Beaumont began to explode in 1901 when the Lucas Gusher blew at Spindletop, indicating the first considerable oil discovery in the state of Texas. Stop on by the Spindletop Gladys City Boomtown and meander through the recreated boomtown and learn about the first Texas discovery of black gold. Afterward, you will definitely want to check out the McFaddin-Ward House, a historic mansion that was built in 1906, and belonged to the owner of the Lucas Gusher, W.P.H. McFaddin. The Fire Museum of Texas is literally the hottest place in Beaumont. Here, you can learn first-hand just what it's like to be a fireman and firefighting in Texas. You can also get a photo taken with the largest working fire hydrant in the world. If getting outside is what you're after, head on over to Village Creek State Park, which is located just north of Beaumont. Big Thicket Outfitters will oblige in setting you up with a canoe for an adventure down the Village Creek Paddling Trail. Don't miss Gator Country, a wildlife park, devoted to the alligator. Here you can visit Big Al and Big Tex, the two largest confined gators in Texas, and hold the smaller, baby ones. Texas’s best sandwich chain, Jason's deli, originated in Beaumont in 1976, and can be found at the Gateway Shopping Center. If you need your Cajun fix, head just down the highway to Groves, where you'll find Larry's French Market. Their shrimp etoufee, boudin balls and gumbo will not disappoint!