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Austin Museum Guide

While perhaps not its most well-known feature, Austin is home to an abundance of amazing museums– both historical and contemporary. With most of them centrally located either downtown or on campus at the University of Texas, it is easy to make a day of it and enjoy all the museums Austin has to offer in one go. If you’d rather take your time, these museums have plenty to keep you entertained for as long as you’d like.

The Contemporary Austin, Texas

Just down Congress Avenue from the State Capitol, the Contemporary is located in the heart of downtown Austin. With a revolving lineup of new and exciting exhibits, there is never a dull moment here. Tickets are available to reserve ahead of time, which we recommend for ease. However, if you’re taking a stroll and find yourself in the area, they accept walk-ins as well.

Laguna Gloria Austin, Texas

This outdoor sculpture gallery is associated with The Contemporary and a great option when the weather is nice and you’re looking to spend time in the sun. Take the whole family along to explore history, nature, and art, all while getting fresh air and playing outside. The sculptures are beautiful for all ages to enjoy, and the property is very stroller friendly.

Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum Austin, Texas

Organized in chronological order by date, the Texas State History Museum is a fascinating walk through Texas history from centuries ago to recent decades. It is located just on the other side of the State Capitol from The Contemporary and is right across the street from The University of Texas campus. With fun interactive elements and treasured historical artifacts, this museum is entertaining for all ages.

The Blanton Museum Austin, Texas

Located on The University of Texas campus, The Blanton is home to an array of art from a variety of eras. Located just across the street from the Bullock discussed above, we recommend trying to see both places on the same day. The Blanton is free to visit on Tuesdays, so if you’re looking for something to do over spring break or summer vacation, this may be the perfect (air-conditioned) place for you.

The Cathedral Austin, Texas

If you’re looking for something a little less traditional, The Cathedral is a refurbished 1930s church that now serves as a boutique event venue, art gallery, and co-working space. Their team is made entirely of women, and they work to create space for people to come together. Like many other museums on our list, this unique space also serves as a wedding venue, and has hosted some of the most beautiful weddings in Austin. 

Umlauf Sculpture Garden and Museum Austin, Texas

With an outdoor sculpture garden and an indoor art gallery, Umlauf Sculpture Garden and Museum is truly the best of both worlds. Located just outside of Zilker park, this could be a great addition to a day of exploring the outdoors, while never leaving the city. The gallery also rotates its exhibitions. Visit their website to find what they currently have on display.  

LBJ Presidential Library and Museum Austin, Texas

Also located on the University of Texas campus, this is another great exploration of Texas history. The LBJ Presidential Library, named for Texas native President Lyndon B. Johnson, is home to permanent exhibitions “First Lady’s Gallery” and “Lady Bird Johnson’s Office,” and rotates a variety of additional exhibits.

Mexic-Arte Museum Austin, Texas

A beautiful celebration of Mexican, Latino, and Latin American art and culture, the Mexic-Arte Museum is a great stop on your museum tour of Austin. They rotate their exhibitions often, and always keep an updated list on their website. They are located on Congress Avenue, making the museum a convenient spot to explore art and culture while out on the town in downtown Austin.

Whether you’re a local looking to dive further into the rich history of Texas, or you’re just passing through, we hope one (or many) of these museums provide some education, fun, and entertainment for you.

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