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10 Best U.S. Airports. See if you agree.

A new list of “best” airports it out. Let’s take a look.

A new list of “best” airports has come out. This one from our friends at Travel & Leisure as part of their 2019 World’s Best awards.

Topping the list: Portland International Airport – for the 7th year in a row.

Here are the other airports that made T+L’s Top 10 list of domestic airports this year. Let us know if you agree.

#2: Indianapolis International Airport.

#3: Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport

MSP’s award-winning restroom

#4: Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport

#5: Tampa International Airport

#6: John Wayne Airport, Santa Ana, California

#7 Pittsburgh International Airport

#8 Palm Beach International Airport

#9 Manchester-Boston Regional Airport

#10 Dallas Love Field

Congratulations to these airports. We love them all!

Is your favorite airport missing from the list? Let us know.

Chicken cuddling, loaner gear and hairdo help with your next hotel stay

Each season I do a round-up of unusual hotel perks for CNBC. Here’s the latest.

In-room coffee makers, Wi-Fi, a bottle of water and, sometimes, complimentary nationwide phone calls are now among the standard amenities travelers will find included with most hotel rooms.

But to stand-out and, in many cases, justify, the sometimes hefty ‘resort’ or ‘convenience’ fees many properties now tag onto bills, more offbeat and intriguing perks are showing up in the list of amenities included. 

For example, the Fairmont Southampton in Bermuda offers guests complimentary daily garden and Hamilton Harbor tours. And the JW Marriott El Convento Cusco offers built-in oxygen systems in every room and coca leaf tea, to help guests acclimate to the high altitude in Peru.

From hairdo help and loaner athletic gear to culinary classes and cuddling chickens, we found a wide variety of unusual amenities being offered to guests at hotels in the U.S. as well.

Hairdo help, sparkling wine and shopping bonuses

Located near Seattle’s famed Pike Place Market and the Puget Sound waterfront, the Thompson Seattle welcomes guests with a complimentary glass of sparkling wine. The perks build from there with complimentary blow outs and bang trims at a nearby salon plus tickets to area attractions and museums (when available. Even better, the Uncovered Seattle program, secures discounts and/or bonus offers for guests at a dozen downtown boutiques, jewelry stores and spas. (Rates start at $279. Daily ‘destination fee’: $25.)

 Gear shed with hoverboards, cameras and guitars

(Gear Shed at The Hotel Zags; courtesy Harriet Baskas

In Oregon, The Hotel Zags Portland fits into the Rose City’s hipster scene with complimentary perks that include a ‘gear shed’ filled with everything from bicycles and basketballs to hoverboards, skateboards, guitars, fishing poles and cameras.

Soon-to-launch lobby events include astrology programs, art classes in the hotel’s living wall courtyard and “forest bathing” – walks in the city’s greenery.

Hotel guests also get one $15 mini-bar or hotel sundry shop credit each stay, access to an elaborate game room and passes to a nearby gym. (Rates start at: $199; Guest amenities fee: $24/day.)

Gourmet bagels and bonus amenity closet

In New York City, the Park Terrace Hotel overlooking Bryant Park the bonus perks are both tasty and thoughtful.

A community closet on each floor is stocked with take-what-you-need amenities such as deodorant, Malin + Goetz soap, collar stays, toothbrushes and other necessities travelers often leave behind. And the hotel’s complimentary daily breakfast offers a veritable Big Apple food tour with gourmet classics such as Zucker’s bagels, Murray’s Cheese and Doughnut Plant donuts. (Rates start at $350/night; No resort fee.)

Fairy houses, Whiff Walks and Garden Pun Tours

In Vermont, summer and fall guests of the Woodstock Inn & Resort are offered a bounty of free classes and complimentary tours at the resort’s 3.5 acre, certified organic Kelly Way Gardens.

In addition to nibbling tours and aromatherapy Wellness Whiff Walks, guests can try to spot the fairies living in tiny houses made from repurposed gourds.

Additional amenities include local shuttle service and admission to Billings Farm & Museum, home to Jersey cows, draft horses, Southdown sheep and heritage chickens. (Summer rates start at $279; Resort fee: $35/day)

 Monogrammed pillowcases and airport greeters

The 5-star Peninsula Beverly Hills pampers guests with plenty of posh perks.

A hotel greeter is stationed at Los Angeles International Airport to welcome arriving guests who have booked transfers to the hotel. “Peninsula Time” allows extremely flexible check-in and check-out times, so guests may, for example, check in at 8 a.m. and out at 10 p.m. A Rolls-Royce ferries guests to area destinations. And returning guests find personalized monogrammed pillowcases on their beds.  

Frequent guests of the Peninsula Beverly Hills may also store luggage onsite while they jet off to another city and make use of the hotel’s complimentary unpacking services when they return.  (Rates start at $595: No resort fee)

Culinary classes, creative writing and charming chickens  

Courtesy Sunrise Springs Spa Resort

Amenities at the Sunrise Springs Spa Resort in Santa Fe, New Mexico include unlimited experiential wellness activities ranging from fitness, yoga and meditation to cooking and creative writing classes and courses in making healthy beauty products.

The resort also offers guests stress-busting opportunities to hang out with puppies and with the resident flock of fluffy and friendly Silkie chickens, who have fur-like feathers. (Rates start $265; No resort fees.)

