Best Things to Do Near San Francisco Airport (SFO)

Things to Do Near San Francisco Airport

When one is planning a trip to San Francisco and has some time to spend near the airport, one will be fortunate to explore tons of things. There are plenty of fascinating things to do near San Francisco Airport (SFO) and sights nearby to help you make the most of your trip. There is something for everyone, whether you are an outdoor enthusiast, a foodie, or a shopper. You can explore the breathtaking natural beauty of the surrounding in Bay Area parks. By indulging in delectable culinary enjoyment at local dining establishments or shopping, tourists can get a memorable experience here. Prepare to be amazed by diverse exciting experiences, all conveniently accessible here.

What are the Things to Do Near San Francisco (SFO) Airport?

In case tourists are looking for things to do near San Francisco International Airport(SFO), then they can take a tour of a picturesque area. Or, take a stroll down the lively avenues. Don’t miss the intriguing museums when they are into aviation. 

1. Take a trip to Burlingame Avenue:

Burlingame Avenue

Just a short distance from the airport, Burlingame Avenue is a delightful area dotted with boutiques, shops, and cafes. Tourists can take a stroll and can engage in retail therapy. Along with this, one could savor a superb lunch at some of the local eateries.

  • The area is situated near SFO within a distance of 17 minutes.
  • This avenue also provides visitors with high-quality amenities.
  • It offers special Thai and delicious Italian as well as Indian cuisine.
  • Here, shopping can be among the main things to do in San Francisco near the airport.

2. Discover Coyote Point Recreation Area: 

Coyote Point Recreation Area, located nearby, provides a magnificent waterfront location with stunning views of the bay. One could enjoy outdoor activities such as picnicking, hiking, and cycling, here. Travelers should not miss out on the famed CuriOdyssey science museum and zoo located within the park.

  • The place is located in the South of SFO, with fascinating parks and museums. 
  • It is a great place for family picnicking, cycling, and other delightful activities.
  • This place serves as the best one for tourists with sandy beaches and beautiful landscapes.

Which are the Things to Do in San Francisco Airport?

When you are at San Francisco International Airport, you can visit the airline lounges for leisure and facilities to enhance your trip experience. Also, people can tour the fascinating museum, go shopping and dining, relax in specific rooms, and view amazing art/exhibitions. With such activities, people can enjoy their time at the airport

1. Explore the Airlines Lounges:

Airlines Lounges in San Francisco Airport

San Francisco International Airport has several airline lounges where tourists may relax and unwind before their trip. These lounges offer comfortable seats, complimentary refreshments, Wi-Fi access, and, in some instances, spa services. Take advantage of these unique areas to enhance their journey.

  • The lounge can vary as per the business and economic standards.
  • These offer Wi-Fi internet services, delicious refreshments, and some tech devices.
  • It provides many digital amenities, music, and TV for the entertainment of passengers.
  • Resting at such a place before a flight is among the great things to do at San Francisco Airport.

2. Visit the Flight Attendant Museum: 

The Flight Attendant Museum is a unique attraction, located within the airport. It displays the history and growth of the flight attendant profession. Tourists can find fascinating exhibits, artifacts, and collectibles. These provide insights into the world of aviation and flight attendants’ roles.

  • It is a great place for flight attendant tourists.
  • High-quality amenities are offered here to visitors.
  • Along with this, it is a popular area to visit for the passengers.

3. Indulge in Shopping and Dining: 

Indulge in Shopping and Dining

San Francisco Airport has a wide variety of shops and eateries. One can spend some time browsing the duty-free shops, which sell everything from premium brands to local trinkets. 

Some more things to do in San Francisco Airport while shopping and dining can be explored further:

  • Travelers can treat themselves to a nice dinner at one of the many dining establishments.
  • These places cater to all cuisines and tastes.
  • Shopping at such a large market can give visitors a breathtaking vibe.
  • The area is also good for relaxing and refreshing one’s mind and mood.

4. Relax in the Yoga Room:

When travelers want to decompress and find some inner quiet during the airport’s hustle and bustle, go to the Yoga Room. This calm setting is ideal for yoga and meditation, allowing them to refresh their mind before an adventure.

  • This place is devoted to yoga practice, self-reflection, and relaxation.
  • Also, all the services are free to use and there is no charge for any facilities.
  • It can be found at Terminal 2, SFO Airport.

5. Engage in Art and Exhibitions:

Engage in Art and Exhibitions

San Francisco International Airport is well-known for its enormous collection of art and exhibitions. Take a walk around the terminals to see the colorful exhibitions, which include sculptures, paintings, and installations. These artistic displays can provide a cultural and creative edge to a visitor’s airport experience.

