The Pacific Airshow comes to Orange County every year – where airborne performers skim the shore, soaring over the Huntington Beach Pier. Thousands of spectators pack the sand and streets during the exciting three-day airshow.
The Pacific Airshow’s inaugural event was in 2016, and in 2018 the airshow drew more than 2 million visitors. While certain sections surrounding the pier are closed to water traffic, one of the best and most unforgettable ways to experience this event is from your boat.
During the week prior to the event, locals will see the performers running through practice routines with Friday being the official rehearsal day. The main event runs Saturday and Sunday. Performances will be nearly identical all three days.
Pacific Air Show Details
Dates: September 29, 2023 – October 1, 2023
Hours: 10:30AM to 4:30PM daily
Beach and Street Festival open all day
Huntington Beach, CA
On Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) in between Huntington St and Twin Dolphin Dr.
(across the street from the Waterfront Hilton)
Free to the public or purchase tickets for upgraded seating
The show center is located on the sand in front of the Waterfront Hilton with the one-mile aerial performance box extending north and south of this location. Stay within this one mile radius for the best viewing.
Airshow weekend will kick off with the Pacific Airshow Rum Run, a boat race around Catalina Island.
Pacific Airshow Tickets: Premium Seating Ticket Options
- General Admission – $25 – Located in front of show center along the shoreline, this is the prime viewing destination. Includes access to restrooms and food trucks and beverage stands. Seating is on the sand (spots are not reserved) – beach chairs or blankets are recommended. Coolers and EZ Ups are not allowed in the Drop Zone.
- Pier Seating – $50 Friday/$75 Saturday & Sunday – Access to unreserved first come, first served seating on the Huntington Beach Pier. Ear and sun protection recommended. Gates open at 11:00 am.
- Premier Club Seating/Reserved Tables – Includes premium views of the airshow located at show center, and hosted food and beverage options. Located in a shady, tented pavilion with tables, chairs, and private restrooms. Seating is unreserved, unless you purchase a reserved table for 10. Club opens at 9 am with food and drink service at 11 am.
- $199 per person and $1,990 per table on Friday
- $299 per person and $2,990 per table on Saturday & Sunday.
- Cabanas – luxurious cabanas fully-equipped with lounge seating located at show center with nearby cash bar and food. For up to 20 people. $3,950 Friday, $4,950 Saturday & Sunday
- Chalets – Private chalets at show center with hospitality service and catered food and beverages. Includes shaded pavilion with seating and access to airshow areas and restrooms.
- $30,000 – Up to 85 guests
- $35,000 – Up to 135 guests
- RV Camping – $4,500 for the weekend of September 28 – October 2. Includes a reserved RV camp spot, one dedicated vehicle parking pass, pump out for RV on Saturday & Sunday, 10 GA admission tickets for each day of the airshow.
2023 Pacific Airshow Performers
- .S. Air Force Thunderbirds
- Canadian Forces Snowbirds
- U.S. Army Golden Knights
- U.S. Navy Parachute Team
- U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptor Demo
- U.S. Navy F-35C Demo
- U.S. Navy EA-18G Growler Demo
- U.S. Navy F/-18 Super Hornet Demo
- U.S. Air Force F-35A Demo
- U.S. Air Force Heritage Flight – P-51D Mustang – Steve Hinton Jr
- U.S. Air Force KC-135
- U.S. Air Force F-15 x 4 159th FW Louisiana
- U.S. Air Force B-52 Flybys
- FedEx B757 Flybys
- Lyon Air Museum C-47 “Willa Dean”
- Ace Maker T-33 2-ship
- Matt Hall & Emma McDonald MX and Extra 300
- Mike Goulian – Extra 330
- Sammy Mason – Edge 540
- Tom Larkin – SubSonex Mini Jet
- Red Bull – Bo-105 Helicopter – Aaron Fitzgerald
- Jet Waco- Jerrod Lindemann
- Opener Blackfly
- OC Fire Authority water drops 2 Bell 212s plus CH-47
Pacific AirShow Parking
All parking is first come, first served. City and State Beach parking lots are available along Pacific Coast Highway for a fee, and prices are raised during the event. Hourly parking is available near the pier at Pier Plaza and the Main Promenade Parking Structure. Street parking is available in surrounding areas. Consider walking, riding bikes, using public transit, or using Uber and Lyft.
A bike valet will be available at PCH and Main Street for those who wish to check their bicycles while they enjoy the event. Additionally, there are plenty of dedicated bike parking areas around the event, including underneath the Huntington Beach Pier. Bring a bike lock!
Tips & Things to Know
- Bring sunscreen, hats, water, snacks, cameras and binoculars.
- Bring earplugs/muffs, especially for kids.
- Don’t bring tents and umbrellas.
- All bags and containers are checked.
- No drones allowed.
- Those on the water will have a great view of the show but some areas will be restricted for safety.
- Shaded areas are available in upgraded ticketing areas.
- A variety of food and beverages will be available for purchase.
- Pet are not allowed due to beach laws, plus the loud noises at the show. Service animals are allowed.
- If you’re sitting outside of the ticketed areas, consider bringing your own seating or be prepared to sit on the sand.
Restaurants with a Pacific Airshow View
Some restaurants offer specialized packages, while others reservations are recommended or welcome walk-ins.
- The Bungalow
- Cabo Wabo Beach Club
- Fred’s Mexican Cafe:
- Huntington Beach House
- Offshore 9 Rooftop Lounge
- Ola Mexican Kitchen
- Pacific Hideaway
- Sandy’s Beach Shack
- Treehouse Lounge
The Catalina Flyer also offers unique on-the-water cruises including 3 levels, indoor/outdoor seating, salon seating, full bar, large open top deck with 360 degree views, and more.
The Pacific Air Show and the accompanying festival occupies a full one-mile stretch of beach and surrounding sidewalk area in Huntington Beach. Festival areas will include booths and displays from vendors and exhibitors, plus there will be designated areas for food trucks, beverage service, activities, entertainment, and more.
The airshow will be broadcast on KFI AM 640 via iHeart Media. Download the app to hear pilot interviews, airshow details, festival information and more.
On event days during the hours of 12 pm to 4 pm, swimmers, surfers, and boogie boarders should only enter the water to the waist.
What to bring: sun protection, an easy to carry chair and/or bag with blankets or towels for sitting in the sand, water bottles, light snacks, earplugs or earmuffs, camera/binoculars.
Prohibited items include tents and large umbrellas, weapons of any kind, noisemakers, balloons, kites, drones, laser pointers, drugs or drug paraphernalia, alcohol, loose batteries, fireworks, and anything considered a threat to public safety.
Food and drinks will be available at various locations throughout the festival grounds including at Show Center. There are also many dining options downtown, at Pacific City, and at the hotels along PCH.
RV Camping Packages are available at Sunset Vista RV Park. Additional RV camping is available nearby at Bolsa Chica State Beach.
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Heidi Deal is the author of the Newcomers Handbook to Living In Los Angeles & Orange County, and a children’s book author specializing in history and human rights.