SAN FRANCISCO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT - a destination unto itself
Arriving early for check-in and security at San Francisco International Airport (SFO) just may elicit a sigh of contentment. The airport’s “jetiquette” makes traveling welcoming, interesting, fun, and — dare we say — relaxing. There are enough activities and sites to warrant placing the airport itself on a traveler’s itinerary.
SFO is a gateway to many San Francisco attractions. It previews the best of San Francisco in terms of restaurants, retail, art and culture. Visitors may discover the wonders of the Steinhart Aquarium and the California Academy of Sciences, learn about the history of aviation, or enjoy the renowned cultural art exhibits included throughout the airport.
Nearly all of the airport eateries are branches of local San Francisco restaurants, bars and cafés, providing travelers with an authentic taste of San Francisco. And if shopping is a pleasure, SFO features an eclectic mix of bookstores, gift shops, travel outfitters, designer brands and luxury boutiques, including the SFMOMA Museum Store.
SFO provides airport services that go far beyond the ordinary. Because time is valuable, SFO makes special efforts to ensure the airport experience is one of the highlights of the trip. Everything needed for travel is here, including currency exchange offices, banking services, and wireless Internet access. To keep looking and feeling at best, SFO features a hair salon, spa and medical clinic. Visit the full-service travel agency for last-minute bookings, tickets and tours. Travelers can even rent a DVD player with the latest movies to keep family entertained along the way. And to feed the imagination, SFO’s museum galleries, aquarium exhibit and reflection room will help spirits take flight. For a detailed list of services, visit https://www.flysfo.com/services-amenities/passenger-services.
SFO also features an on-site medical clinic and pharmacy. For more information, please visit the SFO Web site at:
A highlight of the exhibits at SFO that are sure to melt away time before a flight, or make unwinding after a flight easier include:
An aquarium featuring representatives from three distinct aquatic communities is located pre-security in Terminal 1, on the Departures/Ticketing Level near the entrance to Gates 40 through 48. Presented in conjunction with the Steinhart Aquarium and California Academy of Sciences.
Aviation Library and Museum
A library and museum dedicated to the history of flight. Special emphasis is placed on the history of aviation in the Pacific as it relates to SFO. For more information on the library and museum, please visit www.sfoarts.org. Location: International Terminal, Main Hall, pre-security Hours: Sunday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; closed Saturdays and holidays Phone: 650.821.9900
Berman Reflection Room
The Berman Reflection Room provides a center for quiet self-reflection and meditation. Location: International Terminal, Main Hall, pre-security Hours: daily, 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Christian Science Reading Room
The Christian Science Reading Room is a quiet place to read, meditate or relax in a peaceful environment. Location: Terminal 1, near entrance to Gates 40 through 48, pre-security Hours: daily, 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Phone: 650-877-0105
The SFO Kids’ Spot is an interactive children’s exploration area featuring weather related exhibits from the Exploratorium of San Francisco, as well as a crawling apparatus. Location: Terminal 3, Boarding Area F near Gate 87A, post-security
San Francisco Airport Museums
San Francisco Airport Museums feature galleries throughout the terminals displaying a rotating schedule of art, science, historical and cultural exhibitions. For more information on the San Francisco Airport Museums program, please visit www.sfoarts.org.
San Francisco Arts Commission
More than 60 works of art including paintings, sculptures and architectural pieces are permanently on display throughout the terminals. These pieces were commissioned or purchased for the Airport by the San Francisco Arts Commission. The program, which began in 1977, is now one of the largest and most comprehensive of its kind. Works by noted local, national and international artists are represented.
In addition to being a world-class transportation hub, SFO offers educational opportunities for children of all ages. SFO has created several itineraries that combine a terminal tour. All tour stops are pre-security; locations are accessible to children traveling and those wishing to visit the airport. Each itinerary concludes at an Information Desk where children taking the tour will receive a small prize (prizes available from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily). Itineraries for families: https://www.flysfo.com/services-amenities/traveling-with-kids.
SFO is a distinctive, welcoming airport experience for visitors from more than 100 destinations, as well as travelers leaving San Francisco behind.
For more information on San Francisco International Airport, visit www.flysfo.com.
# # #