As one of the “foremost university art museums in the country … [with] one of the largest and most comprehensive” permanent collections of art in Central Texas—more than 17,000 works—the Blanton, located near the iconic UT Tower on the Longhorns’ campus, is the spot for museum aficionados (whether local or visiting) in ATX. Not to get too cliché, but there literally is something for every type of art lover: dazzling interactive installations; a plethora of European, Latin American and Contemporary American paintings; rotating temporary exhibitions (we’re getting one on Andy Warhol’s oft-overlooked book art in October 2016); and, of course, the massive and immersive “Stacked Waters” piece, a permanent installation by large-scale sculptor Teresita Fernández that encases the museum’s entire central atrium with an awe-inspiring underwater illusion. With more than 124,000 square feet to explore, the Blanton is one of those museums that one can visit over and over, week after week, year after year, and always find more hidden gems to admire and learn from.
When it comes to things to do in Austin, it’s often the killer bars and the best BBQ in Austin that will be top of mind. But the city is a culture-devourer’s delight as much as it is a playland for foodies and revelers, and the best Austin museums are among the top institutions in the country. Whether you’re looking to take a deep plunge into Texas’s history at the Bob Bullock museum or you're up for an exploration of popular culture, there is something for you. And bonus if you brought the little ones: Some of these great venues feature fun interactive exhibits that make them among the best things to do in Austin with kids.