Texas Travel

City Spotlight: Beaumont

By Kristy Alpert 5.8.17

You could say visiting Beaumont is a golden opportunity. Ready for a nugget of Texas knowledge? Beaumont makes up one portion of Southeast Texas’ Golden Triangle, a title shared with neighbors Orange and Port Arthur from when the three cities struck gold with the famous Beaumont Spindletop oil strike in 1901. The coastal city has always been a wealth of adventure and history, though, with many people venturing to town to get a taste of the city’s quirky Texas-Creole flavor.

How Beaumont Got Its Name

The story of Beaumont can be traced back to one man, Henry Millard, a veteran of the Battle of San Jacinto and a descendent of both President Millard Fillmore and author Nathaniel Hawthorne. Millard moved to Texas after his wife, Mary Dewburleigh Barlace Warren Beaumont, passed away while the family was living in Louisiana. In 1835, just 10 years before Texas would claim U.S. statehood, Millard purchased 50 acres along the Neches River and gave the plot of land his late wife’s name, declaring Beaumont as an official town on December 16, 1838.  

What to Do

  • Shop. Pay homage to Beaumont’s Wild West history with a stop in any of the city’s Western wear storefronts like Boot Barn or Cavender’s or pick up something uniquely Beaumont at the Spindletop Gladys City Boomtown Museum gift shop. The city also boasts a number of boutiques, antique stores, and malls carrying the biggest brands.
  • Visit roadside attractions. Snap some family photos in front of Beaumont’s larger-than-life statues by starting at the Lucas Gusher replica at the Spindletop Gladys City Boomtown Museum, and then head up Highway 287 into downtown Beaumont to see Happy Half Wit (a 25-foot-tall statue modeled after the Mad magazine character) and the Dalmatian Hydrant (the largest working fire hydrant in the world at 24 feet tall) before following along I-10 to see Big Beau (a 135-foot-long toothy alligator). Don’t forget to take advantage of your Texas Farm Bureau member benefits by scoring deals on rental cars and hotels along this historic route.
  • Get wild outdoors. From the adventure park to swamp tours, Beaumont visitors can get up close and personal with local reptilian residents at Gator Country, a 15-acre preserve for alligators, crocodiles, and snakes — oh, my! Beaumont is also home to more than 40 miles of hiking trails and more than 100,000 acres of natural areas in the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)-designated Big Thicket National Preserve.
  • Get a taste of the city. Beaumont’s restaurant scene boasts everything from Texas barbecue to Creole gumbo, and some local favorites include Floyd’s Cajun Seafood and Texas Steakhouse, Tia Juanita’s Fish Camp, Sartin’s West, The LogOn Cafe & Pub, and Luke’s Icehouse.

© 2017 Texas Farm Bureau Insurance

 To see even more featured towns throughout the Lone Star State, check out the Texas Heritage for Living City Spotlight archive