The state of Texas holds a rich history that can be seen in its renowned museums. However, there are some museums that are less conventional and have unusual themes, objects, creators and names. Their individuality contributes to the extraordinary history of the Lone Star State. If you are looking to experience Texas, add these unique museums to your itinerary!
Dr. Pepper Museum
300 S 5th St., Waco, TX 76701
Many aficionados of Dr. Pepper will appreciate a museum dedicated to their favorite beverage. The Dr. Pepper Museum is located in the original Artesian manufacturing and Bottling Company building, where Dr. Pepper was bottled until the 1960s. The museum has three floors of exhibits, a gift shop of Dr. Pepper merchandise, and a vintage soda fountain. Their most popular tour, Waco: Home of Dr. Pepper explains how Dr. Pepper was invented. The tour has become popular with the Create a Soft Drink activity that allows tour participants to market and develop their own soft drink. But the tour would not be complete without enjoying the beverage itself. Grab a large fountain drink that is 50% off from 11a.m. to 1p.m. on Monday through Saturday and Sunday from 12p.m. to 1p.m.
Salt Palace Museum
100 W Garland St., Grand Saline, TX 75104
When the small town of Grand Saline has enough salt to supply the world for 20,000 years, building a salt palace just makes sense. The Salt Palace Museum is a one-story building constructed out of salt blocks. It contains a small museum with salt mining memorabilia, artifacts, and photographs. Enjoy a film about the Morton Salt mining operations that took place in the town 750 feet underground. Some curious visitors even lick the building walls. Admission is free and everyone receives a souvenir salt crystal. Enjoy the palace while you can, as it has been rebuilt four times due to the salt melting away!
Barney Smith’s Toilet Seat Art Museum
239 Abiso Ave, San Antonio, TX 78209
Troll dolls and PEZ dispensers are some of the items that you will see stuck to toilet seats at Barney Smith’s Toilet Seat Art Museum. The creator of the museum, Barney Smith (95) was born in Eastland, Texas into a family of plumbers. His art museum started when he went to a plumbing supply house that was going to throw away about 50 toilet seats. He began transforming this ‘trash’ into something special. His toilet seat art is a hybrid of found objects, collage, hand lettering and drawing. You can appreciate that each toilet seat is personal and portrays one of his milestones. Barney commemorates everything from his wedding anniversaries to major historical events. Despite over one thousand toilet art pieces that Barney created over 50 years, the real treasure to see at the museum is Barney himself.
Admission is free, but call Barney first at 210-824-7791 to give him time to get ready.
National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame
1750 Gendy St., Fort Worth, TX 76107
When many people think of who shaped the American West they often think of cowboys. At the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame, the museum honors courageous and pioneering cowgirls. The museum is the only one in the world dedicated to celebrating women in the American West. Enjoy interactive exhibits, rare photographs, artifacts, and theater presentations, as you walk through the 33,000 square-foot building. Some women in the Hall of Fame include Georgia O’Keeffe, Annie Oakley, Sacagawea, and Sandra Day O’Connor. Additional women are being inducted annually and honorees can be cowgirls, artists, businesswomen or even educators.
–By Jennifer Murphy