The midpoint between Houston and Lake Charles, Beaumont is generally thought to be a drive-by town, somewhere to grab a quick snack or gas en route to somewhere else. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t a great place to break up the drive. In fact, we think it’s worth far more than a look-see.
Whatever type of traveler you are; whether you stumble upon our humble city by accident, are just passing through, or are short on time, make a point to visit at least one of Beaumont’s bucket list attractions. It just may convince you to stay and explore a little while longer.
For the Bucket-Lister – Gator Country
You may have seen owner Gary wraslin’ gators on TV, but his whole team is larger than life in real life, too. A gator rescue facility where hundreds of “nuisance” gators are housed and rehabbed, the experience is part animal show, part educational tour, and fully interactive. Spoiler alert: if you’re feeling brave they will let you hold and wade with the baby gators.
For the Nature Enthusiast – Cattail Marsh
Beaumont’s top birding location, the newly remodeled Cattail Marsh is complete with miles of boardwalks and nature trails. If you’re looking for a place to stretch your legs, it’s also the centerpiece of 500-acre Tyrell Park, which includes hiking and biking trails, a golf course, horse stable, and botanic gardens.
For the Architecture Enthusiast - McFadden-Ward House
One of the first families to strike it rich in the oil industry, the McFadden-Ward House is a lavishly furnished and meticulously maintained look into the life of Texas’s upper echelon. Docent-led tours are offered throughout the day to showcase the incredible wealth and prosperity. Their collection of Tiffany home goods and Middle Eastern rugs are worth a visit alone.
For the Foodie – J.Wilson's
Beaumont has a lot of good restaurants, but if you want really elevated dining with a distinctly local feel, head to J.Wilson's. The menu boasts innovative, playful twists on comfort classics with a non-pretentious, neighborhood feel. And don't miss the man candy. :)
For the Family – Colorado Canyon
If the kiddos are getting restless, Colorado Canyon is a great way for the young or young at heart to burn some shpilkes. Both an amusement center and fun-plex, there’s miniature golf, laser tag, gemstone and fossil mining, and an arcade to entertain.
For Date Night – The Grill
Known for having the best patio and happy hour in town, the Grill is the place you go to chill and unwind after work with wine, cheese, and cheers. There’s live music three times a week and if you’re a local, you’re virtually guaranteed to bump into at least one person you know.
For the Road Tripper – The World’s Largest Working Fire Hydrant
The ultimate roadside attraction, snap a selfie with the quirky, gimmicky giant spotted fire hydrant donated by the Walt Disney Company. Given to Beaumont in celebration of the re-release of 101 Dalmatians, the icon guards the entrance to the Fire Museum of Texas.
For the Spiritual – St. Anthony Cathedral Basilica
Beaumont’s Faith Trail has a number of architecturally-significant buildings, but one not to miss downtown is St. Anthony Cathedral Basilica. It is one of only four designated Minor Basilicas in the state of Texas and features an elaborate dome, stained glass windows, and antique religious artifacts.
For Girl’s Night Out – Tia Juanita’s Fish Camp
If you’re looking to make memories (or forget them), Tia Juanita’s feels like Mardi Gras year-round. The place for massive drinks, downhome, southern cooking, and good company, it’s a lively, boisterous environment with live music to set the scene.