While on a trip to Louisiana and Texas recently, I had the opportunity to explore the southeast Texas city of Beaumont for the first time. To be honest, I didn’t really know anything about Beaumont before visiting, but after a few days in the city, it very well may be my new favorite city in Texas. For real! And that’s saying a LOT because I absolutely love Texas! From seeing the Alamo in San Antonio to eating delicious tacos in Austin, I’ve seen a good bit of what Texas has to offer, but nothing can compare to the amount of fun that I had in Beaumont.
Over the course of three days, I enjoyed some of the best wheelchair accessible Beaumont attractions. Whether I was rolling on wheelchair-friendly trails in the great outdoors or holding baby gators, it was three days of nonstop fun that I won’t soon forget. Here are nine accessible things to do in Beaumont, Texas the next time that you’re in the area –
Wheelchair Accessible Beaumont Texas Attractions & Things to Do
Art Museum of Southeast Texas
The Art Museum of Southeast Texas is located in downtown Beaumont and was one of my first stops in the city. Despite not being as well-known as other art museums around the world, this one was better than many that I’ve been to in much bigger cities. The museum was fully wheelchair accessible and spacious.
Surprisingly, admission is absolutely free for everyone as well. The Art Museum of Southeast Texas usually hosts about ten exhibits every year, so there’s something new worth seeing all the time. Even if you’ve visited in the past, there is always a reason to return to this museum.
Photo-Ops with Murals
There is a ton of fantastic art in downtown Beaumont, even aside from the art museum previously mentioned. Downtown is easily accessible with wide sidewalks and curb cuts, so I really enjoyed wheeling around and viewing all of the murals.
Some of my favorite murals in the downtown area were the “You are the best thing about me” mural, located at 701 Main Street, and the murals at 660 Fannin Street. The three murals at 660 Fannin Street were definitely my favorites because they were not only beautiful, but each of the three murals were also very different, making each one special. There was a mermaid mural, a dragonfly mural, and a Frida Kahlo mural. They made for some unique photo-ops. Just check out my shots with them below.
Spindletop – Gladys City Boomtown
Back in 1901, oil was discovered about three miles from Beaumont at a place known as Spindletop. For the next 10 years, the economy boomed because of the oil find. The population quadrupled after the discovery of the oil and Spindletop became a Boomtown in the early 20th century.
For today’s world, the Boomtown has been recreated and you can now go back in time to see what it was like in 1901. Visitors can go inside the recreated buildings, including a blacksmith shop, a barber shop, and a doctor’s office/ice cream shop (yes, it really was an ice cream shop in the front and a doctor’s office in the back!)… just to name a few.
All of the buildings are now wheelchair accessible. There are ramps and smooth boardwalk paths around the property connecting each building. Accessibility likely didn’t exist at Spindletop back in 1901, but today the accessibility is perfect and I’d highly recommend visiting while you’re in Beaumont! Whether you’re a history buff or not, this is a cool attraction for anyone!
Gator Country is one of the most unique attractions in all of Texas. This park has more than 450 alligators and 90% of them have either been rescued or surrendered. At Gator Country, there are informative shows (only if the gators are willing, of course) and you can even hold many of the animals for photo-ops and an up-close look, including baby gators and snakes. I stayed far away from the snakes, but the baby gators were too cute to resist!
As far as accessibility at Gator Country goes, there were some dirt and grass paths, but they were fairly smooth to roll on in my motorized wheelchair. All buildings had ramps to enter as well. If you use a motorized wheelchair, you shouldn’t have any real problems, but if you use a manual chair, you may need someone to assist you in some areas. Plan to spend at least a couple hours at this one-of-a-kind Beaumont attraction!
Big Thicket Outfitters
If you love being on the water as much as I do, the company Big Thicket Outfitters offers a wheelchair-friendly pontoon boat ride near Beaumont! For about two hours, you can enjoy accessible boating along the Neches River in Big Thicket National Preserve. During my experience, the water was sooo smooth and it was such a relaxing experience.
The owner of Big Thicket Outfitters, Gerald, is a great guy and he has a goal to ensure that everyone has a fun time. Gerald also told us all about the history of the area during our ride, so it was both fun and educational. Big Thicket Outfitters also offers kayaking if you’re more adventurous and would rather try that. There are tandem kayaks as well if you’d like Gerald, or a friend that’s traveling with you, to steer while you enjoy the scenery.
Big Thicket National Preserve
Big Thicket National Preserve near Beaumont has two wheelchair accessible trails, making the great outdoors a must-do for visitors of all abilities! The first accessible trail that I did was Sundew Trail. It is a paved/boardwalk trail that is 0.3 miles long and it makes a full loop. While rolling on it, you will see carnivorous plants, including the pitcher plant. You could also possibly see some wildlife from the trail, so be observant. I actually saw a wild hog (I think it was a wild hog?) while rolling Sundew Trail, which was pretty cool and a bit frightening at the same time.
The second accessible trail that I traversed was Pitcher Plant Trail. This trail is one mile long total, but only the first quarter of a mile is wheelchair accessible. Even at just a quarter of a mile in length though, it’s still certainly worth checking out!! There are many pitcher plants to be seen from the trail and the first quarter mile was paved/boardwalk, making it a smooth and enjoyable roll in nature. Both Sundew Trail and Pitcher Plant Trail have an accessible restroom and several picnic tables at the entrance.
Pour Brothers Brewery
Pour Brothers Brewery is one of the first microbreweries in the city of Beaumont. If you’re looking to drink some delicious craft beer, this is the perfect place to hang out. It’s located in downtown Beaumont, so extremely easy to get to from some of the other downtown attractions on this list.
Pour Brothers has a plethora of craft beers available from a tap wall and you can sample as many as you like until you find one that you like. Trust me, it won’t take long because many of them are great! The staff at Pour Brothers Brewery is incredibly friendly and their willingness to find every visitor a beer that suits their taste is commendable. After getting your beer, you can venture outside where there is a big beer garden, complete with games to play.
Cattail Marsh Scenic Wetlands & Boardwalk
Cattail Marsh is undoubtedly one of Beaumont, Texas’ greatest hidden gems. It is a wildlife refuge for aquatic animals & over 250 species of birds annually. On any visit to Cattail Marsh, you are sure to see a variety of wildlife and birds.
There are multiple trails in Cattail Marsh to explore, but the most wheelchair-friendly area is the new boardwalk. From the boardwalk at Cattail Marsh, wheelchair users can have a spectacular view of the wetlands. There are also covered seating areas along the boardwalk, so you could even have a picnic while taking in the views. On a nice warm day (or even a cold day), Cattail Marsh is a great place to enjoy nature in the heart of Beaumont.
Tyrrell Park Botanical Garden
Only a two-minute drive from Cattail Marsh is a botanical garden, located in Tyrrell Park. With such easy access, it’s a definite must-visit either before or after your visit to Cattail Marsh.
Smooth, paved paths are located throughout the botanical garden. I rolled around and saw the various displays for a while, including the koi pond, which was a favorite of mine. The Tyrrell Park Botanical Garden was a lot bigger than I expected as well. I’d recommend planning 30-60 minutes to explore it all, but you could also stay much longer if you really want to unwind and take it all in. Admission is completely free.
As you can see, Beaumont has so many incredible and wheelchair accessible things to do! Whether you have just a weekend or a longer period of time to stay in Beaumont, you’re sure to have a spectacular time, no matter what your abilities are.
*Thank you to the Beaumont Convention & Visitor’s Bureau for making this trip possible! While I was hosted, all opinions are authentic and my own.