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Texas Memorial Museum

Discover millions of years of scientific history, from dinosaurs to DNA. 

There's no getting bored at the Texas Memorial Museum: there are more than 5 million specimens collected here as part of the Texas National Science Center's research. Set aside at least a few hours to explore four floors, each with a different focus. There’s a chronological order to the exhibits so it’s best to start on the first floor dinosaurs and work your way up to the fourth floor contemporary biological research. 

In the first floor’s Hall of Geology and Paleontology, examine more than 500 fossils of dinosaurs and other prehistoric creatures. Check out the Onion Creek mosasaur, a 30-foot (nine-meter) shark-like animal that lived in the waters of Texas in the Cretaceous period (about 89-65 million years ago). This and other fossils were collected in the Austin area. 

On the second floor there's the large, suspended Texas pterosaur, which was dug up by scientists from the University of Texas. This is the biggest flying creature ever found by fossil hunters. It has a wingspan of 40 feet (12 meters). The rest of the floor is dedicated to a rotating exhibition of dinosaur specimens, as well as gems and minerals collected from the local area. 

Learn about native Texas animals on the third floor, which showcases scores of stuffed reptiles, mammals and birds. 

The fourth floor looks at some of the more recent scientific contributions to biology and the theory of evolution. The seven sections here cover such topics as how diseases like HIV have developed over the last few decades.

The Texas Memorial Museum is located on Trinity Street in the campus of the University of Texas. It is open seven days a week, except for national holidays and Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve. It's free to enter. Check the schedules if you are planning to visit in autumn as the museum often closes when the University of Texas is playing a home football game. There’s no restaurant inside the museum, but plenty of options in the surrounding area.


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Lodging Near Texas Memorial Museum

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Fairmont Austin $166
Reviewed on Jun 17, 2019
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Fairmont Austin

Fairmont Austin

101 Red River St, Austin, TX
     
    4.7 of 5
    4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Love the decor and staff was outstanding And, loved the scent in the lobby

    Omni Austin Hotel $134
    Reviewed on Jun 14, 2019
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    Omni Austin Hotel

    Omni Austin Hotel

    700 San Jacinto Blvd, Austin, TX
       
      4.2 of 5
      4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Very well taken care of, nice gym and great coffee stand! Check-in was unpleasant. Check out clerk was extremely polite and helpful as were most of the staff. Nice gym, nice coffee stand for a quick morning breakfast. Great location. Self Parking is expensive (it is downtown). WiFi is not free.

      Days Inn by Wyndham Austin/University/Downtown $66
      Reviewed on Jun 17, 2019
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      Days Inn by Wyndham Austin/University/Downtown

      Days Inn by Wyndham Austin/University/Downtown

      3105 N Interstate 35, Austin, TX
         
        3.3 of 5
        2.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        The front desk staff was awesome and friendly and very helpful Alex is the MAN!

        AT&T Hotel & Conference Center at the University of Texas $169
        Reviewed on Jun 5, 2019
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        AT&T Hotel & Conference Center at the University of Texas

        AT&T Hotel & Conference Center at the University of Texas

        1900 University Avenue, Austin, TX
           
          4.5 of 5
          4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Always clean, always friendly service. Location is close enough to downtown but not too close.

          La Quinta Inn by Wyndham Austin Capitol / Downtown $99
          Reviewed on Jun 10, 2019
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          La Quinta Inn by Wyndham Austin Capitol / Downtown

          La Quinta Inn by Wyndham Austin Capitol / Downtown

          300 E 11th St, Austin, TX
             
            3.3 of 5
            2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

            Hallways and public areas seemed unclean not a good first impression however the bed and room was comfortable and clean so lol ended up ok

            Rodeway Inn University - Downtown $60
            Reviewed on Mar 16, 2019
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            Rodeway Inn University - Downtown

            Rodeway Inn University - Downtown

            2900 N I 35, Austin, TX
               
              2.5 of 5
              1.5 out of 5.0 Stars

              Truly welcoming staff, very helpful indeed! Would definitely stay again.

              Hampton Inn & Suites Austin @ The University / Capitol $119
              Reviewed on Jun 18, 2019
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              Hampton Inn & Suites Austin @ The University / Capitol

              Hampton Inn & Suites Austin @ The University / Capitol

              1701 Lavaca St, Austin, TX
                 
                4.6 of 5
                2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                Everything about our stay was great! The staff was extremely friendly and helpful! Check in easy. Great location- close to campus and restaurants. Breakfast was perfect...there was something for everyone (eggs, waffles, cereal, fruit, yogurt, breads, etc). Definitely would recommend this hotel!

                Hyatt House Austin/Downtown $111
                Reviewed on Jun 7, 2019
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                Hyatt House Austin/Downtown

                Hyatt House Austin/Downtown

                901 Neches Street, Austin, TX
                   
                  4.4 of 5
                  2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                  I love the room and the city view. I didn’t like the parking options and valet parking was a bit expensive for a two night stay. I also didn’t like all the homeless people within the area. The hotel itself was exceptional. Would definitely stay again.