So, your travels have brought you to SFO! Although we always hope that our travels will be quick and painless, sometimes we find ourselves stuck in the airport a little longer than planned. Luckily for you, there’s plenty to do, see, and eat in San Francisco’s airport.
So, we did some research and tapped in to our pool of travel experts to find out the best way to spend two hours in SFO. Here’s what we found.
It’s easy to work up quite the appetite while traveling. Luckily, SFO offers a wide variety of delicious options to cure that rumbling stomach. Here’s what some members of our TripIt community recommend…
Looking for something healthy? “Napa Farms Market is kickass,” said a TripIt employee, noting that they have tons of salads, wraps, sandwiches, and coffee drinks to choose from. You can find it in Terminal 2.
If you have time to spare we suggest grabbing appetizers and a glass of vino at Cat Cora’s Kitchen located in Terminal 2. In a hurry? Grab a quick bowl of chowder in Terminal 3 at San Francisco Soup Company.
AppDynamic’s Todd Radel recommends Lark Creek Grill in Terminal 2 for a variety of lunch options.
If you want to grab a drink Heather Foeh from Lattice Engines suggests VinoVolo in Terminal 2 for a flight of wine before your actual flight.
And if you’re flying out of SFO, don’t forget to note these insider tips: Foeh suggests that all foodies try to fly out Terminal 2 if possible. “It’s much less crowded and the food choices are fantastic,” she said.
“If you’re flying into or out of Terminal 1 and you’re very hungry… you’re in trouble,” said Barry Padgett, EVP of Product Strategy for Concur Technologies. If you have time, he suggests going to Terminal 2 for food; otherwise, be prepared with a snack!
You should also have snacks handy if you find yourself in the International Terminal after 11 pm, everything will be closed.
As we all know, sitting, waiting for your flight can get pretty boring. Luckily, we have some great entertainment recommendations for your 2 hours in SFO.
All of SFO’s terminals feature museum exhibits and self-guided tours. But note that the tours are located before security.
Flying with kids? Stop by the Kid’s Spot for some entertainment. There’s one in Terminal 2 and two in Terminal 3.
Foeh also recommends the yoga rooms “if you need to get centered before your flight.” SFO was the first airport to have a room dedicated to yoga, bringing an entire new element to your flying experience. You can find these rooms in terminals 2 and 3.
According to flysfo.com, other places to find some peace and quiet at their airport include the Berman Reflection Room in the International Terminal and the Christian Science Reading Room in Terminal 1, both located pre-security.
For a different type of relaxation, head to XpressSpa to get a massage or to have your nails done. You can find the XpressSpa in the International Terminal as well as terminals 2 and 3.
If you’re feeling more active, a TripIt employee suggests doing some laps around the terminal for some light exercise and exploration. Of course, this works great at any airport!
When it comes to transportation to and from SFO, you’ll want to note these tips from the pros.
If you’re driving to the airport, Jennifer Lum of Design Research and Strategy at TripIt suggests Park SFO, which is located one exit north of the airport. It’s less expensive and “they almost always have coupons for a few bucks off multi-day stays on their site,” she said.
But if you prefer to park on-site, Lum recommends international garages A or G. These garages have a maximum of $28/ day versus the $36/ day max for domestic garage.
When it comes to deciding between public transportation or grabbing an Uber/ Lyft it’s really a toss up between time and money.
As a general rule we suggest taking BART during rush hour and Uber/ Lyft otherwise.
“I take BART when the scheduling works. It takes me about an hour from terminal to hotel at Embarcadero, which is two times as long as taxi. But BART is $8.25, taxi is about $55,” Andrew Rich of LG Silicon Valley Lab said.
If you prefer taking BART, Alex Moss of Praxis Consulting Group, Inc., suggests keeping a Clipper Card with a few dollars loaded on it so you don’t have to make stops at the ticket machines.
If you’re in favor of catching an Uber note this insider tip from Padgett: “If you arrive in Terminal 1 and have no checked luggage, just grab an Uber into the city from Door 6 on departures level – super fast and easy – UberX is around $30.”
Of course, there’s always the traditional taxi lines if you prefer.
Hope you found these recommendations useful. For more information about SFO visit their website. Happy travels!