5 Must Do Things near Hobby Airport

Explore the flora-flocked grounds of the Houston Botanic Garden near Hobby Airport | Courtesy of Houston Botanic Garden

In our Must Do Things Around Greater Houston series, we take a look at Houston’s vast array of communities, neighborhoods and destinations to bring you five fun, tasty, surprising and enticing reasons you should give each one a visit.

The oldest commercial airport in Houston, William P. Hobby Airport opened as a private landing field in 1927. Today, it is the second busiest airport in the city (behind George Bush Intercontinental), handling domestic and international service for carriers such as Southwest, JetBlue, and Frontier.

Whether you are staying at a hotel near the airport or simply want to explore all that Houston has to offer, here are 5 fun reasons to visit the area around Hobby Airport.

Note: For the purposes of this list, the area near Hobby is bound by Mykawa to the west, Galveston Road to the east, 610 to the north and Sam Houston Tollway to the South.

5 Must Do Things Near Hobby Airport

Explore the 1940 Air Terminal Museum

The 1940 Air Terminal Museum provides a blast to the past with special events, exhibits and more | Courtesy of 1940 Air Terminal Museum

You won’t have to go far to find a local gem in the 1940 Air Terminal Museum, which sits in the old Houston Municipal Airport terminal building on the west side of Houston Hobby Airport. The first terminal built for passenger flight in Houston, the original Art Deco building houses collections, memorabilia and exhibits that showcase the rich heritage of civil aviation and Houston’s fascinating aviation history.

$5 for adults; $2 for children.

Open Tuesday to Sunday 10am to 5pm.

Get the best kolache in town at the Original Kolache Shoppe

Grab breakfast (or an early lunch) at one of Houston’s oldest family shops | Courtesy of the Original Kolache Shoppe

Open since 1956, The Original Kolache Shoppe on Telephone Road will change the way you think about kolaches. That’s because it uses locally-sourced ingredients, old-school methods, and a whole lotta love to craft its from-scratch pastries.

Get them in the form of traditional kolache filled with things like poppy seed, sweet cheese, lemon, and raspberry; or klobasniky stuffed with the classic combination of jalapeño and cheese. You also won’t want to miss the savory croissants, stuffed with deliciousness like roast beef, pastrami, and chicken fajita.

Open Monday to Saturday 5am to noon; Sunday 6am to 1pm.

Spend some time outdoors at Houston Botanic Garden

Explore the flora-flocked grounds of the Houston Botanic Garden near Hobby Airport | Courtesy of Houston Botanic Garden

About 10 minutes from the airport along the Sims Bayou, Houston Botanic Garden features 132 acres of horticultural displays, natural ecosystems and walking trails so you can stretch your legs and take in the serene surroundings of world-class gardens and plant life.

At three acres, the Global Collection Garden flourishes with a bounty of themed tropical, subtropical, and arid zone plants from around the world, featuring vibrant colors and captivating shapes and including diverse varieties from Colocasia (elephant ears) to the Rhodedendron (azaleas) collection. The gorgeous Woodland Glade features magnolia trees and sculpted hedges; while the Culinary Garden highlights edible and medicinal plants, from a Mediterranean Terrace highlighting delicacies like Olea europaea (olives) and Vitis (grapes) to the Health & Wellness section with Salix (willow) and Sambucus nigra (elderberry). There’s also a Coastal Prairie, Stormwater Wetlands, Community Garden, and Family Discovery Garden to explore.

Take your time journeying through, and look out for fun community events from Gardening Classes and DIY Terrariums to Yoga and Meditation sessions.

Houston Botanic Garden is open 9am to 5pm daily.

Slurp up pho at the Pho Binh Trailer

Dig into bowls of pho at one of Houston’s OG Vietnamese establishments | Courtesy of Pho Binh

The original location of Houston-favorite purveyor of pho, Pho Binh Trailer lies on the Southern edge of Greater Hobby. Yes, it’s actually a converted trailer, and it has been keeping local bellies full since 1983.

Stop by to see the unassuming landmark that sparked a pho revolution with locations across the city, and do so with a rich, warmly fragrant bowl stacked with herbs, rice noodles, and luscious cuts like rare eye of round, brisket, and tendon.

Open Tuesday to Sunday 8am to 4pm.

Go big on dishes at Hangar Kitchen

Fill up on burgers, Millionaire Tots and more at Hangar Kitchen | Courtesy of Hangar Kitchen

Have some extra time to kill before a flight? Or maybe you just want a great burger. Either way, the near-airport Hangar Kitchen has just what you need. Head there to dig into made-to-your-liking numbers like the Notorious P.I.G with bacon, Brooklyn beer cheese, and the addicting house burger sauce; or the B-52 Bomber with jalapeños, cheddar, cream cheese, and jalapeño ranch. Truffle tots, wings, dogs, entree salads, and plates like Blackened Salmon and Chicken & Waffles round out the menu. Hours vary.

Find More Things to Do in Houston All Year Long

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Brooke Viggiano is a food and lifestyle writer residing in Houston. When she's not contributing to publications like 365 Things to Do in Houston, Thrillist Houston and the Houston Press, she's on the hunt for the coolest happenings in the city. You can follow her musings on Twitter @BrookeViggiano .