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Witte Museum

This hands-on history institution that offers plenty to see, touch and do — from science experiments to live performances. 

The Witte Museum was San Antonio’s first public museum and it’s still one of the city’s most-visited attractions. Both locals and tourists are enthralled by this museum designed with the audience in mind. Visitors are encouraged to read, touch and play their way through collections that explore local history, science, dinosaurs and ancient Egypt. 

The history of the Witte itself is interesting. In the early 1900s, a local schoolteacher had the idea to start a history museum and schoolchildren stood on street corners collecting donations. The first natural history collection bought with these funds was displayed at the main high school. A huge donation from businessman Alfred Witte allowed the museum to move to its current location on the banks of the San Antonio River in Brackenridge Park, just north of downtown. 

The South Texas Heritage Center is the Witte’s pride and joy, and a good introduction to local history. Browse hundreds of artifacts from the 1850s, when the city was a hub of commerce for the Wild West; think guns, branding irons and cowboys sitting tall in their saddles. Look at historical photographs, or try your hand at loading a burro, a cart typically pulled by donkeys. Work a simulated herd of cattle along a trail using touch screen computers. There are daily demonstrations and historic log cabins to give you an idea about early life in the Southwest.

Another focal point, especially for children, is the H-E-B Science Treehouse, adjacent to the main building. It has hands-on science experiments across four floors and 15,000 square feet. Learn about sound waves, air power, energy and machines through fun, kid-friendly activities, such as a weight-sensory dance game.

Leave plenty of time for the extensive dinosaur exhibit, including fossils of Triceratops and the Tyrannosaurus Rex. The Egyptian exhibit is also popular, including a mummy that’s thousands of years old. It’s also worth exploring the courtyard where you’ll find the Trail Drivers Monument, created by American sculptor Gutzon Borglum. He also carved one of the most famous U.S. landmarks: Mount Rushmore. 

Purchase tickets for the museum online or at the door. You can take a tour, and find one-of-a-kind South Texas souvenirs in the museum shop. There are no eateries inside, but you’ll find cafés and restaurants within walking distance.


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Lodging Near Witte Museum

See all 398 Hotels near Witte Museum
Historic Home By The Pearl

Historic Home By The Pearl

353 Brahan Blvd, San Antonio
0.0 out of 5.0

Situated in San Antonio, this historic vacation home is within 2 mi (3 km) of The DoSeum, San Antonio Botanical Gardens, and San Antonio Zoo and Aquarium. Alamo and River Walk are also within 3 mi (5 km).

Little House by the Pearl Brewery

Little House by the Pearl Brewery

353 Brahan Blvd, San Antonio
0.0 out of 5.0

Located in the heart of San Antonio, this historic cottage is within 2 mi (3 km) of The DoSeum, San Antonio Botanical Gardens, and San Antonio Zoo and Aquarium. Alamo and River Walk are also within 3 mi (5 km).

Luxury Townhome - Pearl Brewery and Riverwalk!

Luxury Townhome - Pearl Brewery and Riverwalk!

516 E. Ashby Pl., San Antonio
0.0 out of 5.0

Located in Midtown, this historic townhouse accommodation is within 1 mi (2 km) of Brackenridge Park and San Antonio Zoo and Aquarium. Alamo and River Walk are also within 3 mi (5 km).

$175
Hotel Contessa - Luxury Suites on the Riverwalk

Hotel Contessa - Luxury Suites on the Riverwalk

306 W Market Street, San Antonio
4.6
of 5, from 3,098 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

This 14-story, Mediterranean-inspired hotel is on the Riverwalk, two blocks from the convention center, La Villita Historic Arts Village, and the Rivercenter Mall, and five blocks from the Alamo.

$68
Best Western Plus Downtown North

Best Western Plus Downtown North

2131 N Interstate 35, San Antonio
4.0
of 5, from 113 reviews
2.5 out of 5.0

Situated in San Antonio, this hotel is within 3 mi (5 km) of Pearl Brewery, Alamo, and River Walk. Shops at Rivercenter and San Antonio Botanical Gardens are also within 3 mi (5 km).

Cozy Cottage Close to Pearl, Riverwalk, and Ft. Sam

Cozy Cottage Close to Pearl, Riverwalk, and Ft. Sam

126 Muth St, San Antonio
0.0 out of 5.0

Situated in San Antonio, this historic vacation home is within 2 mi (3 km) of Pearl Brewery, Alamo, and San Antonio Botanical Gardens. River Walk and Shops at Rivercenter are also within 3 mi (5 km).

$371
Hotel Emma

Hotel Emma

136 E Grayson, San Antonio
4.7
of 5, from 68 reviews
4.5 out of 5.0

Set in a converted brewery in San Antonio's hip Pearl district, this elegant hotel is 15 minutes on foot from the 343-acre Brackenridge Park and golf course, and a 10-minute drive from McNay Art Museum.

Charming-historic,trinity University,pearl Brewery, Only 3 Miles to Dt&riverwalk

Charming-historic,trinity University,pearl Brewery, Only 3 Miles to Dt&riverwalk

275 East Lullwood Avenue, San Antonio
0.0 out of 5.0

Located in Midtown, this historic apartment is within 1 mi (2 km) of Trinity University and San Antonio Zoo and Aquarium. San Antonio Botanical Gardens and Marion Koogler McNay Art Museum are also within 3 mi (5 km).