Enjoy the journey as much (or more than) the destination.

By Aubrey Schield

I recently traveled out of state to visit family for Thanksgiving and, since my destination was more than a day’s drive away, I decided to hop on plane for the trip.

I’ve lived in the Twin Cities for most of my life, so flying in and out of Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport can be old hat. But this time I was struck by the convenience this airport provides. Not only does MSP boast two terminals with just about every major airline you could possibly fly, its two terminals have myriad dining, shopping and entertaining amenities.

Sure, there are the fast food options that you’d find in any terminal around the world, but MSP takes the comfort of its more than 36 million annual visitors a few giant steps further. Local restaurants show off Minnesota’s Scandinavian heritage while luxurious salons and spas invite weary travelers.

As we are in the midst of holiday season, many of us will be making long trips to visit loved ones. So when you find yourself in the Twin Cities’ airport, try these must-dos before you head out to your final destination.

Escape Lounge
This is an absolute must if you have a few hours to kill. Trust me, it’s worth forking over $45 to relax, dine and imbibe. (If you need to get some work done, you’ll love the ultra-fast Wi-Fi.) Once you’ve made it through security, find Escape Lounge in Terminal 1 at the north end of the airport.

Angel Food Bakery
This downtown Minneapolis favorite just opened its newest location in Terminal 1 at the airport. Enjoy a fresh-baked donut and coffee before you board and your vacation will be off to a sweet start.

Uptown Minnesota
Whether you are shopping for yourself or a loved one, Uptown MN has a variety of locally made clothing, gifts and decor.

The local music scene is so vibrant in the Twin Cities that we have a live venue in our airport. Enjoy some delicious food, beverage and music at this spot located in Terminal 1.

Stone Arch Craft Lab
No, they aren’t brewing beer at the airport, but this spot features a lengthy menu of local craft beer that will have you raising your glass to exploration.

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