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By Plane

Houston has two major airports: the George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH), 22 miles north of downtown, and the smaller William P. Hobby Airport, 9 miles southeast of downtown. Both shuttle companies listed below offer service between the airports.

George Bush Intercontinental Airport -- Houston's primary airport (www.fly2houston.com/iahhome) functions as a hub for Continental Airlines, though it's serviced by all major national and international carriers. The airport has all the facilities of major international airports, including ATMs and currency exchange desks.

Getting To & From the Airport -- Taxi service from IAH to downtown costs $45 to $55 and the ride takes 30 to 45 minutes; getting to the Galleria area costs a few dollars more. Super Shuttle (tel. 713/523-8888 or 800/BLUE VAN (258-3826); www.supershuttle.com), ferries passengers to and from this airport to almost all hotels. Prices vary according to the hotel's location. To or from downtown costs $25, and $7 for each person traveling with you. Shuttle ticket counters are at all airport terminals. Airport Shuttle America (tel. 281/530-4000 or 713/270-4200; www.airportshuttleamerica.net) is a homegrown company. It goes anywhere around town (IAH to downtown is $15 one-way) and to Galveston, transporting cruise ship passengers back and forth. Another option is the city's bus service (tel. 713/635-4000; www.ridemetro.org), which operates bus route 102. The fare is $1.25. Exact change is required, but dollar bills are accepted. Buses run about every 40 minutes, and travel time to downtown is an hour, a little longer for rush hour.

The major car-rental companies have counters at each terminal. John F. Kennedy Boulevard is the main artery into and out of the airport. When leaving the airport, you'll see signs pointing toward either the North Freeway (I-45) or the Eastex Freeway (Tex. 59). Both take you downtown, but the Eastex is shorter and usually quicker.

William P. Hobby Airport -- Hobby Airport (www.fly2houston.com/hobbyhome) is used mostly by Southwest Airlines. All major car-rental agencies have counters here with either staff or a service phone. Taxis from Hobby to the downtown area cost about $30, and to the Galleria area $40. For airport shuttle service, see above.

By Car

Houston is connected to Dallas and Fort Worth by I-45, and to San Antonio, New Orleans, and Beaumont by I-10. From Austin, you can take either Tex. 71 through Bastrop to Columbus, where it joins I-10, or Tex. 290 east through Brenham.

By Train

Amtrak (tel. 800/872-7245; www.amtrak.com) trains from New Orleans, Chicago, and Los Angeles (and points in between) arrive and depart from the Southern Pacific Station at 902 Washington Ave. (tel. 713/224-1577), close to downtown.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.