Back in June, my kids and I made the six-hour drive from my brother’s place in New Orleans to Galveston, Texas to spend some time on the beaches. As we all know, it’s a must to break up a long drive and for us that led to a stop in Beaumont, Texas.
I really didn’t know what to expect from Beaumont, but I quickly learned that there’s a lot of fun to be had in this small town, making it an ideal spot to hop out of the car for an hour or two. Here’s a quick look at what to see and do in Beaumont.
1. Wade with Baby Alligators at Gator Country. Open seven days a week, Gator Country is a fun stop to make to get up close with alligators and various other reptiles. Stay for the show to learn fun facts about gators, snakes and lizards. You can also wade with baby alligators and pick them up out of the water for photos (my kids loved this). Coming soon: eco swamp tours.
2. Pose with Big Beau. Big Beau is kind of famous in Beaumont. He’s a giant wooden alligator that greets you just off the highway from Gator Country. At 135-feet long, he’s probably the largest alligator you’ll ever see. He’s also the most harmless. Posing with Big Beau does make for a fun photo opp and it’s a lot easier to snap a pic with Big Beau than with Big Al, Gator Country’s live 1,000-lb alligator.
3. Take a Selfie with the World’s Largest Working Fire Hydrant. Near the center of town (and just down the street from the visitors center), look for a 24-foot fire hydrant that’s just begging for you to pose for photos. Covered in Dalmatian spots, this fire hydrant was once the world’s largest, though today it’s known as the world’s largest working fire hydrant. Fun fact: the spots are copyrighted by Disney.
4. Learn About Fire Safety at the Fire Museum of Texas. If you have time, stop in the Fire Museum of Texas, which is in the same location as the world’s largest working fire hydrant. Head upstairs to enjoy the Fire Safety Activity Center to play and learn about home and fire safety, like stop, drop and roll and exit drills for the home. Kids can also put on firefighting gear and sit behind the wheel of a real fire engine.
5. Try the Cajun Seafood at Floyd’s. We arrived in Beaumont just before lunchtime, so we had time to see the fire hydrant and wade with baby gators before we were off to Floyd’s for lunch. The fried Cajun seafood is a must whether it’s catfish, crawfish tails, shrimp or oysters. I had the seafood platter, which was a mix of everything. On the Kiddos menu, look for fried Cajun shrimp and catfish. Yum.