Exploring Houston :: A Day Trip to Beaumont

Are you looking for a stress free day trip that the kids will love? My idea might surprise you…GO TO BEAUMONT! Seriously. I grew up in the Beaumont area, so I am always making quick trips to visit family and friends. When people see my pictures or hear about what we did with the kids, I often hear – “They have *that* in Beaumont?!”

I am pretty much the president of the unofficial Beaumont Fan Club, and after reading this you might be too! I’m going to share with you some of the cool stuff going on just about an hour away from Houston. {Get ready to pack up the kids!}

Hold & Pet Alligators

You can’t miss Gator Country Adventure Park. There’s a huge 135-foot roadside gator along I-10 greeting you as you drive in.

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Gator Country has more than 350 alligators and 4 species of crocodiles along with various other reptiles. The main attraction is Big Al – the largest alligator in captivity in Texas, weighing in at 1,000 pounds and almost 14 feet  long! Yikes!

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You can help feed baby gators, take pictures with them, and also swim with the gators. Yep, SWIM!

World’s Largest Working Fire Hydrant?

Kids love this! The Fire Museum of Texas as a 24-foot, dalmation-spotted fire hydrant! It was donated to the City of Beaumont by Walt Disney in 1999 for the re-release of the movie, “101 Dalmations.”  {Beaumont was picked out of hundreds of other museums!} The hydrant can blast 1,500 gallons of water a minute! Once inside the museum, you can check out the evolution of firefighting.

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There’s also an interactive “Fire Safety Activity Center” where kids can practice home safety fire prevention tips. {You can also have birthday parties at the museum too.}

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Spindletop Gladys City Boomtown

The Lucas gusher is likely what got Beaumont on the map back in the day. Now, you can walk through the streets of a replica oil-rush town and even watch the Gusher blow again! {I have such fun memories of taking class field trips here back in the day!}

The Spindletop Gladys City Boomtown museum is home to the world’s only working replica of an oil gusher. Check the Spindletop website for the gusher re-enactment schedule.

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Tyrrell Park

Tyrrell Park is 900 acres of wetlands right in the middle of Beaumont! There is lots to do here, but our favorite part is feeding the eager coy fish. {So pack some bread!} These guys nearly jump out of the water to grab the food!

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You can also go on a fun horseback ride while at the park too.  Just make sure to call ahead of time if you plan to saddle up!

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Riverboat Tour

After all that gator holding and horseback riding, you may need to take a break! How about a boat ride? The Neches River boat docks at Riverfront park every Saturday morning for a relaxing ride and tour.

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Village Creek State Park

It’s not exactly Beaumont, but I have to include canoeing at Village Creek State Park! It’s actually about 15 minutes outside of Beaumont – near Lumberton.

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You can pack a cooler full of food, rent a boat, and take the family on an awesome canoe ride. They have a fun sandbar and swimming hole where you can stop to eat lunch and swim. {Our family has so many great memories here!}

Jefferson Theatre

Not feeling very outdoorsy? Plan a trip to the theatre. The Jefferson Theatre is a historic performing arts theatre in downtown Beaumont.  There are always unique shows going on, and you can also take a tour of the theatre that was built in 1927. Click here for ticket information.

Raos Bakery

OK, I just have to include Raos Bakery. The sugar cookies from this place are AMAZING. For as long as I can remember, this has been a special treat for birthdays or special occasions. {I may or may not have a secret stash in my freezer right now.} They also have delicious coffee, cakes, sandwiches, etc. {My husband likes the “Dobashe” cake so much he chose that for his groom’s cake at our wedding!} Raos also has summer baking camps for kids if you feel like sticking around for an afternoon.

Other fun facts :: Beaumont is home to the first ever Jason’s Deli! Local talent includes Tracy Byrd, George Jones, Mark Chestnut, and Janis Joplin.

Before planning your trip, check the Beaumont Convention Visitors Bureau website for a calendar of events, hotel information, and trip planning help too!

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