Unique Places In Beaumont and Orange, Texas

  • Shangri La Botanical Gardens & Nature
  • Pour Brothers Taproom and Beer Garden
  • Art Museum of Southeast Texas
  • Fire Museum
  • Chambers House Museum
  • Spindletop Boomtown
  • Babe Didrikson Zaharias
  • Tia Maria’s Fish Camp
  • Dooley’s
  • New York Pizza and Pasta
  • Luke’s Restaurant

Steve and I had no idea there were so many unique places in Beaumont and Orange, Texas, and we have driven through Beaumont at least 400,000 times, more or less. Occasionally we stop for lunch, gas, driving break, that’s all. We’ve visited nearby Port Arthur before, but this is our first stop in Beaumont.

Recently we drove our RV over to Beaumont for the entire weekend. We didn’t see and do all we wanted to, so we went back in our car to explore more the following Monday. The sights to see there and the friendly and inviting people have encouraged us to make more trips here in the future.

Shangri La Botanical Gardens & Nature Center

2111 West Park Avenue
Orange, TX 77630

Unique places in Beaumont and Orange, Texas

We chose to spend the weekend in Beaumont because I have wanted to visit these gardens in nearby Orange for years. Steve and I have always been rushing to get somewhere else, or the weather was terrible, or the Gardens were closed when we were there. This time the Gardens was our destination.

Unique places in Beaumont and Orange, Texas

Blue bottle trees.

Merriam-Webster’s definition of Shangri La is “a remote, beautiful imaginary place where life approaches perfection,” and that definition describes these gardens perfectly.

Unique places in Beaumont and Orange, Texas

A beautiful lily pond.

The stunning gardens cover over 250 acres, are built along Adams Bayou, and include an education center. I seriously could have spent hours here, sitting on the benches placed throughout, looking, listening, just reading a good book. Shangri La is such a serene, peaceful place.

Unique places in Beaumont and Orange, Texas

H.J. Lutcher Stark owned these purple martin birdhouses. While they are no longer functioning birdhouses, each house was able to support up to 84 birds at one time.

Shangri La is a program supported by the Nelda C. and H.J. Lutcher Stark Foundation and opened to the public in 1946, although it has had to close several times due to cold weather or devastating hurricanes. The day I visited illustrated the resiliency of this terrific Foundation. Just wow!

Unique places in Beaumont and Orange, Texas

I’d want to be the one social distancing on the tail-end, wouldn’t you?

Pour Brothers Taproom and Beer Garden

585 Wall St.
Beaumont, Texas 77701

Unique places in Beaumont and Orange, Texas

We stayed in our RV at Pour Brothers Brewery as Harvest Host guests. The brewery has a sizeable paved parking surface that they make available to Harvest Host subscribers. Don’t just show up in your RV though, an approved reservation at Harvest Hosts’ website is required.

This is a first rate brewing operation.

This brewery was unusual to me because you pour (or pull) your own beer. You provide your credit card, which is then linked to an RFID card. The card is placed in a scanner at each beer tap, and you pull your own beer as it records the number of ounces and cost.

Unique places in Beaumont and Orange, Texas

Here is where you pull your own beer.

The beer is charged by the ounce, so you pour however much you choose and want to drink. This is a great way to sample each beer offered and discover which one you like best. You return the RFID card when you leave, and the number of ounces you have pulled is then charged to your credit card.

Unique places in Beaumont and Orange, Texas

Steve, how many ounces was that glass?

What a unique way to have a few beers, right? And it is good beer too!

We were fortunate to be in town for Pour Brothers’ Boomtown Market held every second Sunday. Local artisans set up tents and display and sell their products. Live music, laughter, commerce, families, pets are all part of the experience too.

Boomtown Market – a great community event!

After this last pandemic year of isolation, it was great to see the community connecting and supporting one another as we witnessed at this Boomtown Market. Pour Brothers and every person we visited in the Beaumont/Orange are very focused on caring for their community.

Art Museum of Southeast Texas

500 Main Street
Beaumont, Texas 77701

Unique places in Beaumont and Orange, Texas

The Art Museum of Southeast Texas displays interesting art exhibits focusing on the fine arts and folk art from the 19th and 20th centuries.

These art sculptures were created by Felix Harris, a well-known local artist.

Fire Museum of Texas

400 Walnut @ Mulberry
Beaumont, TX 77701

You will have no trouble finding this museum. The World’s Largest Fire Hydrant is across the street from it!

Unique places in Beaumont and Orange, Texas

The museum, open since 1984, is a fantastic tribute to firefighters and contains equipment and antique firefighting engines from as far back as the 1800s. This museum is very interesting for adults and great fun for children. Steve and I both enjoyed our time here.

Chambers House Museum

2240 Calder Ave.
Beaumont, TX 77701

Unique places in Beaumont and Orange, Texas

Chambers House

The Chambers House, constructed in 1906, is an excellent example of the lives of an upper-middle-class family during the time from the 1920s to – 1940s. Homer and Edith Chambers lived here with their two daughters, Florence and Ruth.