Stargazing and snorkeling gear

Guests at the Fairmont Orchid, a luxury resort along the Kohala Coast of Hawaii Island can use complimentary snorkel equipment to spot fish and Hawaiian sea turtles in Pauoa Bay and take advantage of a complimentary 45-minute photoshoot with a professional photographer. (Photo packages can be purchased). The resort also offers complimentary star gazing sessions and classes in Hawaiian crafts and culture. (Rates start at $269) Daily resort fee: $35).

Got plans for July 4th?

Still wondering how and where to celebrate July 4th this year?

Finding a fireworks display won’t be very hard. Towns small and large set those off.

South Dakota – fireworks over Homestake Mine

But here at StuckatTheAirport.com, we have a few offbeat celebrations to suggest.

The tiny town of George, WA, promises a “Family-friendly, Old-Fashioned Independence Day in a Great Little American Town.”

Festivities include a parade, a fun run, music, food, kids activities, pie eating and cherry pit spit contests and evening fireworks.

But our favorite part of the day features free slices from the World’s Largest Cherry Pie, which is 8-feet by 8-feet and made each year by The Georgettes, a local community group.

And in Baltimore, we love the July 4th pet parade hosted by the American Visionary Art Museum.

Pets – and their people – can participate in the parade for free. There are trophies awarded in categories such as Best Costume, Most Patriotic, Most Visionary Pet, Owner & Pet Lookalikes and Least Likely to Succeed as a Pet.

After the parade, there’s a Pet Talent [or Not] Show.

How are you celebrating July 4th this year?

Apollo 11 adventures

Hotels lure Moon-landing anniversary fans with Tang-tinged cocktails, Moon Melt massages, moonlight yoga and more

July 20 marks the 50th anniversary of the historic Apollo 11 moon landing and the first time human beings walked on the moon.

Celebrations and special events are taking place around the country – and in a story for Travel & Leisure – I rounded up some hotels joining in with special packages and Moon-themed experiences.

Here are some of the lunar-lodging packages from that list.

In Washington D.C., where the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing with special exhibits and events from July 16-20, the legendary Watergate Hotel is offering a $4,000 a night Glamping in the Moonlight package from July 16- 24.

The Watergate package includes a one-night stay on the Top of the Gate rooftop bar in a Glamping Globe outfitted by Terra Glamping, a nightcap with Tang cocktails, s’mores and a house-made moon pie; a moonlit yoga class; the opportunity to name a star; sunrise breakfast, souvenir map of the constellations on July 20, 1969; and access to a top-floor suite. (To book, call: (855) 290-6832)

Dark side of the Moon cocktail

In Seattle, the NASA Apollo 11 command module, Columbia, and other artifacts from the Smithsonian’s Institution’s Destination Moon exhibit are on view through September 2 at the Museum of Flight. To celebrate, guests at the five-star Four Seasons Hotel Seattle will receive space-themed amenities, key cards and Moon-themed space toys, while guests at the Hyatt Regency Seattle will be greeted by a 20-foot-tall inflatable astronaut in the lobby. Both hotels have Apollo-11 themed cocktails as well.

Space Coast check-in

Along Florida’s Space Coast there are a long list of special exhibits and events at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex at Merritt Island; an Astronaut Walking Pub Crawl on July 12 in Cocoa Village and, on July 13, an Astronaut Parade in Cocoa Beach and a free concert at Riverside Park at Cocoa Village. To celebrate, guests booking the 50th Anniversary of the Moon Landing package at the Quality Inn & Suites Cocoa Beach July 11-14 will receive commemorative t-shirts.

No problems in Houston

This Lunar Roving Vehicle trainer prepared astronauts for traversing the lunar landscape. Photo courtesy of Space Center Houston.

In Houston, home of NASA’s Johnson Space Center, a host of hotels are offering moon-themed packages as well.

The most over the top is being offered by the Post Oak Hotel at Uptown Houston. The two-night, three-day package costs $10,000 and includes a round-trip private helicopter ride between the hotel and Ellington Field; a private lunch and guided tour of the Johnson Space Center with an astronaut; $300 food and beverage credit at the hotel and Grounding Ritual treatments at the hotel’s spa.

The “Love You to the Moon & Back” package at the Hotel Derek, includes a moon-inspired welcome cocktail, specially created moon chocolates, personalized horoscope, breakfast in bed and complimentary valet parking (Available July 1-31, Rates start at $189 on weekends, $259 midweek). 

During July, Houston’s Hotel Alessandra is offering a weekend package that includes an overnight stay, freeze dried ice cream, a NASA Archives coffee table book plus $50 food and beverage credit in the space-shuttle inspired Lucienne restaurant or chic Bardot lounge. (Rates start at $434).

At the space-themed Marriott Marquis Houston, July’s Mission to the Moon package includes a Moon Melt Massage and a $50 resort credit, which you might use towards one of the special “Over the Moon” cocktails. (Rates start at $454).

The Visit Houston website lists lots more Space City Month events and hotel packages as well tips finding cosmic cocktails like the Space City Sour at the Bayou & Bottle bar the Four Seasons Hotel – Houston that features a far out image of a man on the moon etched on the surface of the cocktail.