There's no denying it: LAX is a mess. We're not sure who actually enjoys driving to that horseshoe-shaped automotive hell (seriously, fly in and out of Burbank instead). Inevitably though, we find ourselves stuck in traffic on Sepulveda, cursing our decision to not take a FlyAway shuttle. If you can spare some extra time on either end of a flight, you can make the experience borderline fun thanks to a runway-adjacent park and a beloved burger. Whether you're waiting for a friend to land or starved after an interminable flight, the In-N-Out near LAX and the park across the street are amazing places to suck down a milkshake as jumbo jets thunder overhead.
Click through to see some of our photos from an afternoon spent plane spotting.
The park—which as far as we can tell has no official name—is unremarkable on its own. But it's the perfect spot to picnic (à la In-N-Out) and plane spot.
While you'll see plenty of plane spotters, the crowds flock here because of what's across the street: an In-N-Out that's open until one in the morning. For many travellers with a layover, this is their chance to bite into some of that Double-Double magic.
If you're bringing out-of-town friends or family to the airport, we can't think of a more efficient way to check In-N-Out off of their LA to-do list.
Back in the park, you'll see the planes approaching from the east. Depending on where you're standing those billboards may block your view initially.
And then before you know it, a 737 whips by at 150mph. Expect to see a plane every 3 or 4 minutes during peak arrival times.
Relax under the trees if you want some shade, but they'll make plane spotting particularly difficult.
The park is literally down the street from LAX. Though you may have to circle the block a few times for street parking, it's infinitely more exciting than the cellphone waiting lot.
It's hard not to feel a childlike giddiness as the planes rip by just above the treeline.
Bring a camera along with you. When else can you see airborne planes this close up?
If there's one downside, it's the potent wake of plane exhaust. The smell, we can tolerate. The unknowable lasting side effects to our health? Eh, we'll take our chances.