Explore Port Arthur The Cajun Capital Of Texas

September 25, 2023

On June 23rd Port Arthur became the official Cajun Capital of Texas. My husband and I love Cajun food, music, and history, and we couldn’t wait to explore Port Arthur the Cajun Capital of Texas.

The Port Arthur Visitors Bureau hosted us for our trip. All of the reviews and opinions are my own.

Explore Port Arthur The Cajun Capital Of Texas

Did You Know That You Can Explore Port Arthur The Cajun Capital Of Texas

Along the Gulf Coast of Texas, is Port Arthur a captivating destination that seamlessly blends history, culture, and culinary delights. It was designated the “Cajun Capital of Texas,” in June of 2023 and boasts a unique heritage deeply rooted in Cajun and Creole influences. From its rich history to its mouthwatering cuisine, Port Arthur offers an experience that transports visitors to a world where the flavors and traditions of Louisiana intertwine with the Lone Star State.

Culinary Delights

The heart of Port Arthur’s Cajun identity is its cuisine. The city’s restaurants and eateries serve up an array of dishes that pay homage to the bold and flavorful traditions of Louisiana. From gumbo and jambalaya to crawfish étouffée and boudin, every bite celebrates the distinctive flavors that make Cajun cuisine so beloved.

Hamiltons Restaurant & Bar

Our first stop for some Cajun food was Hamiltons Restaurant & Bar. A very casual atmosphere and great service set our meal off right. My seafood balls were absolutely amazing, and my husband had a club sandwich with fries. It was a great start to our Cajun tour of Port Arthur.

Explore Port Arthur The Cajun Capital Of Texas

Reel Cajun Seafood Restaurants

The aromas of simmering spices and the lively sounds of zydeco music create an immersive dining experience that transports visitors straight to the bayous of Louisiana. Famous for its BBQ crabs and enormous seafood buffet, the Reel Cajun Seafood Restaurant is where you will find some of the best Cajun food I have ever had. I could eat those BBQ crabs every day and twice on Sunday. I also had a fun and yummy margarita flight. They have quite a few margaritas to choose from, so the flight was perfect for me.

Port Arthur Cajun Capital of Texas

Boudain Hut

Known for their boudain balls and live music, this lively restaurant and bar is a must-visit. We asked the locals about the Boudain Hut, and they confirmed that it is a happening place in Port Arthur.

Explore Port Arthur The Cajun Capital Of Texas

Dylan’s Restaurant & Bar

The minute you enter Dylan’s Restaurant & Bar, you are treated like a good friend of the family. They have live music, a large menu, and a lot of fun on their outdoor patio. It’s very kid and pet-friendly, and I was told by their wonderful manager

Explore Port Arthur The Cajun Capital Of Texas

Tia Juanitas Fish Camp

Tia Juanitas Fish Camp is one of those restaurants where you more than likely will run into someone you know. It has good food, a great atmosphere, and some pretty fun cocktails. I had the Oysters Royal, a Boudin ball, and a Grapezilla Cocktail. My husband had the super nachos, which aren’t really cajun food, but that’s what was great about this place, they have something for everyone.

Explore Port Arthur The Cajun Capital Of Texas

Judice’s 1927

The last restaurant on our trip was a really nice place outside of Port Authur called Judice’s 1927. Their Cajun history and recipes date back over 100 years. I ordered the Oysters and gumbo, and my husband ordered their special of the day, the beef tips and potatoes. It was all really good, and the service was great.

Related – Galveston Island Spring Break Road Trip

Explore Port Arthur The Cajun Capital Of Texas

Hampton Inn Hotel

The Hampton Inn is just one of the many hotel choices in Port Arthur. We stayed at the Hampton Inn, which is pet-friendly, beautifully decorated, and extremely welcoming. We stayed in one of their suites, and it was perfect for the two of us to relax and stretch out in between all of our excursions. They offer a free breakfast every morning, which has a large selection of breakfast options.

Explore Port Arthur The Cajun Capital Of Texas

The Museum Of The Gulf Coast

The Museum of The Gulf Coast shares Port Arthur’s history of exploration, industry, and diverse cultures. Port Arthur was founded in the late 19th century as a port to facilitate the transport of oil and other goods. Over time, it grew into a bustling hub of industry, attracting workers and settlers from various backgrounds. However, what truly sets Port Arthur apart is its Cajun and Creole heritage, which found its way here through migration from neighboring Louisiana. The presence of these cultures has left an indelible mark on the city’s architecture, music, and, most notably, its cuisine. We had the pleasure of listening to some of the Cajun-influenced music when Dave the fiddle player and his Cajun Band, Jim on the accordion and Jude on the guitar, played some Zydeco music in the Acadian Home replica section of the Museum.

