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Arriving IAH then going to Galveston

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Berkshire England
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30 posts
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Arriving IAH then going to Galveston

We are arriving into IAH from London and then going to Galveston. Advice please , after long flight we don't fancy hiring a car and driving that afternoon, how much are we looking at for a cab or is there a shuttle?


Should we spend a night or two in Houston and then drive to Galveston. Thanks guys know someone will come up trumps with some good ideas.

San Antonio, Texas
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1. Re: Arriving IAH then going to Galveston

a cab ride would be extremely expensive as Galveston is approx. 50-60 miles away from the airport. perhaps a local Houstonian could recommend a shuttle service....it seems like there should be one. renting a car is always a good option in Texas because everything is spread out and waiting in the heat for a bus is no fun. also, when will you be arriving? you don't want to drive through Houston during "rush hour" traffic between 4-7p.m. it will take approx. 1-2 hours to get through customs, so take that into consideration.

Houston, Tx
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2. Re: Arriving IAH then going to Galveston

From IAH, it will take you all about an hour without any (which is impossible in Houston) traffic. I would definitely spend a night in Houston and rent a car. Besides, a car is almost a necessity in Houston. I don't think you will regret getting a car and driving. How long will you all be in Galveston?


Berkshire England
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3. Re: Arriving IAH then going to Galveston

Thanks for the advice so far, we will be in the Houston area for around 16 days. So thought we might do 2 days Houston, 12 days Galveston and back to Houston for a couple of days before our flight home.

Houston, TX
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4. Re: Arriving IAH then going to Galveston

As much as renting a car may seem like a hassle, the sad truth is that Houston and the surrounding areas (including Galveston) are spread out. The convience of not having to wait for a cab can't be over estimated. Our heat and humidity can get oppresive if you're not ready for it. Additionaly since everything is so spread out, your cab fares can quickly add up to the cost of a rental car, so you'll end up saving money.

Having flown to Europe a few times, I can understand the desire to not hop right into a car. So the superior alternative may be to have a shuttle or towncar drive you down. http://www.galvestonlimousineservice.com is one service that can help you out. The cost for a round trip for one adult from IAH to Galveston is $60. They do run on a schedule so that may not be 100% convient. You can also go to http://www.galveston.com/transportation/ for a much larger list of actual limo companies that will pick you up however I do have personal experience with black tie limo (www.btlimo.com) and they are an amazing company. Their corporate sedans (towncars) charge $58 for a one-way transfer, but I'm unsure if they'll add on a charge for going to Galveston. They will be a great alternative to driving and can provide expert advice during your ride if you'd like

Once you've arrived in Galveston, there are rental agencies around that can rent you a car for the next 12 odd days.

You should have a great time in Galveston and may end up spending more or less time there depending on what you find in Houston and the surrounding beaches.

Of course, there will be the whole problem of us yanks driving on the wrong side of the road. ;)

London, UK
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5. Re: Arriving IAH then going to Galveston

I'm also looking for a shuttle service to Clear Water/Kemah. This service seems to be the cheapest so far unless someone else knows better.

I hope this helps.


Southlake, Texas
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6. Re: Arriving IAH then going to Galveston

Not to offend or insult your travel plans, woodgnome, but why on earth will you be in Galveston so long? I hope it's for family or business and not a holiday (unless you're just looking for someplace to laze about for a looooooong time)...

It's 70 miles from IAH to Galveston. If I were you, I would book into someplace in Houston (Galleria area) for a couple of nights before heading to Galveston.

Also, be ye warned that Houston rental car taxes are some of the highest in the nation!

Berkshire England
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7. Re: Arriving IAH then going to Galveston

We have got the chance of flights to Houston and thought that the kids could do with some time on the beach and around the pool rather than spend time in the city which I thought would be quite hot and humid at this time of the year. Perhaps we will spend longer in Hou. As for hiring a car, as we coming quite a long way we want to be able to travel around a bit. My initial question was related to the fact that we would have just got off a 10 hour flight and didn't fancy jumping straight into a hire car and heading off on the "wrong side of the road". Having explored other options in the US, for one reason or another Hou looks to be our best bet. Thanks again for all the advice.

