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Overview

Along with Port Arthur and Orange, Beaumont is part of the "Cajun Triangle," just inside the Texas-Louisiana state line; it's Texan with plenty of Cajun spice. Hard hit by Hurricane Ike in 2008 but bouncing back nicely, this is a great gateway to both the Texas Gulf Coast and the magnificent forest known as the Piney Woods. The latter is best experienced in the form of Big Thicket National Preserve, nearly 100,000 acres crisscrossed by 45 miles of hiking trails as well as a pair of canoe trails. Beaumont itself features an opulent downtown, and there's a reason for that: this is where the Texas oil industry was born. In 1901, the Lone Star ...

Along with Port Arthur and Orange, Beaumont is part of the "Cajun Triangle," just inside the Texas-Louisiana state line; it's Texan with plenty of Cajun spice. Hard hit by Hurricane Ike in 2008 but bouncing back nicely, this is a great gateway to both the Texas Gulf Coast and the magnificent forest known as the Piney Woods. The latter is best experienced in the form of Big Thicket National Preserve, nearly 100,000 acres crisscrossed by 45 miles of hiking trails as well as a pair of canoe trails. Beaumont itself features an opulent downtown, and there's a reason for that: this is where the Texas oil industry was born. In 1901, the Lone Star State's first true gusher blew its top here at a hill on the south side of town known as Spindletop. Many energy companies are still based in Beaumont to this day. For Cajun music and food, check out the Crockett Street Entertainment District, featuring two blocks of eateries and nightclubs in restored historic redbricks. The hometown of rock legend Janis Joplin and football legend Jimmy Johnson, Port Arthur is on the Gulf of Mexico and features a historic city center and the excellent Museum of the Gulf Coast. Orange is primarily known as an industrial petrochemical hub and home to "Chemical Row."

Eric Peterson
About the Expert

Eric Peterson has written and contributed to numerous Frommer’s guidebooks covering the American West, including Montana & Wyoming, Yellowstone & Grand Teton National Parks, and Texas.

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Eric Peterson for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Winter and spring; summer is hot and muggy; fall is mild but hurricanes are possible.