A Quick Look Back
In 1908, an oil boom spurred the rapid development of the Goose Creek community among others (Wooster, Pelly, and Bay Town) that later became one community known as Baytown in January 1948.
The Goose Creek oilfield became famous as the first offshore drilling operation in Texas and second in the nation. Due to the oilfield’s success, Humble Oil and Refining Company (later to become ExxonMobil) was founded in 1917 by Ross S. Sterling. It was around this time that the Baytown community developed and grew.
Today, Baytown is largely a community centered on industry including oil, rubber and chemical plants.
Home to petrochemical giants, including ExxonMobil and Chevron Phillips, Baytown serves an international community through the Port of Houston and Houston Ship Channel which reach 1,053 ports worldwide.
Just east of Houston and north of Galveston, Baytown is a convenient location to recharge while on business or exploring the area.
As of 2017, there was very little art in Baytown, so the Tourism office sought to give residents and visitors a “sense of place” and so the first ever Baytown Public Art Program kicked off.
This public art program is intended to build emotional connections between residents of Baytown with their community, and build on the mantra “love where you live,” in hopes this love will be contagious to everyone who visits Baytown.
One project that has created a lot of buzz in Baytown is the beautiful Umbrella Alley in the Downtown Arts District.
Initially, the alley was filled with broken concrete and graffitied walls, but now the Umbrella Alley is occupied with colorful umbrellas that swing back and forth in a whimsical limbo. In addition, the alley walls are getting a splash of color as a mural comes to life that focuses on the highlights of Baytown.
The alley has quickly become one of the most popular backdrops for photographers and visitors.
A Mini Mural project began in December 2018 in an effort to beautify intersections throughout Baytown. Mini murals are paintings, drawings or photographs, turned into vinyl, and wrapped around traffic cabinets, which are the silver boxes seen at intersections used to control the traffic signals.
Other murals in Baytown include Solitary Journey, Alligator Connex, Downtown Arts District, and the Art Gallery mural, most of which are located in the Downtown Arts District area.
To learn more about Baytown’s Public Art Program visit here: https://www.visitbaytown.com/baytownart.
Geocaching: The Baytown Tourism Team became the 4th group in Texas to launch an official GeoTour in 2017.
Each geocacher obtains a GeoTour passport to fill out and, when completed, allows them to earn prizes from the Tourism office for points accrued participating in the GeoTour. The more money that is spent while participating in the GeoTour, the more points are accrued toward the collectible Baytown GeoCoin! Learn more about our GeoTour here.
Birding: Beginning March of 2019, the Baytown Tourism Team will launch its first Spring/Summer Birding Challenge. With an abundance of parks and a designated nature center, Baytown is a prime location for birding migration, feeding and nesting.
The Baytown Nature Center, a 450-acre peninsula surrounded by 3 bays, is a key location on the Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail and home to over 300 species of birds throughout the year. The Birding Challenge will bring visitors to locations such as the Baytown Nature Center to find 50+ bird species in order to complete the challenge and claim a medallion.
Birders can also compete to find the most species at Baytown nature areas for a chance to take home a birding scope at the end of the Spring/Summer Challenge. Full rules and information about the challenge can be found at https://www.visitbaytown.com/birdingchallenge.
Baytown Water Fun: Baytown is in one of the most optimal locations for both saltwater and freshwater fishing.
Fishing guides are available to take visitors out from several boat launch locations such as Thompson’s Bait Camp, Roseland Park, or the Bayland Marina.
Visitors may also launch their own boat, kayaks, or canoes at those locations as well. Another great place to launch a kayak, do some pier fishing and a variety of other activities such as hiking and birding, is the Baytown Nature Center. Finally, Baytown takes water fun to the next level with Pirate’s Bay Waterpark! The waterpark boasts a flowrider surf area, dive-in movies in the wave pool, a lazy river, and 7-acres of exhilarating water slides!
The Houston area is known for its wide variety of eateries, and Baytown is a huge contributor to that portfolio of amazing and diverse cuisine!
We put a twist on Tex-Mex: Being located in Texas means that amazing Tex-Mex is a must.
The Baytown Tourism team has compiled a list of our favorite Tex-Mex and authentic Mexican restaurants into a Taqueria Tour that can be found on the Visit Baytown mobile app.
One of our top picks on the tour is El Toro Mexican Restaurant which has 3 locations in Baytown.
Their Garth Rd. location features live music on the weekends, a large meeting room for parties, and a bar serving some of the best Margaritas in the Houston area.
Looking for seafood and Tex-Mex? Check out El Sinaloense; offering a twist on seafood that is true to its Pacific Coast roots. Finally, visit the Downtown Arts District for a Mexican sweet treat at Sabor of Mexico.
Sabor features real fruit popsicles, an array of Mexican ice cream flavors, and other traditional treats like banana splits.
Let your taste buds travel: You may be in Baytown, but we will have your taste buds traveling to far away destinations with these two popular eateries: Wazabi Sushi Bar and Cuban Café.
The newest dining establishment in the Downtown Arts District is Wazabi Sushi Bar. This cool eatery is where a laid back atmosphere meets the biggest/fanciest looking sushi rolls in the area. You might even get a dish or two featuring fire glowing on the plates.
Next travel to Cuba at the Cuban Café! This locally owned establishment is consistently gracing the “Top Places in the Houston Area” restaurant lists and it may be because of their Florida roots. The charming couple that owns the thriving eatery noticed that the region lacked authentic Cuban and decided to open their first authentic Cuban restaurant in Baytown.
Love Where You Live
Art, nature, concerts, and more! Baytown’s annual events have something for everyone in the family to enjoy. Best of all, all of these events are FREE!
- Arts & Eats: The Arts & Eats Fest is the perfect marriage of food trucks, art, and music! In the middle of the Town Square, chalk artists take their places around the large fountain to create art pieces that will win the hearts of spectators and hopefully the contest’s first prize award.
- Nurture Nature: Baytown’s annual Nurture Nature Festival is full of nature fun for the whole family. This free festival includes kayaking, fishing, inflatables, food trucks and more. Visitors can see large birds of prey, a variety of snakes and even baby gators at the live animal shows and touch tanks.
- Grito Fest: One of the area’s most popular festivals celebrating Hispanic heritage, this free and family-friendly outdoor festival features musical entertainment, mariachis, kid’s activities, contests, food and craft vendors, and more. Click here to learn how to prepare for Grito Fest in 4 easy steps.
Hotels and Lodging
Baytown is home to 27 hotels with over 1,800 rooms. Plans are in the works for a conference center with 22,000 square feet of meeting and pre-function space along with a linked hotel featuring 208 rooms to be built on Bayland Island, overlooking the Houston Ship Channel.
Baytown’s first Visitors Information Center will open this Spring in the 1949 renovated Brunson Theater in the Downtown Arts District. This space, formerly the Brunson Theaters’ lobby, will house the Baytown tourism team, as well as a space for visitors and the community to enjoy. The tourism team will be on hand 5 days per week to provide information on Baytown attractions and venues to anyone who stops by.
While you’re here, be sure and download the official Visit Baytown app to have events, restaurants, and attractions at your fingertips!