  • SFO incorporates multiple art galleries throughout the terminals.
  • It is entertaining, beautiful, and educational too.
  • This thing becomes possible because of the SFO Museum and SFO Art Commission.
  • The arts displayed here at the airport are surprising and interesting. 

6. Visit InMotion Entertainment

Visit InMotion Entertainment

InMotion Entertainment is located inside the airport. It is an excellent site to begin one’s exploration. This electronics store has a large selection of devices, headphones, and accessories, making it an ideal visit for tech lovers.

This place is on the list of amazing things to do at San Francisco Airport due to these reasons:

  • Here, tourists can find many technological gadgets and accessories.
  • Shopping inside is also very easy and delightful.
  • One can find so many sales and discount offers on multiple amenities.

7. Explore Compass Books:

Compass Books is situated within SFO Airport. It is a book lover’s paradise. Passengers can browse their large assortment of books, magazines, and newspapers. Thus, one might discover the perfect read for his/her trip or a memento to take home.

  • It is an amazing place to read near the airport.
  • Here, one can find countless books, magazines, and gifts too.
  • The place can be located near Gate E1, Terminal 3.

What are the Things to do Around San Francisco Airport with Family?

There are certain things to do with family near San Francisco International Airport. Passengers can create memorable experiences together by discovering aviation history at the Hiller Aviation Museum. They can have fun at Bayfront Park and take a picturesque drive along the Pacific Coast Highway. There are additional things also that can make their time great.

1. Explore Aviation History at the Hiller Aviation Museum: 

Hiller Aviation Museum

The historic museum near SFO can be the Hiller Aviation Museum. It is located in adjacent San Carlos which is a fascinating site for aviation lovers and visitors. Here, families can together explore the collection of planes and artifacts. They can even try their hands at flying in a flight simulator.

  • The Hiller Aviation Museum will take families on an enhanced journey through aviation history. 
  • Here are many prestigious artifacts and hand-made things to see and explore.
  • There is a hub of big and high-rated hotels near this place. 
  • Families can try out flight simulators and can learn about the technologies here.
  • It is an enhancing experience for both young and old aviation lovers.

2. Enjoy Outdoor Fun at Bayfront Park:

It is a major park near the SFO Airport, which is located at the front of the Bay. That may be why it is known by the name of Bayfront Park. It has many beautiful water spots and landscapes. Also, it is a good place for walking. 

  • Visiting Bayfront Park to spend quality time with your family can be great.
  • It is one of the best things to do close to San Francisco Airport.
  • You all will be surrounded by magnificent landscapes. 
  • Youngsters can run wildly on the playground.
  • Also, they can have a family picnic overlooking the bay.
  • One can take a leisurely bike ride along the waterfront pathways. 
  • The park also provides an ideal balance of rest and recreation.

3. Take a Scenic Drive Along the Pacific Coast Highway: 

Take a Scenic Drive Along the Pacific Coast Highway

Visiting the San Francisco Airport by driving through the Pacific Coast Highway can be an exciting thing. With families, the excitement can be on another level. There are a lot of pleasing sites and nature to be seen through this road.

  • Families can take a memorable road trip along the breathtaking Pacific Coast Highway. 
  • Here, one can explore the wonderful coastal vistas with beautiful landscapes.
  • Visiting attractive beach villages near the airport can be a fascinating thing.
  • For a fantastic day of family fun, see beaches, visit lighthouses, and eat delicious seafood.

4. Visit the Exploratorium: 

The Exploratorium, a world-renowned interactive science museum, is a great place to let your family’s curiosity run wild. It is a museum of human imagination, arts, and science. Many experiments and hand-craft materials can be found here. It is included in the things to do around the San Francisco Airport that are knowledgeable and educational.

  • Families can participate in hands-on exhibitions.
  • Try out mind-bending displays.
  • Families can work together to solve scientific puzzles. 
  • This is an instructive and engaging experience for all ages.

5. Wander through Golden Gate Park’s Japanese Tea Garden: 

Wander through Golden Gate Park's Japanese Tea Garden

It can be memorable to visit the tranquil sanctuary of the Japanese Tea Garden. It is tucked within Golden Gate Park. Traveling to this park is free of cost. It can provide travelers with a pleasing experience. There can be multiple activities to pursue with families that are given below:

  • They can enjoy the serenity of various things like:
    • Verdant gardens
    • Calm ponds
    • Traditional Japanese buildings 
  • Take a stroll, sip a cup of tea, and bask in the splendor of this wonderful cultural gem.
  • Parking for the car and the bicycle is also located nearby.
  • The park is open daily. Thus, families can visit here any day.
  • When one is traveling to this place via the airport, some months are the best.
  • The best time to visit San Francisco, California can be September and November. 
  • It is ideal to fly during these months and explore this garden.

