Massive pine and cedar forests merge with humid cypress swamps. Galleries full of world-class sculptures and paintings stand just minutes away from eccentric roadside statues. The overwhelming charm of Texas cowboy culture blends with colorful Cajun flair.

These contrasts define the city of Beaumont, where saltwater meets fresh and the distinct cultures of Texas and Louisiana merge to create something unique. This dash of something extra, what Cajuns would call “lagniappe,” makes Beaumont a fantastic Texas vacation destination. Here you’ll find barbecue ribs and seafood gumbo, the upbeat rhythms of country and the soulful tunes of jazz, and a stunningly diverse set of experiences that you just won’t find anywhere else.

Beaumont has a long and colorful history dating back to the earliest days of Texas. The first settlers arrived in the early 1820’s and, by the end of the 19th century, the town developed significant lumber and rice-milling industries due to its sizable port. Beaumont got its big break in 1901, when the discovery of oil at the Spindletop Oil Field brought great wealth and created three major oil companies that would eventually become Texaco, Gulf Oil Corporation, and Exxon.

There is ample evidence of Beaumont’s nearly 200 years of history throughout town, from homes built in the 1840’s and churches and other buildings built at the turn of the 20th century. Much of this history can be explored in its museums, such as the Spindletop-Gladys City Boomtown Museum, The Texas Energy Museum and the John Jay French House Museum. But that’s not all. Beaumont is also home to a Thomas Edison museum, two historic theaters, and numerous art galleries.

Although Beaumont’s past is one of its main attractions, there’s much more to do here than browse museums. Those who love hiking, biking, or just being outdoors will be enthralled by the various natural areas in or near Beaumont, including Big Thicket National Preserve and Tyrrell Park. Big Thicket National Preserve, located about 30 miles north of Beaumont, features nine distinct ecosystems and thousands of species of flora and fauna. Meanwhile, Tyrrell Park sits on the south side of Beaumont and includes the Beaumont Botanical Gardens and the Cattail Marsh Wetlands. There are more than enough paddling and hiking trails to explore; check the Trail Guide for more information.

All of this is just a small scratch on the boot of what Beaumont has to offer. For instance, you can hold an alligator at Gator Country Wildlife Adventure Park, take a photo with a 24-foot-tall Dalmatian-spotted fire hydrant, shop at one of Beaumont’s many boutique stores and shopping centers, and much more. Beaumont offers many one-of-a-kind experiences flavored with its wealth of history and its unique confluence of Texan and Cajun culture. Plan your next adventure here to discover why it’s such a fantastic place to visit. 

For more information click here
View More Texas Vacation Destinations

© 2016 / AJR Media Group