Location: Concourse A

Runner-up: DuClaw Brewing Co., home of craft beers and ales, opened earlier this year at BWI. On the plus side, it's located in the terminal before the security checkpoint, so you can have a drink with friends or family before you take off.

Best place for coffee


"But only if you're flying Southwest," says Gilbert, who travels for business. "I enjoy filling my to-go cup for the plane; however, if you fly another carrier, the Starbucks is located prior to security."

Location: Concourse B and also in the terminal

Runner-up: Chesapeake Bay Roasting Co. "With a portion of the proceeds donated to preserving the Chesapeake Bay's ecosystem, travelers can feel good about their pre-flight purchases," says Fearns, who likes the small-batch coffees and smoothies at this shop in Concourse D.

Best place to shop

Bijoux Terner

"Everything is $10! I've shopped at this store on cruise ships and at the airports in Florida and Vegas so was thrilled that one recently opened at BWI," says Ragina C. Averella, public and government affairs manager for AAA Mid-Atlantic. "I have found a few nice scarves and costume jewelry there."

Travel writer Donna Owens, who lives in Baltimore, is another fan. "They have pretty pashminas in rainbow colors, earrings, watches and purses, among other items," she says. "The merchandise is cheap but doesn't necessarily look that way."

Location: Concourse B

Runner-up: Borders — it's a great place to stock up on in-flight reading materials. Also, Brooks Brothers, which has been open less than a month at BWI, will likely become a fast favorite.

Best place to buy gifts

Fire & Ice

"My favorite place to shop, especially for gifts, is Fire & Ice," says Averella. The shop specializes in handcrafted gold and silver jewelry, but also offers specialty items like art glass and holiday ornaments.

Location: Concourse A

Runner-up: Brookstone. The gift-giving options are endless at this go-go gadget store in Concourse D.

Best place to amuse the kids

The Observation Gallery