In Beaumont, Texas cowboy country blends with Louisiana Cajun territory. The Port of Beaumont offers a variety of attractions and activities for visitors. Outdoor lovers will enjoy the botanical gardens, the swamps and alligators, and the wide variety of bird life in the Port of Beaumont. Indoor enthusiasts will find a variety of culture-based cuisine including Cajun, Texas barbecue, and Tex-Mex. Downtown Beaumont's National Historic District offers a varied collection of architectural styles and landmarks marking the discovery of oil in 1901 and 1925. The Crockett Street dining and entertainment district has transformed five historic properties into lively hot spots where live music and delicious cuisine is available for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
The Port of Beaumont has a humid subtropical climate typical of Texas' Piney Woods. The Port of Beaumont region gets more rain than anywhere else in the State of Texas, with over 120 centimeters (48 inches) falling each year. The Port of Beaumont falls victim to hurricanes, including the devastating Ike and Rita in the first decade of the 21st Century. But the worst was the famous Galveston Hurricane of 1900. Summers in the Port of Beaumont are hot and humid, and the winters are moderated by warm Gulf of Mexico currents. Temperatures in the Port of Beaumont range from an average humid high of 34°C (93°F) to an average low of 5.8°C (42°F) in December and January. Rainfall is heaviest in the summer, with as much as 18.3 centimeters (7.2 inches) falling in June, and lightest in the spring (average of 7.4 centimeters (2.9 inches) in April). Humidity in the Port of Beaumont is high throughout the ear, peaking in July and August at almost 95% and falling to about 88% in February. Snow in the Port of Beaumont is negligible.
Visitors to the Port of Beaumont will want to see the Spindletop-Gladys City Boomtown Museum on the campus of Lamar University. The museum celebrates the discovery of oil at Spindletop Hill in 1901. The discovery ignited an oil boom that continues today in Texas. The museum contains a replica of the wood oil derricks that once peppered Spindletop Hill. On special occasions, the museum uses a plume of water to simulate the gusher of 1901 and tell the story of the oil discovery and its aftermath. The museum is open from Tuesday through Saturday from 10am until 5pm and on Sunday from 1pm to 5pm. It is closed on Monday, Christmas and New Year's Days, and Easter. Special tours can be arranged. Admission to this popular Port of Beaumont museum is $5 for adults, $3 for seniors, and $2 for kids aged six to 12. Current and ex-students, faculty, and staff of Lamar University are admitted free with a valid ID. From Memorial Day until Labor Day, active military and depends are also admitted free.
The Port of Beaumont's Art Museum of Southeast Texas (AMSET) exhibits works of art from the 19th through the 21st Centuries. Exhibits include paintings, graphics, drawings, sculpture, photography, and decorative arts, and there are national and international traveling exhibits throughout the year. The interactive children's gallery and children's computer lab are two very popular exhibits, and the museum offers Summer ArtVentures for kids every year. Each quarter, AMSET sponsors "Free Family Art Days" with hands-on activities and entertainment for everyone. AMSET is open Monday through Friday from 9am until 5pm, on Saturday from 10am to 5pm, and on Sunday from noon to 5pm. It is closed on major holidays. While admission is free, donations are gratefully accepted. All areas are wheelchair accessible, and there is free parking.
TripAdvisor.com users ranked the McFaddin-Ward House Museum as the most popular attraction in the Port of Beaumont. The major part of the collection in the house was collected from the furnishings of the W.P.H. and Ida Caldwell McFaddin households. A prominent and wealthy local family, the couple wed in 1894, so the collection is typical of the best "taste" of the day. Dating from the early 19th Century to the late 20th Century, objects in the house focus on the era from 1885 to 1930. This Port of Beaumont museum offers docent-led tours throughout the year that include the house, the gardens, and a carriage house. The tours are held Tuesday through Saturday at 10am, 11am, 1:30pm and 2:30pmfor just $3 per person. On Sunday from 1pm to 3pm, there is a free tour of the first floor. Group tours are $2 per person but require reservations. Military personnel are admitted free.
Outdoor lovers visiting the Port of Beaumont will enjoy the Big Thicket National Preserve. While the main Preserve is located about 50 kilometers (31 miles) to the northwest of the Port of Beaumont, the Beaumont Unit, Lower Neches River Corridor Unit, and Pine Island Bayou Corridor Unit are all adjacent to the city limits. The Preserve was established in 1974 to preserve the remaining biological diversity that includes cypress, virgin pine, and hardwood forest; meadows; and black-water swamps. While the life of the preserve is not rare, it is unique for the variety of species that co-exist. Activities in this popular Port of Beaumont attraction include boating, canoeing, kayaking, fishing, hiking, backpacking, biking, horseback riding, wildlife viewing, hunting, and interpretive programs.
There are over 64 kilometers (40 miles) of trails in the Big Thicket National Preserve winding through many eco-systems, and the Preserve is on two migratory bird flyways. Bird-watching is best from mid-April through mid-May. The Neches River is popular with boaters and fishers, and paddlers can use the Village Creek for short or overnight trips. Specific areas of the Preserve are open to hunters in the fall season, but hunters must have Preserve-issued permits and a Texas Hunting License. In December and January, trapping is also allowed with a Preserve-issued permit and a Texas Trapping License. The headquarters for the Big Thicket National Preserve is open from Monday through Friday from 8am until 4:30pm, but it is closed on government holidays. The Visitors Center is open from 9am until 5pm every day of the year.