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Fun Things To Do Near The Houston Intercontinental Airport

If you ever find yourself having a layover here in the Houston Intercontinental Airport, you might be asking yourself one thing.

What are you suppose to do?

Nobody ever likes having to have a layover at any sort of airport.

After all you have to wait a long time, its boring, plus there isn’t really anything to do.

But what if you don’t have to wait at the airport?

Depending on how much time you have for your layover, you might be interested in venturing outside to explore the surrounding city.

And here in the Houston area, there are plenty of things for you to see and do during your layover.

Whether you have only a few hours to kill or half a day, here are the things to do near the Houston Intercontinental Airport.

Things To Do Near The Houston Intercontinental Airport

So we are going to be breaking this up into sections according to how much time you have for a layover so that you can know exactly what to do.

1 To 4 Hours For A Layover

Killens BBQ

Because you only have a short window to do things, you can either opt to do things inside the airport or head out some place close around the airport.

For instance if you want to stay inside the airport then you’ll be pleased to know that there are all sorts of restaurants and shops for you to visit.

But because this post is about things near the airport, that is what we are going to focus on.

Since you only have 1 to 3 hours for a layover at the Houston Intercontinental Airport, we are definitely going to recommend you try out some of the local restaurants.

Restaurants To Try

  • Gumbo Jeaux’s which is one of the best gumbo spots in the city of Houston is right across the road from the airport. It is a fantastic spot to go visit if you are hungry.
  • Jimee’s BBQ is another spot that is pretty close to the airport being about 10 minutes away. It serves up an authentic Barbecue experience that you will not forget.

Things To Do

Because your time limit is so short, we definitely do not recommend trying to go sightseeing or doing anything else besides just eating because doing other things will definitely take a lot of time.

Plus you have to factor in the time for you to get back to the airport and get through security. So overall it isn’t worth it.

5 To 12 Hours For A Layover

Space Center Houston

Because you are going to be here for a few hours, you have a little more options now as to what you want to do.

With this much time, you can easily go visit at least one or two attractions here in the Houston area.

Or if you want to venture out to some of the more famous restaurants here in the city, you can definitely do so.

Restaurants To Try

  • Killens BBQ is definitely THE spot if you want to try some authentic Texas Barbecue. This place is legendary as it serves up some of the best tasting barbecue you’ll ever get your hands on. Although this place is going to be pretty far about 1 hour away from the airport.
  • B & B Butchers is the perfect spot to visit if you want to try some delicious steak. Here they have steaks of the highest quality which includes the coveted “KOBE BEEF”. You will definitely love this spot.
  • The Original Ninfa’s On Navigation is an amazing spot to get some authentic Tex-Mex cuisines. They have a big menu that will definitely have you craving for more and more.

If you want to see a full list of the best restaurants you need to try in the Houston area, click here to go see them.

Things To Do

  • Space Center Houston is the premier attraction of the city of Houston. Because as you know Houston is also known as Space City so its only natural for you to visit Nasa’s museum and learn about all things dealing with space.
  • Downtown Aquarium is a great spot to learn about all things marine life. It is part attraction and part restaurant that features a 500,000 gallon tank full of amazing sea life. They also have an amusement park for the younger ones to play at.
  • Museum of Natural Science is the perfect spot to visit if you want to learn about all things history and science. They have many kinds of collections and exhibits from fossils to antiques to even gem stones. You will definitely learn a lot over here.
  • Museum Of Fine Arts is a great place to see a number of amazing art works. They have a collection of more than 56,000 different works that features art from past to present.
  • Houston Zoo is a fantastic place to visit if you love all things nature and animals. They have many different exhibits feature elephants, tigers, penguins and more. Literally any animal you can think of, they’ll have it here in this zoo.
  • Chinatown might also be an interesting place for you to see and visit as it has tons of different restaurants and shops for you to browse around.

If you want to see a full list of things for you to do in the Houston area, click over here to see the list.

1 Day Or Longer For A Layover

Kemah Boardwalk

If your layover is going to take 1 day or longer for you to stay in the city of Houston then you’ll be happy to know that you can do literally anything you want.

You can choose to go to any restaurants you want or see anything you want to see.

Your options are limitless.

Be sure to check out my things to do in Houston list for ideas and inspirations that you can do while visiting the city of Houston.


As with any type of travel, you always want to make sure you give yourself enough time to get back to the airport if you do indeed want to venture out.

After all nobody wants to miss their flight.

So be sure to check your time always to see how long you are able to do certain things and how long you have till you have to head back.


As you can see, having a layover at the Houston intercontinental Airport doesn’t have to be boring.

There are many things to do near the Houston Intercontinental Airport.

So hopefully this list was able to give you some ideas as for things you are able to do if you ever get a layover at the Houston Airport..

Also if you are going to be stopping by Houston anytime soon, you might be interested in some of my other posts:

Or for a list of more Houston posts, you can click here.

Let me know how it goes!

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