December 12, 2015

December 12, 2015
The Best Airports in America

Welcome to another day in my life. Today is Saturday and I hope you have had a beary safe and great week so far. Dab the AIDS Bear is busy on the road speaking at events and doing our holiday parties for children living with HIV until the end of the year. So stay tuned for more new pictures and slide shows soon.

Just in time for the Thanksgiving travel rush: Introducing the best airports in America. Not surprisingly, the largest in the country take a beating, but many are slowly improving as more and more of you transit through them and demand better. The winner? Be prepared to be surprised...

Best U.S. Airports (counting down): #10. Long Beach Airport (LGB)

The classic 1940s-era terminal in Long Beach reminds people of the glamour of flying, but it's the new concourse that really makes the airport shine. Lined with palm trees (that shade an outdoor wine bar), the airport makes you really feel like you're in Southern California. An added bonus: JetBlue dominates the airport.

Best U.S. Airports #9. Nashville International Airport (BNA)

BNA is a bit like a stylish, well-worn boot: comfortable, with just the right amount of rockabilly charm. The airport isn't that big, so you can navigate quickly or pause to enjoy some local live music, check out the rotating mixed-media art exhibits, or read up on Music City's history. You might not rush to get out of here.rport shine. Lined with palm trees (that shade an outdoor wine bar), the airport makes you really feel like you're in Southern California.

Best U.S. Airports #8. Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC)

Salt Lake City International Airport is already beloved by and it just unveiled plans for a new $1.8 billion terminal project that will replace 29 structures, including three separate terminals, with a 1.7 million-square-foot terminal building designed by renowned global design firm HOK. Set to open in 2020, the new behemoth will boast floor-to-ceiling windows with views of the airfield and mountains in the distance, and an indoor space called the Canyon with a large-scale sculpture by artist Gordon Huether.

Best U.S. Airports #7. Portland International Jetport (PWM)

The "jetport," conveniently located near the city, is so Maine: The people are friendly, it's easy to navigate, and you can sample some of Portland's great craft beer scene while you wait to take off. It's also the last place to grab a decent lobster roll before you leave town.

Best U.S. Airports #6. Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS)

If you don't have time to explore Austin itself, the airport is a great microcosm of the city. Hit up Salt Lick Bar-B-Que for some good eats, grab a coffee at Austin Java Coffee, and stop at one of the six live music venues with performances Monday through Friday. Just don't miss your flight.

Best U.S. Airports #5. Palm Beach International Airport (PBI)

As Miami and Ft. Lauderdale grow ever larger and more crowded, Palm Beach remains the easiest airport in the region. In fact, PBI is banking on travelers having extra time; it installed a putting green for golf lovers to get some practice time in before jetting out of town.

Best U.S. Airports #4. Tampa International Airport (TPA)

Tampa's airport feels like a vision of the future from 50 years ago (because it was), but think of this more as the timelessness of TPA. The shuttles taking people from the central terminal to the satellites were unique at the time, and they still function well today. It's an easy airport that's very close to downtown, and that makes it a winner.

Best U.S. Airports #3. T. F. Green Airport, Providence (PVD)

The gateway to Rhode Island is also the gateway to Southern New England. A newer train station at the airport connects travelers to both Providence and Boston. There's even train service to Foxboro for Patriots football games. The airport is small and it takes no time to navigate.

Best U.S. Airports #2. Portland International Airport (PDX)

The love for Portland, Oregon's airport begins outside the airport itself. It is very well connected to the city, and not just by roads. Bike paths and a MAX light rail line make it one of the best connected airports in the U.S. Great local shops (yes, Nike counts as local) and free Wi-Fi make this one of the friendlier airports around.

Best U.S. Airports #1. Indianapolis International Airport (IND)

Indianapolis's seven-year old terminal just feels Midwestern with its airy circular Civic Plaza at the center of it all. Unlike at most airports, the security checkpoints were designed to help people breeze through TSA procedures. Once through, the concourses are full of local favorites like Shapiro's Delicatessen. This is the second year that Indianapolis has ranked no. 1 in the U.S.

Hope you have a beary safe and great Saturday!

Until we meet again; here's wishing you health, hope, happiness and just enough.

big bear hug,

Daddy Dab