Things to do Near the San Francisco Airport During a Flight Delay
Every year, millions of tourists visit San Francisco, and its nearest airport, San Francisco International Airport, is consistently ranked as one of the best in the United States. Thanks to its great food, beautiful artwork, and friendly customer service, visitors get an experience to start and end their trip.
San Francisco's famous fog can, unfortunately, create dents in the best-laid travel plans, and the frequent low fog ceilings are the reason that SFO airport has some of the worst delays in the country. The good news is, if you find yourself stuck or have a long layover, there are lots of fun things to do in the area surrounding the airport- and even without leaving the terminals!
Take Public transportation to:
1. In N' Out Burger
2.5 miles from the airport
If you've always wanted to to try In N' Out's famous secret sauce or animal style fries, now is your chance! The Bay Area's subway, BART, has a stop in SFO's International Terminal, making it simple to ride here. In N' Out is famously inexpensive, delicious, and makes food to your specifications.
How to get there: Take BART to the Millbrae station, a 10-18 minute ride depending on the time of day. In N' Out is across the street from the station.
2. Burlingame Museum of Pez Memorabilia
5 miles from the airport
One of the most offbeat Bay Area destinations is just a quick bus ride from the airport. This museum is small, but don't be deceived; the Pez collection is historic and extensive. Non-hardcore fans can get through this tiny museum if 15 minutes or so, leaving plenty of time to walk to nearby Downtown Burlingame, which is full of great little boutiques and restaurants.
How to get there: Ride the 292 Bus (Hillsdale Mall Direction) for 17 minutes, from the International Terminal to California Dr. & Howard Ave. The museum is right across the street.
3. The Shops at Tanforan
4 miles from the airport
If going shopping in the terminals feels limiting, this expansive mall is a just a short, speedy ride away on BART. The Shops at Tanforan offers many options for shopping, a food court, and also has a movie theater.
How to get there: Take BART to the San Bruno station (a 5-minute ride).
Take a taxi or Uber to:
1. Oyster Point Marina & Park
6 miles from the airport
If you're tired of sitting in an airport and need to get out in nature, this is the perfect waterfront spot. There are benches and a few picnic tables, miles of paved trail around the water for a leisurely stroll or run, and even a waterfront beach.
How to get there: Just under a 15-minute taxi or Uber ride
4.5 miles from the airport
If you're stranded during lunch or dinner hour and desire a fine dining experience, many consider Gintei the finest sushi restaurant in the Bay Area. Although the airport itself has many great eateries, none are this upscale- and Gintei is also featured in the Michelin Guide.
How to get there: a 10-15 minute Taxi or Uber ride
Inside the airport:
1. Yoga, Meditation, and Relaxation
If delays are stressing you out, or you want to take a quick nap, there are yoga rooms in Terminal 2 and 3, and the Berman Reflection Room is in the International Terminal.
2. SFO Museum
San Francisco's airport has its own art museum! The art exhibits change regularly and are located all throughout the airport's four terminals. You don't even need to leave the airport to experience culture and get some exercise at the same time.
Kacie Berghoef is a freelance writer and Certified Enneagram Teacher, who moved to San Francisco in 2011.