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3.5 hours in Houston

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Sydney
posts: 3
reviews: 3
3.5 hours in Houston

HI there

I have a 3.5 hour stopover in Houston (flying from Nashville to New Orleans) around lunchtime on a Friday.

Is it worth leaving the airport, is there a decent place to eat, or check out the shops nearby?

Thanks

Kingwood, Texas
Destination Expert
for Houston
posts: 2,583
reviews: 47
1. Re: 3.5 hours in Houston

Best stay at the airport. Lots of decent restaurants / bars within the airport. Terminal E and C I think has the best options.

Sydney
posts: 3
reviews: 3
2. Re: 3.5 hours in Houston

Thanks so much, just found out my layover has gone up to 4.5 hours! Is Woodlands worth visiting and I really want to try out Potatoe Patch and get a roll thrown at me. Thoughts?

Houston, TX
posts: 3,058
reviews: 25
3. Re: 3.5 hours in Houston

Considering that you will have to be back at your gate by a certain point in time determined by your airline, even 4.5 hours isn't a lot of time. Unless you plan to rent a car, getting back to the airport from anywhere you might like to go will be problematic--cabs are not readily available in most areas around the airport for your return--especially in the vicinity of the Potatoe Patch. Same for public transportation.

Re The Woodlands, it will take you about 30 minutes each way to and from the airport, depending on the time of day and traffic. You will again have the problem of transport back to IAH.

Kingwood, Texas
Destination Expert
for Houston
posts: 2,583
reviews: 47
4. Re: 3.5 hours in Houston

Potatoe Patch is not in The Woodlands. It is on 1960 - not too far from the airport. Personally even 4.5 hours is not enough. If you get caught to traffic or something and get delayed you will be stressed. Lets say it will take you 30 mts to clear customs and immigration. Then 30 mts by taxi to The Woodlands (min cost $50). You want to get back say 90mts before the flight and add 30 mts to get back. So you have basically 1.5 hours at The Woodlands. I say get a massage, eat and drink and stay at the airport.

Houston, TX
posts: 3,058
reviews: 25
5. Re: 3.5 hours in Houston

Didn't mean to imply that the Potatoe Patch is in The Woodlands--point was to highlight the difficulty in going anywhere in that time frame. I agree--stay at the airport. BTW, the OP says she is in transit from Nashville to New Orleans, so there will be no dealing with customs and immigration for her.

Houston
Destination Expert
for Houston
posts: 1,595
reviews: 184
6. Re: 3.5 hours in Houston

Yvonne--

Which airport are you flying into/out of? Houston has HOU and IAH, and with Nashville and New Orleans, you could be arriving into either airport.

Houston, TX
posts: 547
reviews: 30
7. Re: 3.5 hours in Houston

Stay within the airport, whether it's HOU or IAH. Thanks for thinking of Houston.

Houston
Destination Expert
for Houston
posts: 1,595
reviews: 184
8. Re: 3.5 hours in Houston

Yvonne--

Are you required to come through Houston? It's approximately 325 air miles due west of New Orleans, and Nashville is approximately 425 air miles northeast of New Orleans.) Southwest Airlines flies non-stop to New Orleans several times daily (not that we wouldn't love to show you our lovely airports).

If you're not required to come to Houston, it would really make more sense to fly directly (non-stop) to New Orleans.

UK
posts: 447
reviews: 3
9. Re: 3.5 hours in Houston

There's a nice Pappadeaux restaurant in terminal E which does a lunchtime seafood buffet for only $11.95. It would be a bargain in any case, but in an airport - doubly so !

Houston
posts: 782
reviews: 2
10. Re: 3.5 hours in Houston

I agree with the suggestions to hang out in the airport. I, personally, always enjoy my hang-out time at Intercontinenal Airport. There is plenty to do, plenty of space, plenty of light, and certainly no lack of interesting individuals to watch. Houston traffic can be a bear and get pretty crazy in a moment's notice, some times. I would never chance leaving for such a short time. Be sure to have a sweater or hoodie to wear, though--the AC can be blisteringly cold. (For arrivals and departures, this one is easier for me, too. Parking is very close and affordable for the couple of hours that I am there for this. )

The other commonly-used airport in Houston is Hobby and is small. I have flown through both but have not had the best experiences at Hobby. Nothing to do and, for what it is worth, the staff just seems more hostile and agitated in general.