Located in southeast Texas by the Neches River, Beaumont is well-known for its sunny climate and nature parks and reserves. However, Beaumont is also a thriving hub for art and culture. These eight museums offer art, history, and heaps of trivia about anything from sports to war to Thomas Edison!
Read on to find out about the top things to do in Beaumont, Texas.
1. Art Museum of Southeast Texas
The Art Museum of Southeast Texas is a must-visit for art lovers, or just anyone keen to learn more about the artistic visions of both contemporary and historical artists from the region. Notable paintings, photography, and sculptures are on rotating displays, while around 1,000 pieces from internationally acclaimed artists will always be available as part of their permanent collection. Admission is free and you can visit any day of the week. For a light bite after touring the exhibits, be sure to stop by the resident Two Magnolias Café to snack on a salad or sandwich and their enticing “World’s Best Caramel Drizzled Bread Pudding.”
Art Museum of Southeast Texas
Address: 500 Main Street, 77701 Beaumont, Texas
Website: Art Museum of Southeast Texas
2. The Art Studio, Inc.
Another option for art aficionados is The Art Studio. This center is dedicated to helping rising artists promote their work through subsidized gallery space and events like poetry readings, film screenings, and even band nights. A particularly exciting exhibit is the Art Studio’s “Alternative Show” which truly celebrates artists of all walks of life and their creative expressions. Its youngest artist involved was aged nine at the time!
The Art Studio, Inc.
Address: 720 Franklin St., 77701 Beaumont, TX
Website: The Art Studio, Inc.
3. Babe Didrikson Zaharias Museum & Visitor Center
The Babe Didrikson Zaharias Museum celebrates an internationally-renowned female athlete and a real hometown hero. Mildred Ella Didrikson (better known as Babe) was a champion in women’s basketball…and golf…and also track and field! At age 21, she was already a gold medalist in the javelin throw, 80-meter (267 feet) hurdles, and a silver medalist for the high jump events at the 1932 Olympics. Later, she won an astounding 82 golf tournaments and became a co-founder of the Ladies Professional Golf Association. Though her glory days in the 1930s to the 1950s have passed, go back in time to revisit all her achievements at the museum and visitor center and feel utterly inspired. Your small contribution at the museum will also go toward raising funds for scholarships catered to student athletes at the local university.
Babe Didrikson Zaharias Museum & Visitor Center
Address: 1750 IH-10 E, 77704 Beaumont, Texas
4. Clifton Steamboat Museum
The Clifton Steamboat Museum is Beaumont’s tribute to America’s war heroes. Its exhibits recreate scenes and display artifacts from wars fought down in southeast Texas, but also World War 1, World War 2, Korea, and Vietnam. It is especially interesting to see how different groups in southeast Texas were affected during the Steamboat era, including the Native Americans and even the Boy Scouts! After touring these galleries, get up close to a 1930s-era boat named the “Hercules,” which towers above visitors at 11 meters (36 feet) high, 6.7 meters (22 feet) wide, and 28 meters (92 feet) long. Be sure to book your tour early and come on down between Monday to Thursday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.!
Clifton Steamboat Museum
Address: 8727 Fannett, 77705 Beaumont, TX
Website: Clifton Steamboat Museum
5. Edison Museum
We all know of Thomas Edison and his groundbreaking invention that led to the modern day light bulb. But he had also made significant contributions to the US Navy with his inventions in defensive instruments, a telephone system for ships, and a searchlight to be used underwater. What other dreams did Edison fulfill during his eventful life?
Here in Beaumont, the Edison museum showcases Edison’s innovative spirit using historic artifacts and interactive displays. You will also get a peek into his inquisitive personality and his struggles against the structure of formal education and his hearing problems which eventually left him deaf. Even someone without much interest in mechanical or scientific matters would surely be fascinated by Edison’s life story. Enjoy free admission every Tuesday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Address: 350 Pine Street, 77701 Beaumont, Texas
Website: Edison Museum
6. Beaumont Art League
What sets the Beaumont Art League apart from Beaumont’s other galleries with an artistic focus is its focus on encouraging participation and interaction with the public. The League hosts numerous art shows, classes, workshops, and even camps. An especially interesting course is its “I’ve Been Framed” event that guides artists on how best to display their work, be it in an established gallery or just their own bedroom. It also has an active Facebook page to increase dialogue with locals about art, for example hosting a “food art” event that calls for photos of everyday meals presented in creative ways. Think half-open hard boiled eggs with yolk shaped into chicks by an innovative kid.
Beaumont Art League
Address: 2675 Gulf Street, 77703 Beaumont, TX
Website: Beaumont Art League
7. Fire Museum of Texas
This museum gives you rare insights into a real firefighting service and the vast array of firefighting equipment used from the 19th to the 20th century. There is even a full-sized fire engine set up for visitors to have their picture taken while helming the driver’s seat. Even if you’re not so keen on stepping inside, pop by just for a photo with the museum’s iconic dalmatian-inspired fire hydrant. At 7.2 meters (24 feet) tall, it is one of the world’s largest working fire hydrants, and you can’t miss it while driving by!
Fire Museum of Texas
Address: 400 Walnut @ Mulberry, 77701 Beaumont, TX
Website: Fire Museum of Texas
8. McFaddin–Ward House
The McFaddin-Ward House is a grand, austere colonial building, which its last occupant Mamie McFaddin-Ward kindly preserved as a museum for the public before her passing. This house is one of the rare house museums which still retain almost all of its original furnishings. Walking through the grounds, you will be able to see luxurious rose gardens and a huge carriage house with a stable, hayloft and servant’s quarters from another era. If you happen to be in Beaumont over the Christmas season, you are in for a special treat – the McFaddin-Ward House has a cherished tradition of inviting the public in for eggnog and tea cakes.
Address: 1906 Calder Ave, 77701 Beaumont, TX
Website: McFaddin–Ward House
While in Beaumont, visit a museum!
Unfortunately, museums sometimes suffer the sad reputation of being “boring” or “stuffy” or the last resort when gloomy weather strikes. However, we hope you give museums another chance with these eight options while in Beaumont. With exhibits on art, sports legends, science, culture and even giant fire hydrants, there’s really something for everyone.
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