America’s Best Restroom

Flush with pride: an airport lav is a finalist for America’s Best Restroom.

Best places to go when you have to ‘go’

A clean public restroom can be a rare find when you’re in an airport, a restaurant, a theme park, a highway rest stop, a museum, or a mall.

It can be even more difficult to find a clean public restroom that also has some character, wit, and charm.

That’s why the Stuck at the Airport team of restroom reviewers always pays attention to the list of finalists in the annual America’s Best Restroom contest.

In 2022, Tampa International Airport (TPA) took the throne for a new set of Airside C restrooms featuring high-res images of quintessential Florida flora.

2023 List of Finalists for America’s Best Restroom

There’s also an airport on the list of the 10 finalists for the 2023 America’s Best Restroom Contest: Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI).

New restrooms at BWI feature an entrance with a seating area for travelers to wait for their companions. Inside, the restrooms have bright, spacious, fully enclosed stalls for privacy, touchless fixtures and individual lactation, adult changing, and family assist rooms.

Here is a list of the other 9 public restrooms in the running for the 2023 America’s Best Restroom Contest.

Be sure to vote for your favorite by August 11.

Clear Lake and Des Moines River Safety Rest Areas in Jackson, Minnesota

Drusie & Darr, Nashville, TennesseeRestaurant

El Rio, San Francisco, California – Bar

Frying Pan, New York, New York – Lightship

Hell ‘n Blazes Brewing Company, Melbourne, Florida

Juban’s Creole Restaurant, Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Little America Hotel, Salt Lake City, Utah

Rabbit Hole, Greenville, South Carolina – Bar

Snowbasin Ski Resort, Huntsville, Utah

Airport loos land top spot in America’s Best Restroom contest


My “At the Airport” column in USA TODAY this month is all about airport bathrooms and celebrates the fact that Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport took first place this year in the annual contest to choose America’s best public restroom.


The last time there was news about the stalls at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport was in 2007 and the story centered about a senator and a sex sting.

But now MSP and its loos will get more respect.

The first batch of airport’s updated restrooms was named the 2016 winners in the 15th annual America’s Best Restroom Contest.

Hosted by Cintas, a Cincinnati-based company that cleans and provides supplies for public restrooms, the contest lets the public pick the winner from a set of 10 finalists and this MSP’s lavs were pitted against the likes of a Dr. Who-themed Tardis bathroom at a bar in Brooklyn, N.Y., a bookstore in St. Louis where the bathrooms are papered in classic books, and the restrooms at a Coca-Cola Park in Allentown, PA, (home of the AAA Lehigh Valley IronPigs) which feature a hands-free, motion-control urinal gaming system. (Scores get posted!)

The restrooms MSP entered in the contest are part of a terminal-wide restroom renovation plan that started in 2009 and will continue through 2025 and encompass more than 100 sets of public restrooms throughout the airport.

In addition to overhauling each restroom to stalls with out-swinging doors and niches for rolling luggage, baby changing stations and shallow trough sinks that minimize splashing, MSP created “restroom zones” throughout the airport.

Each zone has out-the-way where travel companions can wait and amenities such as flight information boards, AEDs and others emergency devices, water-bottle refill stations and curated art display cases.

Mosaic art with a Minnesota theme marks the entrance to each restroom, with each set created by a different regional artist.


This isn’t the first time airport thrones have been in the running for the Best Restroom Contest crown.
Tampa International Airport’s renovated restrooms were among the finalists in 2013, losing out to the Varsity Theater in Minneapolis.


And back in 2005, the loos at Fort Smith Regional Airport in Arkansas took first prize.


(Read the full column – and see more photos here.)

MSP airport lav in running for Best Restroom award


It’s been a while, but this year there’s an airport lav in there with the finalists for this year’s America’s Best Restroom.

Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport recently began renovating its restrooms – and plans to update 100 sets of public restrooms by 2025.

Here’s their pitch:

“Restroom zones are highlighted by softer lighting and a material palette that serves as a wayfinding icon. This zone includes a waiting area as well as an amenity node with flight information, emergency devices, and curated art display cases. Art that reflects features of Minnesota is also featured within the restrooms with original mosaic art in the entrances, created by a different regional artist at each set.”

The competitors are loos in ballparks, restaurants and other public spaces – and voting ends Nov 2.