The city of Dallas has a long and storied history, beginning with the ranching, farming, and oil production industries that flourished there in the 19th century. After the railroad was introduced in 1873, Dallas quickly became a major trade center, and after WWII, insurance corporations and banks moved in, making the city one of the most important business and financial centers in the United States. This was the perfect backdrop for the famous soap opera “Dallas”, which explored the drama of power, money, and intrigue – a theme which has been a hallmark of the city since its founding.
Dallas is a city full of history and culture that brings many people to its doors each year. There is an abundance of attractions to visit and activities to do in the city. From the awe-inspiring architecture of the Perot Museum of Nature and Science and the Kirby Building to the city’s many museums, concert venues, and parks, it is easy to find something to do in Dallas. Whether you’re interested in learning about the city’s history or just want to enjoy the sights and sounds of the city, Dallas is sure to have something for you.
The city center of Dallas is the perfect place to begin your visit. Here, you’ll find a vast array of captivating museums, delicious restaurants, and luxurious hotels. Additionally, there are plenty of exciting activities to partake in, from exploring the West End district with its trendy shops and eateries to visiting the Arts District for its renowned galleries and performance venues. Finally, the reemerging Deep Vellum District is a must-see destination with its eclectic shops and eateries. Whether you’re looking for an educational experience, a delicious meal, or an exciting adventure, the city center of Dallas has it all.
1.The Museum on the Sixth Floor of Dealey Plaza
The Texas School Book Depository in Dallas is a place that will forever be remembered as the site of one of the most tragic and defining moments in U.S. history, the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Today, the building has been converted into a museum to commemorate this moment and to pay tribute to the former president. Visitors can explore the museum’s exhibits, which detail the events of the fateful day and the conspiracy theories that have surrounded it for decades. The museum also contains artifacts from the era, including photographs, documents, and audio recordings. For anyone who wishes to remember this moment in history, the Texas School Book Depository is the ideal place to do so.
Visiting the museum is like taking a step back in time to the fateful days surrounding President Kennedy’s assassination in 1963. The multimedia exhibits give visitors an insight into the political climate of the early 60s and the events leading up to the tragedy. As the tour progresses, visitors will come to the iconic corner window from which Lee Harvey Oswald took the fatal shots, recreated to match the original crime scene photographs. It’s a sobering reminder of a day that changed the course of history.
The remaining exhibits at the JFK assassination memorial focus on the tense hours that followed the shooting. They give visitors a glimpse into the shock that enveloped the nation and the world, as well as the subsequent investigations into the shooting. The exhibits also highlight the legacy that JFK left behind, showing how his life and death had a lasting effect on the world. It is a powerful reminder of the events that took place on that fateful day and the lasting impact they had.
The exhibits related to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy are not only limited to photographs and videos, but also include historical artifacts that provide a personal reminder of the tragedy. Among the artifacts on display is a replica of the Mannlicher-Carcano rifle found at the crime scene, a scale model of Dealey Plaza used by FBI agents during the investigation, forensic evidence, and personal items such as Lee Harvey Oswald’s wedding ring and Jack Ruby’s hat. These artifacts have come to symbolize the tragedy and are powerful reminders of the day that changed history.
Visiting the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza is an incredibly immersive experience. The tour includes admission to the museum and an audio tour guided by Pierce Allman. The tour features audio clips of radio broadcasts, eyewitness reports, and police statements from the day of the tragedy and the days that followed. This adds extra depth and detail to the exhibits in the museum, making for a more meaningful and impactful visit.
2. The Dallas Arboretum and Botanical
The Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden is a stunning 66 acre property located just minutes away from downtown Dallas. Featuring fourteen world-renowned displays of seasonal flowers, ornamental shrubs, trees, and plant collections, the gardens are a treat for visitors of all ages. The Dallas Arboretum is also a great place to enjoy outdoor festivals, concerts, art shows, and educational programs. Plus, guided tours are available to help visitors make the most of their visit to this vibrant and beautiful destination.
The tourist attraction that was conceived in the early 1930s finally came to fruition in 1984, when the park was laid out on the grounds of a mansion built in 1939. This park, which has become a popular destination for visitors, features exquisite sculptures and fountains in areas such as Toad’s Corner, Texas Town, and Pecan Grove, adding to the fun and enjoyment of the experience. With its unique features and design, this tourist attraction is sure to delight visitors of all ages.
