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“A Fun Look at Texas” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Bullock Texas State History Museum

Bullock Texas State History Museum
1800 N Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78701 (Downtown)
+1 512-936-8746
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Ranked #5 of 395 things to do in Austin
Certificate of Excellence 2014
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Attraction details
Owner description: Museum that chronicles the history of Texas with three themed exhibits: Land, Identity and Opportunity.
Useful Information: Activities for young children, Activities for older children
Austin, Texas
Top Contributor
52 reviews 52 reviews
19 attraction reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
“A Fun Look at Texas”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 30, 2014

What this museum lacks in deep historical context, it makes up for in the sheer breadth of coverage of Texas history, and easy accessibility of the exhibits. I'm not a huge fan of dioramas and mannequins, but I think they're employed well here, especially for reaching children with short attention spans. The movies are relatively well done and don't seem dated, and most exhibits are laid out in a logical progression.

What raises this place to Very Good for me is that it avoids what so many other history museums do, and generally stays away from sentimentality or cheer leading. For example, Indians are not savages, noble or otherwise. The exhibits about them are neither filled with ra-ra Manifest Destiny, nor dripping with white guilt. This has the effect of humanizing individuals in a way that most museums fail to do. The same is true of the exhibits on Black Texans, Tejanos, and (most importantly) the Civil War.

While many museums fall into lazy cliche and even lazier moralizing, the Bullock mostly avoids that. It makes it a heck of a lot easier to learn and enjoy at the same time.

One last thing. The Imax here is extremely reasonably priced for first-run movies after hours. I saw Star Trek 2 here in 3D on opening weekend, and it was only $12 or so. Come visit the museum, then catch the latest blockbuster after closing--that's a great way to spend a Saturday in my book.

Visited October 2013
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MN
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
9 attraction reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
“Worth the time it will take”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 30, 2014

If you want the lowdown on Texas this is the place. It's a pretty big and comprehensive museum on history from the beginning. Set up so you can pick and choose which era you are most interested in.

Visited January 2014
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dallas, Texas
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
5 attraction reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
“If your family is reluctant to go to a History Museum, push them to this one”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 26, 2014

This was my first touring experience in Austin and the Bob Bullock History Museum was part of the family's agenda. There was some grousing from the 12 year old as a result. My husband and I don't have a background in TX history and the presentation was excellent. The museum is very well laid out and you take a chronological tour through TX's history. Also, include the IMAX show on the history of TX as the production quality equals a Disney show. If you have a large family, the entrance and IMAX fee may be a bit high. But use the student discounts and get a price break.

Visited January 2014
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Boerne, Texas
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
7 attraction reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
“Interesting but Incomplete”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 23, 2014

Visited the museum for the 3rd or 4th time since its opening and we again enjoyed touring the interesting exhibits as well as seeing a movie in the IMAX theater.

However, it appeared to us that the Museum's story of Texas pretty much ends in the 1970's or early 80s'. Enough has happened in Texas and with Texans in the last 30 or so years to warrant mention as part of our evolving history. Also, we noted at least two placards (there may be more)noting contributions of well known Texans that hadn't been updated to reflect their deaths. Van Cliburn died in Feb, 2013 and Mary Nan West of San Antonio died in 2001.

Visited January 2014
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SoCal
Top Contributor
81 reviews 81 reviews
13 attraction reviews
Reviews in 43 cities Reviews in 43 cities
95 helpful votes 95 helpful votes
“See the films, they are a hoot!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 13, 2014

Good museum, history of Texas throughout with small pieces of significant historic items all around. The early history is a little disjointed and there is a lot to cover. Starts from Native American history and works it way up to modern achievements. Of note, not much mention of the two Bush Presidents. Highlight of museum were the movies, don't miss them!

Visited December 2013
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