There are so many reasons to visit Beaumont, Texas. From discovering its powerful history and its historic homes to breathtaking birdwatching and award-winning arts and architecture Now, what if I told you that you could see all these sights from your saddle biking Beaumont and make room to indulge South East Texas culinary delights. Between Texas-sized steaks and bayou gumbo, Beaumont is where cowboy meets creole. If ya’ll never had BBQ crab, ya just ain’t living.
We put together three simple and easy rides that anybody can do, but they are filled with Texas-sized fun and adventure and more Instaworthy stops that you can shake a spur at. We’ll give you an interactive map with all the attractions and detailed downloadable navigation cause this ain’t our first bike guide rodeo. Y’all know we keep it real here.
Beaumont Bike Map
Below is our Beaumont bike map with our three bike rides and a whole mess of interesting places. Now, you might have to zoom into the downtown ride because it’s thick with murals, museums, historic buildings, and restaurants, but the cycling route is there. We tried to use native Google pins, so many of them have pictures included if you click around. If the map doesn’t load, you can try hitting the refresh button. We think it’s worth it
Downtown Beaumont Bike Route (3.3 miles)
Biking in downtown Beaumont on a Sunday morning is strangely quiet. I kept wondering where all the cars were. I saw public art everywhere, remarkable museums, and extraordinary architecture, but hardly any cars. There is even bonus art everywhere in the form of painted electric boxes. Riding in downtown Beaumont is surprisingly fun. In fact, there’s even a group that does glow in the bike tours of downtown Beaumont, which adds an entirely new dimension to the fun, but you can easily do the ride as a self-guided daytime trip. Riding a bike is also a wonderful thing to do in Beaumont with kids.
I had an opportunity to preview the bike guide for a planned Beaumont bike share, which was my inspiration for my route. They divided downtown into four districts: Museum, Crockett, Lake, and Cathedral, and then set you free for a scavenger hunt adventure finding all sorts of cool stuff. I took my bike down and rode the area myself to come up with my favorite route through the city. I did start my ride from the visitor center, where there are plans to have a bike-share kiosk and plenty of parking. If you’d rather do the ‘find your own adventure’ gig, just skip the next part where I tell you the low down on all the good stuff.
Riding the Museum District
From the visitor center, you head down Main Street and into the Museum District. Your first stop is the cul-de-sac between the Art Museum of Southeast Texas and the Texas Energy Museum. There are many David Cargill statues around the art museum, but my favorite was The Men Of Vision. It’s a wonderful play on words because the Roger brothers were both visionary members of the Beaumont community and the founders of Texas State Optical.
The next stop in the Museum District is Civic Center. You should make a point to cross the street and ride on the sidewalk so you can see everything. The murals are nice, but my favorite parts were the fountains and another David Cargill statue in the courtyard between City Hall and the Civic Center. The statue, called Winning, depicts four abstract human figures lifting up a fifth human figure like they won a sporting event.
The penultimate stop takes you by Waldman Park, an installation art exhibit commemorating Spindletop, the first oil well in Texas that put Beaumont on the map.
Finally, you take an architectural tour down Pearl Street. You pass by the Neoclassical Julie Rodger’s Theater, which looks like an old town hall because…it actually was the old town hall. Keep riding to see the Tyrell Historical Library’s mix of Richardsonian Romanesque and Victorian Gothic architectures. As you’re passing by the Art Museum again, be sure to look to your left to see the Jefferson Theatre. Emile Weil designed this historic 1927 theatre (spelled with the ‘r’ before the ‘e’ because it’s fancy) in the Old Spanish architectural style.
Riding the Cathedral District
The highlight and namesake of the Cathedral District is the St. Anthony Cathedral Basilica, one of only 85 Catholic Basilicas in the United States. It’s an impressive site, with the stone building dating back to 1902. I’ve heard it’s even more beautiful on the inside, but tours were suspended due to the pandemic when I visited.
Instead of making a beeline for the basilica, you’re better off zig-zagging your way in. The entire downtown Beaumont ride is only 3.3 miles anyway. First, you zig by the First National Bank Building (circa 1937) and the Orleans Building (circa 1928). Then you zag by the murals on Fannin Street and the Pour Brothers Brewery. In due time, you make it to the Basilica in all its glory before heading over to the Fountain District.
Riding the Fountain District
You’ve technically been in the Fountain District already. That is where you saw the mermaid, dragonfly, and Frida Kahlo murals on Fannin Street. However, now you get to see the 35-foot geyser fountain in the middle of a beautiful 2-acre lake.
The fountain is located in front of the Downtown Event Centre, which again must be a fancy place because of the ‘re’. Fancy or not, it’s worth turning off Crockett Street to get a better view. Don’t worry, the route rejoins Crockett Street just inside the Crockett District.
Riding the Crockett District
As promised, you start the Crockett District with Crockett Street, a super cute outdoor shopping arcade. Hopefully, one day soon, the shops will reopen. Until then, you can ride by and marvel at the possibilities. Which ironically, is also what you do when you reach Riverfront Park, which is being rebuilt since being damaged by Tropical Storm Harvey.
