The 10 Best Museums in Austin

Austin, a city known for its vibrant music scene and mouthwatering barbecue, also boasts a treasure trove of cultural gems that often fly under the radar. Among these are the museums that dot the cityscape, offering a glimpse into the art, history, and science that shape the capital of Texas. Whether you’re a local or just passing through, a visit to one of Austin’s top museums is a must-do. Let’s dive into a curated list of the 10 best museums that Austin has to offer, each with its own unique flavor.

Blanton Museum of Art

Starting with a bang, the Blanton Museum of Art is a cornerstone of Austin’s art scene. It’s home to a dazzling array of works, from Renaissance paintings to contemporary installations. As you wander through the galleries, you’ll find yourself immersed in a world of creativity that spans continents and centuries. The museum’s dynamic programming, including family days and artist talks, keeps the experience fresh every time you visit.

Bullock Texas State History Museum

For history buffs, the Bullock Texas State History Museum is a treasure trove. It’s not just a museum; it’s a journey through the Lone Star State’s past. From the story of Texas’s independence to the space missions that put Houston on the map, the exhibits here are as vast as the state itself. And don’t miss the Texas Spirit Theater, where special effects bring historical tales to life.


Thinkery isn’t your average museum; it’s a playground for the mind. This modern children’s museum is a hit with families, thanks to its hands-on exhibits that make learning about science and technology a blast. Kids can explore everything from light and sound to aerodynamics in a space that encourages curiosity and discovery.

LBJ Presidential Library

Politics and history intertwine at the LBJ Presidential Library. Dedicated to the 36th President of the United States, Lyndon B. Johnson, this library offers an in-depth look at his life and legacy. From civil rights to the Vietnam War, the exhibits here don’t shy away from the complexities of LBJ’s presidency. It’s a thought-provoking stop that offers more than just a history lesson.

Mexic-Arte Museum

Celebrating the rich cultural tapestry of Latin America, the Mexic-Arte Museum is a vibrant addition to Austin’s museum scene. Its galleries showcase traditional and contemporary art from Mexican, Latino, and Latin American artists. The museum also plays a pivotal role in community events, such as the annual Viva la Vida Festival and Parade.

Umlauf Sculpture Garden & Museum

Nestled in a tranquil garden, the Umlauf Sculpture Garden & Museum is a serene escape from the city’s hustle and bustle. The sculptures of Charles Umlauf are displayed in natural settings, creating a harmonious blend of art and nature. It’s a place where you can enjoy a quiet stroll while admiring the beauty of bronze and stone.

The Contemporary Austin – Jones Center

For a taste of the avant-garde, head to The Contemporary Austin – Jones Center. This museum is at the forefront of Austin’s contemporary art scene, featuring cutting-edge exhibitions that challenge and inspire. The rooftop deck also offers a unique space for installations and events, with stunning views of downtown Austin.

Austin Nature & Science Center

Located in Zilker Park, the Austin Nature & Science Center is an oasis for nature lovers. Its interactive exhibits and wildlife displays educate visitors about the natural environment of Central Texas. The Dino Pit is a highlight, offering a hands-on fossil dig that transports you back to the time of the dinosaurs.

Neill-Cochran House Museum

Step back in time at the Neill-Cochran House Museum, a beautifully preserved antebellum home. Each room tells a different story of life in 19th-century Austin, with original furnishings and artifacts on display. The museum also hosts events and workshops that bring history to life in engaging ways.

Elisabet Ney Museum

Last but certainly not least, the Elisabet Ney Museum is a tribute to an extraordinary artist. The former studio of sculptor Elisabet Ney, this museum houses an impressive collection of her works. It’s also a testament to her impact on the arts in Texas, making it a must-visit for art enthusiasts and history lovers alike.


  • What are the best museums in Austin for families?

    Thinkery is fantastic for families, with interactive exhibits that cater to curious minds of all ages. The Austin Nature & Science Center is another great choice, offering outdoor adventures and educational fun.

  • Are there any free museums in Austin?

    Yes, several museums offer free admission on certain days or have free entry for children and students. For example, the Blanton Museum of Art offers free admission every Thursday.

  • Can I find contemporary art in Austin?

    Absolutely! The Contemporary Austin – Jones Center is the go-to spot for contemporary art, showcasing works from local and international artists that push the boundaries of creativity.


In conclusion, Austin’s museums are as diverse and captivating as the city itself. From the Blanton Museum of Art’s classical pieces to the Thinkery’s interactive science exhibits, there’s something for everyone. Whether you’re delving into Texas history at the Bullock Museum or exploring contemporary works at The Contemporary Austin, these institutions offer enriching experiences that you won’t soon forget. So next time you’re in town, make sure to add these top museums to your itinerary. You’ll discover that Austin’s heart beats not only to the rhythm of music but also to the pulse of art, history, and science.

Kurby Team

The Kurby Content Team is a diverse group of seasoned real estate experts dedicated to providing insightful, reliable information for homebuyers, real estate investors, and real estate agents. With backgrounds ranging from real estate brokerage, property investment, and residential home buying, our team combines decades of experience with a passion for demystifying the real estate world. We at Kurby are committed to helping you make informed, successful real estate decisions. Whether you're a first-time homebuyer, a seasoned investor, or a real estate professional, count on the Kurby Content Team to deliver the most relevant, actionable real estate content you need.