5 Best Air and Sea Shows in the United States
Air and sea shows have been loved by Americans since their debut for more than a century. Today, air and sea shows are held all across America, showcasing planes and boats with cutting-edge tech.
If you’re looking for air and sea shows worth your while, consider our list of the five top shows across the United States:
- Seafair Weekend Festival
- Chicago Air and Water Show
- New York Fleet Week
- Hyundai Air & Sea Show (Miami)
- San Francisco Fleet Week
Seafair Weekend Festival
The annual air and sea show in Seattle is called the Seafair Weekend Festival. It’s been held since the early 1950s when the city was celebrating its centennial. Today, Seafair is an event that lasts for several weeks in July and August. There’s a lot to do here — boat races, an air show with the U.S. Navy Blue Angels, a triathlon, musical performances, and more!
Tickets can be purchased on the website as well. Active-duty, reserve, and retired military personnel can attend for free.
Chicago Air and Water Show
The Chicago Air and Water Show is held in August and is the largest free show in the U.S. Popular performers include the U.S. Navy Blue Angels, U.S. Army Parachute Team Golden Knights, U.S. Air Force Heritage Flight, and U.S. Navy Legacy Flights, along with U.S. Coast Guard Air/Sea Rescue, the Illinois National Guard 183rd Security Forces and the Chicago Fire Department’s Air/Sea Rescue team.
The show has been held since 1959 and now draws more than 2 million people to the Lake Michigan waterfront each year. For a look at what to expect at the next presentation of the show, head to Choose Chicago.
New York City Fleet Week
Fleet Week in New York City is a celebration of the U.S. Armed Forces, with members of the U.S. Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard participating. The event has been held nearly every year since 1984 and includes a parade of ships with some impressive steel.
The 2022 Fleet Week showcased noteworthy vessels like the USS Bataan amphibious assault ship, the USS Milwaukee combat ship, the USCGC Dependable cutter, and others.
For a look at which ships will attend the next New York City Fleet Week, check here!
Hyundai Air & Sea Show
Florida’s Miami Beach plays host to the Hyundai Air & Sea Show in late May, during the Memorial Day holiday weekend. The event showcases all five branches of the U.S. military, as well as the police, firefighters, and other first responders.
Attendees get to see an offshore powerboat racing exhibition featuring Cigarette boats, some “extreme watersports” that will have you seeing water-skiing in a new light, a professional parachute demonstration, music from popular bands as well as military bands, and more. The Hyundai Air & Sea Show is exhilarating!
San Francisco Fleet Week
Held in October, San Francisco Fleet Week has been celebrating America’s armed forces since 1981. It includes an air show, a parade of ships, and a bevy of community events, including a unique training and education program that lets civilians and military forces share best practices.
The air show takes place between two iconic landmarks: the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz. It includes the U.S. Navy Blue Angels and is the only air show in the United States with a commercial airliner, the United 777, to perform a fully choreographed act.
The parade of ships starts with a fleet entering San Francisco Bay under the Golden Gate Bridge. It’s considered the largest parade of ships held on the West Coast.
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Kim Kavin has been on boats in more than 50 countries and islands, including in the Caribbean, Mediterranean, South Pacific, Indian Ocean and Southeast Asia. She grew up learning to steer a ski boat and Hobie Holder at her grandfather’s lake house in New Jersey, and went on to spend time aboard everything from America’s Cup racing sailboats to submarines.
Kim is a PADI-certified scuba diver and animal lover who always enjoys a good, long look around a coral reef. Her award-winning writing and editing regularly appears in national marine magazines and on leading websites. In her early years, she was a Dow Jones editing intern and a graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Journalism. When she’s not writing, Kim can usually be found hiking northwest New Jersey’s beautiful park trails with her adopted shelter mutt, Ginger.