Settlement began when early French and Spanish trappers and
explorers established trading post in early 1800's; townsite laid out mid-1830's. Named
either for relative or agent who sold original 50 acres of land, or for slight elevation
southeast called "beau mont" in French. City came of age in 1901 with world's
first oil gusher at Spindletop; village became city of 30,000 within a month. Today an
industrial giant, major port, and agricultural center. Home of Lamar University.
South Texas State Fair draws more than 600,000 visitors annually in
early October and features FFA and 4-H livestock, a livestock auction, live entertainment,
exhibits and a carnival.
The St. Anthony Cathedral at 700 Jefferson Drive is modeled after
St.Paul's Basilica in Rome. Construction began soon after the 1901 oil boom.
Look for special exhibits by The Ladies of the Alter Guild Club. Call 409/833-6433
for appointments and hours.
Alligator Island -
On a producing gator farm, visitors can see hundreds of alligators
of all sizes, babies from an incubator, to "Big Al", a 13 1/2-ft. gator weighing
800 pounds. Attractions also include adorable Pot Belly Pigs. Open Apr.-Oct. Tues.-Sat. 10
a.m. - 5 p.m., Sun. 1-4 p.m. Closed Nov.-Mar. and Easter Sun., July 4th, Mother's Day, and
Father's Day. Take I-10 west 11 mi. to F.M. 365. Admission. For information, 409/794-1995.
Art Museum of Southeast Texas -
Permanent collection of paintings, sculpture, mixed media. Traveling
exhibits; folk art. Open Mon.-Sat. 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. (Thurs. until 8 p.m.); Sun. noon-5 p.m.
Tearoom open Mon.-Fri. 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. Free admission. 500 Main St.; phone
Art Studio -
A place to assist beginning artists and to present educational
programs. Changing exhibits each month. Open Mon. - Fri. 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. at 720 Orleans.
For information, call 409/838-5393. Admission.
Babe Didrikson Zaharias Museum & Visitors Center -
No American athlete was more versatile than Beaumont's Mildred
"Babe" Didrikson Zaharias (1914-1956); three-time basketball All-American; three
gold Olympic medals; world-class pioneering woman golfer. Trophies and memorabilia.
Visitors center with experienced tourist counselors who provide information about
accommodations, attractions, events, and business and industry data. Free maps and
brochures. Open daily 9 a.m - 5 p.m. Telephone 409/833-4622 or 1-800-392-4401. 1750 I-10
& MLK Parkway. Exit 854.
Beaumont Fire/Rescue Training Center -
Training center for Beaumont and area fire departments in hazardous
materials, rescue, and fire fighting. Also home of Lamar University Industrial Fire and
Hazardous Materials Training Program, which is one of four schools in nation recognized by
OSHA to train industrial fire fighters. Public tours welcome. Near I-10 and Pine, at end
of Marina Dr. For information, call 409/839-3825.
Beaumont Police Museum-
Vast collection of police memorabilia dates to the turn of the
century. Open Mon.-Fri. 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. 255 College. 409/880-3825.
Brown-Scurlock Galleries -
Operated by Beaumont Art League. Changing exhibits and art classes.
Open Tues.-Fri. 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. 2675 Gulf St. (on fairgrounds). Call
Clifton Steamboat Museum-
24,000 square foot facility with exhibits representing the Battle of
San Jacinto, the Republic of Texas and its statehood, the Civil War in Southeast Texas and
Southwest Louisiana, the Steamboat Era, World Wars I and II, Korea, Vietnam, the Persian
Gulf War and Agent Orange. The museum's theme is "Heroes...Past, Present and
Future" and honors military and civilian heroes. Features include the tugboat
"Hercules", the Hercules Club, Moresi's Foundry, O'Hearn's, a gift shop, a frame
shop and art gallery, restaurant, and See-Max Theater. At 8727 Fannett Road.
For information, call (409)842-3162 or email Plaka@Hughes.net. Additionally the museum is currently open by appointment only.
Dishman Art Gallery -
Home of the Heinz and Ruth Eisenstadt Collection which contains 147
paintings, 252 porcelains, eight sculptures, and a 17 piece German Biedermeier dining room
suite, five display cabinets, and four carpets. Art exhibitions also draw from the
talents of Lamar University student and faculty artists, as well as local and national
artists. Open Mon.-Thurs. 7:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.; Fri. 7:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Located
on the Lamar University Campus at U.S. 69 south at MLK Parkway. 409/880-8141.
