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Perched along the banks of the Neches River, Beaumont is the region’s largest city, a cultural crossroads rich in history, art and culture. Located along Interstate 10, 90 miles east of Houston and 25 minutes from Louisiana, Beaumont strikes a perfect balance of Texas charm and Cajun influence.

McFadden-Ward Estate in Beaumont, TX

Visitors will find no shortage of kid-friendly activities in Beaumont, where families can pose for photos at the world’s largest working fire hydrant, cradle a baby gator at Gator Country, experience the wonders of nature on a leisurely boat ride, experience life in an oil boomtown or engage in friendly competition on the mini-golf course or go-kart track.

At the same time, history buffs can explore sites honoring American history, including Spindletop—the site of the first major oil discovery. Don’t miss the chance to wander through historic homes like The Chambers House, McFaddin-Ward House and the John Jay French Museum, which range from pioneer rustic to oil-boom opulent.

Given the area’s dense forests, sandy beaches and wetlands, it comes as no surprise that Beaumont abounds with outdoor activities, too. Enjoy local botanical gardens and city parks or spend the day hiking and biking. The region is popular for birding, as well, and boasts the largest alligator population in Texas.