White Rock Lake Park is an incredible experience for both nature lovers and those just looking for a peaceful escape. With over 1,000 acres of land, the lake is the perfect spot for bird and wildlife spotting, as well as fishing and sailing. Surrounding the lake are 10 miles of hiking and biking trails, offering a great way to explore the area and take in the stunning scenery. Whether you’re looking for an afternoon of relaxation or a full day of adventure, White Rock Lake Park is sure to provide a unique and memorable experience.
3. Dallas World Aquarium
The Dallas World Aquarium is a great destination for a fun and educational outing, located conveniently within easy walking distance of the city’s historic downtown core. With 87,000 gallons of saltwater, visitors can witness an amazing array of sea life such as bonnethead sharks, stingrays, jellyfish, sea turtles, giant groupers, and rare leafy seadragons all living in natural reef settings. Whether you are young or old, you are sure to enjoy the unique experience of exploring this amazing underwater world.
The Orinoco Rainforest exhibit is a fun highlight of the aquarium experience. Not only can you observe a variety of free-flying birds, such as toucans, but also tree sloths, Orinoco crocodiles, and even poison dart frogs. Be sure to check the feeding schedule before arrival for a chance to see the animals in their most active states, as well as to find out what upcoming talks and lectures are happening. The Orinoco Rainforest exhibit is sure to be an enjoyable and educational experience for the whole family.
When you visit the aquarium, make sure to check out one of the three restaurants they offer. You can choose from a variety of gourmet and international food, sandwiches, and snacks while you enjoy the view of the sea life. Whether you’re looking for a quick bite or a luxurious dinner, the aquarium restaurants are sure to satisfy your appetite. Enjoy delicious food and beautiful views all in one place!
4. Reunion Tower
The Reunion Tower is a Dallas landmark that is instantly recognizable and well-known. Completed in 1978, this 560-foot geodesic ball is perched atop five cylindrical concrete poles and is illuminated at night, making it stand out against the Dallas skyline. Although it is not the tallest building in the city, the Reunion Tower is one of the most distinguished and recognizable structures in the city.
The GeO-Deck observation viewing platform at the tower is something special. From 470 feet in the air, on clear days you can get panoramic views of Dallas that are simply breathtaking. But there’s more to do than just taking in the views – there are always special events taking place at the GeO-Deck like yoga and painting classes, perfect for people who want to enjoy the scenery while learning something new. It’s an experience that can’t be replicated anywhere else, and it’s definitely the highlight of the tower!
5. The George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum
The George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum is a comprehensive look into the life and legacy of America’s 43rd president. Situated on a 23-acre area on the Southern Methodist University campus, the museum features more than 43,000 artifacts collected during the George W. Bush presidency. Visitors to the museum can explore the galleries and archives that chronicle the history of the Bush family’s public service, as well as the legacy of President Bush himself. The museum offers an in-depth look at President Bush’s time in office, and is a must-see for anyone interested in the history of the United States.
The National Museum of American History houses some of the most historically significant artifacts in its permanent collection. Among these items are notable diplomatic gifts, items from the September 11th terrorist attacks, and even a fun exhibit devoted to the lives of Miss Beazley and Barney, the First Pets of the Bush White House. After exploring the museum, visitors can also enjoy a coffee or bite to eat at Cafe 43 or outdoor dining at the Courtyard Cafe.
6. The Perot Museum of Nature and Science
The construction of the building was done with sustainability in mind. During the design process, many eco-friendly features were incorporated to ensure the building’s environmental impact was kept to a minimum. These features included the capture and reuse of condensation from air conditioners and other water conservation measures, the use of recycled and locally sourced building materials, and the installation of solar-powered water heaters. To reduce reliance on non-renewable energy sources, the building was designed to maximize the use of natural light, and it also incorporated energy-saving systems and efficient insulation. By utilizing these innovative design features, the building was able to meet its sustainability goals and serve as a model for future projects.
The museum offers an educational and entertaining experience for all ages, with a variety of interactive activities and displays. It is divided into thematic areas which include engineering and innovation, energy, evolution, earth sciences and more. High-tech displays and exciting interactive games make learning fun. Additionally, the museum includes a 3D theater, the Moody Family Children’s Museum, a playground, and a 54-foot escalator in a glass enclosure, providing incredible views of the property from within the museum. This is a great opportunity for families to learn and explore together in a safe and engaging environment.
7. The Dallas Museum of Art
The Dallas Museum of Art is an iconic institution in the city of Dallas, having opened in 1903. It is one of the ten largest museums in the USA, boasting a collection of over 24,000 works from the Americas and all around the world. The museum houses a wide array of artifacts, ranging from ancient artifacts to modern-day contemporary art, fully embodying the spirit of the city and adding to the city’s vibrant culture. Visiting the Dallas Museum of Art is an experience that all should have the privilege of experiencing.
