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Port Arthur (Texas)

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Port Arthur [1] is in the Gulf Coast region of Texas. The town of about 60,000 sits at the bottom right corner of the state. Its downtown was devastated in 2005 by Hurricane Rita. The city is flanked by oil refineries and by water. Both provide interesting scenery and jobs to the locals.

Get in

Get around

See

  • Buu Mon Buddhist Temple, 2701 Procter, +1 409 982-9319 (), [2]. Temple, lotus garden and water garden. Free tours by appointment. Hosts annual lotus and bamboo festival in summer and lunar new year celebration.
  • Museum of the Gulf Coast, 700 Procter, +1 409 982-7000 (), [3]. M-Sa 9AM-5PM, Su 1PM-5PM. Exhibits include history, natural history, fine and decorative art, and popular culture. The Museum's Music Hall of Fame features a permanent exhibit on the life and career of Janis Joplin who was born and raised in Port Arthur. $3.50 adults, $3 seniors, $1.50 ages 6-18, $.50 ages 0-6, group rates available, school tours free.
  • Pleasure Island, (S on Tx Hwy 82 across MLK Bridge to Pleasure Island), [4]. 3,500-acre manmade island surrounded by Sabine Lake and the Sabine Neches Intracoastal Waterway. The Sabine Causeway at the south end of the island connects Texas and Louisiana. Activities include sailing, golfing, fishing, crabbing, boating, hiking, biking, birding, disc golfing, and camping.
  • Pompeiian Villa, 1953 Lakeshore Dr, +1 409 983-5977. Tours by appointment.
  • Queen of Peace Shrine, 801 9th Ave, +1 409 983-7676. Free.
  • Rose Hill Manor, 100 Woodworth (Woodworth at Lakeshore), +1 409 985-7292. National Register of Historic Places-listed colonial-style home built in 1906. Tours by appointment.
  • Texas Artists Museum, 501 Cultural Center Dr, +1 409 983-4881 (), [5]. Tu-Sa noon-4PM. Primarily exhibits works of local artists. Free.
  • Vuylsteke Dutch Home, 1831 Lakeshore Dr, +1 409 984-6101. The Consul of the Netherlands built this home in 1905. Owned by Lamar State College - Port Arthur. Tours by appointment. Free.
  • White Haven, 2545 Lakeshore Dr, +1 409 984-6101. Historic home owned by Lamar State College - Port Arthur. Tours by appointment. Free.

Do

  • Charter fishing, [6]. With rivers, a saltwater lake and the Gulf Coast surrounding Port Arthur, fishing is a natural pastime. You can suit yourself and find lots of good fishing holes by land or on the water. You can also go out with a guide. There are quite a few charter businesses found at the Port Arthur Chamber of Commerce website.
  • Lakeshore Drive, Lakeshore Dr. There is a nice walk or drive along Lakeshore Drive from Lamar State College to the White Haven house. A walkpath, sometimes open for car traffic, leads closer to the water. On one side you'll see the historic homes built along Lakeshore Drive in the early 20th century, on the other side you see the intracoastal waterway. If you are lucky a cargo ship or an oil tanker will pass by and remind you how small humans are. The walk is not recommended at night for safety reasons.
  • Southeast Texas Mardi Gras, 500 Procter St, +1 409 721-8717, [7]. Parades, concerts and revelry take place the weekend before Fat Tuesday. $7-10 festival, parades free.

Buy

Eat

  • Esther's Seafood & Oyster Bar (Esther's Cajun Seafood), 7237 Rainbow Lane (off of Tx Hwy 73 at the foot of the Rainbow Bridge), +1 866 820-1754, [8]. Su-Th 11AM-9PM, F 11AM-10PM, Sa 5-10PM. Located on the water at the foot of the Rainbow Bridge, the menu at this Cajun Restaurant includes alligator, boudain, crawfish, crab, frog legs, gumbo, oysters, shrimp and steaks. Fish dishes include red snapper and flounder. Car and boat access. $15-30.

Drink

Sleep

  • MainStay Suites, 7648 Memorial Blvd, +1 409-729-8880, [9]. Extended stay hotel with full kitchens, microwaves, coffee makers, refrigerators, sofa sleepers, irons and ironing boards. Some rooms feature balconies.

Get out

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