Port Arthur is a charming Gulf Coast city in Texas. Its rugged, natural beaches and wildlife drew me in immediately. We also discovered some interesting history and great food. These 5 Things to do in Port Arthur are a must:
Our family visit was part of a familiarization tour with Visit Port Arthur Texas. All opinions are my own.
Spend the day at Sea Rim State Park.
Camp, hike, kayak, or swim–these are just a few of the fun things to do at Sea Rim State Park. We spent most of our time exploring the gorgeous natural beaches. Sea Rim State Park has 5.2 miles of Gulf shoreline. The rugged beauty draws you in, and its remoteness makes it an ideal spot to see wildlife. Our family had a wonderful time here! Read more about our adventures here: Sea Rim State Park.
I love finding historical sites to visit in our family travels. History where it happened! This notable Civil War battlefield tells the story of Confederate Lt. Richard “Dick” Dowling and his 46 men who prevented a Union attack on Sabine Pass, which was a principal Texas port for Confederate shipments of supplies and crucial to the war effort. This resulted in Union forces never being able to penetrate the Texas interior in the Civil War!
At the site you will explore an interpretive pavilion that walks you through the story, a statue of Lt. Richard “Dick” Dowling, a World War II ammunition magazine, and beautiful walkways along the water. We enjoyed a fun little hike through history.
While you’re near the area, you don’t want to miss McFadden Wildlife Refuge, especially if you’re city folk like we are! McFadden Wildlife Refuge is over 58,000 acres of coastal marshlands bordering the gulf of Mexico. We just took a slow drive and saw many unique birds! What we were really looking for was alligators. We thought it would be so neat to see them in their natural habitat. See them we did! It was so exciting for the kids.
Our family had a blast at Museum of the Gulf Coast. We had just planned to spend about an hour here, but everyone was having so much fun, that we stayed for several hours. Here you will discover the story of the Texas/Louisiana Gulf Coast region. There are exhibits on Native Americans, the Civil War, the maritime history of the region and so much more. The day we visited the kids even had the opportunity to hold real snakes!
Arguably, most of the museum’s visitors are music trail followers. The biggest draw is Janis Joplin who was from Port Arthur. You will find a replica of Janis Joplin’s 1965 Porche along with a plethora of photos, magazines, and other items.
Janis isn’t alone though, there are many internationally-recognized musicians and athletes who “live” at the Gulf Coast.
The Rodair Roadhouse
If you’re wondering where to eat in Port Arthur, look no further than The Rodair Roadhouse. Arrive early for this popular restaurant. It took about an hour to procure a table for seven, but that was ok, since we enjoyed live country music while we waited.
Being on the gulf coast, we had to have some fish, and boy was it good, but I was most impressed by the fact that when we told our server that it was our first time, she brought us a free appetizer of fried green tomatoes and hush puppies! Oh how I love fried green tomatoes!
Plan a trip to Port Arthur! It’s a great place to get out in nature, grab a little history, and eat some delicious gulf coast food!