What are Some Things to do at San Francisco Airport for Solo Travelers?

There can be startling activities to do at the airport when traveling alone. These engaging activities will enhance the journey and airport experience of people. They can travel to the big district market for shopping and Burger Joint for eating or dining. Solo travelers can also indulge in shopping pleasures. Thus, they can take advantage of every opportunity to travel alone.

1. Explore the District Market: 

The district market of San Francisco International Airport is like a supermarket for passengers. Also, when they are traveling alone, it can be more captivating to visit such places. It can be found at F Gate in Terminal 3. There are multiple things a visitor can purchase for himself/herself or others from this supermall.

  • Passengers can get numerous things here from basic to rarely used.
  • Newspapers, magazines, and books are available in this market.
  • As a solo traveler, one can buy gifts and souvenirs.
  • They might even buy various useful accessories like glasses, bags, hats, etc.
  • When feeling hungry, they can enjoy a tasty meal, food, snacks, and beverages.

2. Visit Burger Joint: 

When traveling alone, in case a visitor feels hungry, the Burger Joint is the place to be. It can be visited at the D Gate at Terminal 2, near Gate D15, at the airport. It offers a wide and tasty menu with delicious food.

  • This place is the best one for eating.
  • The offerings of Burger Joint may consist of the following:
    • Chicken Burger
    • Niman Ranch Burger
    • Veggie Burger
    • Hot Dogs
  •  Along with these, the stall also offers other fast food options, but these are special.
  • It is open all days of the week from 4 AM to 10 PM.

3. Shop and Indulge in Culinary Delights: 

The market of the SFO is very large and popular. There can be a lot of things to do at the San Francisco Airport to pursue as a solo traveler. Indulge in retail therapy by exploring the broad assortment of shops. Additionally, they can explore the following:

  • These shops can include duty-free options. 
  • Enjoy delightful culinary experiences at the airport’s restaurants.
  • It is savoring a wide range of cuisines that will tantalize the taste buds.

Are there Fun Things to do Near San Francisco Airport?

In case one is looking for fun and adventure near San Francisco International Airport, the historic Golden Gate Bridge should be visited. The compelling Alcatraz Island, the colorful culture of Chinatown, and the seaside beauty of Pacifica on an epic adventure at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom are some other options.

1. Explore the Golden Gate Bridge:

Golden Gate Bridge

Tourists can take a short trip to the famous Golden Gate Bridge. It is near the SFO airport. Also, it is the fastest and the least costly route to reach the air terminal. The sight of this place is worth seeing. More details about the same can be studied below:

  • Walk or ride a bike across this engineering marvel for breathtaking views of the city.
  • The bay near this bridge can be seen to be wonderful. 
  • It is a must-see attraction for any adventurer.
  • As the fun things to see near San Francisco Airport, it is worth visiting here.
  • People can visit here with their families, thus the site can be more pleasurable. 

2. Escape to Alcatraz Island: 

Taking a ferry to the famed Alcatraz Island could be a wish for many visitors. It is a national historic landmark that can be reached at the Bay side of San Francisco. It has been attracting a large volume of tourists from many countries as a major attraction of the country. 

  • Tourists can roam the old prison here which is a worthwhile place.
  • One can listen to enthralling stories and could learn the secrets of this iconic relic. 
  • It can be a captivating and engaging experience one won’t want to miss.

3. Discover Chinatown’s Vibrant Culture:

Discover Chinatown's Vibrant Culture

When visitors are near SFO Airport, they can step into the bustling streets of Chinatown. It is North America’s oldest and largest Chinatown. The activities and things to do in San Francisco near airport in this area can be filled up with a lot of fun. 

These can be learned further in brief.

  • Visitors can delight their senses with exquisite cuisine.
  • When in a group, visiting colorful stores can be more fun. 
  • They can immerse themselves in this vibrant neighborhood’s rich cultural past.
  • The local market and the environment at night can be worth exploring.
  • People here are also very kind, talkative, and extroverted. 

4. Indulge in Seaside Beauty in Pacifica: 

The thing with more fun is escaping the hustle and bustle of the city, by going unwind in the tranquil seaside village of Pacifica. Near San Francisco, there can be many sandy cool beaches located that can offer surfing, swimming, resting, etc. 

