedestrians, as well as for the Blue Angels pilots. For details on closures and FAA regulations visit the Seafair closures page.

SR 520 bridge operations
During the I-90 closure, the SR 520 floating bridge will still be open to traffic and tolls will be collected according to the rate schedule. Infrequent users of the SR 520 bridge may want to consider setting up a short-term Good To Go! account for Seafair weekend.

Additionally, the SR 520 drawspan will not open for marine traffic during the following times:

  • Thursday, Aug. 2, from 6:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Friday, Aug. 3, from 12:30 to 7 p.m.
  • Saturday, Aug. 4, and Sunday, Aug. 5, from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m.
Camille August 05, 2012 at 09:17 PM
Your 'top spot' at lakeridge elem is definitely NOT the top spot to watch the Blue Angels, in fact, it pretty much sucks. They are too far away to really see anything and they are behind the tree-line almost the whole time. In the two hours we sat on the field they flew directly over once. This spot was horribly disappointing.
Dave Nelson August 05, 2012 at 11:03 PM
Camille, Am sorry for the disappointment, it appears this year's show was different then year's past as to where they set-up. I was also disappointed in the Mercer Island location as much of the trees have grown taking away from the show. I should have provided a little more information that the Lakeridge is just a set-up zone and doesn't directly show the performance, only the fly-bys. However some readers thought the sight was great for kids, because of the playground and the fact the Blues would come over at times. Next year, try Boeing Field or along the shoreline of Lake Washington Blvd (if you want to fight traffic).
MrMyke August 06, 2012 at 02:35 AM
Next year if you want a distant, but good enough to see all the tricks without having to fight a single person for a parking or standing spot, then look up the location of St. Paul Catholic Church and School in Upper Rainier Beach. It's only 4 minutes north of Skyway, just off Renton Ave. Drive to the top of the hill above the school and you will be looking at an unobstructed view over the lake, across Seward Park and right onto the performance area. No matter how the specifics of the show may change, this will always be a spot to see the performance.
Dave Nelson August 06, 2012 at 03:50 AM
I have see that viewpoint, thanks for sharing MrMyke.


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