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Fashion on the Fly: The 10 Best Airports to Shop

Thanksgiving week is one of the busiest travel weeks of the year in the US. Combine larger-than-usual crowds with the potential for bad weather (and delayed flights), and it all leads to one thing: Sitting around in airports for hours at a time. But let's try to have a good attitude about it, shall we? After all, it's Thanksgiving and we should be grateful.

Seattle Sea-Tac Airport:

There's good coffee galore in the Seattle airport, but also a few surprising shopping gems.

Butter London Nail Salon: Most random--yet awesome--airport shop ever? Get a mani or pedi ($20-$25) with some of Butter's signature sparkly colors while you're waiting, and pick up some polish while you're there--the brand is hard to find anywhere except online here in the US. They even do eyebrow waxing.

Chicago: O'Hare International Airport:

There's not a ton of awesome shopping at O'Hare (surprising, for such a big hub), but we picked out the absolute must-dos.

San Francisco:

Surprisingly, SFO beats out Los Angeles' LAX for quality of shopping (so much so that we couldn't find one store worth highlighting at LAX). From a few crunchy Northern California gems to trendy fast fashion, you can definitely drop a few bucks here.

Destination Green: Very San Francisco-esque, everything here is recycled, sustainable, or earth friendly. They even sell redwood seedlings.

The Fickle Bag: This outpost of a Berkeley-based handbag shop sells inexpensive, trendy bags and accessories.

Ghirardelli: Sure you can get Ghirardelli anywhere these days, but why not grab some dark chocolate or peppermint bark in the chocolate brand's home town?

Kiehl's: Stop in and grab some moisturizer and the famous Lip Balm #1 before your flight dries you out.

Mango: So random, yet so awesome that this is in the airport. Pick up some fast fashion from the Spanish chain.

SF Museum of Modern Art Store: The usual assortment of museum shop merch.

Extra Cash to Burn?: • Burberry • Gucci • Coach


You never even have to leave the airport to get the experience of all the Orlando tourist attractions--there are Disney stores, a Universal Studios stores, and even a Kennedy Space Center gift shop (bring your dad home some of that dried astronaut food.) The other retail options tend to run to the cheesier/flashier side. But sometimes that's OK.

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Houston Intercontinental Airport: Houston's offerings aren't too bad--and besides it's way too hot to go outside there anyway.

• Space Trader: NASA-inspired stuff. More astronaut meals, and we bet you can find those glow-in-the-dark stars to stick on your ceiling.

• Proactiv: Usually you need to order products from this cult-fave acne brand online, but for some reason, you can buy them right here in the Houston airport. Are Houston travelers more acne-prone? Either way, stock up.

• Stelzig: The Houston-based company started as a saddle-maker in the 1870's, and now makes Western wear and boots. Very Isabel Marant. Kinda.

• Bass Pro Shops: Still clinging to that hair feather trend from last year? The prices on fly fishing feathers have probably come back down. Or maybe you need some hip waders or a flannel shirt--get the authentic versions here.

Washington DC Dulles:

There's not a ton of shopping here, but you can find some unique things.

Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport:

Travelers in Atlanta apparently like to shop, because there are lots of options beyond the ubiquitous Brookstone here.

Beauty: • Beauty Lounge/Lancome • MAC Cosmetics: You don't see freestanding MAC stores very many places, let alone in an airport. Stock up on their latest must-have collab collection (because they're all sell-outs). • Kiehl’s • Body Shop

Upscale Mall: • Coach • DKNY • Emporio Armani • Zegna • Lacoste • Salvatore Ferragamo • Sean John • Swarovski • Tommy Hilfiger

Denver International Airport:

Denver has some surprisingly quirky shopping options.

Boston Logan International Airport:

Logan has the usual airport shopping, with the addition of two beloved New England outposts.

Black Dog: What started out as touristy t-shirts from the popular Black Dog Tavern is now a full-on lifestyle brand--everything has an outdoorsy, nautical (and dog-friendly) feel.

Vineyard Vines: A haven for prepster style, plus hands-down the cutest totes around.