Family Friendly Texas Road Trip Ideas
San Jacinto Battleground and Battleship Texas
From a driving perspective, this is an easy one for most of our readers. Expect about an hour from Beaumont and a little over two hours from Lufkin.
The Alamo is the first thing many people think of regarding Texas’ fight for autonomy, but The Battle of San Jacinto is the battle that led to our independence.
The San Jacinto Monument, the world’s largest masonry column, (taller than the Washington Monument) commemorates the battle. Take an elevator to the observation level and you can see for miles around. Your view will include The Battleship Texas docked nearby.
The San Jacinto Museum of History is located in the base of the monument. It gives a very kid friendly overview of the battle and its impact on early Texas history. SanJacinto-Museum.org
Like the Battle of San Jacinto led to the independence of Texas, the Battleship Texas helped the United States become the world’s greatest naval power. The ship saw heavy action in World War I and World War II. The Battleship Texas was the first US battleship to become a permanent “museum ship” and to be declared a US National Historic Landmark.
During a tour of the USS Texas, your child will get a feel of what it was like to serve on a naval ship. We have actually interviewed local veterans who joined the navy at 15 and 16 years old to serve in WWII. Note: The Battleship Texas has been undergoing a major renovation, so check before promising them a tour. tpwd.texas.gov/state-parks/battleship-texas
All of this sight-seeing will work up an appetite. There are a number of very nice picnic tables available throughout the large park area (larger than Central Park in New York City). Many have grills and running water.
The area is also home to the Monument Inn, a popular and historic Texas seafood restaurant. My dad tells stories of when the restaurant was family style and you went and just ate fresh seafood until you could barely walk out. Today, you order off of a menu, but the portions are still very generous. I went with my teenage son. He had played a baseball game and wade fished, and the Shrimp Jamboree was more than he could handle. It had shrimp cocktail, broiled shrimp, fried shrimp, stuffed shrimp, a salad, rolls, and cinnamon rolls for about twenty dollars. MonumentInn.com
Fishing near The Battleship Texas in and around the ship channel can yield flounder, redfish, and speckled trout. Most people fish from the shore, but some wade fishing access is available.