They’re All Staring at Me!


The Buckhorn Museum and Saloon in San Antonio had a few things we’ve come to love and appreciate more and more as this trip becomes us – history, museums and local beer.

We’d heard great things about the Buckhorn and the history is intriguing. The saloon, opened in 1881, was a favorite haunt of Teddy Roosevelt and his Rough Riders, and later became a tourist attraction based on its tremendous collection of hunting trophies from around the world.  In 1890, after years of collecting, the owner offered a hunter $100 for a 78-point buck (the equivalent of over $2300 in today’s dollars), and for many years offered a free drink to anyone who would bring him a set of horns to display.

Today, the saloon and restaurant is best known for its museums – three in all. The original collection of stuffed game trophies including a 1,056 pound marlin, bears, deer, zebra, a giraffe and literally hundreds of other animals, shares space with the Texas Ranger Museum and the Carnival Curiosities and American Sideshow.

The Ranger museum, an ode to some of the toughest lawmen in history, includes a collection of guns, badges and stories of some of the Rangers most famous alumnus – though we could not find Chuck Norris in any of the displays. We thought this quite an oversight!

The zany Carnival Curiosities section featured a flea circus, the world’s “smallest” elephant and disappearing butterflies – hokey but fun! The American Sideshow on the other hand explores our favorite sideshow oddities and storytellers – from PT Barnum’s smallest man, to the never-ending mind shaft and more.

We spent a couple hours in the museum, took a ton of photos (see below) and enjoyed a beer under the gaze of a 78-point buck, an elephant and a moose with a 67 inch rack. A bit touristy, and a little expensive ($19/person), it’s still a required stop for those visiting San Antonio. It might not have seemed so expensive if Chuck Norris had been prominently featured. Information can be found here.