Three words: Cute. Tiny. Airports.

Flying through a major airport has all the convenience of direct and international routes, as well as the sheer quantity of flights. But there’s something special about landing at a charming little airport with, say, fewer than 20 gates. Usually, these hubs are more creative in their design, capturing the essence of the destination they’re in.

Here are 10 airports in the US that do just that.

A couple wheel luggage through a quiet airport with large windows and wooden beams
Get in the vacation state of mind upon landing at Bozeman Yellowstone © EQRoy / Shutterstock

1. Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport (BZN)

Bozeman, Montana 

Whether you’re staying in Bozeman or venturing further afield to nearby destinations like Yellowstone National Park or Big Sky, arriving at BZN is like being welcomed into a cozy Montana mountain lodge. With vaulted, wooden-beam ceilings, stone columns and giant windows that allow for panoramic views of the Bridger Mountain Range, it’s not hard to get into a mountain vacation state of mind.

Two people with luggage outside a small quaint airport building
Nantucket's Memorial Airport welcomes you to the island with its low-key vibes © Joaquin Ossorio Castillo / Shutterstock

2. Memorial Airport (ACK)

Nantucket, Massachusetts

In just one tiny terminal, Nantucket’s only airport manages to be one of the most adorable you’ve ever seen. Its single, wood-shingled building is an architectural nod to many of the buildings you’ll see on the island and neighboring Martha’s Vineyard (honorable mention: Martha’s Vineyard Airport, or MVY, has a very similar vibe). The transition from the runway to the rest of the island feels totally seamless.

A low-rise white airport building with palm trees
Take your time to appreciate the gardens at SBA before checking your luggage © Bill Morson / Shutterstock

3. Santa Barbara Airport (SBA)

Santa Barbara, California

Beautiful wooden ceilings, white stucco walls, gorgeous wall murals, arched doorways and red tile roofing – SBA epitomizes the Spanish Colonial Revival architecture you’ll find throughout Santa Barbara. It’s worth arriving at this stunning space early to enjoy its stress-free atmosphere (almost unheard of when we’re talking about airports). There’s even outdoor seating, where you can admire the airport’s manicured lawn while surrounded by local plants (including lemon trees) before heading inside. 

A large clock hangs from a glass ceiling in an atrium designed like a town square
Linger a moment in the light-filled atrium at Savannah/Hilton Head airport © EQRoy / Shutterstock

4. Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport (SAV)

Savannah, Georgia

When an airport has its own town square, you certainly won’t feel like you’re about to board a flight. You’ll find the appropriately named Savannah Square in a light-filled atrium at the front of the airport’s only terminal, lined with colorful shopfronts just like those in the Hostess City’s historic district. Not a bad place to hang out before your flight, huh? Just settle into one of the square’s rocking chairs or wooden benches and enjoy the atmosphere.

The exterior of a low-rise modernist building of glass and wood with mountains reflected in the windows
Jackson Hole is the US' only commercial airport in a national park © EQRoy / Shutterstock

5. Jackson Hole Airport (JAC)

Jackson Hole, Wyoming

We had to include another enchanting mountain lodge airport. From Jackson Hole’s only airport, travelers can admire spectacular views of the Teton Mountain Range. In fact, the airport is actually located inside Grand Teton National Park (it’s the only commercial US airport inside a national park), so getting outside as soon as possible is easier than ever. The airport itself feels like a local living room, with stone walls, steel accents, wood ceilings and a grand fireplace – it makes it easier to stay in denial about leaving the majestic Tetons for a little bit longer.

The exterior of an airport terminal building with the words "Portland Jetport"
Swing through Portland International Jetport (not Airport) on your way through Maine © Portland Press Herald / Contributor / Getty Images

6. Portland International Jetport (PWM)

Portland, Maine

When it’s called a jetport instead of an airport, you know it’s adorable. It may be Maine’s biggest hub, but the jetport still made the cut for the cute and tiny list with a whopping 11 gates. The exterior of the building reads “Jetport” in big, Jetsons-style letters, and the interior is light-filled with tall ceilings made from wooden beams and steel supports, architectural nods to Maine’s maritime history. Pick up your own carry-on live lobster – or just go for a lobster roll – from Linda Bean’s Lobster Cafe.

A wide airy airport corridor with windows to one side and a wall of plants on the other
Birmingham-Shuttlesworth has art installations, historic exhibits and a wall of native plants © RebeccaDLev / Shutterstock

7. Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport (BHM)

Birmingham, Alabama

When you walk into BHM, you might think you recognize the voice on the overhead speaker – is that actually Morgan Freeman? To set the record straight, it’s not, but it does sound an awful lot like him, and it never gets old. Once you breeze through security, take a look around at the art installations and historic exhibits, like an entire wall of native Alabama plants and the Tuskegee Airmen exhibit in Concourse B.

Passengers walk from small buildings lined with palm trees towards the flight they are boarding
Kona International is like a small village made up of pretty pavilions © Kevin Carter / Contributor / Getty Images

8. Kona International Airport (KOA)

Big Island, Hawaii

The island lifestyle is a very important feature of KOA. The Big Island’s main airport is made up of pretty vaulted outdoor pavilions dotted with palm trees – almost resembling a small village – where travelers can check in, wait for their flights and hit baggage claim while enjoying the fresh air. You can wait for takeoff at one of its covered 11 gates, but if the weather’s nice, basking in the sun while shopping for a handmade lei is the best way to say “aloha” to Hawaii from inside the airport.

9. Burlington International Airport (BTV)

Burlington, Vermont

The Burlington airport is the kind of place you’d want to hang out at even if you don’t have a flight booked. A huge draw is that the Skinny Pancake, a Vermont staple, has a restaurant inside the airport, where travelers can enjoy crepes, burgers, poutine and a local beer before jetting off. This is not your typical airport food; in fact, it claims to be the most locally sourced airport restaurant in the US. There’s also a green roof over the parking garage, where you can enjoy views of the runway and the Green Mountains while getting some fresh air.

A small putting green lined with palm trees in an aiport
Practice your putt as you pass through Palm Beach International © Thomas Barrat / Shutterstock

10. Palm Beach International Airport (PBI)

Palm Beach, FL

Okay, PBI has 32 gates, but we’re counting it anyway because it’s still so darn cute. Of course the Palm Beach airport has a putting green – because how else are you going to practice your golfing skills before hitting the real deal in what many people consider Florida’s golf capital, all for $3.20? The rest of the airport will charm you, including an art gallery with rotating exhibitions, Mediterranean-style shop facades, and decorated with – you guessed it – palm trees.

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