912 Padre Boulevard
South Padre Island, TX 78597
Phone: (956) 772-9020
Fax: (956) 772-9022
Arts & Museums
The deceptive coastline near South Padre Island and Port Isabel ruined many a ship in its time. Of particular note are three Spanish ships that sunk over 400 years ago. Several different ways to explore the area and its remnants, including murals, activities, and artifacts bring the past to life. Not only featuring the ships, the Treasures of the Gulf Museum also details the adventures of the shipwrecked sailors.
Not only does the Port Isabel Historic Museum contain numerous artifacts, but the building itself has a rich and varied history as an important building in Port Isabel. Built in 1899, the venue has been a dry goods store and a post office. The two level museum now educates visitors on the history of the area. Impressive exhibits include a collection on the Mexican-American War and a mural painted in 1906.
Swing by the replicated gates of Graceland in Los Fresnos to see the spirit of Elvis still alive and well. The Little Graceland Museum is owned and run by Simon Vega, a man who became friends with and served with the real Elvis many years ago during World War II. The museum is in Vega's house, and contains collections of Elvis memorabilia, along with personal photographs of the two from their time together. If you love the King and want a museum with a personal touch, the Little Graceland Museum is the place for you.
The Commemorative Air Force Museum: Rio Grande Valley Wing has a spectacular collection of aircrafts from the World War II era. While educating visitors, this museum pays tribute to the men, women, and machines who served the United States during this all-important war. The hangar includes around 10 aircrafts, which are interesting to watch and learn from.
Don Breeden's permanent gallery exhibits his extensive work, spanning many aspects of South Texas culture. Some of his subjects include wildlife and nature scenes like birds, deer, fish & fishing, and plant life. His depictions of Texas history and architecture are also numerous, one example of which is Breeden's series of Texas flags, which can be purchased as a set in the form of a poster with all 17 versions in one. Nearly all of his work is done in watercolor and much of his artwork is available on a limited basis as signed and numbered prints.
A lot can be learned about a culture from its clothing, and these "costumes" teach about cultures from all over the Americas. The collection was begun by Florence Terry Griswold who also founded the Pan American Round Table of Texas. Each costume displayed here gives a unique insight and promotes understanding between vastly different cultures.
Great for toddlers and children upto 10 years, though older kids will also enjoy the interactive exhibits, workshops and events held in the Children's Museum. The museum's goal is to get parents actively involved with their little one's learning development as well as introduce children to the world of learning. With a fun-filled atmosphere and clean environ, the Children's Museum in Brownsville is not only educating but also entertaining for the whole family.
The Brownsville Museum of Fine Art enriches the community not only by displaying works of art but also by providing lectures, classes, concerts and opportunities to interact with the art world. Thereby helping the common man appreciate the finer nuances of this beautiful art form. There are programs for children as well. Though there are temporary exhibition from local and international artists all through the year, their permanent collection features works by artists such as Mark Chagall, Augustus John and Alexander Calder. The museum also has a store so you can take home a little bit of the art to add to your daily life. They also let out their spaces for business meetings, receptions and other events.
The Old City Cemetery Center is not as spooky as it sounds. Besides graves, the center is also interested in the folk art and customs of the area, especially as pertaining to the cemetery. One of the most distinctive cemeteries in the Rio Grande Valley, the architecture in the cemetery are worth noticing. The Center hopes to enrich the community with information and programs on the cemetery and surrounding neighborhood.
If you like interesting architecture and history, you might want to head over to the Historic Brownsville Museum. The architecture of the Museum, which was first a Southern Pacific Depot Building and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The inside of the building houses a collection of artifacts from the area's past, dating as far back as the Mexican-American War. On the same site is also a gift shop and an education center, perfect for hosting most events.
If you are itching to learn about Brownsville's illustrious past, a trip to the Brownsville Heritage Museum will satisfy your urge. Portraying the development of Brownsville and its environs up through the first half of the 20th century, this museum has been awarded the Texas Historical Commission's Award of Merit. The museum features displays of art, artifacts, and a large collection of everyday clothing, one of the gems of the museum.
Established by Henry Miller in 1850, Stillman House Museum was once home to Charles Stillman, the founder of Brownsville, a man who helped transport troops on his riverboat during the Mexican-American War. The Stillman House Museum displays relics from the Brownsville of years gone by. Although the furnishings may not be the originals which the Stillman's used, they are from the period in which the house was built and used.