Unique places in Beaumont and Orange, Texas

The living room is huge!

Although the daughters left home to attend college, they returned to the family home, where they lived their entire lives.

Unique places in Beaumont and Orange, Texas

Today the Beaumont Heritage Society maintains the home and provides tours of the house that appears very much as it did in the 1940s. Most furniture and artifacts are original to the home and offer an excellent glimpse into life during that time

Hidden silver?

Unique Places In Beaumont and Orange, Texas

Florence hid this silver platter in the closet. It was not discovered until renovation took place. Family jewelry was also discovered, hidden under a marble-topped table.

Spindletop Gladys City Boomtown

5550 Jimmy Simmons Blvd.
Beaumont, TX 77705

Boomtown Replica

The Spindletop Gladys City Boomtown is a reconstructed town commemorating the “Lucas Gusher,” the astounding oil discovery at the salt dome Spindletop on September 10, 1901. Lucas Gusher blew a stream of oil over 100 feet high for nine days until being capped.

Unique places in Beaumont and Orange, Texas

This oil discovery on Spindletop Hill on Gladys City Company lands changed the economy of Texas, marked the beginning of the age of oil in Texas and the economic boom of the Beaumont area. Beaumont’s population grew from 10,000 to 50,000.

The Spindletop discovery had a profound effect on Texas’ history as well as world history. Major oil corporations such as Texaco, Gulf Oil, Exxon, and Magnolia Petroleum Company were formed due to Spindletop. You can read more about the world-changing Spindletop at the website linked above.

Babe Didrickson Zaharias Museum

1750 IH-10 E
Beaumont, Texas 77704

Unique places in Beaumont and Orange, Texas

Unusual small round-shaped museum

I have very little knowledge of sports and had no idea who this Babe Didrikson Zaharias person was. However, I learned at this museum that Babe Didrikson was possibly the most talented female sports athlete during the 1930s to 1950s. This museum is a memorial to her gifted life.

This small but very informative museum showcases her trophies and describes her life as an Olympic medal winner. She was a star at golf, track and field and basketball. Ms. Didrikson was proficient and competitive in many other sports, including bowling, roller skating, diving, and billiards.

Babe Didrikson Zaharias is a hometown legend in Beaumont, Texas, a world-famous athlete, and an inspiration to women participating in any sports arena. I am delighted to have learned about this amazing woman.

Where can you find a good meal in Beaumont?

In addition to seeing the exciting sights in Beaumont, we also had some great food while visiting here. We will revisit each of these restaurants in the future. All are outstanding, in my opinion.

Tia Juanita’s Fish Camp

5555 Calder Ave
Beaumont, TX 77706

Unique places in Beaumont and Orange, Texas

We have been stopping here for lunch for a few years as we drive to and from home and Lake Charles or other destinations to the east and discovered it while searching for an ATM one day, so it is not right off the I-10 freeway but not so far as to be “out of the way.” Great food and service here.

Dooley’s BBQ & Grill

790 Neches St Suite B
Beaumont, TX 77701

Unique places in Beaumont and Orange, Texas

This is just across the street from Pour Brothers and serves unique and delicious barbeque. We thoroughly enjoyed the ribs slathered with Chef Dooley Daniels’ own sauces, mango habanero, and honey garlic – we tried both. The young lady that took our orders was great fun to talk with.

New York Pizza and Pasta

790 Neches Street
Beaumont, TX 77662

Unique places in Beaumont and Orange, Texas

New York Pizza and Pasta is also across the street from Pour Brothers and next door to Dooley’s. A great musician was singing and playing guitar the afternoon we had our dinner here. We were served by Fara and enjoyed her great sense of humor. The pasta was delicious.

Luke’s Bar and Grill

2325 Calder Ave
Beaumont, TX 77702

Unique places in Beaumont and Orange, Texas

We made a great decision to stop here for lunch. Luke’s has a great dining menu, a full bar, and multiple TVs. Here you will also find great music to listen to, a large patio in the back where you can dine or have a few drinks, and an enormous parking lot.

We chose honey habanero shrimp tacos and fish tacos for lunch, both delicious and will certainly return here for another excellent meal. Steve and I were lucky enough to have Savannah as our waitperson and visit with Jeff, the owner, for a few minutes and learn about the history of Luke’s.

We were quite surprised by our finds in the Beaumont and Orange areas. Everyone we met was so friendly and welcoming. A stop in Beaumont is on the list for our future travels east from our home. Next time you are zipping by on I-10, think about stopping and looking into some or all of these places.

Unique Places In Beaumont and Orange, Texas

2 thoughts on “Unique Places In Beaumont and Orange, Texas

  1. I told Jason we are adding this to our list of future vacation spots! ❤️

    1. These towns are sometimes overlooked, but they are great places to visit and full of wonderful people.

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