In between Big Bend National Park, and Amistad National Recreation Area in Texas, is a little known destination that offers much to the traveler that is road weary and needs a break! The Judge Roy Bean Saloon & Museum Visitor’s Center is the perfect stop to stretch your legs, take advantage of free wi-fi, help yourself to the extensive collection of Texas attraction brochures, take a leisurely walk through a pleasant cactus garden, and, most importantly, to learn about the life and times of Judge Roy Bean.
Judge Bean was a colorful character that ruled over the area with a heavy, but just (for the most part) hand during the late 1800s. He became a legend in the area long before his death, and was known as the law west of Pecos. Since the town of Langtry didn’t have a jail, Judge Bean gave fines to most convicted criminals, which served as both an effective punishment for the wrong-doers, and to pad the pockets of Judge Bean as he kept the fines.
When visiting the Saloon and Museum, there are several items in the museum that belonged to Judge Bean, and a few fun little exhibits that show a little about the times that Judge Bean lived in. Outdoors, you will find the Judge’s actual saloon still on it’s original site, and also the Langtry Opera House, which really isn’t an opera house at all, but Judge Bean’s home. You can go inside of both, and they are great places to take old fashioned pictures, so be sure to bring cowboy duds for the whole family!
Located behind the museum is a cactus garden with a handicapped accessible path running through it. Most of the plants are marked with the names of the cactus and some interesting facts about the plants. Great for us northerners!
Langtry, TX, and the Judge Roy Bean Museum are located near another interesting attraction – the Seminole Canyon Texas State Park. The canyon is fascination with it’s unusual rock outcroppings!
If you find yourself out and about near Big Bend National Park, or Amistad National Recreation Area, think about adding Langtry and the Judge Roy Bean Museum to your list of must sees!