San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Site
Located about 30 minutes from downtown Houston in La Porte, this site is sure to fascinate any Texas history buff. Start at the San Jacinto Museum of History, which is located in the base of the San Jacinto Monument and covers more than 400 years of early Texas events, including the 1836 Battle of San Jacinto—in which Texas revolutionaries launched a surprise attack on the Mexican army and defeated them in just 18 minutes. Then, take the elevator up 489 feet to the monument’s observation deck, where spectacular views of downtown Houston await. Wrap up your visit at Battleship Texas, which was part of some of the most significant naval battles of the 20th century. Admission is free, although some fees are required for tours. The site is open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.
The battle cry of “Remember the Alamo!” is famous around the world, but that battle was only one small moment in Texas’s struggle for independence from Mexico. Not as well known outside of Texas are sites like the San Jacinto Battleground, where Texas is said to have won its independence in a battle in 1836. Comprised of coastal cities such as Galveston and Freeport as well as Houston, Victoria, Brenham and westward towards San Antonio, the 28-county Independence Trail tells the story of Texas independence, from the Spanish missions, to the battlefields and the interwoven stories of those who made Texas history what it is today.