Everything’s bigger in Texas, including the state’s official history museum: the impressive Bullock Museum in Austin.
With extensive exhibits and innovative multimedia, including immersive theaters, augmented reality experiences, videos, and audio, it's an all-day destination in and of itself.
The museum’s Texas History Galleries interpret the continually unfolding story of the Lone Star State and, in so doing, explore more than 16,000 years of history — from the area's earliest inhabitants, European colonization, and the Texas Revolution to equal rights, space exploration, and pop culture.
Artifacts in the galleries change regularly, thanks to the Bullock’s collaboration with more than 700 other museums, libraries, archives, and individuals, so there is always something new to see.
Fittingly, the Bullock Museum is also home to the biggest IMAX screen in Texas (six stories tall!) and is the only theater in the state to feature IMAX with Laser technology.
Since its opening in 2001, more than nine million visitors from across the world have explored the museum and discovered what makes Texas, Texas.
Here’s a floor-by-floor look at the Bullock Museum’s highlights:
The Texas History Gallery on the ground level features Becoming Texas, a one-of-a-kind journey through Texas’s earliest history, from its first inhabitants to Mexican Independence in 1821.
The exhibit includes La Belle, the 300-year-old shipwreck, along with a life-size bison statue, innovative and immersive multimedia experiences, and a 16,000-year-old projectile point that changed our understanding of when humans arrived in the Americas.
On level two, find artifacts and stories that explore the history of Texas from 1821 to 1936, including an Alamo façade, a life-size statue of Sam Houston by artist Elisabet Ney, and the 16-foot-tall Goddess of Liberty that originally sat atop the Texas Capitol.
Also on this floor is the Texas Spirit Theater that features immersive special effects and hosts daily screenings of the museum’s signature films: Star of Destiny and Shipwrecked.
Here, learn about industrial and scientific developments, struggles for equality, and Texas’s emergence on the national stage in the 20th century, plus the iconic music, cinema, and sports that continue to ignite imaginations.
The third floor also boasts the Austin City Limits Theater, a working pump jack, a mission control console and astronaut tableau, and an AT-6A WWII "Texan" airplane suspended from the atrium.
The Bullock Museum is open to the public Wednesdays through Sundays from 10 am-5 pm and has a full calendar of programs and events for all ages, including engaging talks and lectures, film screenings and expert Q&As, social events, live music, family-friendly activities, and much more.
P.S. In case you're wondering, the area in front of the museum is currently under construction to become an exciting pedestrian green space called the Texas Capitol Mall, stretching from the Texas Capitol to the UT Campus. Just like Texas, the museum is always evolving.