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A Guide to the Top Museums of Houston

The city of Houston is not only the most populous in Texas, it is also a major cultural, educational, and commercial hub in southern USA. The city has many tourist attractions, with some of  most prominent being its several museums. In fact, if you are in the Museum District of Houston, you will find several museums within walking distance of each other. In this blog, we bring to you 10 of the most popular and must visit museums in the city of Houston.

 

  1. Menil Collection
Menil Collection

The Menil Collection is the private art collection of businessman and art patron John de Menil and his wife Dominique de Menil. There are about 17,000 items in the museum including  paintings, sculptures, photographs, drawings, prints, and even rare books. This free museum is housed in a building on Sul Ross Street which was designed specifically for this museum by Renzo Piano. The spacious interiors, large glass windows, and natural lighting add to the beauty of the museum. This museum is open only from Wednesday to Sunday.

 

  1. ArtCar Museum
ArtCar Museum

The ArtCar Museum is a unique and quirky museum located in Heights Boulevard in Houston. The museum features interesting artworks on automobiles in a bid to express the personal, economic, and political dimensions of art. It was founded in 1988 and is also known by its nickname Garage Mahal.

 

  1. Children’s Museum of Houston
Pi Day at the Children’s Museum of Houston

The Children’s Museum of Houston is located in the Museum District of the city. The museum was conceived in 1980 by a group of Houston parents. It was opened to the public in 1984. It went through several relocations before moving to its present location in 1992. It became so popular in a few years that it had to nearly double its floor space to its present 90,000 square feet. If you have kids with you, then this museum is a must-visit for you for its exciting interactive exhibits and fun games. Robot building, news reading simulation, and getting elected as the mayor of Kidtropolis are things the kids will love in this museum.

 

  1. Holocaust Museum Houston
Holocaust Museum Houston

The Holocaust Museum as the name suggests, focuses on the events of the Holocaust. It also endeavors to educate on the dangers of prejudice and hatred and how it is a growing danger in this world of intolerance. The museum opened its doors to the public in 1996 and has several permanent and temporary exhibitions. One of the prominent sections of the Holocaust Museum is the Boniuk Library which is a lending library with more than 5000 volumes on the Holocaust and World War II.

 

  1. National Museum of Funeral History
National Museum of Funeral History

With a city that has so many different museums, there have to be a few which are unique or innovative. The National Museum of Funeral History is one such museum that was established to ‘preserve the heritage of death care’ and educate the public on this field. Spread over 35,000 square feet, this museum was set up in 1992. It has a large collection of objects associated with funeral services. The largest of its kind in the US, this funeral museum even displays funeral related items from other countries of the world. From papal funerals and presidential funerals, to funerals of yesteryear, it is an interesting journey that is covered by this unique museum.

 

  1. Contemporary Arts Museum Houston
Contemporary Arts Museum Houston

The Contemporary Arts Museum Houston is an important center for the display and promotion of contemporary arts and artists. It was established in 1950 and has seen a steady growth over the years. It moved into its present location, a distinctive stainless steel building, in 1972. The museum has been the venue of scores of arts exhibition over the years. Also recommended is a visit to the gift shop of the museum, which sells a variety of uniquely designed gifts including learning toys for children.

 

  1. Battleship Texas State Historic Park
Battleship Texas State Historic Park

You have to travel about 25 miles east to get to this attraction. The Battleship Texas is a former US Navy battleship that featured in both World War I and World War II. Officially the USS Texas (BB 35), this ship was commissioned in 1914 and decommissioned in 1948. This 27,000=ton giant was nicknamed the Mighty T. It is now a floating museum docked in the Gulf of Mexico. You can explore the ship on your own, but a hard-hat guided tour is recommended as you get access to areas which are otherwise off-limits to the general public. After exploring the ship, you can visit the neighboring San Jacinto Battleground Historic Site.

 

  1. Museum of Fine Arts
Museum of Fine Arts

The Museum of Fine Arts in Houston is considered one of the largest museums in the whole of the US. It has a collection of over 63,700 items from six continents displayed in a floor space of 270,000 square feet. The museum was established in 1900. The displays of this museum spans over 6000 years of history. The works of many masters are on display in the museum including Renoir, Henri Matisse, Paul Cezanne, Claude Monet, and Canaletto, to name just a few. If you are an art lover, then this is a must-visit museum for you.

 

  1. Houston Museum of Natural Science
Houston Museum of Natural Science

The Houston Museum of Natural Science is the most visited museum not only in Houston, but also one of the most visited in the US. Located in Hermann Park, this science museum attracts over 2 million visitors every year. The museum complex is made up of 4 floors of the central facility, the Wortham Giant Screen Theater, the Burke Baker Planetarium, and the Cockrell Butterfly Center. The museum also has an offsite astronomy observatory named the George Observatory. Houston Museum of natural Science has several interesting permanent exhibitions like the Lester and Sue Smith Gem Vault, Hall of Ancient Egypt, Cockrell Sundial, Earth Forum, and the Foucault Pendulum.

 

  1. Space Center Houston
Space Center Houston

This is one of the most prominent and extremely popular museums in the city of Houston.  It is officially the visitor center of the Lyndon B Johnson Space Center – the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, popularly known as NASA. In the center you can see replica modules, training centers, and even real space capsules that have made journeys to space. There is a tram tour which is recommended if you want to explore the center. Do not miss the Rocket Park, which has several old rockets on display. Another interesting section is the Johnson Space Center where astronauts are trained for their space missions.

Originally posted 2017-06-28 10:42:56.

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