The collection at the museum is varied and impressive. Highlights include classical works from ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome, paintings by Claude Monet in the European art gallery, and contemporary pieces by Jackson Pollock. In addition to the permanent collections, the museum also has temporary exhibitions featuring the work of renowned artists and exploring a range of topics. These displays provide a unique opportunity to explore historic collections and gain a deeper understanding of the art.
The Wendy and Emery Reves Collection is a remarkable exhibit of over 1,400 artifacts that were donated by a single philanthropist. This vast collection includes stunning painted fans, intricate lacquered boxes, beautiful Chinese porcelain, and exquisite 17th-century European furniture. This is an art exhibition worth visiting, as the collection offers a unique glimpse into the art and culture of different times and places.
8. Klyde Warren Park
Klyde Warren Park is a great place to take a break from the hustle and bustle of downtown Dallas. This beautiful public park is tucked away in the city center and provides a peaceful atmosphere with plenty of things to do. From food trucks and outdoor dining to public art and green spaces, visitors can enjoy a casual social scene and some much needed respite from the city. No matter the day, Klyde Warren Park is the perfect spot to relax and unwind.
The five-acre park in Dallas is the perfect place to relax and enjoy the city’s scenery. There is something for everyone; from cafes to enjoy, to sitting areas by the fountains, to public events taking place. It is also great for a picnic; bring a blanket and enjoy the half hour to take in the city. Whether it’s a relaxing day out or an eventful one, the park in Dallas is the perfect spot.
9.The Dallas Zoo
The Dallas Zoo is a must-see attraction for families visiting the city. Spanning 106-acres, the park is home to over 2,000 exotic animals from 406 different species, living in habitats that replicate their natural environments. Established in 1888, it is one of the oldest zoos in the United States and is conveniently located just three miles away from the city center. With its variety of activities, educational programs, and interactive exhibits, the zoo offers something for everyone.
The zoo is a fantastic place for visitors of all ages. It is divided into regions, such as ZooNorth, the Wilds of Africa, Giants of the Savanna and a children’s zoo. Guests can have incredible experiences such as animal encounters with the daily giraffe feedings, programs on the Wild Encounters Stage, and exploring the interactive aviary called Birds Landing. All of these experiences give visitors an up close and personal look at some of the world’s most amazing creatures.
The T-Rex Express min train is a fun experience for kids at ZooNorth. It’s a small-sized electric train that can add an extra adventure to the day. If you’re looking for something to eat, there are plenty of restaurants and snack stands around the zoo, or you can even bring a picnic and enjoy it at one of the picnic tables located throughout the zoo grounds. It’s a great way to make a day out of your zoo visit and create a memorable experience for the kids.
10. The American Airlines Center
The American Airlines Center arena in Dallas is a top destination for some of the world’s best entertainment acts. The arena is known for hosting live concerts, A-list entertainment, and professional sporting events. It is the home court for the Dallas Mavericks and the NHL Dallas Stars, giving fans the opportunity to see their favorite teams in action. With its premier location and high-capacity stadium, the American Airlines Center has become one of the most sought-after arenas in the United States.
The American Airlines Center is a great place to plan a night out no matter the time of year. In addition to hosting home games for the Dallas Mavericks and Dallas Stars, you will find a nearly nightly lineup of entertainment. Before or after your event, take a stroll around the PNC Plaza located around the arena to enjoy the restaurants and social scene. It’s the perfect way to make a night out at the American Airlines Center even more special.
11. The Nasher Sculpture
The Nasher Sculpture Center opened in 2003, and is home to a wide selection of modern and contemporary sculptures. Located in the heart of the Dallas Arts District and close to the Dallas Museum of Art, the Center features a number of large outdoor sculptures that are spread throughout its tree-lined grounds. Visitors can explore the history of sculpture with the different exhibits, while also taking in the beauty of the outdoor displays. The Nasher Sculpture Center has become a must-see destination for art and sculpture lovers alike!
The University of Texas at Dallas is home to an art museum dedicated to the arts and cultures of China, Japan, India, and Southeast Asia. This museum boasts an impressive interior exhibit, featuring pieces by renowned artists such as Edgar Degas, Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, Max Ernst, and Andy Warhol. The museum and sculpture park also offer a variety of events, such as lectures and concerts. Visitors to the museum have the chance to explore the world and appreciate its diverse cultures through the beautiful artworks on display.
