Wednesday, March 28, 2012

SFO Layover

Have a layover at San Francisco International Airport (SFO)? According to Fodors SFO is one of the best airports to spend time, with activities and exhibits for the whole family.

Check out the exciting new exhibits at the SFO and Aviation Museums, window shop at the SFMOMA store, watch the aquarium's fauna from tropical rain forests and South Pacific coral reefs, or wander through the 70 major, original works of art decorating the airport’s clean, airy terminals.  Terminal Two, home to domestic flights from Virgin America and American Airlines, debuted in 2011 as the U.S.’s greenest terminal. Featured are a free Google-sponsored Wi-Fi, club-like gate seating, an Xpres spa, hydration stations for reusing water bottles, and paperless ticketing. In January 2012, T2 debuted the world’s first airport yoga room, open to any ticketed passenger (mats provided). Meanwhile, at the massive International Terminal (measuring some 35 football fields in length), Cathay Pacific and Emirates Airlines’ new top-notch lounges feature special Solus privacy chairs, showers, a noodle bar at Cathay, Rolex wall clocks, and a Mecca-facing prayer room (Emirates). Need a shower, but not a club member? Stop by the Freshen Up! Store, where they’re $15 a pop.

Hungry? SFO is full of healthy, local, and organic fare. Try the juicy porchetta sandwich at Tyler Florence inside Terminal 2’s Napa Farms Market or wash down beet salad and quinoa with fresh juice at Plant Cafe (T2). Famed local haunt Anchor Brewing Company’s airport outpost stocks a full range of uniquely brewed craft beers (T3), plus panoramic views of the tarmac. Alternatively, grab a bottle of Napa or Sonoma wine for an unbeatable price at the duty-free San Francisco Wine Gourmet.

Need to sleep? Plans for in-airport sleep pods are on hold for now, so in terms of off-site overnighting, cozy boutique The Inn at Oyster Point (10 minutes away) is the best bet, with its complimentary breakfast, free airport shuttle and Wi-Fi, stylish lobby lounge, and bay views from every room; from $109/night.

Have extra time? Take BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) from SFO to famous downtown San Francisco attractions like Fisherman’s Wharf, just 20 to 30 minutes away. If you have more time head to Golden Gate Park (25 minutes) for 1,000-plus acres of botanical glory (including an arboretum and Japanese tea garden), primo bridge views, and 27 miles of footpaths to stretch your cramped legs.

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