Doguet's Crawfish Farm-
Visitors see the procedure for farming crawfish and learn how they
are raised, purged, and marketed. Usually opened daily Jan. - June by reservation.
Call 409/752-5105. Approximately 15 miles east at 1801 East Hwy. 90 in
Edison Museum -
Largest collection of Thomas A. Edison artifacts west of the
Mississippi. "Yesterday" section includes 1905 cylinder phonograph and nine
major areas of Edison's achievement. "Today" section includes exhibition on
fuels. "Tomorrow" area examines superconductivity, laser, and more.
Mon.-Fri. 8 a.m.-noon; 1-4:30 p.m.
In Travis St. Substation, 350 Pine Street; phone 409-981-3089.
Fire Museum of Texas -
1927 former fire station displays antique fire bells, leather
buckets, nozzles, badges, photographs, and vintage fire engines. Special exhibits trace
history of fire service and showcase recorded histories of fire departments across the
state. Upstairs, a "Fire Safety Activity Center" teaches fire prevention and
includes a safety house, toy collections, and puppet theatre. Firehouse gift shop.
Endorsed by the State Firemen's and Fire Marshals' Assn. of Texas as the official state
fire museum. Open Mon.-Fri. 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Housed in old Central Fire Station at 400
Walnut; phone 409/880-3927.
French Historic House and Museum -
Historic pioneer settlement house built in 1845 by John J. French,
tanner and merchant. Antique furnishings, clothing, pioneer household utensils.
Outbuildings on grounds include blacksmith shop, tannery, corn crib, and smokehouse.
Operated by Beaumont Heritage Society. Open Tues.-Sat. 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. 2985 French Rd.;
Phone 409/898-3267. Admission.
High Island Boy Scout Wood and Smith Oaks Nature
Owned by the Houston Audubon Society, these bird sanctuaries are
located on a salt dome and stand out as the only substantial feature above the surrounding
marshland. Spring migration usually mid March through mid May; Fall migration August
through October. Hours are sunrise to sunset. About 47 miles south on Texas
124. Admission fee. For information, call 713/932-1639.
Restored beaux-arts colonial mansion and carriage house built
1906-1908. The main house showcases original possessions and life-styles of a wealthy
southeast Texas family during the first half of the 20th century. Carriage house contains
servant's quarters and displays designed to show the support function this building played
in operation of the estate. Both buildings open for tours Tues.-Sat. 10 a.m - 4 p.m., Sun.
1-4 p.m.; last tour of main house begins at 3 p.m. No children under eight for main house;
children of all ages welcome at carriage house. Reservations advisable; 409/832-2134.
Visitor entrance at 1906 Calder Ave. at Third St. Admission.
Port of Beaumont -
Facilities at the modern port include observation deck. Free guided
tours of port facilities in a mini-bus. Open daily 8:30 a.m.-noon, 1- 4:30 p.m. 1225 Main
Spindletop/Gladys City Boomtown -
The world's first oil boom town re-created with typical clapboard
buildings of the era, including information center, post office, photo studio, saloon,
livery stable, blacksmith shop, surveyor's office, and wooden derricks. Lucas Gusher
Monument commemorates beginning of the world's modern petroleum industry that literally
blew in at 10 a.m. Jan. 10 1901, with the gusher drilled by Anthony F. Lucas. Open
Tues.-Sun. 1-5 p.m. University Dr. at U.S. 69 S.; 409/835-0823. Admission.
Texas Energy Museum -
Definitive museum on oil industry spotlights 19th century
discoveries. Includes temporary exhibits on energy science and the environment. Exhibits
and talking robots trace effects of Spindletop and how it began the modern petroleum
industry. Open Tues.-Sat. 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. 600 main St.; 409/833-5100. Admission.
Tyrell Historical Library -
Landmark 1903 Romanesque-Gothic former Baptist Church houses
thousands of books on Texas history, genealogical research resources, and art collections.
Listed on National Register of Historic Places. Open Tues.-Sat. 9 a.m. - 6 p.m., 695
Tyrell Park -
500 acres of virgin woodland with 18-hole golf course, playground,
archery, bridle and hiking trails, overnight hookups for self-contained units (fee). Ten
acre Garden Center at entrance featuring Japanese garden, rose garden, azalea wall, and
display plantings. Open daily, free admission. On Tyrell Park Rd. off Fannett (Texas 124).
to reach the gardens and Conservatory, call 409/842-3135.