The Texas Hill Country’s Top Outdoor Museums
According to the Texas Historical Commission, there are more than 1,000 museums in the state of Texas! Instead of simply listing the Texas Hill Country’s museums for you, we wanted to provide you with curated lists based on your interests. This is the first in a short series on museums in the Texas Hill Country.
In this article, we’ll share the top outdoor museums in the Texas Hill Country. From state parks and historic sites to farms and gardens, there are plenty of outdoor museums for you to visit and experience. Grab your hiking boots or walking shoes, and let’s experience something new. And don’t worry – most of these museums offer indoor experiences, too.
Sauer-Beckmann Living History Farm in Austin
The Sauer-Beckmann Living History Farm is an active farm where park rangers wear historical clothing and work on the farm. They feed the animals, weed the garden, work in the blacksmith shop, cook, and more – and answer your questions about the history of the farm while you enjoy a self-guided tour. The Saur-Beckmann Farm is located in Austin, which is less than a 1-hour drive from Cypress Creek Cottages. Fans of farm history will enjoy this living history farm.
The UMLAUF Sculpture Garden + Museum in Austin
The UMLAUF Sculpture Garden + Museum is a carriage house turned home turned museum. The UMLAUF is located in Austin, which is about a 45-minute drive from Cypress Creek Cottages. Fans of 20th-century sculpture, nature, and changing exhibitions will enjoy the UMLAUF.
Visitors can enjoy the Umlauf home, property, Charles Umlauf’s art studio, a sculpture garden – which includes 168 of Umlauf’s sculptures – and a learning center. The sculpture garden is accessible to wheelchairs and strollers. Visitors can also enjoy various exhibitions that change throughout the year, which may include 20th-century sculptures as well as art from emerging artists.
Cibolo Nature Center and Herff Farm in Boerne
Cibolo Nature Center offers six miles of walking trails, bird watching, dinosaur tracks, and the Cibolo Creek. Nearby, Herff Farm offers a natural laboratory for sustainable modern living. Herff Farm also offers a historic barn, amphitheater, and learning and gathering spaces on its 60 acres.
You can drive to both campuses in Boerne from Cypress Creek Cottages in about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Fans of walking, hiking, nature, wildlife, gardening, and sustainable living will enjoy these two campuses.
The Heritage Museum of the Texas Hill Country in Canyon Lake
The Heritage Museum of the Texas Hill Country is an outdoor museum with trackways, hiking trails, and Cretaceous digs to protect and preserve over 200 dinosaur footprints. The Heritage Museum is located in Canyon Lake, which is about 30 minutes from Cypress Creek Cottages. Fans of dinosaurs, conservation, hiking, and gardens will enjoy the Heritage Museum.
Visitors can enjoy a docent-guided tour of the dinosaur trackways, as well as learn about the history of the Texas Hill Country, fossils, and Native American artifacts. The Heritage Museum offers multiple exhibits on antiques, including antique farm equipment. They are also building a learning center, which will include an outdoor classroom.
The Dr. Pound Historical Farmstead in Dripping Springs
The Dr. Pound Historical Farmstead, also called The Pound House, “offers a living depiction of early life in the Texas Hill Country for the common man.” The Pound House is located in Dripping Springs, which is about a 20-minute drive from Cypress Creek Cottages. Fans of Central Texas Pioneer history, gardens, and sustainable living will enjoy the Pound House.
The Pound House boasts a collection that is largely made up of belongings from the four generations of the Pound family who lived there, so visitors can enjoy a personal look at what Texas Frontier settlers experienced.
The Pound House is currently closed for renovations but is open for events. Check their website for updates.
The Friends of Gillespie County Country Schools in Fredericksburg
The Friends of Gillespie County Country Schools preserves one-room schoolhouses, offering more than 120 miles of trails where visitors can see 17 historic schools dating from 1847 to 1936. These schools are located in and around Fredericksburg, which is about a 1-hour-and-10-minute drive from Cypress Creek Cottages. Fans of one-room schoolhouses and bike trails will enjoy these schoolhouses.
Science Mill in Johnson City
Science Mill combines STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) hands-on learning and activities with outdoor experiences. Parents who want to encourage their children to get interested in STEAM will enjoy the Science Mill. The Science Mill is located in Johnson City, which is a 45-minute drive from Cypress Creek Cottages.
Science Mill offers over 50 exhibits in English and Spanish. From deep sea robotics to a race track and from wind turbine testing to various animal exhibits, there is something for everyone. Some exhibits are outside – including an aquaponics greenhouse and art park – while others are inside.
Villa Finale Museum & Gardens in San Antonio
Villa Finale Museum & Gardens is an 1876 Italianate home that was restored by Walter Nold Mathis in the 1960s and then turned into a museum in 2004. Villa Finale is located in San Antonio, which is about a 1-one-hour-and-20-minute drive from Cypress Creek Cottages. Fans of architecture, art, antiques, and gardens will enjoy the Villa Finale.
Visitors can enjoy a self-guided tour to view Mathis’s collection of over 12,000 items inside the Villa Finale. Visitors can also tour the gardens, which, according to Villa Finale’s website, is a “classic example of Southern landscape design.” Leashed dogs are permitted in the garden.
Schedule Your Getaway to Enjoy the Texas Hill Country’s Top Outdoor Museums
Cypress Creek Cottages is centrally located to various museums and other excursions, which makes it the perfect place to land after a day walking around a museum or two. Enjoy a home away from home experience with private cabins that offer modern comforts while you enjoy nature.