in Austin, TX

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Did you know that there are approximately 850 million visits to museums every year in America? They contribute $50 billion to the U.S. economy each year. If you think about how marvelous museums are, these numbers make sense. Museums can transport you to old worlds, future worlds, worlds you never thought you could be a part of.

If you’re looking to add some of those unknown worlds to your day, check out our list of museums in the area. They are all within driving distance and offer a variety of topics that will enchant every member of the family.
Blanton Museum of Art -The University of Texas at Austin
Blanton Museum of Art -The University of Texas at Austin

(512) 471-5482

200 E Martin Luther King Jr Blvd
Austin, TX 78712   Directions Website

Who knew? More than 18,000 works of art are on display at the Blanton Museum of Art, located at the University of Texas at Austin. Whether you prefer works from the United States, Europe or Latin America, you'll find one of the most pre-eminent collections the world over.

The Blanton Museum of Art is located at the University of Texas at Austin and is considered to be one of the preeminent university museums. In fact, is is one of the largest in the U.S. More than 18,000 works of art are housed at the museum, which specializes in works from the United States, Europe and Latin America.

The museum was built after a donor willed land to the University, which was then sold and the proceeds used to build the museum in 1963.

The early success of the museum's mission to become a world-class center for artwork was buoyed by a gift from author James A. Michener. He and his wife gifted 400 20th century American paintings from part of their extensive collection.

The museum has also grown in other areas, including Latin American art and is considered to be one of the premier collections in the U.S.

The museum is also noted for its collections of Renaissance and Baroque art. It features 230 paintings and four hundred drawings from eminent artists of the period.

Bullock Texas State History Museum
Bullock Texas State History Museum

(512) 936-8746

1800 Congress Ave
Austin, TX 78701   Directions Website

Go back in time and experience the great history of the Lone Star State. From the establishment of the state, to its devastating events, to its many great accomplishments - the Bullock Texas State History Museum knows it all and you will too after you explore the exhibits and attractions here.

Explore the sights, sounds and spirit of Texas at the Bullock Texas State History Museum. Located in downtown Austin, the museum boasts three floors of interactive exhibits with more than 700 fascinating Texana artifacts, including Stephen F. Austin's diary, Neil Armstrong's space suit and more.

Built in 2001, the $80 million museum greets visitors with a 35-foot Lone Star sculpture.

Inside, the special-effects Texas Spirit Theatre is an adventure that will engage all of your senses as you tour the Lone Star State on screen. The feature presentation, "The Star of Destiny," takes viewers back to the 1900 Galveston Hurricane: The wind rushes through your hair, lightening flashes and thunder shakes the theater. Feel the powerful vibrations as a gusher explodes from an oil derrick on screen. Take a seat for a thrilling special-effects experience that will wow you.The museum also contains Austin's only IMAX Theatre, which features popular current 3-D movies and its cornerstone presentation, "Texas: The Big Picture."

Elisabet Ney Museum
Elisabet Ney Museum

(512) 974-1625

304 E 44th St
Austin, TX 78751   Directions Website


Visit the Elisabet Ney Museum, where the studio of the celebrated European sculptress has been transformed into a showcase of her works. Her commissions include notable European luminaries and those who shaped early Texas history.

The Elisabet Ney Museum is located in Hyde Park and was the original studio of Elisabet Ney, a well-known 19th century sculptress from Europe who moved to Texas with her husband Edmund Montgomery. The couple hosted influential leaders and thinkers of the time, who then went on to establish the University of Texas Art Department, the Texas Commission on the Arts, the Texas Fine Arts Association and museums and art schools throughout the state.

The neo-classical studio and its contents were preserved by friends after Elisabet Ney's death in 1907. Before her death she sculpted notable leaders from around the world, including well-known Texans Stephen Austin and Sam Houston, whose portraits both stand in the national and state capitols today.

French Legation State Historic Site
French Legation State Historic Site

(737) 226-1779

802 San Marcos St
Austin, TX 78702   Directions Website


Tour the French Legation Museum, whose original structure was built to accommodate the French diplomat to the Republic of Texas. Special events like the Wine & Cheese Soiree and Hallow's Eve will inspire you to return for another visit.

