Tom Bradley International Terminal. (Photo by: Jeffrey Greenberg/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

Doing Time in the ATL

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Gourmet lunch at Ecco, then window shopping at Ferragamo, Coach, and Donna Karan. Sneak in a quick manicure before drinks at a hip urban lounge to round out my afternoon. Hanging out in Midtown? Not quite. I’m in the International terminal at Atlanta Hartsfield Jackson Airport (humorously dubbed Hartsfield Latoya Jackson Airport by a friend of mine). The bright and beautiful space feels like a chic mall – something Atlanta does very well with nearby Lenox Square and Phipps Plaza in Buckhead.

I was happy to make this discovery on my recent layover in the ATL on my way to Miami. I was looking for something better than ‘airport food’. Boy did I find it. Small Italian plates and a great glass of wine were much more than I hoped for. Who would have expected grilled octopus with roasted garlic and preserved lemons at the airport? And a wonderful little flatbread with housemade ricotta, arugula, and meyer lemon oil. The International Terminal is also home to what has been voted the best airport restaurant in America: One Flew South. I’ll be sure to catch this one on my next trip.

In addition to upscale dining options, The International Terminal at is home to The Club at ATL. The Club is not affiliated with any airline, rather is accessible with a daily membership. The space is sleek, modern and comfortable with all of the amenities one would expect from a top-tier airline lounge.

Late night layover? Rumor has it Jay Z has just opened an outpost of 40/40 at the airport. Like the original and sister clubs in Manhattan and Brooklyn, ATL’s 40/40 will have a sports lounge and VIP area.

PA’s take note- this terminal is not only a haven for a weary traveler (or cranky boss), it’s a pretty good one-stop shop for high end gifts.

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