CityPASS® Blog

Articles by City & Category

A Guide to the Witte Museum for First-Time Visitors

December 26, 2023 By CityPASS

A visit to the Witte Museum in San Antonio offers a unique window into the heart and soul of South Texas. Situated near the scenic Brackenridge Park, this revered Texas heritage center serves as a gateway to the state's history, culture, and natural wonder. From meticulously preserved historical clothing to captivating interactive exhibits, the Witte Museum allows you to experience the Lone Star State's diverse stories and natural phenomena. As you wander through its expansive galleries, you are invited to journey across time, exploring the intricate tapestry of life and events that define Texas.

Naylor Family Dinosaur Gallery at the Witte Museum
Naylor Family Dinosaur Gallery at the Witte Museum. Photo by Bria Woods, courtesy of the Witte Museum.

The Foundation and Mission of the Witte Museum

The Witte Museum was established with the vision of celebrating the unique heritage of South Texas through nature, science, and culture. Dedicated to making history accessible to all, the museum integrates interactive learning experiences and state-of-the-art technology to engage visitors of all ages. In addition, the Witte Museum actively collaborates with the community, hosting special events and programs that foster a deeper understanding and appreciation of South Texas.

Witte Museum's Collections

The Witte Museum's collections are perfect for families. They are a microcosm of the world, each gallery offering a unique perspective on history, nature, and art. From the prehistoric era to contemporary times, the museum's diverse exhibitions provide a comprehensive view of our world and its many wonders.

Anthropology and Archeology

Step back in time with the museum's anthropology and archeology exhibits. Here, you can explore the ancient world of Native Americans and uncover historic artifacts that reveal the rich history of South Texas. Discover tools, pottery, and ceremonial items that offer a glimpse into the daily lives of these ancient cultures. These exhibits showcase archeological finds while telling stories of survival, innovation, and cultural evolution.

Military History

The Witte Museum pays homage to Texas's military heritage. Through historical clothing, weaponry, and narratives, visitors gain insight into the brave souls who shaped the state's military past. Exhibits include dog tags and items made by prisoners of war, offering a personal touch to Texas's military narrative. The museum also explores the evolution of military technology, highlighting Texas's role in national defense.

Natural History

Embark on a journey through Texas's diverse ecosystems in Witte's natural history section. Here, you can learn about the state's rich flora and fauna, including a full-size Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton. Experience lifelike dioramas that transport you to different habitats, from coastal marshes to arid deserts. You can also learn about the unique adaptations of animals and plants that have enabled them to thrive in Texas' varied landscapes.

Texas Art

The museum's Texas Art collection showcases the region's artistic legacy. From local artists to traditional crafts, these works capture the spirit of South Texas in various mediums and styles. The collection includes contemporary pieces that reflect current social and environmental issues, connecting the past with the present. The Texas Art section also hosts rotating exhibitions, featuring works from emerging local artists and established names.

World History

The World History section offers a global perspective, highlighting how different cultures and eras have influenced our modern world. It's a testament to the interconnectedness of human history. Explore artifacts from historical civilizations, such as ancient weapons from the Philippines and drums from Southern Africa, and see how their innovations have impacted today's society. This section also delves into the cultural exchanges that occurred during exploration and colonization, shaping our current global landscape.

Texas History

At the heart of the museum lies the Texas History exhibits. This section chronicles the state's journey from its early days to its current status, showcasing Texas's unique role in the wider world. It includes exhibits on the Texas Revolution and the state's eventual incorporation into the United States. The section also pays tribute to the diverse cultures — including Spanish, Mexican, and German influences — that have contributed to the rich tapestry of Texas history.

H-E-B Body Adventure at the Witte Museum
H-E-B Body Adventure at the Witte Museum. Photo by Bria Woods, courtesy of the Witte Museum

Must-See Exhibits in the Witte Museum

The Witte Museum's exhibits are dynamic, immersive experiences that bring history and science to life. These must-see exhibits engage visitors of all ages in the wonders of exploration and discovery.

The H-E-B Body Adventure Powered by University Health

In this permanent exhibit you'll learn more about how to think about your body, health, and movement in general. Explore four floors of interactive hands-on stations to stretch both your mind and muscles. You can even sign in and learn how your heart beats, your mind relaxes, and your legs move as you make your way through the different stations. When you're done, sign out and get a personalized POWERprofile to take home and compare with future visits.

Robert J. & Helen C. Kleberg South Texas Heritage Center

Embark on a captivating journey through the vibrant tapestry of Texas history, where San Antonio's Main Plaza in 1849 serves as the bustling focal point. Explore cowboy diets, early law enforcement, shifts in water access shaping South Texas, and the technological marvels unearthing oil and gas deposits underground. This riveting narrative paints a vivid portrait of Texas's historical mosaic, embracing diverse communities and industries. You'll learn all about the rich tapestry of the Lone Star State's past, where every step unveils a new chapter in this captivating tale.

Naylor Family Dinosaur Gallery

This exhibit will take you on a thrilling odyssey through time to the captivating Cretaceous Period in what is now Texas. Over 110 million years ago, the landscape was alive with astonishing creatures of land, sea, and sky, and this gallery transports you to that ancient era. Immerse yourself in this interactive journey where fossil footprints tell tales, and each exhibit offers a glimpse into the vibrant ecosystems of the past. The Naylor Family Dinosaur Gallery is your passport to a prehistoric adventure in the heart of Texas.

Kittie West Nelson Ferguson People of the Pecos Gallery

Take a journey through Texas's Lower Pecos Canyonlands, delving into the 9,000-year history of the People of the Pecos. Discover the daily life of these hunter-gatherers as they adapted to the seasons, fashioning tools, clothing, and shelter from natural materials. Touchscreens illuminate rock art murals spanning 4,000 years, depicting visual narratives of ancient stories. Experience constellations as the People of the Pecos did, creating a profound connection to this ancient culture and its spiritual world.

People of the Pecos Gallery at the Witte Museum
People of the Pecos Gallery at the Witte Museum. Photo by Bria Woods, courtesy of the Witte Museum.

Make Your First Visit to the Witte Museum Unforgettable

Your first visit to the Witte Museum promises to be an enlightening journey through the past, present, and future. To enhance your experience, consider the San Antonio CityPASS® ticket. With a CityPASS® ticket, you can access other incredible attractions — including the Tower of the Americas, the kid-friendly DoSeum, and the San Antonio Museum of Art — at a great value, making your adventure in San Antonio both memorable and affordable. Start planning your exploration today and discover the things to do in San Antonio with a CityPASS® ticket.

San Antonio Lodging

To get the most out of your stay in San Antonio, we recommend finding lodging near San Antonio’s top attractions. Use this map to find the right lodging for you:

Header Image Photo by Bria Woods, courtesy of the Witte Museum

Related Articles

Get inspired. #citypass