  • Tourists can relax on gorgeous beaches situated here.
  • Hiking along scenic paths could be more delightful.
  • Visitors can swim close to the coastal areas in cool blue water.
  • One can learn to surf in the Pacific Ocean along the coastal areas. 
  • The seaside places are beautiful getaways for nature enthusiasts.

Which are the Things to do in the San Francisco Airport with Friends?

Groups of friends may be seeking an exciting time at San Francisco International Airport. For this, they should prepare themselves for an action-packed adventure. Mini-golf, bowling, an escape room, a movie, and virtual reality gaming are all the best options. 

1. Play a Friendly Game of Mini Golf: 

Play a Friendly Game of Mini Golf

Playing a friendly game of mini golf with buddies can be more diverting. At the airport’s indoor mini golf course, they can do the same. While they wait for their trip, till then they can play games with friends and can enjoy some lighthearted competition.

  • Mini golf is created at the SFO Airport.
  • Friends can enjoy the same without spending a lot.
  • It is a pleasurable activity to pursue while waiting for flights, especially when delayed.

2. Have a Night of Bowling at the Airport Bowling Alley:

Friends can come to the airport’s bowling alley and have some fun. In this unusual airport entertainment choice, they can roll a few frames, participate in friendly banter, and create memorable memories. Some of the aspects are expressed below:

  • It can be considered among the fun things to do in the San Francisco Airport.
  • Friends can create an unforgettable memory in this game.
  • They can play this Bowling Alley while waiting at the airport with their companions.
  • This game is a source of entertainment and joy.

3. Watch a Movie at the Airport Cinema:

Planning to watch a movie at the cinema offered by the air terminal can be a significant thing. There are certain aspects to consider when watching films at the airport’s cinema.

  • Sit back, relax, and watch a movie at the airport theatre. 
  • Grab some popcorn, pick the best seats, and enjoy a movie experience.
  • For safety, don’t use mobiles inside the cinema hall.
  • The prices of the tickets can be the same as in the other halls outside.


San Francisco International Airport and its surrounding area provide a diverse choice of activities for all types of travelers. There’s something for everyone, whether one is seeking tech devices, a nice book, outdoor excursions, cultural exploration, or adventurous events with friends. Make the most of this time near the airport and leave with wonderful memories.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

There are some best things to do near the San Francisco Airport. But there can be a lot of questions a visitor may think of while in SFO. Here is a list of those common concerns along with answers:

1. What are the things to do around San Francisco Airport?

For cool things around this airport, visit Bayfront Park with your close ones.

2. Which are the things to do in San Francisco Airport Layover?

Visit the Aviation Museum & Library. During a layover, learn about aviation history.

3. Are there tourist-friendly things to do around San Francisco Airport?

Tourists can take a short drive to Coyote Point Recreation Area for some coastal fun.

4. What are the best things to do at San Francisco Airport?

Travelers can consider things like relaxing at the International Terminal’s Yoga Room before their trip.

5. Which are the solo things to do near San Francisco International Airport?

Explore the San Mateo Japanese Garden for a peaceful respite from the airport noise.

6. What are some recommended San Francisco Airport things to do?

CuriOdyssey is the spot that offers interactive science exhibitions near the airport.

7. What are the things to do near the San Francisco Airport for adventure?

Visitors can go hiking in the panoramic views found at San Bruno Mountain State Park.

8. What are the top things to do close to San Francisco Airport?

Drop by Hiller Aviation Museum which has a wonderful collection of airplanes.

9. Are there family-friendly things to do around San Francisco Airport?

Visit CuriOdyssey for hands-on science displays and animal encounters with families.

10. What are some peaceful things to do near San Francisco Airport?

Tourists can relax at Sawyer Camp Trail, a peaceful haven with a beautiful reservoir.

11. Are there sporty things to do near San Francisco Airport?

They can explore the Bay Trail for stunning vistas whether by bicycling or walking.

12. What are some unique things to do in San Francisco near airport?

Travelers can visit Filoli Historic House & Garden at a beautiful country home near SFO Airport.

13. What attractions or things near San Francisco Airport can visitors find?

They can discover the Pacifica Pier for memorable views and beach walks.

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Giselle is an adept travel writer. Born in the US, she is fond of traveling to varied parts of the world and recording her observations. Her broad interest in travel and aviation has led her to create the most engaging pieces of writing. Smith’s continuous explorations have brought forth a plethora of travel stories.
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