They say that everything’s bigger in Texas, and judging by the size of the Stuckey’s in Beaumont (I-10, Exit 838), they’re absolutely right. That’s because this Stuckey’s is just too big to simply be called a store – this is a whole Stuckey’s Travel Center that includes a Baskin Robbins, Dunkin’, Turbo Joe’s, and of course a full-fledged Stuckey’s complete with pecan log rolls, kitschy souvenirs and eight islands of gas pumps. Once you’ve fueled up, tried a couple (or more) of the 31 flavors, gotten a dozen donuts to go, chowed down on a fresh hamburger combo and stocked up on all of your favorite Stuckey’s road trip snacks for the drive ahead, why not go ahead and check out all of the cool things to see and do in the area before you go back on your merry way. Here are a few you can start with: Later, Gator Big Beau. Image courtesy Beaumont CVB. What could be kitschier than a rubber alligator souvenir? Why of course it’s a selfie with the Lone Star State’s biggest alligator-shaped building that sits out in front of the Gator Country Adventure Park/Sanctuary, literally just down the road from Stuckey’s! (Check the Google map here for directions.) After you get your selfie with “Big Beau”, stroll around Gator Country and wade with the gators and pet some snakes, lizards, tortoises, caimans, and many other reptiles. And, well, this wouldn’t be Texas if they didn’t have some of the world’s biggest alligators to check out, would it? First, there’s the legendary 88-year-old “Big Al” at 13’-4” long and then there’s the largest alligator ever caught alive at 13’ 8” now measuring 13’-11” – accordingly named “Big Tex”. A photo-op with these guys is sure to get you a big toothy grin every time. Ghosts in the Machine In an October 1920 interview with The American Magazine, Thomas Edison is quoted as saying, “I have been at work for some time building an apparatus to see if it is possible for personalities which have left this earth to communicate with us”. Nevertheless, no evidence of whether or not Edison ever successfully built his “Ghost Machine” exists. The Edison Museum. Image: Larry D. Moore, CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons They may have gotten close to something like it, however, at the Edison Museum located at 350 Pine St in Beaumont. It’s called “Edison’s Time Portal Device” – a device that looks a lot like a touch screen computer. Just press one of the pre-loaded questions and the ghost of Thomas Edison appears to answer it. After you’re finished, Edison goes back into the dark mists of time ready for the next visitor to summon him forward and ask him about AC/DC (the electrical currents, not the rock band) and other things. Over 60 historic objects are on display at this free museum (appropriately enough housed in a refurbished electrical substation) that’s dedicated to Thomas Alva Edison and interprets his inventions and innovations through many interactive exhibits. Get Fired Up Image courtesy Beaumont CVB. While you’re in Beaumont, head over to 400 South Walnut Street where you’ll find a great photo-op awaits at the World’s Largest Working Fire Hydrant. Painted white with black spots, the hydrant was a gift to the Fire Museum of Texas from Disney to promote their film 101 Dalmatians in 1999. Built at Disney Land in Anaheim, California, the 4,500-pound hydrant is made of fiberglass with a 1,000 foot reinforced steel frame. And it really works, blasting up to 500 gallons of water per minute! Across the street from the hydrant is the Fire Museum of Texas. Opened in 1984, the museum is a tribute to firefighters of Texas featuring antique fire engines and firefighting equipment on exhibit. Both the museum and the selfie are free. At Half Wit’s End Image: Carol M. Highsmith via Library of Congress Carol M. Highsmith Archive / Public Domain We’ve told you before about the roadside giants that used to stand watch over the American roadside known as “Muffler Men”. Well, when the folks over at roadsideamerica.com were sorting out all of the different types of Muffler Men that have been built over the years, they came up with the nickname for those statues that retain the arms, legs and torso of the regular muffler men, but have the head that looks like Mad magazine’s Alfred E. Newman in a straw hat – “the Happy Half Wit”. These 21-foot “Giant Spectaculars” made their debut in California’s International Fiberglass’ catalog in 1966 where they were dubbed “Mortimer Snerd” after a popular ventriloquist dummy at the time. Selling for $1,860, they weren’t quite as famous as their cowboy and lumberjack brothers. As a result, road warriors and muffler man enthusiasts alike will find Happy Half Wit sightings are becoming rare in the wild. Take your selfie with this one here in Beaumont while you still can. A (Texaco) Star is Born Stuckey’s relationship with Texaco stretches back to the early years of our company, so we couldn’t leave Beaumont without stopping for a visit at the birthplace of Texaco. Texaco was born in 1902 as The Texas Company in nearby Sour Lake . However, after a salesman saw it abbreviated as “Texaco” on a telegram, the name kind of just stuck with them. Nevertheless, they wouldn’t officially change their name until 1959. Stuckey’s and Texaco. Postcard c. 1950s / Public Domain Unfortunately, there is no museum devoted to the history of Texaco in Sour Lake. There is, however, The Texas Company Fee No. 3 Discovery Monument located at 300 South Ann Street in Sour Lake that pays homage to the petroleum giant. There’s also the Bertha Terry Cornwell Museum located at the same address which tells the story of Sour Lake from 1840 to today. So, there you have it, a handful the things to see and do near the Stuckey’s Travel Center in Beaumont, Texas that you just have to see before your back on the road again. Of course, this is Texas and being bigger just means there’s more to see and do in the Lone Star State. Let us know some of your favorite roadside attractions in the Beaumont area that you think are must-sees for roadtrippers and family vacationers alike. — Certainly, traveling across a state where everything is bigger calls for a bigger box of road trip snacks to help quell that bigger appetite. That’s where the Stuckey’s “Welcome to Summer” Gift Box comes in. It’s chock full of all of your road trip favorites like: 2 – 2 oz. Pecan Log Roll, 2 – 1.7 oz. Pecan Divinity, 2 – 1.5 oz. Pecan Pralines, 1 – 12 oz. Salt Water Taffy, 1 – 8 oz. Hunkey Dorey, 1 – 4 oz. Sea Salt Pecans, 1 – 4 oz. Kettle Glazed Pecans, 1 – Candy Shoppe Coffee Mug, and 1 – Plush 12″ Squirrel. Hurry and order yours today from stuckey’s.com because it’ll be time to say goodbye to summer before you know it. Stuckey’s – We’re Making Road Trips Fun Again!