Whoa! Surprises in North American Airports

  • slide 1

    Flight Path Fountain at Detroit Metro

    If you find yourself stuck in Detroit Metro's McNamara Terminal, you've lucked out. This whimsical space includes a computer-choreographed water fountain with 45 jets meant to resemble flight paths across the black granite base. If that's not enough to keep you entertained, the terminal also houses a psychedelic light tunnel.

    Photo courtesy of Ed Schipul

  • slide 2

    Aquarium in Vancouver International Airport

    Vancouver International Airport has teamed up with the Vancouver Aquarium to bring the ocean right into the airport terminal. Kids and adults alike now enjoy a 30,000 gallon aquarium filled with a host of sea creatures -- more than 5,000 -- and a second tank filled with jellyfish.

    Photo courtesy of Vancouver Aquarium

  • slide 3

    Slot Machines in McCarran International Airport

    You don't need to go all the way to the Strip to test your Las Vegas luck, thanks to more than 1,300 slot machines scattered throughout McCarran International Airport. For little ones too young to gamble, there's an aviation-themed play area near the D gates where kids can burn off some energy.

    Photo courtesy of Paul Lowry

  • slide 4

    Polar Bear in the Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport

    If you didn't have any luck spotting wildlife on your Alaska vacation, worry not! The Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport has over a half dozen life-sized stuffed polar bears scattered throughout, as well as a handful of other taxidermed animals, including a massive mounted halibut.

    Photo courtesy of Wonderlane

  • slide 5

    Blues Brothers in Chicago Midway

    Chicago's Midway airport offers the perfect cheesy photo op for passengers passing through Concourse A. Near the House of Blues kiosk, you'll find two sets of life-sized Blues Brothers statues, one pair getting their groove on and the other sitting and watching the people go by.

    Photo courtesy of K. Kendall

  • slide 6

    Yoga Room in San Francisco International Airport

    If your travels are stressing you out, follow the signs to San Francisco International's yoga room, the world's first airport yoga studio located in Terminal 2. The free space comes equipped with yoga mats, and cell phones, shoes and noise are not allowed.

    Photo courtesy of Mike Procario

  • slide 7

    Jacksonville Rocks!

    Passengers flying into Jacksonville International Airport find quite the surprise as they enter the waiting area: row upon row of comfortable rocking chairs are there to help friends and family pass the time, southern style.  
    Boston's Logan International Airport also has dozens of rocking chairs spread throughout passenger areas and 19 have been painted by local artists, giving the terminal a splash of color.

    Photo courtesy of Jacksonville International Airport

  • slide 8

    Casey the K-9 Ambassador in Miami International Airport (MIA)

    The folks at Miami International Airport recognize how stressful travel can be, particularly for kids, so they implemented the K-9 Ambassador program. Casey, a cheerful young golden retriever, roams the terminal wearing a "Pet Me" vest under the supervision of her human owner Liz. Together, the pair offer smiles and stress relief for passengers young and old.

    Photo courtesy of Miami-Dade Aviation Department

  • slide 9

    Sunflower Fields at Denver International Airport

    If you're lucky enough to land at Denver International Airport in the summer months, be sure to look out the window on arrival. The airport is surrounded by colorful fields of sunflowers -- a colorful welcome to the Mile High City.

    Photo courtesy of Denver International Airport

  • slide 10

    Live Music in Nashville International Airport (BNA)

    Country music fans will love spending time in the Nashville International Airport, thanks to a full lineup of free performances in the passenger areas after security. As many as 100 bands take to one of four stages throughout the year. The Arts in the Airport program ensures you'll have plenty of visual stimulation as well.

    Photo courtesy of Paul Lowry

About Lydia Schrandt

Lydia, photo editor and Readers' Choice Production Manager for USA TODAY 10Best, has traveled to more than 30 countries in Europe, Asia and North and South America, and has lived in Albuquerque, Galveston, Austin, Thailand, Korea, China, Ecuador, Colombia, Argentina, Brazil and now Spain. When she's not at her computer in a cafe, she's out photographing the city, writing fiction or cheering on Barça.

Read more about Lydia Schrandt here.

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