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11 hours between flights at IAH on Jan. 1, what to do?

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Nov 17th, 2011, 01:26 PM
  #1
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11 hours between flights at IAH on Jan. 1, what to do?

Hi everyone, I haven't posted for a while, but have definitely been traveling this year. At any rate, this question is about Houston

I haven't visited Houston, except for the airport.

We'll want to be back 90 minutes before the second flight (we're going MEX-IAH, IAH-YVR), so about 7:30 PM.

I will be with my 20-year-old daughter. I don't want to rent a car.

I am thinking there are several options:
1) Public transit to somewhere, maybe an art or history museum if it's open? Does Houston have any nice, walkable areas that are easy to access from the airport (I suspect this might be a laughable question). Or maybe a shopping mall. We're fine with an easy to access, huge shopping mall - we love American shopping.
2) Tour bus, like Grayline, of Houston from the airport.
3) Relatively inexpensive taxi, or possibly a shopping shuttle, from the airport to a shopping mall.

What would you suggest?
WillTravel is offline  
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Nov 17th, 2011, 01:54 PM
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the biggest shopping area in houston is a place called the galleria. i imagine you could get a shuttle from the airport to there. there are a few hotels in the galleria--you could line up another shuttle back to the airport.
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Nov 17th, 2011, 02:37 PM
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Galleria or Space Center Houston is the Official Visitors Center of NASA's Johnson Space Center, which is the home of astronaut training and Mission Control.

www.spacecenter.org all kinds of cool stuff even moon rocks

my fav taxi or supershuttle.com IAH...

Have fun,
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Nov 17th, 2011, 04:24 PM
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Both the Galleria (43 km from IAH) and the Space Center (75 km away) sound great, but they're both so far away (maybe not by Texas standards). Is there anything recommendable that's closer?
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Nov 17th, 2011, 07:37 PM
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I would check into the transportation by bus from the airport to downtown. I think you could do that quickly and cheaply. Then you could take the metro train line out to the museum district area to see some museums. Unfortunately the IAH is on the far north side of Houston and there is not much close to it.
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Nov 17th, 2011, 10:56 PM
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IAH is on the northwest outskirts of Houston and not close to the city at all. Houston itself is physically one of the largest cities in the United States. The ride to downtown will take about 1/2 hr to 40 minutes and will cost a set fee on the taxi. Buses are slow and unreliable - this is car culture and public transport is not a viable option. To get to IAH by 7:30 pm, you need to leave early (615-630 pm).

Could you really have not scheduled a better connection than this for two flights that are not transoceanic?
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Nov 17th, 2011, 11:36 PM
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The answer is that I couldn't book a better flight at any reasonable cost.
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Nov 18th, 2011, 07:27 AM
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You might try a taxi to The Woodlands mall. Very nice shopping and restaurants about 30 minutes north of the airport.
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Nov 18th, 2011, 08:16 AM
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If your bags will be checked through, that makes life easier. There are ways to make do, but you need to be willing to shed some cash on transport. The Houston Museum of Fine Arts is the centerpiece of the city's Museum district and here's info on that area:

http://www.houstonmuseumdistrict.org/default.asp?id=1

To be kind, it is NOT close to IAH, so act accordingly.
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Nov 18th, 2011, 05:41 PM
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Are all of these places going to be open On New Year's Day?
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Nov 18th, 2011, 07:35 PM
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IAH is on the northeast side of Houston. Also here is a link to the bus, but I doubt they will be running on New Year's Day: http://www.ridemetro.org/SchedulesMaps/Pdfs/102-iah.pdf. I do think the museums will be open, but renting a car for the day might be your best option.
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Nov 18th, 2011, 07:45 PM
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I just re-checked the bus schedule. It says online that the buses will run on a Sunday schedule on New Year's Day. So it might just be possible for you to take the bus from IAH to the downtown station. Then you could catch the light rail to the museum district and visit a museum or two. Then do the reverse heading back to IAH. I know someone who does this who lives in the museum district whenever they travel.
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Nov 18th, 2011, 09:35 PM
  #13
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I have been checking all along whether possible candidates are open on New Year's Day. Most are, but a few are not.

Thanks for the bus schedule, kkukura.
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Nov 18th, 2011, 09:48 PM
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Deerbrook Mall is about 5 miles away from the airport. Does anyone know if it's a good mall?
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Nov 19th, 2011, 11:17 AM
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My brother and sister-in-law live close to Deerbrook Mall. They like it a lot! It will be difficult to do much up in that part of Houston. Houston is very spread out and getting around is best with a car. Houston is nice to live in, but not the best for being a tourist since everything is spread over 50+ miles!
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Jan 26th, 2012, 03:21 PM
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I should follow up. We were perfectly happy hanging out at Deerbrook Mall from 12 to 5:30, and then heading next door to Barnes & Noble until 7, and then getting a cab back to the airport. Maybe Texas natives underestimate the thrill for Canadians of going to an American shopping mall. I liked what little I saw of the Houston area.
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Jan 26th, 2012, 07:58 PM
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Great! I am glad you enjoyed your short time in Houston. I like my city too!
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Jan 26th, 2012, 09:40 PM
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WillTravel- you'll just have to come back, then! The Museum of Fine Arts in Houston is one of my favorites. The Galleria Mall would also blow your socks off. And NASA would be fun, too.

Additionally, if you're there 2-3 days, you could also manage a drive out to Galveston. Nice day trip!

Glad you enjoyed what you saw! Happy New Year!
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