Some airports make you excited for vacation before you even board a plane. From world-class shops and restaurants to exclusive lounges, you may be surprised at what you’ll find the next time you take a flight. Here are our eight favorite airports across the U.S.
Miami International Airport
Miami International Airport (airport code MIA) is massive. Just a short drive away from downtown Miami, it offers the most flights to Latin America of any airport within the continental U.S. In 2021, J.D. Power even ranked it as one of the top mega airports in the world for passenger satisfaction, noting that it also ranked as one of the best airports for food and beverage, baggage claim and retail services.
Denver International Airport
Denver International Airport (airport code DEN) is a bustling airport, with direct flights serving destinations in North America, Central America, Europe and Asia. It’s not only one of the top-rated airports in the U.S, but also one of the coolest airports in the U.S. One of its more unique features includes an animatronic gargoyle that responds to questions. Aesthetically, it’s not your typical run-of-the-mill airport, either: It mirrors the nature around it with each of its peaked roofs mimicking a snow-capped mountain.
Los Angeles International Airport
Los Angeles International Airport (airport code LAX) is one of the nicest airports in the U.S., with about 200 stores and restaurants that could easily keep your mind off a flight delay or layover. VIP travelers enrolled in airline rewards programs will find lounges in almost every terminal, for both domestic and international flights.
Chicago O’Hare International Airport
If you’re flying with kids, they’ll remember Chicago O’Hare (airport code ORD) as one of the coolest airports in the U.S. Why? They have models of airplanes, helicopters and control towers for little ones to crawl around in and explore. There are also indoor gardens and life-size models of dinosaurs to keep them occupied while you’re waiting for boarding to begin.
Portland International Airport
If you have time to spare before your flight, Portland International Airport (airport code PDX) offers plenty of things to do, from entertainment and dining to LEGO play areas for kids. The little ones will especially enjoy the Hollywood Theater microcinema, located after security in C Concourse. It plays short, family-friendly films for travelers waiting for their flights.
Philadelphia International Airport
Philadelphia International Airport (airport code PHL) is one of the top-rated airports in the U.S. — and for good reason. It’s almost as much of a cultural arts center as it is an airport. From local musicians and entertainers, to book readings by up-and-coming authors, travelers have plenty to keep them busy as they wait to catch a flight.
Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport
Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (airport code ATL) is known for two things: being busy every day of the year and being very kid friendly. From dinosaur skeletons to large playgrounds, ATL has many options for kids to burn off some steam before sitting still for a flight. This large airport also has its share of quality dining options. With everything from seafood and Japanese cuisine to burgers and fries, it wouldn’t be a horrible idea to arrive early so you can enjoy a satisfying meal before your flight.
Minneapolis−Saint Paul International Airport
With more than 15 airlines serving Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport (airport code MSP) and a light rail needed to go between its two terminals, you’d think it would be a major hassle to get around MSP. Surprisingly, it’s one of the easiest airports to navigate. How’d they manage that? Exceptional engineering and design.
If you have some time to kill, you can use the light rail to zoom over to the Mall of America, which is such a unique experience — with more than 500 stores, 50 restaurants and an indoor theme park — that it’s worth the detour.
Avail can get you there
After you’ve landed at your destination, you’re going to need a car rental. At Avail, we’ve got you covered. Our express check-in service will get you on your way faster from our pick-up locations throughout Chicago and Denver. Plus, each trip with Avail is protected by Allstate insurance and 24/7 roadside assistance so you can hit the road with peace of mind.