A little Cajun, a lot Texan and 100 percent unique, Beaumont is located on the border of Louisiana and the Lone Star State, just 90 miles east of Houston.
One of America’s original boomtowns, it’s known for its historic past with incredibly preserved buildings, a treasure trove of antique shops, bayous and bird watching, and an impressive food scene.
Here are a few more things to add to your local itinerary:
Take a selfie at the world’s largest working fire hydrant
Of course, the Dalmatian fire hydrant is right outside the door Texas Fire Museum, this is the hottest place in town – literally. It houses an extensive collection of vintage firefighting equipment and devices ranging from ladders to trucks and more, dating back to the 19th century.
Fireflies, mermaids, Frida and more – they can all be seen on the walls of Beaumont, where local street performers have left their mark. You can see many of the city’s murals right downtown.
For more art that Art Museum of Southeast Texas has 1,000 permanent pieces and a rotating collection of whimsical and thought-provoking works—and admission is always free.
Check out the farmers market
Every Saturday morning from February through December, the farmer’s market brings fresh produce, small batch jams and jellies, baked goods and more. Also, there is usually live music and entertainment to enjoy while you browse.
Go on a museum tour
From the grand mansions built by captains of industry to the purpose-built buildings that reflect the aspirations of pioneers trying to achieve the American Dream, Beaumont’s historic homes tell the stories of those who started it all. Some of these apartments are now museums.
That John Jay French Museum is a Greek Revival style house and the oldest in the city, originally built in 1845 by a local merchant and tanner.
The handsome McFaddin-Ward Home is an architectural marvel in the Beaux-Arts Colonial style, surrounded by centuries-old oak trees and enchanting gardens with displays of original furniture and antiques.
And a tour of the year 1907 chambers house offers a fascinating insight into bourgeois life in the 20th century.
A quirky museum with a room hidden from view, the Edison Museum is dedicated exclusively to Thomas Edison and his inventions and features hands-on, interactive science exhibits.
And if you want to know the history of Beaumont’s oil industry, you can Spindletop Gladys City Boomtown on the Lamar University campus is a recreation of an early 20th-century “boomtown” that arose after the development of the Lucas Gusher on Spindletop Hill in 1901.
Explore the great outdoors
A popular place with bike paths and promenades is Cattail Swamp, which encompasses 900 acres of scenic wetlands. It is also a wildlife sanctuary for a variety of aquatic mammals and more than 250 species of birds per year including pelicans, herons, roseate spoonbills, ducks, ibis, doves and red-winged blackbirds.
Big thicket also has plenty of room to roam with nine different ecosystems – from pine forests to cypress-lined coves – 40 miles of hiking trails, canoeing and kayaking.
in Tyrrell Park, Beaumont Botanical Gardens is another beautiful place for nature. Its 23 hectares include themed gardens with camellias, modern and antique roses, bromeliads and many native plants.
Follow the sound of the music
The 1928 Julie Rogers Theater is currently home to the Symphony of Southeast Texas. But the theater itself is a sight to behold, with its Classic Revival architecture outfitted with columns and a lavishly decorated stage – think Rococo-style painted cherubs floating in the clouds, chandeliers, arched windows, grand double staircases and more.
Also in the city 7 oaks event garden is a unique concert experience that invites singers and songwriters to perform original tracks in a Texas listening room. With seating limited to 30-40, it feels like an intimate personal concert or jam session at a friend’s house. And there is also a great outdoor terrace and garden area.
See a classic within a classic
The historic 1927 Jefferson Theater is home to weekly classic movie nights every Friday along with a regular season of shows and performances.
Enjoy the local scene
Rao’s Bakery has been the city’s favorite breakfast spot since the ’40s for its sausage-stuffed kolaches along with muffins, scones, cinnamon rolls and more, as well as every hot and frozen coffee you can imagine.
J.Wilsons Brunch Game is a solid 10, with both sweet and savory dishes like French toast, chicken and waffles, and oyster nachos; Make sure to get the Man Candy too (slow smoked pork belly with habanero jelly).
Another popular meeting place is this Logon Cafe & Pub where they regularly add live music, karaoke, blues jams, standup comedy, open mic nights and more to their food and drink menu.
Beaumont is also home to the original Jason’s Deliand the restaurant there still has a small town vibe.
It’s always Taco Tuesday at Tacos La Bamba with authentic Al Pastor, Carnitas, Barbacoa and more, and the best burgers around are at dadswhere you should have one with a nostalgic root beer float or malt.
For more epic frozen desserts, La Real Michoacana has fresh homemade ice cream, fruit bars, agua fresca and more.
Find out more here and choose your own adventure in Beaumont.