Best of Houston

Best of Houston® 2019: Best Place to People Watch

People from around the world come to George Bush Intercontinental Airport.
People from around the world come to George Bush Intercontinental Airport. Photo by Gary Beaver
Best Place to People Watch: George Bush Intercontinental Airport

It is the place where optimists and pessimists both get to go full bore for the entertainment of all. The ecstatic reunions once the disembarking passengers have made the long trek from the gate. The tearful departures before the security lines rip loved ones apart. Once on the way to the gates, would-be passengers gallop to make their flight while a voice announces that the airplane doors are about to close and this is their last, last chance.

It's people watching at the George Bush Intercontinental Airport and it just doesn't get any better than this, particularly when you add in the diversity of the area and the amount of foreign travel into and out of the country from here. A young mother in the food court searches her bags desperately while her two children sit beside her. She can't find their passports, she announces and clearly she needs more help than anyone nearby can give. All manner of colorful foreign garb and languages float by in the hallways, a symphony built into the fabric of arrivals and departures.

Most of all it's a chance to see hopeful people, off to the next adventure, putting themselves in the (mostly smiling) hands of airport employees. It's watching the optimists who certainly know their bag is too big or too heavy for carry-on who believe they can somehow convince gate agents otherwise. It's observing people coping with the challenges of a canceled flight; whether they can be gracious. It's enjoying seeing one stranger help another; or someone who's clearly exhausted summoning up a smile. And it helps to pass the time until you can get on board and go to your own next place.

George Bush Intercontinental Airport
2800 North Terminal Road, Houston

Readers' Choice: The Galleria
5085 Westheimer
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