Austin’s Top 10 Must-See Museums


Jesus Loves Austin Mural at Expression Church in Cedar Park, Texas.

Austin, TX is known for its vibrant, arts-driven community. Famous for Austin City Limits, beautiful outdoor venues and unique architecture, it’s a top destination for thousands of tourists a year. Austin’s museums are a testament to how much the fine arts are woven into the city’s DNA. Here, we have compiled a list of some of our favorite (and most unique) Austin museums.

  • Blanton Museum of Art
  • Texas Memorial Museum
  • Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum
  • Harry Ransom Center
  • LBJ Presidential Library
  • Mexic-Arte Museum
  • Contemporary Austin
  • Thinkery
  • Texas Military Forces Museum
  • Elisabet Ney Museum

Blanton Museum of Art

The Blanton Museum of Art is the largest art museum in Austin and is located on the University of Texas campus. The museum has an impressive collection of more than 18,000 works of art, including pieces by artists such as Rembrandt, Van Gogh, and Picasso. The museum also has a focus on contemporary art, showcasing works by local and international artists.

Texas Memorial Museum

The Texas Memorial Museum is home to a vast collection of fossils, rocks, minerals, and wildlife specimens. The museum’s exhibits focus on the natural history of Texas and include displays of dinosaurs, wildlife, and ecosystems. The museum also has a live animal exhibit, showcasing animals such as snakes, spiders, and turtles.

Note: if you are planning a trip anytime soon, this museum is closed for renovations until Fall 2023. 

Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum

The Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum is dedicated to the history of Texas. The museum has interactive exhibits and displays that tell the story of Texas, from the Native American tribes that inhabited the land to the state’s role in the Civil War and beyond. They have an iMax theater, may galleries and an interactive map of Texas onsite. Before your visit, be sure to peruse the Stories of Texas section on their site for contributions from real Texans statewide.

Harry Ransom Center

Focused on the ongoing studies of arts and humanities, The Harry Ransom Center is a research library and museum located at the University of Texas at Austin. The museum’s collection includes rare books, manuscripts, and artwork, including the Gutenberg Bible and a first edition of Shakespeare’s plays. The museum also hosts temporary exhibitions on a variety of topics. Currently, they are hosting a classic film series. 

LBJ Presidential Library

One of the 15 libraries in the nation dedicated to a former president, The LBJ Presidential Library is dedicated to the life of President Lyndon B. Johnson. The museum has exhibits on the major events of Johnson’s presidency, including the Vietnam War, civil rights, and the space race. The museum also hosts permanent exhibits that showcase how LBJ’s legislation continues to impact American culture to this day.

Mexic-Arte Museum

The Mexic-Arte Museum is a fine arts museum dedicated to Mexican and Mexican American art and culture. The museum has a collection of more than 2,500 pieces of art, including paintings, sculptures, and ceramics. The museum also hosts educational programs and events that celebrate Mexican and Mexican American art and culture.

Contemporary Austin

With two locations as well as an arts center, The Contemporary Austin is Austin’s premier museum dedicated to contemporary art. The museum has a permanent collection of more than 700 works of art, including paintings, sculptures, and installations. The museum also has a sculpture garden and hosts temporary exhibitions.


Thinkery is a children’s museum that is designed to inspire learning through play. The museum has exhibits and activities that are focused on science, technology, engineering, arts, and math (STEAM). The museum also has a playground and outdoor space for kids to explore. It offers event spaces for hire, summer camps and a preschool, making this both a museum and all-in-one children’s haven. 

Texas Military Forces Museum

The Texas Military Forces Museum is located in Camp Mabry and is dedicated to the history of the Texas National Guard and Texas military forces. The museum has displays of Texas military history, including the Texas Revolution, World War I and II, and the Korean War.

Elisabet Ney Museum

The Elisabet Ney Museum is the former studio and home of the German sculptor Elisabet Ney. The museum has a permanent collection of Ney’s sculptures, as well as artifacts from her life and career. The museum also hosts events and exhibitions focused on contemporary art and education.

As you can see, Austin has a diverse selection of museums that offer something for everyone. Whether you’re interested in art, history, or science, there is a museum in Austin that will inspire and educate you. 

If Austin seems like a city that might feel more like a home than a weekend trip, we would recommend checking out some local listings in Austin to see if relocating is in your future!

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