The Best Plane Spotting Locations at SAN

Jason Daniel Shaw

The Best Plane Spotting Location at San Diego International Airport

Lindbergh Field, KSAN – San Diego, CA

As you may already know, I love everything aviation, so when I find an airport with a great spot for watching the planes come and go, I have to share it.  San Diego International Airport has one of my favorite spots to watch both the airport and the airplanes.  Due to the way the airport is situated in the city, the airplanes come so low over your head that you fell like you can reach out and touch them.

San Diego International Departure at Night

Laurel Airport Parking

I found this spot earlier this year when I was in San Diego for the Red Bull Air Races.  I was driving down the 5 freeway when a plane came right overhead.  As I watched it approach the runway, I noticed that there was an open-roof parking structure right on final approach.  I took a look at Google Maps and saw that it was called Laurel Airport Parking at the corner of W Laurel Street and Kettner Blvd.  I decided to give it a try later that night for some light trail shots of the airplanes taking off and landing.

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I arrived since it was a staffed parking garage.  I told the attendant that I was a photographer and wanted to get some shots of the planes from the roof.  He said that I could do so but would have to pay the daily parking rate.  I gladly did so and headed to the roof.  The roof gives you a vantage point that you can see perfectly down the runway and see the planes taxiing around.  You are on the approach end of the runway so the planes on final come right over your head.  It is great for observing the vortices.  I was able to get some great shots and I have been back once since to do some more night photos.  If you have ever been, leave me a comment or contact me via Instagram to let me know your favorite spot.

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