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History and Art Abound at These Austin Museums

History and Art Abound at These Austin Museums

Austin boasts plenty of art museums and galleries, but some of the most interesting museums around town showcase little bits of city, state and country history. From military history to Texas history, these museums are guaranteed to entertain while providing interesting information on the things that shaped our city and state.

Bullock Texas State History Museum

1800 Congress Ave | 512-936-8746 | Website  

Home to an IMAX theater and plenty of fun visual exhibits, the Bullock Texas State History Museum is a great way to experience the history of Texas.

LBJ Presidential Library and Museum

2313 Red River St | 512-721-0200 | Website

Featuring everything from phone conversations during Lyndon Baines Johnson’s presidency to relics from the 1960’s, this library and museum gives a great look into the life and times of the 36th president.

Harry Ransom Center

300 W 21st St | 512-471-8944 | Website

Home to the oldest known surviving photograph made with a camera, the Harry Ransom Center is known for its amazing archives that preserve over 65,000 works of art and several intriguing exhibitions.

The Thinkery

1830 Simond Ave | 512-469-6200 | Website

A world of hands-on exploration, this museum offers interactive exhibits for kids and families to tinker with side-by-side.

Texas Military Forces Museum

2200 w 35th St | 512-782-5659 | Website

This museum is full of military vehicles and items dating back to the 1800’s and with free admission it’s a great way to explore Camp Mabry.

Elisabet Ney Museum

304 E 44th St | 512-974-1625 | Website

An early leader of the Texas Women’s Movement and advocate for civil rights, education, and arts, Elisabet Ney was an influential force in Texas history.

French Legation Museum

802 San Marcos St | 512-463-7948 | Website

Built in 1841, this building was meant represent the French government in the new Republic of Texas and now serves as a period museum.

William Sidney Porter House (O. Henry Museum)

409 E 5th St | 512-472-1903 | Website

Once home to the author William Sidney Porter (pen name “O. Henry”), the house now displays several pieces of Porter’s furniture and belongings and hosts the annual O. Henry Pun-Off the first weekend in May.

Art Museums

While the city boasts plenty or urban street art and other outdoor art galleries like Umlauf Sculpture Garden and Laguna Gloria, there are a few indoor art museums to visit as well. If you’re looking to explore art on a more local level, there are several art galleries around downtown and the East Side in which you can peruse and purchase art.

Exploring the city’s museums is a great way to spend a day in Austin when the weather is less than desirable while keeping both kids old and young entertained. If you’re looking for things to do as a family in Austin this summer, be sure to read our list of things to do in Austin with kids for summer!

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