They say Texas is like a whole other country. Visitors from across the globe come here in their not-yet-broken-in cowboy boots, straw hats, and Texas flag shirts looking to explore a land that is steeped in a spirit of independence. It’s an unbridled breed, the people that call this state home. What better place to begin your Texas adventure than the site of the Battle of San Jacinto, where Texas gained its independence from Mexico in 1836.
Head just outside of Houston to the city of La Porte and you’ll find the San Jacinto Monument, the San Jacinto Museum of History, the San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Site, Battleship TEXAS, the Albert and Ethel Herzstein Library, and the Marsh Restoration and Boardwalk. Whether you have only an hour or an entire day, there is plenty here to keep you entertained.
The San Jacinto Museum also hosts several rotating exhibits, giving you a reason to return again and again. The Jesse H. Jones Theatre shows the movie “Texas Forever!! The Battle of San Jacinto” every hour on the hour beginning at 10 a.m. every day. The 35-minute production transports you from the earliest Spanish colonies to the day the West was won.
View the restored sleeping quarters, medical facilities, engine room, guns, and anchors. One can only assume these were trying times, served only by the brave. Guided tours of parts of the ship normally closed to the public are available.
The largest battle reenactment in the southwest is the centerpiece of the annual admission-free San Jacinto Day Festival, held on Saturday, April 22, 2017, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on the grounds surrounding the San Jacinto Monument at One Monument Circle, La Porte, TX. The festival is a full day of entertainment from three stages, rides, vendors, food, family activities, animals, cultural exhibitors, children’s games and fun set amidst living history, paying tribute to the decisive Battle of San Jacinto on April 21, 1836, where Texas won its independence from Mexico 180 years ago. Festival, park grounds, reenactment, parking, entrance to San Jacinto Monument and shuttles are free; there are modest admission fees for the elevator ride, movie and special exhibit inside the Monument. Organizers recommend guests come early and follow directions from TPWD and other parking staff. For more information, a full entertainment schedule and parking instructions, visit www.sanjacinto-museum.org, our Facebook page San Jacinto Museum of History or call 281-479-2421.
Then take a walk on the 1,210-foot long marsh trail and boardwalk where you just may spy coastal birds like the roseate spoonbill, wood stork, mottled duck, osprey, white pelican, and other wetland denizens such as the river otter.
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