For Full Story: Travel+Leisure

Article By: Sarah Bruning


Travelers are increasingly gravitating toward destinations and experiences with a strong sense of place. Historically, domestic airports have filled terminals with national chains that appeal to the masses, rather than spotlighting homegrown operations. But that has finally changed in recent years, as many of the hubs our readers love most eschew big brands in favor of regional purveyors and hyper-local cult favorites.

Every year for our World’s Best Awards survey, Travel + Leisure asks readers to weigh in on travel experiences around the globe — to share their opinions on the top hotels, resorts, cities, islands, cruise ships, spas, airlines, and more. Since 2013, we’ve asked readers to cast their votes for their favorite hubs across the world, rating airports on access, check-in/security, restaurants/bars, shopping, and design.

Standout cultural and entertainment offerings also distinguished several airports. Among the most notable: the eight-hole putting green at Palm Beach International (No. 9) and the public art program at Tampa International (No. 4) and Dallas Love Field (No. 10).