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Lodging Near Vandenberg Air Force Base

What Launches at Vandenberg Air Force Base?

SpaceX launches the Falcon 9 (and in the future the Falcon Heavy). ULA Launches several different rockets: the Delta II, Atlas V, and Delta IV (and Delta IV Medium and Heavy). Northrup Grumman launches Taurus and the Minotaur rockets. Launches typically occur every 2-3 months.

Location of Vandenberg Air Force Base

Vandenberg Air Force Base is located on California’s Central Coast, north of Los Angeles and Santa Barbara. Parts of the air force base, especially where rockets are launched, are located in the Lompoc Hills as they rise up from the Santa Maria Valley floor at the coastal edge of the continent. The nearest lodging is in Lompoc, CA.

Hotels Near Vandenberg Launch Site

Viewing Near Launch Site

Since civilians are not allowed on the Air Force Base to view launches, the locals know where the best viewing sites are.

Surf Beach: Surf Beach can be a great viewing spot, but it depends on a few things. First, Surf Beach has to be open – sometimes security will close the beach depending on the launch trajectory. Second, you will only be able to see launches when the marine layer stays out over the Pacific Ocean; if you see any fog near the coast, this won’t be a good viewing spot.

Along West Ocean Avenue is a great spot to view, depending on the launch SLC and weather. Be aware that parking is along an active roadway. You need to be sure to remove your car from traffic, but also don't pull into any of the private property or farmland along the road. 13th Street/Arguello Boulevard: This is the closest spot you can view a SpaceX launch at SLC-4. It’s also typically foggy during the summer months, and closest to the police blockade if they close West Ocean Avenue.

Renwick Avenue: Another intersection close to 13th/Arguello, you can park along Renwick Avenue as well and get a good view on a clear launch day.

Floradale Avenue – Google Maps reports the intersection of Floradale and Ocean as the “Viewing Site for SLC-6,” which makes it pretty darn official. There are plenty of intersections in the area for you to pull off the main road.

Launch Site Vandenberg Air Force Base

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