Love Your LayoverWords by Holly V. Kapherr
Photos courtesy of Clifford Alejos
Long layovers don’t have to be a drag. Hit up all the romantic places in these four stop-over spots and check another city (or country!) off your travel-together list. Unless you live in or near a major city, your honeymoon travel plans probably include a layover. Bummer, right? Not necessarily. An extended layover can mean the opportunity to explore romantic spots in a bonus destination. Whether your stopover is four, eight, 12 or 24 hours, here are four cities where you can make the most of your peripatetic pause.
LISBON, PORTUGAL – AIRPORT CODE: LIS
Book your trip on TAP Portugal Airlines and take advantage of their Portugal Stopover program. With this option, you can stay over in Portugal for 24, 48 or 72 hours on your way to one of the airline’s 28 other destination countries. Sun-drenched Lisbon is crowned by a medieval Moorish castle on a hill and encrusted with colorful tiles everywhere you look. Check into the Solar do Castelo hotel, a boutique lodge within the castle walls. Yellow trams traverse the city’s steep hills and are the easiest way to get acquainted with Lisbon’s charms. Exit at the main square, Praça do Comércio, and spend an hour tasting Portuguese wines at ViniPortugal. Once the sun starts to set, cross the street and take the elevator and stairs to the top of the Arco da Rua Augusta. You’ll want to snap plenty of smooching sunset selfies. Make your way back up the hill via funicular and dine at the artist colony and circus school, Chapitô à Mesa. Score a table for two near the window upstairs for a panoramic view of the twinkling city lights.
PARIS, FRANCE – AIRPORT CODE: CDG
City of (High)Lights
Flying to Europe from the East Coast? You’ll probably land in Paris early in the morning. A couple of croissants and café au laits should put vite in your feet. The Metro ride from CDG will take about 40 minutes and the train stops right in front of the major landmarks for a self-paced three-hour tour: Notre-Dame Cathedral (metro stop Cité), the Arc de Triomphe (metro stop Charles de Gaulle - Étoile) and the Eiffel Tower (metro stop Champs de Mars/Tour Eiffel). Your one-day Metro pass includes a trip up the funicular to Montmartre, where you can hear the choir practice at the Sacré-Cœur Basilica. Lunch at Amélie’s favorite spot, Café des Deux Moulins, and have crème brûlée. After lunch, do the Louvre’s welcome tour where you’ll see the museum’s essentials in a whirlwind romp through its endless galleries. Treat yourselves to a dinner with history at Hemingway’s favorite spot, Brasserie Lipp.
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - AIRPORT CODE: LAX
Beaches, Burritos & Boardwalks
Flights to the South Pacific and Asia generally leave in the evening, so a day enjoying one of Los Angeles' beaches is essential. Try one of 20 variations of French Toast at 26 Beach in Venice Beach before renting a couple of beach cruisers for celeb-spotting. Drive up to Santa Monica Pier for a couple rounds of Skee-Ball with your main squeeze. Cuddle up on the Ferris wheel and take in 360-degree coastal views. Sip on gigantic mango margaritas at Mariasol Restaurant while you watch the surfers wipe out, and you won’t want to miss a late lunch at Tacos Por Favor about a mile from the boardwalk, before heading back to the airport.
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - AIRPORT CODE: ORD
Second City, First-Rate Food
Four hours isn’t much time to take the Blue Line to Millennium Park, but it’s plenty of time for a self-guided food tour around O’Hare’s top-notch nosheries. Chef Rick Bayless’ Tortas Frontera in Terminals 1, 3 and 5, is a smaller sandwich-counter version of his Frontera Grill. Order a smoked pork mollete to share, then take a to-go margarita to your next stop, Gold Coast Dogs in Terminal 5. Order your hotdog fully dressed in neon relish, onions, mustard, pickle wedge and sport peppers – but respect the anti-ketchup tradition. Snack on classic pork and cabbage dumplings at Wow Bao Hot Asian Buns in Terminal 5, or if you’re ready for something sweet, a coconut-custard-filled steamed bun. Once you’ve had your fill, stroll hand-in-hand through Terminal 3’s indoor “aeroponic” garden, which supplies some of the airport’s restaurants with the freshest organic produce.
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