Explore Port Arthur The Cajun Capital Of Texas

The Music Hall Of Fame

  • Some of the exhibits you can see in the Music Hall of Fame showcase some of America’s best artists.
  • Janis Joplin is one of the most iconic musicians of the 60’s. There is a beautiful tribute to her at the museum, along with a replica of her psychedelic 1965 Porsche 356 Cabriolet.
  • The Big Bopper is honored in the museum with an exhibit of his life and music career.
  • Cajun Zydeco Music is showcased throughout the museum with different exhibits of some of the best musicians in the industry.
  • George Jones has an exhibit that also showcases the fiddle player whom I had the honor of meeting, Dave Varnado.
  • In the lower part of the museum is a large exhibit showing the history of the petroleum industry.

Explore Port Arthur The Cajun Capital Of Texas

Festivals and Celebrations

Throughout the year, Port Arthur comes alive with a series of festivals and celebrations that showcase its Cajun heritage. One of the most anticipated events is the Cajun Heritage Festival, a lively gathering that features music, dancing, and, of course, a feast of Cajun delights. The festival provides a platform for local artists, musicians, and chefs to showcase their talents and share the cultural richness of the region.


Exploring The Outdoors

Beyond its cultural offerings, Port Arthur also boasts a stunning natural landscape that beckons outdoor enthusiasts. The city is surrounded by water, offering opportunities for fishing, boating, and birdwatching. The Sabine Lake and the nearby McFaddin National Wildlife Refuge are popular spots for those seeking a connection with nature.

Sea Rim State Park

You will drive through some pretty big refineries on your way to The Gulf of Mexico to get to Sea Rim State Park. One of the fun things they offer at the state park is fishing demonstrations and educational opportunities. There is a boardwalk to get you to the beach with signs sharing the history of the Texas Gulf Coast. Be sure to check the Sea Rim State Park website for prices and reservations.

Explore Port Arthur The Cajun Capital Of Texas

Pleasure Island

Pleasure Island is situated in Port Arthur and stretches across 18.5 miles of artfully crafted land. Extending from the Neches River’s mouth in the northwest to the Sabine Causeway in the southeast. This captivating locale is enveloped by the pristine waters of Sabine Lake and the Sabine Neches Intracoastal Waterway. Pleasure Island stands as a testament to natural beauty. Its breathtaking views of Sabine Lake offer a visual feast for bird watching. Be careful when you are strolling through this area, it is Gator country.

Explore Port Arthur The Cajun Capital Of Texas

Boardwalk in downtown Port Arthur

The Boardwalk in Port Arthur offers breathtaking panoramic views of the serene Sabine Lake, a tranquil body of water that stretches as far as the eye can see. For those seeking outdoor activities, the Boardwalk provides ample opportunities. Fishing enthusiasts can cast their lines into the lake, hoping to reel in a variety of fish species, while birdwatchers can spot native and migratory birds that call this region home. The abundance of wildlife and natural beauty make The Boardwalk an ideal spot for photographers and nature lovers. Throughout the year, The Boardwalk comes alive with various events and live entertainment. From live music performances to arts and crafts fairs, there’s always something happening that adds to the vibrant atmosphere of this waterfront gem. The community spirit of Port Arthur is palpable during these gatherings.

Explore Port Arthur

Nederland TX

The House of Acadia and Tex Ritter Park are located outside of the Dutch Windmill Museum. It is located in Nederland, one of the small towns outside of Port Arthur. This is a great place to learn about the history of the French Nationals that came from Southern Louisiana.

Explore Port Arthur

Dutch Windmill Museum

Be sure to go inside the Dutch Windmill Museum. You will find the history of Tex Ritter, Dutch history, Cajun history, and more.

We Learned A Lot About Port Arthur

Be sure to explore Port Arthur, the Cajun Capital of Texas, which is a place where the traditions of two vibrant cultures intertwine to create a unique and enchanting experience. From its history shaped by industry and migration to its flavorful cuisine and lively festivals, every aspect of the city reflects its Cajun and Creole roots. Whether you’re a history buff, a food lover, or an adventurer seeking to explore the great outdoors, Port Arthur offers something for everyone. So, Pack your bags, prepare your taste buds, and get ready to immerse yourself in the captivating charm of this Gulf Coast gem.



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