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Best Place to Watch Small Planes and Blimps 

Behind the Otis Spunkmeyer Field

There used to be a superlative place for lounging around to watch small planes, blimps, and helicopters coming and going. It was the lobby of the historic art deco hotel at 9536 Earhart Drive on the edge of Oakland Airport's North Field. Amelia Earhart stayed there several times, including the nights before taking off from Oakland on her two ill-fated attempts to circumvent the world. Unfortunately, after years of being open to the public, the old hotel is locked and virtually unused, the front littered with tossed newspapers decaying in their plastic bags. Until somebody reopens the lobby, there's an outdoor alternative. When wind patterns are right and the airport is using runway #15, you can take a blanket and a picnic to watch small airplanes landing or taking off close overhead. And when a blimp is in town, it lifts and lands majestically from and onto the grassy area in front of you. The location is behind the Otis Spunkmeyer Soccer Fields on Harbor Bay Parkway, Ample parking is available.

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