Have you ever found yourself wandering through the belly of a massive airport — perhaps starting to slowly lose your mind — and wondering if there isn't something to experience beyond sterile hallways and crowded waiting areas? Yes, it turns out: There sure is. Here are some secret places you likely never know existed, within airports that you may have traveled through many times.
1. The secret bedrooms in the Las Vegas airport
Few people who travel through the Las Vegas airport realize that there are rooms that can be rented there for as little as $5 and hour — and they come with access to a gym and shower. Look up ZEROlevel Fitness & Wellness if you’re feeling like you could use the refresher. (And yes, you could, after your crazy Vegas weekend.)
2. The yoga room at Chicago O’Hare
This is a public space and, in some spheres, it is widely known — but the room still always is empty when this writer passes through it! (And as much as I’d like to keep it that way...) it would be disservice to not make sure you know about this spot. It’s a quiet and mirrored zen-like, space complete with a changing area and yoga mats.
3. The chapel at the Amsterdam airport
Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport has a lovely dedicated mediation room on the premises (which is a peaceful non-denominational place to just go and get away from all of the noise of the airport, even if you’re not religious). What’s more? People can actually arrange to get married there.
4. The dog park at the Atlanta airport
The fully fenced outdoor dog park at the Atlanta Airport is certainly a lifesaver for those traveling with pups. Passengers can access the dog park near ground transportation. But this is also a great little spot even for pet-lovers not traveling with dogs. If you have a long layover and need some fresh air and canine therapy, this might be a good spot for you.
5. The observation tower at the Burlington, Vermont airport
The observation tower at the Burlington Airport used to be the Air Traffic Control Tower, but these days it’s a place where people traveling through can stop and take in a good view. Watch planes soar past, and listen to real-time communications from the tower for a cool break.
6. The dentist's office at JFK
There’s a dentist office above customs at the JFK Airport. It’s not your average dentist’s office, though — it’s a place where INS attempts to validate the age of young immigrants to figure out what the next step should be toward or against their pursuit of citizenship. Using dental evidence to sort through the ages of passengers is the main job for this dentist, but he has reportedly treated businessmen passing through, as well.
7. The hidden gardens at the Honolulu airport
There are four cultural gardens on the premises of the Honolulu Airport. While these gardens are both public, and also promoted, there are still many who accidentally pass them by, leaving others who discover them to describe them as seeming “hidden.” Do yourself a favor and spend some quality time outside while within the Honolulu Airport.
8. The observation tower atop the theme building at LAX
This flying saucer-shaped building is a Los Angeles icon. Located at LAX, the design for the structure was originally created in 1959. In more recent years, the structure with its panoramic views operated as a restaurant, but as of 2013, that restaurant is officially closed. So what goes on up there? Well, visitors can still take the elevator up to the observation level on weekends... and find themselves in great company of other aviation and travel fans in the know.
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