Club Traveler

Before You Go: 5 Cities With Nearby Pre-Takeoff Activities

Toward the end of vacation, have you ever found yourself asking, “What should I do with the few hours I have in between checking out of my resort and checking in at the airport?”

You’re not alone. Take advantage of these precious in-between moments by spending time rather than killing time by visiting destination attractions near the airport. After all, vacations are hard enough to say goodbye to, so why do so before you have to?

Edinburgh, Scotland

Less than 6 miles southwest of the Edinburgh Airport, get lost in the sculpture gardens and art works at Jupiter Artland (above). You’ll be handed a map and can roam as little or as long as you like through nearly 100 acres of woodlands filled with art, sculptures and innovative landscapes before leaving Scotland’s greens and your vacation behind.

Closest property? Hilton Grand Vacations Club at Dunkeld.

San Francisco

Before saying farewell to the bay city, let your kids burn off some energy at Coyote Point Recreation Area, about 5 miles southeast of San Francisco International. Coyote Point provides activities like boating, fishing and a science museum and zoo, CuriOdyssey for longer chunks of in-between time. There are also trails or a castle-and-dragon-themed Magic Mountain Playground for those only looking to fill an hour or two before heading home.

Closest property? Club Donatello, a San Francisco Exchange Preferred Resort.

Miami, Florida

Just have an hour or so left in Magic City? That’s plenty of time to satisfy a craving at the World’s Most Famous Cuban Restaurant, Versailles. Just 4 miles from Miami International Airport in Little Havana, sit and order a Cuban or midnight sandwich and you won’t have to worry about traveling hungry. Don’t have enough time for a full sit-down meal? There’s also a Versailles location in the airport for anyone in a rush.

Closest property? Hilton Grand Vacations Club at McAlpin - Ocean Plaza.

New York

After a vacation in the city, bird watching at the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge might be just the calm you need before boarding a flight. JFK International Airport is located on the northeast portion of the 9,000-acre refuge, which boasts more than 330 bird species—including yellow-crowned night herons and bald eagles—in its open bay, brackish and fresh ponds, salt marsh, grassland and woods.

Not enough time to bird watch? Don’t worry, you can still get a dose of the outdoors at the airport. Head to Terminal 5 and enjoy its green amenities that include JetBlue’s post-security outdoor rooftop space available to all customers and their pets and the world’s first blue potato farm within an airport.

Closest properties? The Hilton Club - New York, The Residences by Hilton Club and West 57th Street by Hilton Club.

Los Angeles

Take a free trip through the history of aviation in Southern California at the Flight Path Museum, conveniently located alongside the main terminal at Los Angeles International Airport. Tour the museum for free between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday.

Closest properties? Hilton Grand Vacations Club at MarBrisa, Grand Pacific Palisades Resort or Carlsbad Seapointe Resort, all located in nearby Carlsbad.

[photo credit] Photo courtesy of 4652 Paces, Flickr.