The French Legation Museum was originally built by the French diplomat to The Republic of Texas in the 1840s. The original home was quite a marvel in early Austin, where most residents lived in tents and cabins. The exterior design of the home is Louisiana-Bayou influenced.

Originally set on 22 acres, the French Legation Museum was built to accommodate European diplomatic duties, dinner parties and entertainment.

The home was eventually sold to Dr. Joseph Robertson and became known as the House on Robertson Hill. The last family member to live there was daughter Lillie Robertson, who lived in the home for 84 years and gave tours to guests daily.In 1956, the home became a museum under the custodianship of The Daughters of The Republic of Texas.

The home has since been restored and the gardens were transformed into a French-inspired landscape. Interior restoration includes a French-country kitchen reconstruction.

Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum
Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum

(512) 721-0200

2313 Red River St
Austin, TX 78705   Directions Website

Step inside the life and times of the 36th United States President, Lyndon Baines Johnson at the LBJ Presidential Library. Check out photographs, letters, documents, exhibits and attractions that explain the history of this most revered man.

The life and legacy of Lyndon Baines Johnson is highly celebrated at the presidential museum that bears his namesake, located on 30 acres at the University of Texas at Austin campus.

Dedicated in 1971, the Lyndon B. Johnson Library & Museum chronicles the 36th U.S. President's contribution to civil rights and education in photographs, letters, official documents and exhibits. While many of the documents and letters were written by Johnson himself, others written by colleagues and friends describe an engaging man who was an underrated orator and a popular politician, whose seemingly low-key demeanor often overshadowed his many ground-breaking accomplishments in public service.

Johnson became president in 1963 following the assassination of John F. Kennedy in Austin. Johnson went on to win the 1964 presidential election with 61% of the popular vote, the largest percentage of popular vote ever for a modern U.S. president. One of his first major accomplishments in office was the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

The LBJ Presidential Library houses 45 million pages of historical documents pertaining to Johnson's entire public career. Permanent exhibits include artwork of the President and First Lady, Lady Bird Johnson. A 7/8th scale replica of the Oval Office as Lyndon Johnson occupied it is also on display.

No memorial to the legacy of President Johnson would be complete without recognition of the accomplishments and endeavors of Lady Bird Johnson, the First Lady who was active in children's education and passionate about beautification and conservation. The First Lady Gallery displays artifacts that chronicle the programs Mrs. Johnson actively promoted as First Lady, such as Head Start, Vista, and the Space program.

Both President Lyndon B. Johnson and wife lay in repose on the grounds of the library and museum, which features a majestic waterfall at its inviting and stately entrance.

Mexic-Arte Museum
Mexic-Arte Museum

(512) 200-7278

419 Congress Ave
Austin, TX 78701   Directions Website

Tour and explore the Mexic-Arte Museum, a tribute to the art and culture of Mexico and Latin America. Learn about the Mexican Revolution through representational art, or attend a lecture on a contemporary topic like religion or politics.

The Mexic-Arte Museum was founded in 1984 by three local artists who have elevated the museum to a world-class institution that explores and promotes Mexican, Latino, and Latin American art and culture.

The museum has been designated as the Official Mexican and Mexican American Fine Art Museum of Texas since its inception. The curators focus on traditional and contemporary arts and present multimedia works by both established and emerging artists from the U.S, Mexico and Latin America.

After a string of highly successful years since it was founded by artists Sylvia Orozco, Sam Coronado, and Pio Pulido, the Mexic-Arte Museum was expanded and relocated to its current location at 419 Congress Avenue. This move enabled the museum to gain an even higher profile and recognition. Today, 75,000 visitors every year explore the extensive works of art that are part of the museum's permanent and temporary collections.

The Mexic-Arte Museum also boasts an eclectic museum store, where visitors can take home a piece of Mexican art and culture for their own. Offerings include fine folk art including wood-carved Oaxacan animals and Michoacan pottery. Day of the Dead pieces, hand-blown glass jewelry and children's items are also available for purchase.