12. The Bishop Arts Area
The Bishop Arts District in Dallas’s North Oak Cliff neighborhood is a great place to explore for things to do. It features more than sixty independently owned and operated businesses, offering a wide range of shopping, dining, and entertainment experiences. There are chic boutiques, art galleries, restaurants, and cozy coffee shops all surrounded by an inviting small-town atmosphere. If you are looking for something to do, the Bishop Arts District is definitely worth a visit.
The unique purveyors of the neighborhood are a sight to behold, offering specialty shops that cater to male clientele, like the quirky M’antiques, as well as several women’s vintage clothing boutiques and a range of shops selling items made by local artists and designers. This vibrant neighborhood is known for its strong sense of community, often hosting family-friendly street festivals and public entertainment. It’s a wonderful place to browse and explore, with something for everyone to enjoy.
13. Scenic sculptures depicting a Dallas cattle drive located at
The Dallas Cattle Drive Sculptures at Pioneer Plaza are a must-see attraction in the city of Dallas. The sculptures depict the historic Chisholm Trail cattle drives of the late 1800s, when Texas ranchers moved their cattle from South Texas to markets in Kansas. The bronze sculptures feature a herd of longhorn steers being driven by three cowboys on horseback, as well as a life-size bronze statue of a trail boss on horseback. The sculptures are arranged in a circular pattern around a man-made pond, creating a stunning visual in the heart of Dallas. The sculptures are a reminder of the great history of Dallas and the vital role the cattle drives played in the development of the city.
The Robert E. Lee Park in Austin, Texas is an incredible site to behold. Its most remarkable features are the 49 larger-than-life bronze sculptures of Texas Longhorn cattle being herded through the park and across the creek by three mounted cowboys. These sculptures, designed by artist Robert Summers, pay homage to the iconic industry that defined early Texas. The park is landscaped to perfectly capture and recreate the iconic scene of the cattle industry. It is truly a unique and remarkable sight to see.
14. Morton H. Mey
The Dallas Symphony Orchestra is an exceptional performing arts organization in Dallas, Texas and the largest in the Southwest United States. The Symphony performs both classical and modern concerts at the renowned Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center, giving audience members a truly special experience. The Dallas Symphony Orchestra is highly respected for its artistry, and continues to be a major source of culture and entertainment for the city of Dallas.
The Dallas Symphony, under the direction of Fabio Luisi, is a beloved staple of the city. In addition to performances in their regular home venue, they also regularly perform in other locations, giving back to the city through educational programs. During the summer months, they host the Symphony in the Parks series where they give free outdoor concerts in several Dallas community parks. This series is always a hit with locals and visitors alike, providing an opportunity to experience the beauty of classical music in a unique setting.
15. Frontiers of Flight Museum
The Frontiers of Flight Museum is a must-see for any history buff or aviation enthusiast. With its extensive collection of over 30 aircraft, the museum offers a truly unique experience, taking visitors on a journey through the history of aviation. From a full-scale model of the Wright Flyer to artifacts from the Hindenburg and various WWI and WWII aircraft, the museum offers a fascinating insight into the evolution of aviation from the days of Leonardo da Vinci to modern space exploration.
The Dallas Love Field Airport is home to a stunning collection of vintage aircraft and spacecraft, including a fully restored Stearman PT-17 Kaydet Biplane and the Apollo VII spacecraft. Additionally, the Braniff Gallery and Virgin America exhibit celebrate the history of commercial aviation in the area. These exhibits provide a unique opportunity to explore the history of aviation and get up close and personal with some of the most iconic aircraft of the past.
16. John F. Kennedy Memorial Plaza
The John F. Kennedy Memorial Plaza is a monument to the former President, located a short distance from Dealey Plaza in Dallas, Texas. Designed by renowned architect Philip Johnson, the memorial was completed in 1970 after years of debate and controversy. The plaza stands across from the city courthouse, and although its appearance is understated, it still offers a powerful and meaningful tribute to the legacy of the beloved president.
The John F. Kennedy Eternal Flame Monument is an open tomb concept designed by architect Philip Johnson to honor the late President John F. Kennedy. It features two large marble slabs, standing 30 feet tall and 50 feet wide, that represent Kennedy’s free spirit. At the entrance to the monument, a stirring epitaph has been inscribed, which pays tribute to the life and legacy of President Kennedy. The monument is a fitting symbol of his life and spirit and stands as a reminder of the profound impact he had on the world.