If you have booked a flight out of Oakland International Airport (also known as OAK) you may be wondering what you can do to pass the time while you wait to depart. Well, you’re in luck; OAK has more than its fair share of enjoyable things to do before you have to head to the gate. Read on to find out what they are – but first, here are a couple of helpful pre-flight tips to make your journey as hassle-free as possible.
Top Tips For Flying Out Of OAK
Before you depart, ensure that you have booked your car at the airport so you can drive home when you return. Fortunately, there’s no need to worry about your car during your time away, as you can find a range of secure and convenient parking options for OAK courtesy of parkwayparking.com. Airport shuttles are generally available on demand, and, in some cases, VIP parking options are on offer. Some of the other tips include:
Enjoy Some Inspiring Artwork
Oakland International Airport has dedicated over $1 million to improving its Terminal 2 with a selection of public artworks. Some of these paintings can be viewed by all visitors in the pre-security area, while others have been hung in the post-security part of the terminal.
In the baggage claim area of Terminal 2, anyone coming to Oak can view an extensive media wall consisting of 18 monitors, which display a continuous loop of works created by four local artists. These artworks have been specially chosen to demonstrate “the diversity and vibrancy” of Oakland and the Bay Area.
Once you have made your way through the security checks, you will be able to admire the remaining artworks, which include Hung Liu’s remarkable ‘Going Away, Coming Home’ window. Created using Liu’s distinctive ‘drip’ method, the glass panels feature 80 red-crowned cranes, which symbolize safe travel.
Continuing the avian theme is ‘Birds In Flight’, an eye-catching kinetic sculpture consisting of three pairs of aluminum bird wings that have been programmed to move. Capable of flapping up and down, banking in either direction and moving on their own as well as in unison, these glinting wings make a remarkable sight for you to absorb as soon as you have made your way through security.
Take A Crash Course In Aviation History
If you have an interest in aviation and aerospace, then you definitely won’t want to miss a visit to the Oakland Aviation Museum. Situated at the airport’s North Field, the museum is open Wednesday to Thursday, from 10 am to 4 pm. Book a tour and prepare to be enthralled by the fascinating aircraft the museum has on display.
Among them is a replica of the Model EX Vin Fiz. The original airplane was designed and built by the Wright Brothers and piloted by Calbraith Perry Rodgers in what was to be the very first transatlantic flight in human history, which took place in 1911.
You will also be able to admire a number of other historic aircraft, such as a Cessna O-2A that was flown in the Vietnam War but ended its working ‘life’ flying for the California Department of Forestry, helping slurry tanker aircraft to fight forest fires.
But perhaps one of the most astonishing aircraft the museum contains is the unique Hiller Ten99 helicopter, built in 1961. Its spacious boxy cabin is capable of seating six and carrying a weight of up to 1000 pounds. It was one of the first aircraft in existence to be fitted with a turboprop power plant. However, the helicopter was never put into production, so this model is the only one in the world, making it a rare and unusual sight indeed.
Take Your Golf Clubs and Tee Off In Style
If you have plenty of time to kill before your flight departs, and you just so happen to be a keen golfer, then you should make the most of the proximity of The Metropolitan Golf Links.
Providing breath-taking views over San Francisco Bay, the Links offers six sets of tees, gently undulating fairways of verdant green, strategic bunkers, and the occasional water hazard to watch out for.
Designed to provide the optimum playing experience for golfers of all levels of experience, this 18-hole course has won the approval of professionals – but will please amateur players just as much. Of course, if you don’t have as much time as you would like, you can take advantage of the driving range instead, or hone your skills in the Short Game Practice Area, where you can work on your chips and pitches or perfect your bunker play.
Find The Sweet Spot
While you are waiting to board your flight, you will probably be keen to indulge in some retail therapy – particularly if you have loved ones to buy gifts for.
Perhaps the best gift option you will find at OAK is the delectable display of chocolates, candies, and other goodies purveyed by See’s Candies. Create your own customized blend of sweet treats that you just know your nearest and dearest will relish or opt for a pre-packed selection of tasty bites. There is a mouth-watering array to choose from, including truffles, fudge, toffee, nuts, candy bars, and lollipops.
Kosher, egg-free, and nut-free options are available if you have any dietary considerations to take into account.
Savour A Pre-Flight Aperitif
Heading off on a journey can sometimes be a daunting experience. If you are often plagued by pre-flight jitters, you can soothe your nerves with a drink or two at one of OAK’s reopened restaurants and cafes.
Among them, you will find Bar 510, Pyramid Brewing Co., and the recently opened Oakland Draft House, where you can sample some delicious craft ales. Wines and cocktails are also on the menu and, depending on the amount of time you have to kill, you can either grab your drinks to go or enjoy a sit-down meal with sweeping views of the Bay.
As you can see, there’s no need to worry about getting bored while you are waiting for your flight out of Oakland. Whether you are stepping into the past with a trip to the Aviation Museum, teeing off on a picturesque golf course, or enjoying some indulgent treats, there are plenty of ways to entertain yourself during your time at OAK.