San Antonio Museums

San Antonio museums offer something to fit a wide range of interests. Thanks to its historical appeal, the city features many fine history museums, as well as a number of enticing historical sites. The majority of the historical sites double as museums, as is the case with the famed Alamo. No trip to San Antonio would be complete without laying eyes on this shrine of sorts, and should you choose to go inside to check out the museum, you can learn all about the renowned 1836 battle between Alamo defenders and the Mexican army. This battle helped to inspire the push for Texas independence, which would be realized later that same year.

The history museums in San Antonio include a couple other gems that can make excellent additions to the agenda. Some of the best history museums in San Antonio are the Institute of Texas Cultures and the Witte Museum. At the Institute of Texas Cultures, the focus is on the many different ethnic groups that have played a role in the state's history, while the Witte Museum takes a closer look at Texas history on the whole. It isn't all about history at the wonderful Witte Museum, however. Natural science exhibits are also on hand, and the anthropology section is a huge hit with kids. When you're not enjoying the varied exhibits at the Witte Museum, you might take a relaxing stroll in the gardens. Also, should you have a particular interest in history museums, visiting historic neighborhoods such as La Villita and the King William Historic District can also add extra depth to your trip.

The Buckhorn Saloon
The Buckhorn Saloon

Eclectic is a word that could be used to define the exhibits that are on display at the Witte Museum. The same could be said about the Buckhorn Saloon and Museum, which is one of the other top history museums in San Antonio. Taxidermied animals fill one wing, and there's also a wax museum section that features famous figures from Texas history. In addition to the main museum, the Buckhorn Saloon and Museum features a newer Ranger Museum that displays Texas Ranger artifacts. Ranger Town, the main highlight of the Ranger Museum, is a recreated version of the city as it was at the turn of the century features an interesting Bonnie and Clyde exhibit, as well as a blacksmith shop, a telegraph office, a period jail, and a saloon. If nothing else, dropping by the Buckhorn Saloon and Museum to enjoy a frosty brew can be a rewarding experience, especially on warmer days.

Some of the best museums in San Antonio are art museums. If you only have time to visit one art museum while in town, then you might want to make a break for the McNay Art Museum. Works by such European and American masters as Van Gogh, O'Keefe, and Picasso are on display at the McNay Art Museum, and the gorgeous building that houses the exhibits is worth the visit alone. Surrounding the Spanish Mediterranean-style mansion are 23 acres of garden and picnic grounds that can be ideal for taking a break from it all. Time allowing, the San Antonio Museum of Art can also be an ideal place to explore for art enthusiasts. This museum displays artwork from various cultures around the world, with the 30,000-square-foot Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Latin American art being the main highlight.

For those who are traveling with kids, it is worth noting that one of the best museums in San Antonio focuses on youngsters. A number of engaging interactive exhibits await both kids and adults at the San Antonio Children's Museum, and thanks to its all around fun appeal, it can be an excellent place to hold birthday parties. When looking for San Antonio museums that cater to them, families might also keep the Plaza Wax Museum and Ripley's Believe It or Not! in mind. All kinds of strange exhibits can be found at this dual attraction, and the location across from Alamo Plaza only adds to the allure of a visit.

Many of the best museums in San Antonio can either be found in the downtown area or to the near northeast of downtown in the Alamo Heights area. This makes it easy to visit more than one museum on the same day should you be interested. It is also worth noting that some of the museums have free hours on certain days, and if you can't plan your visit around a free day, you might at least look to get a discount. Coupons for San Antonio museums and other top rated attractions are easy to come by, with the SAVE Coupons being a good place to start. These coupons are offered by the San Antonio Convention & Visitors Bureau, which can be found at 203 South St. Mary's Street, Suite 200.

Image: Stieren Center/SACVB

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