Stuck at SNA? Don’t Fret! Turning Your Layover into a SoCal Adventure

Hey there, travel warriors! Just landed at John Wayne Airport (SNA) and facing a layover that’s got you feeling more “blah” than “beach”? Don’t sweat it! While SNA might be on the smaller side, there’s more to Orange County than meets the eye. With a little planning and some sunshine-y spirit, you can transform your layover into a mini SoCal adventure!

Short & Sweet: Making the Most of a Mini-Layover

Even if you’re short on time, SNA has ways to keep you entertained. Feeling peckish? Skip the generic airport food and head to Terminal C for a taste of California cuisine. Grab a delicious poke bowl at Pokeworks or indulge in a juicy burger at Umami Burger. Need a caffeine fix? Terminal B boasts a Starbucks for your classic coffee fix, or check out Philz Coffee in Terminal C for a unique and flavorful coffee experience.

Beyond the Gates: Venturing Out with Checked Luggage

If you’ve checked your bags, fear not! Several luggage storage facilities near the airport offer secure storage, allowing you to explore the city worry-free.

A Touch of Class (and a Glass of Wine): A Quick Winery Tour

Wine lovers, rejoice! Orange County is home to a flourishing wine scene, and some wineries are just a short ride from SNA. Consider booking a quick Uber or taxi ride to The Winery at Newport [invalid URL removed] in Newport Beach. This charming winery offers tastings and tours, allowing you to sample delicious local wines and soak up some California sunshine.

Beach Bum Bliss: A Dose of Vitamin Sea

Craving some sand between your toes? With a little planning, even a short layover can accommodate a beach visit. Hop on a rideshare service and head to Huntington Beach [invalid URL removed], the world-famous surfing haven, just 20 minutes away. Rent a locker, take a dip in the Pacific Ocean, or simply relax on the beach and soak up the California vibes. Remember to factor in travel time and allow enough buffer to get back to the airport for your flight.

Calling All History Buffs: A Mission Marvel

History buffs, listen up! Mission San Juan Capistrano, a beautiful Spanish mission founded in 1776, is located just a short drive from SNA. Explore the historic grounds, learn about the lives of the missionaries and Native Americans, and marvel at the architectural beauty of this California landmark.

Insider Tip: The Free Shuttle

The Anaheim Resort Transportation District (ART) offers a free shuttle service from SNA to the Disneyland Resort area. This can be a great option if you have a longer layover (4+ hours) and want to experience the magic of Disney, even for a short time. Explore Downtown Disney with its shops and restaurants, or simply soak up the Disney atmosphere. Remember to check the ART schedule and ensure you have ample time to return to the airport for your flight.

Bonus: The Ultimate Relaxation Station

Let’s face it, sometimes the best part of a layover is simply chilling out. SNA offers a few comfy spots to relax and recharge. Terminal C boasts comfy armchairs with charging stations, perfect for catching up on emails or reading a book. For a truly luxurious experience, some airlines offer access to their lounges, featuring comfy seating, complimentary snacks and drinks, and sometimes even showers (check with your airline for access details).


  • Luggage: Consider checking your luggage or utilizing storage facilities to maximize your exploration time.
  • Travel Time: Factor in travel time to and from your chosen destination, along with any security lines at the airport.
  • Flight Information: Always prioritize your flight and stay updated on any schedule changes.

So there you have it, travel friends! With a little creativity and these handy tips, your SNA layover can be transformed from a boring wait into a fun-filled SoCal adventure. Now, go forth and explore! And remember, sometimes the best part of any trip is the unexpected discoveries along the way. Happy travels!