It was perhaps the most important 18 minutes in American history, the 1836 Battle of San Jacinto. Texas forces led by Sam Houston faced off with the Santa Anna-led Mexican army and the fate of two nations hung in the balance. Houston's forces won; Texas became an independent nation, eventually joining the United States and Mexico began a long decline in territory and power. Today the San Jacinto Monument marks the spot. Surrounded by the battleground, the Monument is actually a museum/research library/observation deck. Picnic on the battleground, watch Texas Forever!! The Battle of San Jacinto, a chronicle of Texas history, tour the exhibition (currently "A Destined Conflict: The U.S. – Mexican War") or ride the elevator up 500 feet and get a 360 degree view of the area from the monument's observation deck.
READERS' CHOICE: Johnson Space Center