Located in Southeast Texas, you’ll find so many fun things to do in Beaumont, TX that you’ll keep coming back again and again. As the largest city in the region, there’s plenty here to keep you busy.
While the outdoors may not come to mind first, this is a birding mecca and very close to Big Thicket National Preserve. Not to mention the nearby botanical gardens and it’s only an hour from the beach.
But no matter if you’re trying to escape the Texas heat indoors or looking for outdoor adventure, you can find it here in Beaumont.
I visited in early June and loved exploring for the weekend! There were so many fun festivals and events happening.
So here are 15 fun things to do in Beaumont, TX based on my recent trip!
Disclaimer: I was hosted by Beaumont CVB on my trip. As always, all opinions are my own. This article may contain affiliate links that I earn a small commission from at no additional cost to you.
15 Fun Things to Do in Beaumont, TX
Go Bird Watching at Cattail Marsh Wetlands
Cattail Marsh Wetlands is actually part of the city’s wastewater treatment facility. How cool is that?
They took something that’s normally gross to think about and turned it into something beautiful. Come at sunrise or sunset for the best chance to see wildlife.
It’s very popular with people who go birding and you can see gators here as well. The Cattail Marsh Wetlands Education Center is popular with kids and they even have weekly free yoga here.
For the hikers, you’ll find miles of trails throughout the wetlands area with tons of different loop options to choose from.
The best part about Cattail Marsh? It’s only about 10 – 15 minutes outside of town so you can feel like you’re far away from society without having to make a long drive.
Kayaking With Big Thicket Outfitters
If I could recommend one fun thing to do near Beaumont it would be this. Kayaking with Big Thicket Outfitters was such an amazing experience!
Big Thicket Outfitters took care of the kayak, paddle, and PFD so all I needed to bring was water, snacks, and sunscreen/bug spray. Make sure you have good kayaking shoes and some people like to have a hat too.
The trip took about two hours in total and we paddled through the Neches River, a bayou, and a cypress-tupelo slough.
My guide, Gerald, was so knowledgeable about the area and was a wonderful resource for any questions I had about the plants and wildlife that we saw.
Definitely book this tour in advance before your trip to Beaumont! I think it should be on everyone’s bucket list.
Hunt for Murals
Beaumont had its first ever mural festival in March of 2022 and they plan to make this an annual event. This event took place over four days where you could watch the artists create their murals, speak with them, plus hear live music and attend a block party.
This means there are tons of fun murals to check out around the city! A large concentration of them are downtown but you can also find some along Calder Avenue.
If you want to get a photo for Instagram then try going early in the morning or later in the evening when the light is best.
Fannin Street is a great place to see multiple murals as is the Pour09 Rooftop Bar. I loved the one outside the Civic Center as well.
If you love murals, then you should plan a trip to Hattiesburg, MS! They have over 30 murals on their Public Art Trail.
Hike in Big Thicket National Preserve
If you aren’t interested in kayaking in the Big Thicket then hiking here is the next best thing. There are tons of trails in this area.
I highly recommend stopping by the Visitor Center for trail recommendations and current info on the surrounding area.
Take the Sundew Trail to see and learn about this unique carnivorous plant. Take a look at the signs at the beginning of the hike so you know what to look for – they can be easily missed.
The 0.3-mile inner loop here is part boardwalk and part paved trail so very accessible for everyone. Add on the outer loop if you want to walk through the longleaf pines.
The Kirby Nature Trail, close to the Visitor Center, is a great introductory hike to the park. You’ll see a wide variety of trees and plants plus go by Village Creek.
Definitely add on the small loop here where you can see the Cypress trees. The inner loop is 1.5-miles but with minimal elevation gain, it’s very easy and doesn’t take long.
Finally, check out the Pitcher Plant Trail for another amazing carnivorous plant. Fun fact – four of the five carnivorous plants in North America can be found in Big Thicket.
It’s another short loop trail but you can see tons of the pitcher plants as soon as you walk out on the boardwalk at the beginning of the trail.
Just a note – if you’re traveling solo this is a pretty remote area so be aware of your surroundings and at least have some pepper spray with you.
Try to get out in the early morning before it gets hot, but if you’re out in the afternoon then make sure you know what to wear when hiking in summer.
