15 Best Things to Do in Lake Jackson, TX

Lake Jackson, TX
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Lake Jackson, known as the “City of Enchantment”, is a city in Brazoria County, within the Greater Houston region of Texas.

Founded in 1941 as a 5,000-acre residential community, Lake Jackson housed employees of the Dow Chemical Company.

The company built its first plant in Freeport, Texas that same year.

Likewise, Alden B. Dow designed the community.

He was a native of Midland, Michigan, and the son of the Dow company owner.

Incorporated in 1944, Lake Jackson currently has a total area of about 13 acres.

It is home to over 28,000 people.

Lake Jackson is approximately 45 minutes from major cities.

The city offers a town-like atmosphere with lots of shops, restaurants, vibrant nightlife, recreational activities, and many more.

Lake Jackson is also known partly as the childhood home of the late Tejano singer, Selena.

Discover the best things to do in Lake Jackson, TX.

Explore the Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge

Wetlands of Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge
IrinaK / Shutterstock.com

Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge offers people an opportunity to unplug from the pressures of daily life, and reconnect with nature.

You can also envision Texas before settlement.

Founded in 1966 to provide habitats for migratory waterfowl and birds, Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge currently has diverse coastal wildlife.

The animals include over 320 bird species, 95 reptile and amphibian species, and 130 butterfly and dragonfly species.

Roseate spoonbill at Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge
The Bohemian Lens / Shutterstock.com

The majority of the refuge comprises saltwater wetlands, supporting large oyster beds and acting as nurseries for finfish and shellfish.

Find abundant fish species such as gulf flounder, red drum, and speckled trout.

See nesting waterbirds such as reddish egrets and black skimmers on the surrounding small islands.

There’s plenty more to see and do at the Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge.

The public can try biking, boating, fishing, hiking, hunting, picnicking, wildlife watching, and joining environmental education programs.

Mississippi kite bird on a tree at Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge
The Bohemian Lens / Shutterstock.com

Visit the Lake Jackson Historical Museum

The Lake Jackson Historical Museum tells local history with interactive displays.

They also carry true-to-life animatronics from the plantation era to the present.

Explore the collection and browse the archives that contain a range of materials.

These materials include a huge collection of old Dow publications, pictures, souvenirs, newspapers, archaeological artifacts, and more.

Watch video conversations with early residents as they tell their stories of living in Lake Jackson.

Learn about the Karankawa people, who started the Paleolithic Era in Texas more than 13,000 years ago.

See the Windecker Eagle, dubbed as the first composite aircraft or “plastic airplane” to earn FAA certification.

It’s also the first aircraft to exhibit radar invisibility.

The Lake Jackson Historical Association also manages the Abner Jackson Plantation Site and the Alden Dow Office Museum.

Join a Program at the Lake Jackson Library

The Lake Jackson Library, a division of the Brazoria County Library System, contains a sizable collection of books, printed materials, computers, internet access, and more.

The library is a fantastic place to bring the kids for entertainment and learning with its wide variety of children’s books, as well as other activities and programs.

Join the library’s events such as their summer skills camp, family fun nights, and book readings.

You can also listen to talks about the environment and wildlife, and join arts and crafts programs for both kids and adults!

The library also offers a seed library and exchange program where visitors can take up to three packets of seeds to cultivate at home.

The Lake Jackson Library welcomes donations for books, plant seeds, and other materials too.

Tour the Sea Center Texas

Daytime view of Sea Center Texas
Michael Gras, M.Ed., CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Touch, see, and explore marine life at the Sea Center Texas.

The Sea Center Texas is a marine aquarium, education facility, and a fish hatchery in one.

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department runs the marine center.

The department shares its duties with the Coastal Conservation Association, the US Fish and Wildlife Service Sportfish Restoration Funds, and the Dow Chemical Company.

Established in 1996, the Sea Center Texas includes a visitor center with aquariums, fiberglass replicas, and exhibits of marine life within the state.

