A LITTLE SOMETHING EXTRA
The Cajuns have a word that locals think suits Beaumont well — “lagniappe,” meaning “a little something extra.” It seems the city, however, offers a whole lot more. Beaumont combines a bit of the Cajun bayou with Texas-sized zest. In other words, you’re as likely to be eating enchiladas as spicy crawfish before two-stepping to some lively Zydeco. This Main Street City has remade its once-abandoned city center into the Crockett Street Entertainment District, restoring historic buildings and opening restaurants and nightclubs.
Established on the west bank of the Neches River in the 1800s, Beaumont first served as an important riverport and commercial center for the lumber and rice-milling industries. It hit the jackpot when Spindletop, the oil gusher of 1901, transformed Beaumont into the petroleum-based epicenter of the state. This historic moment in the city’s past features prominently at the Spindletop-Gladys City Boomtown Museum. Many of the city’s important heritage icons attribute their existence to the wealth generated by this oil boom, a cycle of ups and downs that has yet to subside. The opulent 1927 Jefferson Theatre is one, its Mediterranean-influenced design highlighting a white marble staircase and theater organ that rises from the orchestra pit on a hydraulic lift. The 1906 Classic Revival McFaddin-Ward House is another, appointed with authentic and luxurious furnishings of the day. Elsewhere, Beaumont’s cultural district features the Art Museum of Southeast Texas, the Edison Plaza Museum, and the Texas Energy Museum.
Beaumont boasts a state cultural district designated by the Texas Commission on the Arts. Explore all they have to offer on your next visit!