In Beaumont, Texas cowboy country blends with Louisiana Cajun territory. Beaumont, Texas 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. 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.
Beaumont has a humid subtropical climate typical of Texas' Piney Woods. The Beaumont region gets more rain than anywhere else in the State of Texas, with over 120 centimeters (48 inches) falling each year. Summers in Beaumont are hot and humid, and the winters are moderated by warm Gulf of Mexico currents. Temperatures in 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 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 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.
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 Art Ventures for kids every year. Each quarter, AMSET sponsors "Free Family Art Days" with hands-on activities and entertainment for everyone.
TripAdvisor.com users ranked the McFaddin-Ward House Museum as the most popular attraction in 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.
Outdoor lovers visiting Beaumont will enjoy the Big Thicket National Preserve. While the main Preserve is located about 31 miles (50 km) to the northwest of the Beaumont Unit, the 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 attraction include boating, canoeing, kayaking, fishing, hiking, backpacking, biking, horseback riding, wildlife viewing, hunting, and interactive programs.
There are over 40 miles (64 km) of trails in the Big Thicket National Preserve winding through many eco-systems, and the Preserve is on two migratory bird flyways. Birdwatching 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.