You can also see the world’s biggest redfish hatchery, 36 one-acre ponds for fish culture, an outdoor wetland exhibition, an aquarium, and hatchery tours.

Then, you can join field trips, explore fishing opportunities, and many more.

The  Sea Center Texas offers free admission, although they appreciate donations, too.

Compete with Friends at the Urban Air Adventure Park

Welcome to the premier indoor adventure park in the country!

Urban Air Adventure Park is where kids and kids at heart can enjoy challenging their mind and body.

The Park offers features that make it much more than just a trampoline park; it’s also an excellent location for memorable birthday parties and special events.

Explore the all-in-one attraction featuring Ropes Course and Tubes Indoor Playground at the Adventure Hub.

Develop confidence and scale new heights on their climbing walls.

Practice your acrobatics, twists, and turns, and land on a huge inflatable bag at the DropZone.

Put your agility, speed, and strength to the test as a ninja warrior at the Warrior Course.

Choose your adventure and perhaps challenge your buddies for an unforgettable experience at the Urban Air Adventure Park.

Watch Birds at the Gulf Coast Bird Observatory

The Gulf Coast Bird Observatory, an independent non-profit, has earned a reputation for innovating the design and execution of numerous key conservation projects.

These projects include migration research, habitat restoration and mapping, land acquisitions, and others.

They carry out their mission not only through quality scientific research, land enhancement, and protection but also through community engagement and providing educational outreach programs.

Eight organizations banded together to establish the Gulf Coast Bird Observatory (GCBO) in 1993.

These groups include the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and The Nature Conservancy (TNC) of both Louisiana and Texas, among others.

Visitors can hike birding trails of over two miles, and watch and observe birds at the various bird feeding stations.

Shop for field guides, bird feeders, souvenirs, and nature-themed presents for people of all ages in the well-stocked Nature Store.

Visit the nursery for unique native or imported plant species.

Explore the Abner Jackson Plantation Site

See the Abner Jackson Plantation Site, a location important to the history of Brazoria County’s sugar production industry.

The Texas Historical Commission has designated the Lake Jackson Plantation Site as a State Antiquities Landmark.

Developed in the 1840s, the Lake Jackson Plantation Site was the second plantation out of three.

The rich Virginia farmer Abner Jackson developed the sites.

The location, formerly known as “Lake Place,” was a thriving sugar plantation that covered 4,642 acres and worked more than 80 slaves.

Explore archeological remains of this historic site, unearthed during the 1990s, including the main house, the sugar mill, the storage room, the kitchen, and the washroom.

Swing a Club at the Wilderness Golf Course

Play a round of golf at the Wilderness Golf Course, one of the top five golfing destinations in Texas.

Opened to the public in 2004, the Wilderness Golf Course took more than 20 years to realize from concept to completion fully.

Those who have played here will agree that the delays from legal proceedings were worth the wait.

With designs from Jeffrey D. Brauer, this 18-hole 72-par 7,106-yard “wild” course spreads over 240 acres of densely forested landscape on Bermuda grass.

The award-winning Wilderness Golf Course is one of the state’s best-kept secrets.

It offers a distinct and tranquil option where players can blend a stroll in nature with a challenging and exciting golf course.

Hike the Wilderness Park

Along the banks of the Brazos River and Buffalo Camp Bayou is Lake Jackson’s Wilderness Park, with a two to four-mile interpretative loop great for hiking.

This easy trail may take about 30 minutes to complete.

Wilderness Park is excellent for birdwatching and trail running as well; you won’t run across too many people.

Dogs are allowed but they should be on a leash at all times.

Wilderness Park is lovely to explore any time of the year.

Stay on the designated trail and bring water, sunscreen, and bug repellent.

The park also features picnic tables and a boat ramp for kayaking activities on the Buffalo Camp Bayou.

Go Fishing at Morrison Park at Shy Pond

Bring your family to Morrison Park at Shy Pond for a day of fishing and picnic!

