15 Cool Things to Do in Beaumont Texas

These cool things to do in Beaumont are perfect whether on a southeast Texas vacation for several days or making a quick stop on an I-10 road trip. Beaumont is a Texas town with a Cajun twist and a little bit of the old south. There is no other town quite like Beaumont and no one thing defines it.

Sure, Beaumont has oil refineries but also great green spaces—like Cattail Marsh in Tyrrell Park and Riverfront Park along the Neches River (although currently closed from Hurricane Harvey damage). Culture follows instant fortunes (like from oil) and Beaumont has some nice museums and great food. Beaumont is the 5th largest US port and the top military cargo port; 37% of all jet fuel is produced here.

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15 Cool Things to Do in Beaumont Texas

Boomtown is Beaumont’s nickname, from when the major oil field was discovered at Spindletop. Beaumont Texas is only 75 minutes from Houston and there are convenient shuttles if you do not want to drive. Please enjoy my list of things to do in Beaumont and let me know some of your favorites.

Where is Beaumont TX?

Here is a map of Beaumont Texas with markers for places mentioned in this article.

 

1. Spindletop Gladys City Boomtown Museum

In 1901, oil was first discovered at Spindletop and, in fact, it gushed 100,000 barrels a day for nine days until someone figured out how to capture the liquid gold. Instant fortunes occurred and Beaumont became a boomtown as thousands of people showed up within a few days and weeks. Check the Spindletop Gladys City Boomtown Museum schedule and try to attend when they do a reenactment of the first gusher (using water instead of oil) or a blacksmith session.

oil well gusher at Spindletop Gladys City Boomtown Museum
oil well gusher at Spindletop Gladys City Boomtown Museum

The town of Gladys City was mapped and formed around the Spindletop area in 1892 and the re-created old west downtown center of Gladys City is the basis of the Spindletop Gladys City Boomtown Museum on the Lamar University property. It is about one mile away from the actual Spindletop discovery site. People said that in the 1900s, you could walk a mile on top of oil wells without touching the ground. Yikes!

old timey barber shop at Spindletop Gladys City Boomtown Museum
old timey barber shop at Spindletop Gladys City Boomtown Museum
old timey barber shop at Spindletop Gladys City Boomtown Museum
old timey barber shop at Spindletop Gladys City Boomtown Museum

McCool Travel sidenote: A possible distant a ancestor—likely a second cousin or uncle to a 3rd great-grandfather)—Pelham Humphries, owned a tract of land on Spindletop Hill starting in 1835. He had no known heirs so I did not inherit a few hundred billion dollars and instead uncover cool, happy, and fun things to do all over the world for you. You are welcome!

2. Texas Energy Museum

An appropriate stop after Spindletop Gladys City Boomtown Museum is the Texas Energy Museum in downtown Beaumont. Learn about origins of the petroleum industry and the people associated with the oil prominence in this area. The newest exhibit, opening soon, is focused on wind energy.

Texas Energy Museum in Beaumont TX
Texas Energy Museum in Beaumont TX

I was impressed that Beaumont grouped many museums in the same area. Adjacent to the Texas Energy Museum are the Beaumont Children’s Museum, Art Museum of Southeast Texas, and Tyrrell Historical Library. Fire Museum of Texas and Edison Museum are a block away. Less than a block from the museums is the restored and historic Jefferson Theatre.

3. Fire Hydrant Statue

Take a selfie with the world’s largest working fire hydrant, located in Shelton Plaza next to the Fire Museum of Texas. Coming up later in this article are more cool Beaumont TX public art spots and my choice for the best Instagram location in Beaumont.

Beaumont Texas fire hydrant selfie spot
a wonderful selfie spot at in Beaumont Texas
giant fire hydrant in Beaumont Texas
giant fire hydrant in Beaumont Texas

4. McFaddin-Ward House Museum

Unlike other historic homes, the McFaddin-Ward House is decorated exactly as it was in its heyday with the actual pieces. This grand residence was actually built for Colonel Averill and his wife, who was the sister of WPH McFaddin (who owned the Spindletop land in 1901). The McFaddin family was already wealthy though, with a fortune made through lumber, cattle, rice, and muskrat trapping prior to 1901. After only a few months, in 1907, Colonel Averill and WPH McFaddin traded houses.