If you love the outdoors then the San Bernard National Wildlife Refuge and Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge are beautiful. They’re some of the best things to do near Alvin, TX.
While not in Texas, Noxubee National Wildlife Refuge was one of my favorite things to do in Starkville, MS.
Check Out the Largest Working Fire Hydrant in the World
Now this is a cool thing to see while you’re in downtown Beaumont. Painted in that iconic Dalmatian pattern, this enormous landmark is the World’s Largest Working Fire Hydrant.
It’s located right in front of the Fire Museum of Texas and is a great photo opp. The museum has antique fire engines and all kinds of firefighting equipment – it’s a popular stop for kids.
Visit Gator Country
Gator Country Adventure Park is the largest Alligator Sanctuary in Southeast Texas. It’s also home to Big Tex and Big Al – Big Tex is the largest alligator in captivity.
Most of the animals that come here have been either surrendered or rescued after a nuisance call. In addition to alligators, they have all kinds of other reptiles like snakes, lizards, and more.
When you first arrive you walk through the gift shop area where you purchase tickets and feed for the animals if you want to feed them.
There are free feeding shows daily and the times for those will be posted when you walk in. At these shows, you’ll get to watch the interns feed Big Tex and Big Al.
There is a restaurant on-site and the food looked pretty good though I didn’t try anything here. Just outside the restaurant walk-up window, there is a large bar with seating where you can sit, eat, and observe the alligators.
Another popular experience here is wading with the alligators. I walked around and had fun watching the kids feed the gators hot dogs.
If you get hot outside then you can head indoors where all of their smaller animals are kept. They have such a wide variety and with the Adventure Package you’re even allowed to hold some of the animals.
Pour Your Own Beer at Pour Brothers Brewery
I had never been to a “pour your own” style brewery and the ladies that work here were SO incredibly nice. I told them I had never been and they were more than willing to walk me through step by step.
It’s not a hard process, it’s just not obvious how you do it the first time. There are taps on the back wall and when you walk in you connect your credit card to a card that allows you to pour which beer you would like.
Once you have your beer, you can choose to sit inside or on their outdoor patio. They have a food truck that is typically there and do other fun events that bring in other food trucks.
The night that I visited they were having one of their Boomtown Night Markets with local vendors set up on both sides of the brewery. This is one of the best things to do in Beaumont if you want to connect with locals.
There were also some fun breweries in nearby Conroe, TX if you’re headed that way.
Bike Around Downtown
There are nifty little biking stations set up around downtown Beaumont where you can easily rent a bike for an hour or two.
This is a great way to see everything downtown and much better than walking if you visit during the heat of summer.
Of course, if you’re nervous on a bike then come out early in the morning and there won’t be as many people driving around plus it will be much cooler.
Make stops at some of the murals, the Art Museum of Southeast Texas, or just admire the architecture of buildings like the Tyrrell Historical Library and Jefferson Theatre.
Make a Stop on the Southeast Texas Faith Trail
You’ll find seven different buildings in Beaumont that are worth a stop if you love religious history or architecture.
Downtown you can see the St. Anthony Cathedral Basilica – one of four in Texas – where guided tours are offered during parish office hours. You can also take a guided tour of Temple Emanuel.
Tyrell Historic Library was originally a Baptist church and it is free for the public to enter. The stained glass windows in the First United Methodist Church are a sight to see.
Other stops on the trail include St. Michael’s Antiochian Christian Church, St. Mark’s Episcopal, and Westminster Presbyterian.
The SETX Faith Trail is also one of the best things to do in Port Arthur, TX which is a quick 15 to 20 minute drive from Beaumont.
Stop in a Downtown Museum
I’ve already mentioned a few of the museums downtown but this is hard to beat since many of them are cheap or free!
The Firefighter’s Museum and Southeast Texas Art Museum are both free and the Texas Energy Museum is only $5 for adults.
All three of these are in walking distance or you can rent a bike like I mentioned before. Riding with the wind in your face is much cooler than walking.
Take a Seat in the Beaumont Botanical Gardens
One thing that surprised me was how many botanical gardens were in Beaumont or a short drive away.
The Beaumont Botanical Gardens in Tyrrell Park are gorgeous with beautiful blooms throughout the year and plenty of places to sit and enjoy them.
This is really one of the most relaxing things to do near Beaumont, TX. Or it’s a great date location!