Morrison Park at Shy Pond features a pavilion, picnic areas and tables, a BBQ pit, a fishing pier, a playground, water, and restrooms.

Go fishing at the beautiful lake where you can catch channel catfish, largemouth bass, and summer flounder.

Fishing at Shy Pond does not require a license.

You can keep what you caught, so enjoy some grilled fish afterward as a great addition to your picnic lunch!

Unwind at Madge Griffith Park

Madge Griffith Park is the perfect hangout place on a weekend!

Play a game or watch others play on the park’s baseball and softball fields.

Let the kids have fun in the playground while preparing food at one of their picnic tables.

Don’t forget to bring your swimsuits for an enjoyable swim at the park’s outdoor pool and wading pool for the kids.

You don’t need to break the bank to be able to unwind.

Sometimes, all you need for a fun and casual day at the park with family or friends are good food and activities to entertain everyone.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Dive at Mammoth Lake

Mammoth Lake is a former sand pit turned lake.

This place is a historic site where experts unearthed mammoth bones in 2003.

Today, this spot is a popular inland diving site in Texas.

You can find this lake in Clute, Texas, six minutes from Lake Jackson.

Mammoth Lake is home to Mammoth Lake Texas, a scuba diving training center that offers diving and open water swimming opportunities.

The freshwater lake has a variety of fish species, plants, and turtles which you can enjoy during your diving sessions.

Dive at your own risk; sign waivers before entering the park.

The onsite restaurant houses a replica of a mammoth tusk and other ancient artifacts.

Dine at Asiel’s Restaurant

Experience lakeside dining at Asiel’s Restaurant!

Serving diverse, unique, and homemade comfort food, Asiel’s Restaurant makes everything from scratch, including the dressings, mayonnaise, mustard, and tortillas.

First established in 2000 as the Soda Shoppe, the restaurant relocated beside the 60-acre Mammoth Lake in 2007.

The new restaurant adopted the name of the mammoth found at the lake, Asiel, which translates to “created by God”.

A majestic entrance awaits you with a replica of the mammoth tusk on display alongside other historic objects.

From breakfast favorites to homemade burgers, surf-and-turf, desserts, and cocktails, Asiel’s Restaurant offers a distinctive selection of comfort food.

Go to a Free Concert at the Doris Williams Civic Center

The Doris Williams Civic Center, formerly known as the Lake Jackson Civic Center, opened in 2000.

This center features over 15,000 square feet of elegant exhibits, a ballroom, a conference room, meeting rooms, and more.

You can also alter its stylish indoor and exquisitely landscaped outdoor spaces to provide the ideal setting for any event.

The Civic Center hosts the annual Summer Concert Series, where people may enjoy Lake Jackson’s cool summer evenings with great music.

Enjoy good company, groove to live music, eat delicious food from food trucks, and dance the night away, rain or shine.

Experience a fun night and create memorable experiences with family, friends, and the community of Lake Jackson!

Launch a Kayak at Dunbar Park

Dunbar Park is a 98-acre park that offers a variety of activities for locals and visitors alike.

You can find numerous sports facilities at the park, including a disc golf course, a football field, and soccer fields.

You can also find pavilions and picnic tables with BBQ areas.

Dunbar Park also includes a kayak launch for boating activities at Oyster Creek, which winds through most of the park.

Take in the enormous oak trees covered with moss among residential houses while paddling along the creek.

The Dunbar Park kayak launch is also the starting point of the annual kayak/canoe scavenger hunt, the Rubber Duck Regatta.

Teams compete to collect eight rubber ducks along the creek and return them to the starting point for a reward.

Final Thoughts

True to its name, “City of Enchantment,” Lake Jackson will leave you enchanted with its numerous parks, fascinating history, community programs, outdoor activities, and more.

Lake Jackson is booming with wildlife and nature, too, just waiting for you to explore.

Skip the bustling Houston area and head south for a more relaxed but exciting adventure at Lake Jackson!