History

5 Weird & Wonderful Museums in the Hill Country

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Whether you are new to the Texas Hill Country or have lived here all of your life, there are several museums on this must-see list. History buffs and adventure-seekers alike will enjoy new experiences as their expectations are challenged.

1. French Legation Museum

5 Weird & Wonderful Museums in the Hill Country

Photo: do512family.com

Tucked in the cramped and cozy streets of downtown, is a little treasure formerly known as the French Embassy.  Currently known as the French Legation Museum, this beautiful throwback to the days when livestock roamed free on the streets of Austin, is slightly hidden behind a concrete wall.  The main house, unattached kitchen and carriage house sit atop the stretch of rolling green grass. As the docent walks you from the front gallery porch, highlighting the view of the Capitol, to the tiny shared bedrooms, she points out decorative features that double as functional. Finishing the tour you will experience games that children of days gone by would have played from “ball and cup” to stilts.

2. Buckhorn Saloon and Museum

5 Weird & Wonderful Museums in the Hill Country

Photo: exploringtheusbyrv.com

As you enter the Buckhorn Saloon and Museum, you are immediately transported to a 1950’s dime store. Proceed a little further and your eyes are overcome by hundreds of buck horns displayed all around you. Your first response may be, “This is a whimsical and silly place!” And though there is some truth to this, continue on and you will be pleasantly surprised. The halls are covered in hundreds of species of record-holders (most famously known is the “78-point buck”). A more recent addition to the Buckhorn is the Texas Rangers Museum with artifacts and even replicas of a jailhouse and 1934 Bonnie & Clyde car.

3. National Museum of the Pacific War

5 Weird & Wonderful Museums in the Hill Country

Photo: 24intx.com

Touted as “the most comprehensive, well-organized, and informative military museum” by the Wall Street Journal, the National Museum of the Pacific War does not disappoint. Located on six acres, Admiral Nimitz Museum, George H. W. Bush Gallery, and Plaza of Presidents are a few of the attractions that will make you wish you allotted more time for this trip to Fredericksburg. Once here you will also understand why this is the only museum in the U. S. dedicated to the Pacific-Asiatic Theaters in WWII.

4. Museum of the Weird

5 Weird & Wonderful Museums in the Hill Country

Photo: grimmlifecollective.com

Self-proclaimed as “unusual, bizarre, and freaky” the Museum of the Weird welcomes you to “come visit America’s strangest attraction.” Have you ever seen a real human skeleton? How about a shrunken head? Ever experienced a séance? All of this and more for your ocular pleasure can be found in this compact collection that keeps Austin “weird.”

5. Dr. Pepper Museum

5 Weird & Wonderful Museums in the Hill Country

Photo: momvoyage.hilton.com

Did you know Dr. Pepper is a native Texan? Invented in a corner drug store by a young pharmacist, this beverage called “the most misunderstood soft drink” is made up of 23 fruit flavors.  The 3-story gallery located in downtown Waco (Dr. Pepper Museum) is a collection of historical remnants showcasing 1930’s radio broadcasts, impact on advertising with movies, decades of television commercials, bottling equipment, and a replica of the original drug store. Wrap up your tour at the soda fountain and enjoy this refreshing and famous soft drink.

So, hit the road! Get out there and explore in a new and exciting way as you check out some, if not all, of these weird and wonderful museums of the Texas Hill Country.