gators, gushers, gardens & great food

Beaumont is PURE TEXAN, Spiced Up with a Cajun flavor and southern kick. Natural splendor and historic influence define this southeast Texas town. With breathtaking blue skies, lush forests and flowing cool water, Beaumont offers unlimited possibilities. 

Day 1:

Treat yourself to a scrumptious breakfast at the historic Rao's Bakery & Coffee Café. Established in 1941, Rao's serves up fresh brewed coffee, piping hot croissants and breakfast burritos every morning. Or, indulge your sweet tooth with one Rao's famous homemade pastries, cookies or gelato just like you would find in Italy!

Take a short drive over to Spindletop Gladys City Boomtown Museum where you'll step back in time to witness Beaumont's rich oil heritage as you watch the world's only working replica gusher blow water hundreds of feet into Beaumont's blue sky. Follow the history of the "Cradle of the Petroleum Age" with a tour of the Texas Energy Museum and experience the fascinating world of oil exploration and refining!

Continue your tour of Downtown Beaumont with a trip to the Art Museum of Southeast Texas. The museum houses over 1,000 works of art from both local and internationally known artists including sculptures, paintings, photographs, and folk art. Visit the Fire Museum of Texas, an actual working fire station that takes you through the dramatic evolution of firefighting and a history of heroism. Take a quick jaunt across the street to the 1929 electrical substation now known as the Edison Museum to view interesting artifacts that represent the life and works of Thomas Edison.

Unwind at Crockett Street Entertainment District where you'll find a variety of nightlife that caters to all who seek entertainment and southern food. Savor delicious cuisine on the patio of one of their restaurants or two-step across the "Biggest Dance Floor in Southeast Texas" at the Dixie Dance Hall where local music legends frequently rock the stage.

Day 2:

Rekindle your sense of wonder at Shangri La Botanical Gardens & Nature Center, located just minutes from Beaumont. Observe nesting birds in Shangri La's Ruby Lake through a state of the art bird blind. Pause to reflect in one of the nine garden rooms or 4 sculpture rooms that depend heavily on concepts familiar to every artist including line, shape, texture, contrast and color. Guests will explore more than 300 species of plants in one of the most Earth-friendly projects in the world. Relax with a refreshing lunch at the Star & Moon Café or take a peak in the gift shop.

Depart Shangri La for the quick drive back to Beaumont where you will witness how history comes alive with a tour of the city's historic homes. Stop by the John Jay French Home to see what life was like for a Texas pioneer family in the mid-1800s. Complete with a tannery and blacksmith shop on the property, the John Jay French is one of Beaumont's oldest surviving homes. Explore the Chambers House, where an intriguing story captivates visitors as they journey through a home reminiscent of an early 1920s middle-income family. Marvel at the bounty of Spindletop at the McFaddin-Ward House where the stately central staircase and Tiffany Glass transport visitors to another era of lavish parties and elegant dining.

After a busy day, relax at Suga's Deep South Cuisine & Jazz Bar where the tantalizing menu items will have your mouth watering. After satisfying your hunger, treat yourself to a luscious dessert coupled with one of our locally made after-dinner wines and you'll never go back home!

Day 3:

Start the day by reconnecting with nature at the Big Thicket National Preserve as you slice through the waters of Village Creek in a canoe. Feeling as if you're miles from civilization, you'll experience the diversity of life found in this 100,000 acre pristine preserve as you float under a canopy of willow, bald cypress and tupelo.

Find the spice of world travel mingled with red carpet treatment at Sartin's Seafood. As unusual as they are popular, their BBQ crabs are a blend of multi-cultural combinations steeped in grand tradition. Experience the best of Texas cuisine with a Cajun twist.

Be inspired at St. Anthony's Cathedral Basilica, one of Beaumont's many unique and historic places of worship on the Beaumont Faith Trail. Modeled after the 12th-Century Basilica di San Clemente in Rome, St. Anthony's was granted Minor Basilica status by Pope Benedict XVI in 2006. Gaze at the beauty and wonder of its many treasures including the soaring dome that depicts the glory of heaven.

Feed your adventurous spirit at Gator Country - Texas' only alligator them park. Have a hands-on experience by helping feed LIVE gators and take home a picture to prove it! View educational demonstrations and see the jaw dropping ½ ton alligator, lovingly named ‘Big Al'. Ever dine with a gator? You can at Gator Country! Feast on Cajun cuisine while relaxing on their spacious decks that overlook dozens of gators while you eat. Round out your meal with one of their famous drink specials while you groove to live music from a local bayou band.