1. San Francisco International Airport (SFO)
With its quiet spaces, yoga rooms, healthy food outlets, retro lounge chairs and general lack of queues, San Francisco International Airport is what we all dream a traveling experience should be like. Plus, it’s earthquake-proof, eco-friendly (T2 was the first airport terminal in the U.S. to receive a gold award from the Green Building Council), a great place to score a novel (independent SF retailer Compass Books has two outlets here, in T2 and T3) and might just have the best cocktail bar and restaurant in an airport in the nation. At the American Express-run Centurion Lounge in T3, famed NYC bartender Jim Meehan, of PDT, has created a gun cocktail list and star Napa Chef Christopher Kostow, of the Restaurant at Meadowood, has put a menu together featuring the region’s finest produce. It’s free for Centurion and Platinum cardholders (it’s $50 entry if you’re not) and all food and booze is included. There are also lot of things to do here: The airport is an art gallery, with works courtesy of the SFO Museum and the San Francisco Arts Commission on display throughout the terminals, and there’s the Aviation Museum and Library before security in the international hall. Forget to have that manicure, pedicure or waxing before you left, or in need of a massage or facial? There are three XpresSpa outlets across the airport to have you sorted in no time. Now, can we just get stuck here please?
Delayed for a night? Forget the airport hotels and book a room at the designer Hotel Zetta San Francisco, a three-minute walk from the Powell St cable-car turnaround, where you can expect luxuriously hip rooms, murals and the best flourless chocolate cake in the city.Photograph: Courtesy SFO