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Reviewed on 16 Sep 2019
Reviewed on 18 Sep 2019
San Francisco International Airport (SFO) is a major international airport sited 13 miles south of downtown San Francisco in California. SFO is within easy reach of many Northern California attractions and cities, including San Francisco, Napa Valley and California Wine Country, Sausalito, Silicon Valley, Monterey Bay, Lake Tahoe and Yosemite.
Getting to and from San Francisco International Airport is easy. The SamTrans 24-hour bus service connects SFO to San Mateo County and parts of San Francisco, while the Caltrain Commuter Rail connects San Francisco and San Jose. The BART Rapid Rail operates a rail service from SFO to northern San Mateo County, San Francisco and the East Bay. If you’re travelling to or from somewhere further afield, it’s best to hire a car.
The airport offers plenty of places to relax with showers, spas, a yoga room, a reflection room for meditation, an aviation museum and a medical clinic. There's also a great mix of shops, including bookstores, gift shops, designer brands and luxury boutiques. Airport restaurants are branches of local restaurants, bars and cafes, enabling you to enjoy a taste of San Francisco. If you're travelling with children, the airport has several playing areas where little ones can let off steam. There are security checkpoint family lanes and several restaurants have special menus for children.
As San Francisco International is a major airport, there are plenty of accommodation options nearby, including convenient airport hotels and affordable motels along nearby Highway 82. For an even wider range, look in San Francisco, where you’ll find everything from cosy B&Bs, boutique inns and famous hotel chains to luxury four and five-star properties. The public transport network makes it easy to get from the city centre to San Francisco International Airport.
The San Francisco Bay Area is renowned for its dreamy beaches, waterfront towns and famous wine regions. San Francisco is one of America's most cosmopolitan cities, famed for its classic cable cars, gorgeous waterfront and crimson bridge. A top foodie destination, it has hundreds of top-notch eating establishments, from Michelin-starred restaurants to food trucks. A short ferry ride from San Francisco is prison museum Alcatraz, where Al “Scarface” Capone did time. An hour's drive north of San Francisco are world-famous wine regions Napa and Sonoma, where you'll find an abundance of tasting rooms, cute towns and luxurious places to stay.
Further south is California's Central Coast, characterised by pretty coastal towns, including Carmel-by-the-Sea, historic Monterey and charming Santa Barbara. Home to the Monterey Bay Aquarium, Monterey appeals to visitors because of its wildlife, wine tasting and outdoor sports. Whale-watching and deep-sea fishing trips can be arranged from Monterey's Fisherman's Wharf. Drive from San Francisco to Los Angeles along the epic Highway One, passing the rugged cliffs of Big Sur, wine country, Hearst Castle and chilled-out surf towns.
Perfect for adventure-seekers, California's High Sierra – nicknamed California's Backbone – is also within reach of San Francisco International , and encompasses Yosemite Valley, Lake Tahoe and the Mammoth Lakes.