You could stop and visit the Edison Museum and the Fire Museum of Texas. However, you have to marvel at the world’s largest operational fire hydrant outside the fire museum before returning to the visitor center. From Roadside America –
In 1999, to promote the re-release of the animated 101 Dalmatians, Walt Disney’s Home Video division built the World’s Largest Fire Hydrant at Disney Land in Anaheim, CA. For reasons that are lost to time, the Fire Museum of Texas in Beaumont — a 1920s-era fire station where vintage trucks, historic nozzles and fire bells are exhibited — was chosen by Disney to be the permanent home of its towering fireplug.
My sister works at the water department in Columbia, South Carolina, and she says her city has the world’s largest fire hydrant standing 39′ tall. Still, it can’t pump a single drop of water, hence Beaumont’s claim to largest ‘working’ hydrant. I guess everything isn’t always bigger in Texas…
Cycling Calder Avenue Bike Lanes (8-mile out-and-back)
The Oaks Historic District section has bike lanes that start at the visitor center and continue to 11th Street. Along the way, you’ll see about a half dozen murals, the McFaddin-Ward House Historic Museum, and the Chambers House Museum, as well as other historic buildings in the Oaks Historic District.
The West End ride starts with a 1/2 break in the bike lanes as you pass under I-10, but it’s not bad riding. Soon you’re on the bike lanes again where you’ll see Beaumont’s largest mural, The Enchanted Forest, and pass by a couple of local favorite food joints Daddio’s Burgers and Carmela’s Mexican Food.
While the Calder Ave bike lanes aren’t as action-packed as the downtown ride, they are a much more flowy ride with plenty to see along the way.
Riding Cattail Marsh and Tyrell Park (8-miles, gravel + park road)
Cattail Marsh is Beaumont’s urban park gem. It’s a series of drainage ponds to purify the city’s water before entering the watershed that attracts birds and birders from thousands of miles around. Beaumont is on two major migratory bird routes (flyways). Nearly 30 species of ducks and flocks of snow geese migrate here in the winter, while spoonbills, egrets, and ibis are year-round residents. There’s a five-mile gravel road around the ponds, with even more options to ride across the levees and continue to explore the wetlands, birdwatch, and maybe see an alligator or two.
While you’re in Tyrell Park, you might as well take a lap there too. A 3-mile loop through the park will take you by Tyrrell Park Stables, Golden Triangle Audubon Society, Beaumont Botanical Gardens, and Henry Homberg Municipal Golf Course.
Other Beaumont Bike Rides
The Beaumont Convention & Visitors Bureau has worked closely with the local cycling community to obtain the most popular road routes that are peddled on a regular basis. They put that information into a wonderful pamphlet on Beaumont Trail Maps, which describes the following bike routes:
- Four family bike trails with about 1-2 miles of riding
- Four beginner routes with 10-20 miles of riding
- Five intermediate routes with 20-40 miles of riding
- Seven advanced routes with 40-65 miles of riding
Additionally, the pamphlet lists the following local bike resources:
- Bicycle Sports: 2770 I010 S. Beaumont, TX 409-860-5959
- Kickstand Bike Shop: 6366 Phelan Blvd., Beaumont, TX 409-860-5532
- Southeast Texas Hike and Bike Coalition
These are excellent resources for local riders to get their bikes ready to roll or join a group ride. Bicycle Sports offers a weekly social ride every Wednesday, and Kickstand Bike Shop has group rides on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. Check the store links for more information.
Other Regional Bike Rides
One of the wonderful things about biking is you get to explore the world around you, which I think is better by two-wheels. It gets you in touch with the people and the places on a closer and more intimate level. You can feel the road, smell the air, hear the life, and stop any time you want to look around. For the sake of this list, I’m calling regional rides cities that are a six-hour drive from Beaumont, perfect for a biking weekend getaway.
- New Orleans – Peddle your way through one of America’s most historic cities.
- Tammany Trace – Ride a 33-mile long rail trail through five communities on Louisiana’s North Shore.
- River Parishes – Take the levee’s along the Mississippi River on a historic ride through the deepest South.
- Coastal Mississippi – Explore Mississippi’s secret coast and discover oceanside riding at its finest.
- Longleaf Trace – A 45-mile rail trail through surprising Hattiesburg
- Houston – Explore Bayou City by bike on a massive interconnected trail network.
- Dallas – Ride the Metroplex on a network of dedicated trails on on-road connectors.
- Austin – One of the most bikeable cities in Texas, if not all of America.
Wrapping up Biking in Beaumont
I don’t know if I’m ready to call Beaumont a destination bike location, but it’s a great way to explore if you’re coming to town or are lucky enough to live here. The combination between the public art, museums, and architecture of downtown and the Oaks Historic District makes them target-rich biking areas. Add in the easy biking, and you have yourself a quality ride. Cattail Marsh is a remarkably beautiful setting if you have a sturdy enough bike for gravel rides. I would (and did) start there as an out-of-town rider looking to experience Beaumont.
Local cyclists will want to check out the bike pamphlets and other bike resources to find longer, flowing rides where they can hit their pace. And maybe, try a bike getaway of their own to a regional ride so they can experience how much fun it is to be a bike tourist.
Remember to ride safely and read our bike disclaimer before you go
As always, the views and opinions expressed are entirely our own, and we only recommend brands and destinations that we 100% stand behind.
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