McFaddin-Ward House Beaumont
McFaddin-Ward House Museum in Beaumont Texas

In 1919, Mamie McFaddin—daughter of WPH and Ida Caldwell McFaddin—married Carroll Ward, heir to family’s ice fortune. The McFaddins (and Wards) lavishly decorated the house with objects from around the world, showing off their wealth and preferences. They also kept meticulous records and did not throw away anything—for instance, there are 37 complete sets of china.

shower in McFaddin-Ward House in Beaumont TX
shower in McFaddin-Ward House in Beaumont TX

5. Gator Country

Quick hands or no hands” is the slogan at Gator Country. The owners are featured on the Gator 911 television show and they are professional rescuers of nuisance gators. Arlie is a pure entertainer and character, as you can see in this video below. In fact, make sure you do stay for the demonstration, as it is funny, entertaining, and educational.

Oh my. Arlie from Gator 911 is a professional gator rescuer. Do not try this, yo.Gator CountryVisit Beaumont, TX

Posted by Charles McCool on Saturday, March 23, 2019

6. Cattail Marsh Wetlands & Boardwalk

One of my Beaumont CVB hostesses told me that avid birdwatchers recently counted as astounding 268 different bird species in Cattail Marsh. Makes sense since it is located at the intersection of a couple of different bird migration paths. Cattail Marsh is a beautiful place for a walk, you will likely also see a gator or two. Cattail Marsh contains constructed and natural wetlands performing final stages of water treatment before water heads into Hillebrandt Bayou.

Cattail Marsh in Beaumont TX
boardwalk on Cattail Marsh in Beaumont TX

7. Babe Didrikson Zaharias Museum & Beaumont Visitor Center

Called The Texas Marvel (given name Mildred) and buried in Beaumont, Babe Didrikson played 20 sports, held countless world records, and was voted the most important woman athlete of first half of 20th century. The Babe Didrikson Zaharias museum also houses the Beaumont TX visitor center.

Babe Didrikson Zaharias Museum
Babe Didrikson Zaharias Museum

8. Beaumont Public Art

From the egg beater sculpture in front at Rao’s to the world’s largest working fire hydrant to the Beaumont street murals to decorated water towers, Boomtown is rocking the public art scene.

Beaumont public art at Rao's Bakery
Beaumont public art at Rao’s Bakery
decorated water tower in Beaumont Texas
decorated water tower in Beaumont Texas
Pig Stand wall mural in Beaumont Texas
Pig Stand wall mural in Beaumont Texas

Surely this is the most Instagrammable spot in Beaumont TX. Right?

Beaumont street mural
Beaumont TX public art
Beaumont TX street mural
Beaumont TX street mural

These and other Beaumont street murals are by local artist Kimberly Brown.

Places to Eat in Beaumont TX

9. Amelia Farm and Market

The place for Sunday brunch in southeast Texas in Amelia Farm and Market. The weather was nice enough to sit outside and the setting was ideal to enjoy some carnitas tacos.

carnitas tacos at Amelia farm and Market in Beaumont
carnitas tacos at Amelia farm and Market in Beaumont

10. Boomtown BBQ Company

When judging BBQ places, I like to sample their ribs and peach cobbler. Both are excellent at Boomtown BBQ in Beaumont. I also ate too much of their pulled pork nachos and a few other menu items. Boomtown BBQ is opening a new location in College Station Texas later this year.

When judging BBQ places, my criteria is ribs and peach cobbler. Both are superb here.Boomtown BBQ CompanyVisit Beaumont, TXTravel Texas

Posted by Charles McCool on Saturday, March 23, 2019

Boomtown BBQ Company in Beaumont TX
Boomtown BBQ Company in Beaumont TX

11. J. Wilson’s

The pork Belly (called Man Candy, ha!) and oyster nachos appetizers are magnificent at J. Wilson’s in Beaumont. Entrees includes pastas, steaks, fish—I selected the shrimp and grits. Two bread puddings and a half dozen other desserts will further entice you.

pork belly (aka Man Candy) from J. Wilson's in Beaumont
pork belly (aka Man Candy) from J. Wilson’s in Beaumont
oyster nachos from J. Wilson's in Beaumont
oyster nachos from J. Wilson’s in Beaumont

12. Rao’s Bakery

The Mardi Gras King Cakes at Rao’s Bakery are amazing. McCool Travel tip: try all flavors and sizes! But stop at Rao’s any day of the year for amazing breakfast sandwiches, kolaches, and so many sweet thangs. Bet you did not know— Rao’s Bakery is owned by Jake Tortorice (for over 20 years) and his family started Jason’s Deli (now over 275 locations).

