San Jacinto BattleGround: Warships and Wetlands

Posted by on January 29, 2014

San Jacinto Battleground Monument

san jacinto battleground monument

San Jacinto Battleground Monument, seen from across the marsh.

In a city of industry, shipping, and the memory of hurricanes I wasn’t necessarily expecting a surprisingly attractive historical monument and well-groomed (if shrinking) wetlands. Yet at the San Jacinto Battleground in La Porte, Texas my expectations were dashed against all odds.

san jacinto historic park

Reflective Pool in better weather? This time, though, a choppy mess.

Over the 1200 acre grounds of the historic site, a 3.5 mile nature trail winds around a 500-foot plinth and ends at a retired battleship (the Texas, naturally). The drive from Houston to La Porte offers a view of chemical plants and heavy industry that belie the peaceful of the natural scene, and from the Historic Site these constructions are never really entirely hidden.

San Jacinto battleground wetlands

La Porte: The State of Nature.

Throughout the park though, even on an overcast and chilly day, a surprising amount of quiet beauty presents itself. The grounds are dotted with small markers detailing the battle of San Jacinto, and the old WWII battleship is moored just beyond the large monument. Inside the great column is a small museum, but perhaps more enticing is an elevator that goes to an observation deck at the top. Rough weather, this time around, but going back for a follow-up visit is definitely on my radar next time I’m in the Houston area.

San Jacinto battleground ampitheater

Overgrown Battleground. A beautiful (if unkempt) spot for an amphitheater.

Once again, Texas tosses out a pleasant surprise.

The San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Site is open daily from 9a – 6p. While the Battleground and Museum are free to visit, the Observation Deck is $4 per person and movie detailing the Battle is $4.50. Entrance to the Battleship Texas is $12. Discounts on all three are available for children 12 and younger.

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