For plane obsessed children, a trip to the Austin Bergstrom International Airport’s Family Viewing Area is a great way to spend time watching all of the aircraft arriving and departing.


This spring break, my kids were a little sad that we weren’t taking a family trip. I decided to load them into the car and head to the airport to check out the Family Viewing Area.


Located at the End of Golf Course Road, the Family Viewing Area has paved parking, grassy areas, a picnic table, and elevated concrete blocks that allow an adult a view to the 9000-foot east runway without the fence getting in the way.


With many signs leading the way, the Family Viewing Area is set on nearly an acre of land with minimal traffic, which allows the kids to roam somewhat safely in between flights taking off and landing. Optimal viewing times are between the hours of 6-11 am. We arrived a little before 1 pm and saw several planes taking off and only one landing. Regardless, when each new flight approached the runway, the kids (and mom) were excited to watch it take off or land.


Image from Austin Bergstrom International Airport website
Image from Austin Bergstrom International Airport website

How to get there: Going west on Hwy 71, turn right onto Golf Course Road and follow the signs.

Cost: Free

Note: There are no bathrooms available. Shaded areas are limited so be sure to bring sun protection or even umbrellas for those super sunny Texas days.

Next time you fancy a picnic or find yourself waiting at the airport with time to spare, head out to do some plane spotting at the viewing area at ABIA!

Catherine Prystup has been in the publishing industry for over twenty years, handling everything from large and small scale ad campaigns to events, marketing, content management, and more. She lives in the greater Austin area with her husband, three kids, three dogs, two cats, and one Beta fish.