San Jacinto Museum and Battlefield Association
187 years ago, on the afternoon of April 21st, the Texian army defeated the Mexican army in what would be called one of the most decisive battles in history. The eighteen-minute battle ended the Texas Revolution and brought about the Republic of Texas. The Battle of San Jacinto was immortalized further when a monument was erected in 1939 and within it, a museum, honoring those who fought in the Texas Revolution. Familiar names such as Sam Houston, Juan Seguin, Deaf Smith, and even Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna are seen throughout the museum.
Head just outside of Houston to the city of La Porte and you’ll find the San Jacinto Monument, the San Jacinto Museum, the San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Site, the Albert and Ethel Herzstein Library, and a hiking trail through the restored marsh. Whether you have only an hour or an entire day, there is plenty here to keep you entertained.
San Jacinto Monument and San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Site
At nearly 570 feet tall, the San Jacinto Monument is the world’s tallest war memorial.
The monument honors the contributions and sacrifices of those who fought for Texas’ independence.
Time stands still as you stand beneath the 220-ton Lone Star of Texas on the observation deck and peer out across the horizon.
This Texas giant - built from 1936 to 1939 - is one of the finest examples of art deco architecture around, and it’s recognized as a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark by the American Society of Civil Engineers.
Walk the battleground and relive the famous Battle of San Jacinto. Stand in the exact locations of the Texan and Mexican camps, as well as the site of the advance by General Sam Houston’s men.
The San Jacinto Museum
Visiting the San Jacinto Museum, located in the base of the San Jacinto Monument, is one of the top things to do when you visit the Houston area. As you enter the monument you walk into the permanent exhibit hall where period artifacts, documents, prints, and photographs come together to share the story of Texas.
Let your imagination come to life as you see the firearms used in key battles that shaped the history of the Southwest and view items used by the pioneers of Texas’ Independence. The permanent exhibit also features Spanish silver, pre-Columbian pottery, maps that guided the explorers in the region, religious artwork and artifacts, tools used to work the land and herd the cattle, and many other items from the past 500 years.
The San Jacinto Museum also hosts several rotating exhibits, giving you a reason to return again and again. The Jesse H. Jones Theatre shows the movie “Texas Forever!! The Battle of San Jacinto” every hour on the hour beginning at 10 a.m. every day. The 35-minute production transports you from the earliest Spanish colonies to the day the West was won.
San Jacinto Day Festival & Battle Reenactment
Every April, on the anniversary of the Battle of San Jacinto, the San Jacinto Museum and Battlefield Association and the Texas Historical Commission host the San Jacinto Day Celebration. As one of the largest battle reenactments in the southwest, it features free admission and is held on the grounds surrounding the San Jacinto Monument at One Monument Circle, La Porte, TX. The day consists of fun, food, history, and reenactments while celebrating and remembering the Battle of San Jacinto. Reenactors dress in period clothing to make the epic events of April 1836 come alive, and reenactments throughout the day recreate the dramatic events that led to one of the most impactful military victories in the history of North America.
Additional Things to See and Do
Don’t miss the Albert and Ethel Herzstein Library, open by appointment on Fridays and some Saturdays. It’s a treasure trove of rare books, maps, and manuscripts that you could bury your nose in all day.
The San Jacinto Monument sits in the middle of the San Jacinto Battleground, the 1,300-acre state historic site that preserves the ground where Texas won its independence in 1836.
Visitors can walk in the footsteps of the men who fought here nearly 200 years ago, as well as fish, hike, and picnic. Then take a walk on the 1,210-foot-long marsh trail and boardwalk where you just may spy coastal birds like the roseate spoonbill, wood stork, mottled duck, osprey, white pelican, and other wetland denizens such as the river otter.
La Porte, TX 77571