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“Next to Hobby airport: great for locals and tourists alike!”

1940 Air Terminal Museum
Ranked #37 of 316 things to do in Houston
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Reviewed 16 May 2014

Sometimes, you can find amazing stuff if you just allow it to happen. For instance, I met up with my friend (David) for lunch and he asked me at the end: "What are you doing after this?" I mumbled: "Some things. Why?"

He said that he was going to check out the 1940 Air Terminal Museum, which fronts Hobby Airport, since he had it bookmarked for a long time. Since I was really just going to walk the Hermann Park trails on that beautiful sunny Tuesday afternoon, I thought I should just go with the flow and check it out, too.

We opted to carpool in his car so I spotted him the $5 admission fee. The Art Deco building was the original Houston Municipal Airport and its runway gate opens up to an active runway at Hobby airport. As mentioned in other reviews, it is pretty amazing at how the distance from the terminal's front door to the door to the gates are so close to each other. Back in the day, there were no TSA security mazes, no curbside check-in, no huge concourses, no monorails, or moving sidewalks. The lobby could probably seat 50 people max; modern-day bus stations are bigger than this place. But, this place is gorgeous for its classical styling. (Hint: This place rents out for special events and you'd have a very distinctive venue.)

The north and south wings have been gutted and devoted to some fascinating exhibits to a more glamorous time of air travel. You can see a chronology of the various airlines, model airplanes, various memorabilia and flight uniforms in display cases. In a separate room, the large-screen TV has a continuous loop (about 5 minutes) of a DVD that shows the refurbishment of this terminal from 2003 to now.

Out front, there are two planes that are parked and the museum staff may allow you to climb inside and check out what a private plane really looks like. We were befriended by two other staff members and they asked us to follow them down the road to the hangar, where we stepped into a flight simulator, a larger Lodestar plane, and got up close and personal to air traffic control equipment, a Sikorsky helicopter, Cessna, Piper, and "Bamboo Bomber", a plane that is actually made of wood and fabric (what?).

While David was interested in all of this, I was practically Air Nerding it up and asking about everything. You'd think I had won the Golden Ticket to Willy Wonka's chocolate factory, if this factory also made airplanes. If you need a place to take tourists, this is a great option. Heck, if you're a local, this is a great option. Simply put: If you breathe, this is a great option. Go and enjoy!

* Every third Saturday of the month, they do a "Wings and Wheels" event. Classic cars are parked out front while they have a specialized group of airplanes on the taxiway while the Southwest planes land and take off.

3  Thank MajorMarket
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 19 April 2014

If you're a flight enthusiast, be sure to visit the 1940 Air Terminal Museum. The museum is right behind the Hobby Airport. You can see aircraft arriving/departing. Outside the museum, you will experience a few airplanes. There is so much history inside the museum. Although it is rather small, there is a lot of history.

1  Thank Bkbuzz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 April 2014

This unique museum recreates the days when flying on the airlines was a luxury reserved mostly for successful businessmen and celebrities. It contains a good collection of memorabilia from that era, including some airplanes, equipment from control towers and weather stations, and early flight simulators. It's of particular interest to pilots, of course, but the museum reminds visitors of the vital role aviation plays in the growth and prosperity of a city.

On a recent visit I was disappointed to hear a lot of misinformation from one of the well-intentioned tour guides. But they are mostly volunteers who love aviation, and it wouldn't be possible to train them to accurately answer all the questions that come from visitors of all ages and backgrounds.

It might help to provide them with a script, though, or the most pertinent facts about the equipment and aircraft they are talking about.

1  Thank Ken_Dwight
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 April 2014

some folks are volunteers...very interesting place. we got discount tickets from the online coupon site. It is nice to know that we had a smaller airport and famous people came to Houston thru here.

Thank flamingogal13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 April 2014

I stopped by when I had some free time, and thoroughly enjoyed it. The artifact collection has very rare items from when air travel was special. There was a lot of effort put into making this museum a special place, and they succeeded. I really enjoyed it. I got in for free because they were setting up for an event and a lot of stuff was out of place, but the normal $5 admission would be more than worth it. Please take the time to visit. You won't regret it.

Thank IndustrialDesigner
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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