Rao's Bakery in Beaumont Texas
best in Beaumont Texas is definitely Rao’s Bakery. Right?
Mardi Gras king cakes at Rao's Bakery in Beaumont Texas
Mardi Gras king cakes at Rao’s Bakery in Beaumont Texas

13. Tacos La Bamba

The one thing I have to do when I return to Beaumont is visit more taco places. Tacos La Bamba, across the street from McFaddin-Ward House, serves amazing Tex-Mex specialties in a no-frills setting. Just simply amazing tacos and comfort food.

Tacos La Bamba in Beaumont Texas
Tacos La Bamba in Beaumont Texas

14. The Grill

On a pleasant southeast Texas evening, might be no place better than sitting outside on the porch at The Grill. Nearby is The West Bar & Grill, which is a fun dive bar.

The Grill in Beaumont Texas
The Grill in Beaumont Texas

15. Tia Juanita’s Fish Camp

Come to Tia Juanita’s for the margaritas, stay for the seafood. I enjoyed shrimp and grits, with a Tex-Mex twist.

shrimp and grits at Tia Juanitas in Beaumont
shrimp and grits at Tia Juanitas in Beaumont

Where to Stay in Beaumont: MCM Elegante

With a convenient location off I-10, relaxing pool, and other amenities MCM Elegante Hotel and Conference Center is a nice place to stay in Beaumont TX. The hotel was activity central during my stay, hosting two proms and a wedding on the same night, but my third floor room was quiet.

See my video tour of a MCM Elegante Beaumont room.

See also the Beaumont CVB complete list of places to stay in Beaumont TX, including hotels, B&Bs, and campgrounds.

Another lodging option in Beaumont is vacation rentals, including condos, apartments, and houses. >>> To receive $40 off your first Airbnb rental, use this Airbnb discount code.

Other Things to Do in Beaumont

There are many other amazing and cool things to do in Beaumont Texas and I just scratched the surface here. Hopefully it provides you an idea of the variety of funness to experience there. On future trips, I hope to explore some of the following Beaumont attractions and discover even more.

If your favorite Beaumont restaurant, museum, or secret place is not listed, please leave a comment and let me know.

Other places on my wish list of places to visit in Beaumont include:

  • St. Anthony Catheral Basilica (one of 4 minor basilicas in Texas)
  • Art Museum of Southeast Texas
  • Dishman Art Museum (at Lamar University)
  • Beaumont Botanical Gardens
  • Seeing a show or movie at the Jefferson Theatre
  • Fairgrounds (I just missed the Southeast Texas State Fair)
  • Clifton Steamboat Museum
  • Festivals: Tacos and Tapas, Craft Brew Fest
  • Big Thicket National Preserve (for kayaking)
  • Shangri La Botanical Gardens and Stark Museum of Art (in Orange Texas)

Many Beaumont Restaurants

Some Beaumont TX restaurants I want to try include Monica’s, Jadalaya’s House of Soul, Jamaican Cajun Food Truck, Sertino’s Cafe, and Willy Burger. I know there are many others so list your favorite places to eat in Beaumont in the comments. Please!

For more Beaumont Texas information, see these resources: US Gulf Coast Travel

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6 thoughts on “15 Cool Things to Do in Beaumont Texas”

  1. Hey! If you could credit the artist, Kimberly Brown for the two murals you posted (BMT TX and the vintage Pig Stand mural), that would be great! This is her facebook, https://www.facebook.com/clementinelove and her Be Kind brand facebook https://www.facebook.com/thebekindbrand/

    Also, not sure if you noticed all of the transformer boxes painted throughout Beaumont, but as far as public art goes, they’re awesome! Here’s a link to the page that shows all boxes done, and a map of where they are located! https://beaumonttexas.gov/departments/technology-services/city-art/?fbclid=IwAR3pOruCo0rysYPFd6L9jxCiOQmZD3wiFgfQlxOnzqM7SFWxsEj2x8mIsGU

    Reply
  2. Aw, you were so close to me at the Chambers House Museum. Sorry that you missed us. I would have given you a very hospitable tour of over 90 years of our family’s personal collection, most of which date from the 1920s-1940s. I would have even cranked up the Victrola for you to dance the Charleston. Come back and see us anytime!

    Reply
  3. Idk about the steamboat museum but if you are already on 124 or headed to the beach stop by Doug Nelson’s Cafe. Best mom and pop shop place by far. Time it right, mon-fri 10:30-2:pm. You’re welcome.

    Reply

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