5 Must Do Things Near Lake Jackson & Brazosport

Explore 75 acres of hatchery and marine habitat at Sea Center Texas | Courtesy of Texas Parks & Wildlife Department

In our Must Do Things Around Greater Houston series, we take a look at Houston’s vast array of communities, neighborhoods and destinations to bring you five fun, tasty, surprising and enticing reasons you should give each one a visit.

Escape down 288 and explore the area of Brazosport, which covers Lake Jackson, Clute, Freeport, Quintana, and Surfside Beach.

From hiking nature trails, going bird watching and exploring wetlands to beachcombing, fishing and surfing, the area has no shortage of exciting opportunities.

Note: For the purposes of this list, “near” Brazosport also includes the area covering the Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge.

5 Must Do Things Near Lake Jackson & Brazosport

  1. Touch, See and Explore at Sea Center Texas – This Lake Jackson aquarium, fish hatchery, and education center spans 75 acres, offering a look into Texas marine life, an outdoor wetland exhibit, youth fishing pond and the largest redfish hatchery in the world. Admission is free, but donations are appreciated. Tuesday through Saturday 9am to 4pm; Sunday 1pm to 4pm. Get directions to Sea Center Texas.
  2. Spend the day at Surfside Beach Just 50 minutes south of Houston and 40 miles west of Galveston, this quieter stretch of beach is a choice spot to unwind and dip your toes in the sand, with plenty of opportunities for swimming and relaxing. The area also offers fun activities like jet ski rentals, boat rides, surfing lessons, dolphin tours, island massages, beach horse riding, sunset dinners for two, and fishing at Surfside Jetty Park. When you’ve worked up an appetite, head for fresh seafood and refreshing Mediterranean flavors at The Red Snapper Inn (which is temporarily closed after damage from Hurricane Nicholas, check online for updates). Take a look at the beach rules before you visit; and for more beach exploration, head to the nearby drive-on Quintana Beach, where you’ll find more opportunities for bird watching, fishing, nature viewing, swimming, surfing, and beachcombing.
  3. Discover the Center for Arts & Sciences In addition to putting on a lineup of theater, art, and musical productions, this Center for Arts and Sciences houses the BASF Planetarium and Brazosport Museum of Natural Science. The natural science museum is home to dinosaur skeletons and rare fossils, exhibits on wildlife, rocks and minerals, archaeology, and the largest collection of shells in the South, with shells from around the globe. Admission is free. Tuesday through Saturday 11am to 3pm. Get directions to the Center for Arts & Sciences.
  4. Go back in history at the Lake Jackson Historical Museum While the Lake Jackson Historical Museum temporarily closed due to damage from Hurricane Nicholas, when it reopens, you can head here to uncover the unique history of the city via interactive exhibits and high-tech displays, from the prehistoric era to the plantation era, to the development of the area’s petrochemical industry and the founding of modern Lake Jackson. Visit with the ghost of Major Abner Jackson of the 1842 Jackson Plantation, fly the Windecker Eagle airplane and learn why the streets are named This Way and That Way. Admission is free. Get directions to the Lake Jackson Historical Museum.
  5. Explore nature at the Brazoria National Wildlife RefugeJust east of Lake Jackson and Surfside Beach, this wildlife conservation hosts several wildlife species—think waterfowl, shellfish and finfish, blue herons, alligators, frogs, butterflies and more—thanks to a rich habitat created by both fresh and salt water, mild temperatures, bay waters, and a unique blend of soils. Open 365 days a year during daylight hours (sunrise to sunset), the refuge offers activities from bird watching and wildlife photography to nature trail hiking and fishing. Get directions to Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge.
Courtesy of the City of Lake Jackson

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Brooke Viggiano is a food and lifestyle writer residing in Houston. When she's not contributing to publications like 365 Things to Do in Houston, Thrillist Houston and the Houston Press, she's on the hunt for the coolest happenings in the city. You can follow her musings on Twitter @BrookeViggiano .