In 1721,  French explorer Jean Baptiste de La Harpe visited a village of Atakapan Indians near present day Anahuac. in 1816, noted filibuster Col. Henry Perry camped at the site, and it became known as Perry’s Point. In 1831, the site was officially named Anahuac, after the ancient capital of the Aztecs. Anahuac experienced turmoil in 1832 and 1835, before the Texas Revolution, during the Anahuac Disturbances. After Texas won Independence, Gen. Thomas Jefferson Chambers and Charles Willcox both claimed ownership of the townsite.Chambers called the townsite Chambersea, in his own honor.

Anahuac is the county seat of Chambers County. The Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge is located sixteen miles southeast of Anahuac. The first annual Gatorfest was held in September 1989, and continues to be a favorite of Texans and travelers.