This site is a historical two-fer: the San Jacinto Battleground and the Battleship Texas. The battlefield is where Texas won its independence from Mexico in 1836 when General Sam Houston's army, spurred on by cries of "Remember the Alamo!" vanquished General Santa Anna's forces with a surprise attack. One of the most significant battles in American history lasted all of 18 minutes. An obelisk, dedicated in 1936 on the 100th anniversary of the victory, soars 537 feet high, 12 feet taller than the Washington monument—that's Texas pride for you. There's an observation deck at the top and a museum at the base which features art and artifacts as well as a theater showing "Texas Forever!!" (yes, two exclamation points), a 35-minute film about the battle.
Bordering the battlefield and anchored on Buffalo Bayou, the Battleship Texas is the only remaining dreadnought battleship still afloat and one of a handful of ships to have served in both World Wars; it took part in D-Day and the Battle of Iwo Jima. Self-guided tours allow visitors to explore the ship's small-caliber gun turrets, flying bridge, engine room, and cramped living quarters. Commissioned by the Navy in 1914, the National Historic Landmark recently celebrated its 100th anniversary.
- Garth Mueller