Galveston, TX
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8. Re: Arriving IAH then going to Galveston

Rent a car, if not on day 1, then later. I recommend staying in Houston initally so you get to your rooms quickly but the shuttle service to Galveston is called Galveston Limo (find in yellowpages.com). Perhaps you can find a hotel in Houston which has an airport shuttle service.


The Galleria mall is great for the kids-- indoor skating rink, lots of shops (GBP is strong now, right?), dining good (Cheesecake Factory). Also, many hotels might have a direct shuttle.

Be sure to find the waterfall/fountain outside it-- semicirclular flow is fascinating albeit dizzying.

The Musuem of Natural Science is also fun for kids-- has an IMAX, worthwhile Butterly room, nice exhibits.

Houston Zoo & Hermann Park are also nice-- rose gardens, japenese gardens, petting zoo, train ride-- but bring the sunscreen along. There are free concerts/theatre on Fridays/Saturdays sometimes geared toward the kids.

There's also a Children's Museum which I have not visited. All the museums are clustered around each other in a convenient area called the Museum District. I also recommend the Menil Collection (free) if anyone cares for art.

If the kids enjoy baseball, trying to catch an Astros game would also be a treat. There is something to be said about being at such a large stadium with so many fans around.

Houston also has a great amusement park/water park called AstroWorld which I am sure the kids would like.


It's rather small and the beach is truly not all that although it is still lovely. Sunrise is spectular however. Be wary of debris (I recommend shoes at the beach!), fishhooks/fisherman, jellyfish, those bicyles built for the entire family (can be dangerous with the varying leg lengths)...

Moody Gardens is fabulous--nice Aquarium & rainforest, IMAx-- also has discovery pyramid for kids, paddlewheel boat ride, and a unique area called Palm Beach which provides cleaner sands and waters than would Galveston itself...not to be missed

Downtown/Strand-- small, old, can see a movie about the great storm of 1900 which is good.

I definately recommend renting a car at some point because you will want to drive to NASA (Clearlake) as that is great fun for the kids. Also near NASA is the Kemah Boardwalk (concerts, fountains, train ride, restaurants, boat rides) which the kids will enjoy as well.

Enjoy your visit!

Houston, Texas
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9. Re: Arriving IAH then going to Galveston

Houston is a massive city with over 4 million people. It is very spread apart and requires a car. We do drive on the opposite side of the road than in London, but it is the best form of transportation. You can not take cabs everywhere because it will burn a huge hole in your wallet. Get a rental car such as with the company "Dollar rental cars" at the airport! They ususally have pretty good rates. Just drive slow in the right hand side of the road until you get comfortable with the car. People in Houston are very fast drivers and very aggressive. If people honk, just ignore them, your safety comes first. Look up Houston Metro online to see ways to get around the actual city of Houston. Most people do not ride the bus because it is not very safe, but we have a small train that goes from Downtown Houston to the Texas football stadium. Also, if you are going to the Galveston area, you may want to take a joy ride over to Jamacian Beach. It is about 15 or so minutes from Galveston. You can drive your car on the beach near there. Just ask a local corner store for directions on where to get onto the beach. It is very quiet in that area. Also, please note the water is not Blue in the gulf. The mississippi rivers dumps into the gulf which makes the water sort of a brown color. The good news is there is a lot of fish which means animals can live in it :)

If you are afraid to drive in Houston, consider taking Sam Houston parkway around the city and getting back on I45 on the otherside of Houston. You will need a pocket full of change. It costs about $3.00 or so for tolls). This way you don't have to go into the heart of downtown, once you have driven a bit in Houston and feel comfortable, there are lots of fun things to do in Houston. I would recommend going to Galveston first and maybe spending a day or so in Houston on your way back. I would recommend you stay one night in downtown Houston. Go to an Astros baseball game! It is so much fun. Also nearby is some great restaurants. Try www.citysearch.com to find about restaurants in Galveston and Houston. Have fun!