Things to do Near John Wayne Airport When Your Flight is Delayed


News reports show that airports have worse delays in the summer than any other time of year, with June being the worst month of all for delays. Most of the time, all you have to kill time are your airport snacks and smartphone, so it's important to plan your layovers into the right airports. John Wayne Airport (SNA) in Orange County is one of those airports with plenty of things to do and places to go within a couple of miles of the departure terminal.

Lyon Air Museum
Distance from airport: 14 blocks

The Lyon Air Museum is located on the west side of John Wayne Airport, inside a large airplane hangar. You can easily spend a couple of hours, or half the day, checking out World War II era planes, vintage cars - including Hitler's personal Mercedes-Benz touring car, and motorcycles up close. The vehicles and other World War II memorabilia are said to be kept in running condition, and it's really something to view - or even go inside - important pieces of history. Overall, a neat place to visit.

The Irvine Museum
Distance from airport: 2 blocks

The Irvine Museum is a small art museum dedicated to regional art, specializing in California impressionist style paintings. You won't find any largely famous artists here, but you will love taking in drawings of California's beautiful landscape and images of everyday life in California, circa late 19th to early 20th century.

South Coast Plaza
Distance from airport: 3.2 miles

If you like shopping, South Coast Plaza is truly a shopper's destination. You'll be happy to spend your airport delay here, having the option of plenty of restaurants, cafes, your basic stores, and all the high-end stores - Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Dior, Jimmy Choo, Michael Kors, and more. There's also a beautiful garden bridge that crosses to Crystal Court, the smaller, quieter shopping plaza connected to South Coast.

OC Indoor Golf
Distance from airport: 2.4 miles

OC Indoor Golf is a little indoor golf facility where you can perfect your golf swing using advanced performance-based technology. A "Pressure Plate" and "3D Motion Analysis" measure weight distribution and body movement angles throughout your swing, presenting you with a video analysis that shows precisely what you are doing right and wrong with your swing. A great hour to spend improving your golf game.

Royal Thai Massage & Day Spa
Distance from airport: 1.4 miles

Royal Thai Massage & Day Spa offers a variety of deep tissue treatments, plus a combo deep tissue massage (Thai, shiatsu, deep tissue) if you have trouble deciding which treatment you want. The masseuses are experts at reading your body, and you'll leave the spa relieved from built-up tension in your legs and back. It's easy to book an appointment, but walk-ins are also welcome, and all first-time visitors receive a discounted rate.


Christina Wong is a Bay Area native who loves to travel the world, but always finds her way back to California.