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Best Places to View a Rocket Launch in Lompoc

places to watch rocket launch

Lompoc is just minutes from some of the most spectacular rocket launches on California’s Central Coast! As the primary spaceport on the West Coast, Vandenberg Space Force Base is just minutes from Lompoc, making our valley and the surrounding area the best place to view rocket launches. The launches take place from several Space Launch Complex launch sites (SLC’s).

As Vandenberg is an active space force base, only members of the military can view the launch on the base. However, we have put together a list of several great sites where you’ll be able to view the launch action.

View more info about Vandenberg and upcoming launches

#1 – Surf Beach

If skies are clear and the beach isn’t closed due to security issues, Surf Beach can be another great place to view the launch. Pack snacks, a beach blanket and a camera for some Insta-worthy launch views and a relaxing afternoon at the beach.

#2 – West Ocean Avenue

Minutes from downtown, West Ocean Avenue provides a good viewing location (again depending on weather). Parking is along an active roadway, so make sure you park safely, far enough off the roadway to avoid traffic. Several intersections provide a good location for viewing, 13th street/Arguello Blvd., Renwich Avenue, and Floradale Avenue/Ocean Ave.

Other good viewing locations include:

    • Santa Lucia Canyon Road & Victory Road, which offers views of SLC-4 and SLC-3.
    • Top of Harris Grade Road – this is the farthest location from the launchpads but is a good elevation and distance if the fog rolls in.
    • Hawk’s Nest – The Hawk’s nest viewing area (found on maps as Camellia Lane or Azalea Lane) is another high elevation viewing site if weather conditions are unfavorable.
    • Marshallia Ranch Road – when launches happen from SLC-2, this location right outside Vandenberg is your best bet.


Check out Lompoc Rocket Launches Viewing Locations Map below for a list of the best rocket launch viewing locations in Lompoc!

Be sure to Book Your Stay at one of our elegant and comfortable Lompoc hotels, create an itinerary for Fun Things to Do in Lompoc, go wine tasting in the famed Sta. Rita Hills Wine Region, or dine at one of our popular restaurants.


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