You’ll also find the Warren Loose Conservatory here which is 10,000 square feet of tropical plants as well as those found in desert environments.
The gardens and conservatory are free to enter and offer a peaceful place to walk and enjoy nature.
EAT! (My Personal Favorite)
One of my personal favorite things to do in Beaumont was to eat at their many amazing restaurants! No matter what type of cuisine you’re on the lookout for you’ll find it in Beaumont.
Don’t miss Tia Juanita’s Fish Camp where you can get an IG worthy margarita flight. If you want tacos then Tacos La Bamba is to die for.
J. Wilson’s and JW’s Patio are two must-visit restaurants while you’re in town. I had the crab-stuffed shrimp at JW’s Patio (pictured) and the breakfast bowl at J. Wilson’s.
Rao’s Bakery serves delicious coffee and baked goods and is a great, quick breakfast spot.
If you love unique places to eat like I do then make sure to check out these restaurants in Alvin, TX.
Visit Spindletop-Gladys City Boomtown Museum
This replica of Gladys City is managed by Lamar University and gives a peek at what life may have looked like in the original town founded in 1892.
The town was located near the Spindletop site where a geyser of oil exploded on January 10, 1901. This was huge for Texas as it completely changed the economy.
On certain dates you can see a Lucas Gusher Re-enactment where they simulate the oil eruption using water.
Attend One of the Many Markets or Festivals
While I was in town there was a festival downtown on Friday night, a local market going on at Pour Brothers Brewery and a Craft Beer Festival on Sunday afternoon.
You can always find fun things to do in Beaumont! One of the best ways to figure out if there are any festivals going on during your visit is to check the Visit Beaumont, TX Facebook page.
They share upcoming events on here plus tons of travel inspiration for your trip.
Tour a Historic Home
Touring historic homes is another great way to escape the heat of the afternoon. It’s also super interesting to see how people in that area lived back in the day.
There are three different historic homes in Beaumont that you can visit. The John Jay French Museum is the oldest surviving home in Beaumont.
The McFaddin-Ward House is a gorgeous home just outside of downtown with beautiful gardens.
The Chambers House focuses more on what the middle class lived like in the 20th Century. Any of these are great options to tour for an hour or so!
Where to Stay in Beaumont, TX
I stayed at the Holiday Inn & Suites Beaumont-Plaza while I was in Beaumont. The room was comfortable and spacious and the lobby was luxurious.
There was a restaurant and bar on-site and it was a short distance (10 minutes) from anything I wanted to do in town. It was only about 30 minutes from the hiking and kayaking spots in Big Thicket.
This was the perfect home base for my stay in Beaumont!
FAQs About Things to Do in Beaumont, TX
Is Beaumont, TX worth visiting?
Yes! Beaumont is full of history, museums, and great outdoor opportunities especially for birding.
Beaumont is a great weekend destination for couples, families, or solo travelers.
What is Beaumont, TX known for?
Beaumont is well-known from the Spindletop geyser which is the location that started the oil boom back in 1901.
These days it’s known for its many museums and access to outdoor adventure in Southeast Texas.
Does Beaumont, TX have a zoo?
While Beaumont doesn’t have a zoo, they do have Gator Country if you’re interested in alligators and other reptiles.
Kids love to feed the gators and wade with the little ones. If you buy the Adventure Pass you can also hold some of the other reptiles and mammals.
Does Beaumont, Texas have beaches?
Beaumont is about an hour from Sea Rim State Park which has some fantastic beaches! You can drive out on the east and west beaches but there are no cars on the central beach.
Sea Rim also offers great opportunities for kayaking, fishing, and birding.
If you’re looking for more beach ideas on the Texas Gulf then check out these things to do near Freeport.
Wrap Up: What to Do in Beaumont, TX
With so many things to do in Beaumont, Texas it’s hard to choose which one to pick first! Personally, I loved kayaking in the Big Thicket – that’s definitely something you can’t do just anywhere.
My visit was in early June and while it was hot, it wasn’t unbearable. Explore in the mornings and later in the evenings and then either find things to do inside or take a nap in the afternoon.
This Texas city with a flare of Cajun culture really is unique! If you’re looking for another southeast Texas destination with lots of outdoor adventures then visit Lake Conroe.
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