Distance from airport: 15 miles. Best transportation option: taxi.
Metrolink, the city's light-rail system, whisks passengers from the airport terminal right into downtown in 20 minutes, leaving plenty of time for a quick trip to Laclede's Landing, an entertainment district with cobblestone streets, museums, and shops on the riverfront (the Museum of Westward Expansion is a must for history buffs). The fare is $3.25; what you spend after that is up to you.
Distance from airport: 14 miles. Best transportation option: train.
LAMBERT - ST. LOUIS INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
Just a 15-minute cab ride away is Southall, known as Little India - though it would be better called Little Punjab for its Northern Indian flavor. For a great meal, try Roxy's (114-8 The Green, 011-44-208-574-2597) or Gifto's Lahore Karahi (162-164 The Broadway, 011-44-208-813-8669). Save room for dessert at one of the nearby sweet shops, and save some cash for the Bollywood music and DVDs at A.B.C. Music (7 The Broadway, 011-44-208-574-1319).
Distance from airport: six miles. Best transportation option: taxi.
LONDON HEATHROW AIRPORT
Take a 20-minute cab ride to Venice Beach and watch the beautiful people grunt and lift weights. Or, take a free shuttle to the Hilton Los Angeles Airport and lift weights yourself at the 24-hour fitness center. Pool and four whirlpools, too. $10. (310) 410-4000.