Visit: The Buckhorn Saloon and Texas Ranger Museum, 318 E Houston St, San Antonio, TX 78205-1816
Since its founding in 1881, the Buckhorn Saloon has grown from a bar decorated with antler racks into an impressive collection of taxidermy with more than 520 animal species represented, in addition to other spectacular exhibits.
Make your way to the site and browse the fascinating collections in the Hall of Horns, Hall of Feathers, and Hall of Fins. Among the treasures to behold: a Texas Longhorn with horns that measure more than 8 feet (2.5 meters) across; a record-breaking 1,056-pound (479-kilo) marlin that was caught in Peru; oddities such as an 8-legged lamb and a 2-headed calf; and other impressive horns that include a 78-point buck and a moose with a 5-foot, 7-inch (1.7-meter) rack. Prized specimens include rare and extinct creatures such as an Irish elk and a pair of passenger pigeons.
In the old days, the saloon's owners traded with cowboys, exchanging beer or whiskey for antlers and rattlesnake rattles. They then created chairs from the antlers, such as a 62-horn chair for Teddy Roosevelt, and art pieces from the rattles. See these pieces, then step into the past in the Hall of Texas History Wax Museum section. Dioramas that depict early Texas were originally featured at San Antonio’s Hemisphere World's Fair in 1968.
The Texas Ranger Museum is a more recent addition to the Buckhorn’s collection. It includes artifacts from two centuries of Texas law enforcement, including historic revolvers, sawed-off shotguns, photographs, badges and more. Ranger Town recreates San Antonio life in the early 1900s.
While visiting this fascinating attraction, you can stop into the saloon and cafe for lunch or a locally-brewed beer (each at own expense); you're welcome to bring your drink into the museum.