Museum of the Weird
Museum of the Weird

(512) 476-5493

412 E 6th St
Austin, TX 78701   Directions Website

Check out the aptly named Museum of the Weird, which features shrunken heads, the Fiji Mermaid, mummies, giant lizards and other unexplained phenomena.

Neill-Cochran House Museum
Neill-Cochran House Museum

(512) 478-2335

2310 San Gabriel St
Austin, TX 78705   Directions Website

Explore the elegant side of Austin at the Neill-Cochran House, considered to be one of the city's three most important historic residences. Built in 1855, the house museum is decorated throughout with furnishings dating from 1780-1925 in period rooms.

The Neill-Cochran House is a historic home in Austin that was built in 1855 and is now restored to its original splendor. The home is open for daily tours and is a living history lesson on how Austin went from a sleepy outpost, to the state capital, to home to one of the largest universities in the country.

Originally the home was meant to be occupied by an early developer of Austin who enlisted master builder Abner Cook. Cook was a well-known builder of his time and is considered to have his signature craftsmanship on nearly every city block of historical downtown Austin. He built commercial and government buildings, as well as projects for wealthy families in the mid-1800s.

However, the original homeowners never occupied the house. Eventually it became a temporary site for the Texas Asylum for the Blind, and then leased to the Lieutenant Governor after that.

The home was eventually purchased by the Cochrans. The family owned the home until 1958, when it was bought by the National Society of The Colonial Dames of America in The State of Texas.

The home is now completely restored and decorated with furnishings from 1780 to 1925. A historic tour includes stories about the many occupants of the house over the years, including the Texas School for the Blind and its occupation by federal troops during Reconstruction.

The Contemporary Austin | Laguna Gloria
The Contemporary Austin | Laguna Gloria

(512) 458-8191

3809 W 35th St
Austin, TX 78703   Directions Website

Take in 20th-century and contemporary American art at the The Contemporary Austin, the former Austin Museum of Art. Showcasing two renowned and architecturally unique locations, The Contemporary Austin brings multidisciplinary exhibitions, engaging programs, and enticing special events to the city's visual arts landscape.

The Contemporary Austin aims to create a cultural center of gravity in Austin for a variety of experiences linked to contemporary art. We offer many engaging opportunities for artists, enjoyable hands-on programs for families, and may exhibitions and event opportunities.

The Contemporary Austin has age-appropriate, engaging, and interactive tours for a range of audiences with our friendly and knowledgeable docents.

The Jones Center offers a vibrant downtown experience where visitors can investigate and experience contemporary art in a recently renovated historic building.

Laguna Gloria offers a unique experience of history, art, and nature. Visitors may tour the Betty and Edward Marcus Sculpture Park's works on view and special exhibitions as well as the 1916 Italianate-style Driscoll Villa and historic gardens and grounds.

For fifty years, The Art School at Laguna Gloria has worked to help Austin’s budding artists expand their creativity, enhance visual awareness, and cultivate technical skills in a wide variety of media. The school offers classes for ages three through adult in painting, drawing, sculpture, ceramics, wheel throwing (pottery), photography, collage, mosaics, watercolor, pastels, jewelry, glass, metal, digital media and more.

Umlauf Sculpture Garden & Museum
Umlauf Sculpture Garden & Museum

(512) 445-5582

605 Azie Morton Rd
Austin, TX 78704   Directions Website

Surround yourself with sculptures at the Umlauf Sculpture Garden & Museum. View art in a natural setting, including pieces by 20th century American sculptor Charles Umlauf and others.

Visual Arts Center
Visual Arts Center

(512) 471-3713

2300 Trinity St
Austin, TX 78712   Directions Website

View exhibitions by nationally renowned artists and discover up-and-coming student artists at the UT Visual Arts Center. Five gallery and studio spaces provide plenty of opportunity to explore new and exciting works.

Yard Dog Art Gallery
Yard Dog Art Gallery

(512) 912-1613

916 Springdale Rd Bldg 3-104
Austin, TX 78702   Directions Website

Yard Dog Gallery has Contemporary folk art, outsider art, fine art, and pop art with an attitude from North America. Showing folk and outsider art from the American South by many contemporary artists from the US, Canada and Europe whose backgrounds run the gamut from self-taught to art school graduate.

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