Dallas is a city famous for its ranches and oil production. The town’s rich history makes it a unique destination for millions of tourists worldwide. Over the years, Dallas made the most of the industrial revolution and has transformed itself into a trade hub. Having an excellent infrastructure and being home to the nicest people, the city of Dallas has been a top tourist destination for decades.
The city also hosts some of the highest-rated attractions in the entire state of Texas. So without further ado, let us dive into the top 10 destinations that might lure you into an exciting trip to Dallas, Texas.
Top attractions in Dallas, TX
1. Dallas Museum Of Art
This museum is currently situated in the Arts District located in downtown Dallas. Previously, it was found in a recreational complex, Fair Park. This new building of the museum is an architectural wonder on its own. With its modern look and sleek design, it is set to captivate visitors at very first sight. The Dallas Museum Of Art is home to a massive collection of more than 20,000 artworks from artists, painters, sculptors, and musicians worldwide. Besides its great permanent collection, this museum is famous for hosting several exhibitions and events throughout the year. Moreover, the education programs hosted by the Dallas Museum Of Art are known to be one of the best in what they offer.
A public library is also located adjacent to the museum. It contains more than 50,000 books and manuscripts. Some of them date back to the 3rd millennium BC. The Dallas Museum Of Art is also known for its sheer size. It is constructed over a whopping 160,000 square feet of land. This makes it the largest art museum in the country. The museum’s comprehensive collection is divided into eight categories: African, American, Ancient Mediterranean, Asian, Contemporary, Decorative Arts And Design, European, and Pre-Columbian. There is also an art collection named after a renowned couple of Wendy and Emery Reves. With new exhibitions and community events every month, this museum is a must-visit place for anyone on tour to Dallas.
2. Dallas Arboretum And Botanical Garden
This 60-acre botanical garden can be accessed on Garland Road in East Dallas. It is next to White Rock Lake and is home to many plant species. The Dallas Arboretum is known to seed plants for every season and from every corner of the world. It was established in 1938, with the Arboretum opening up in 1984. The Dallas Arboretum And Botanical Garden consist of the DeGolyer Estate and the Alex Camp House. Some of its famous gardens include Margaret Elisabeth Jonsson Color Garden, A Woman’s Garden, The Nancy Rutchik Red Maple Rill, Boswell Family Garden, McCasland Sunken Garden, Nancy’s Garden, Crape Myrtle Allee, Pecan Grove, DeGolyer Garden, Lay Family Garden, The Trial Gardens, Rose Mary Haggar Rose Garden, and The Trammell Crow Visitor Education Pavilion.
The Dallas Arboretum And Botanical Garden are sure to keep you engaged for hours on length. There is just so much to see and do. You can spend time with your kids at the Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure Garden. Battery-operated buses are taking you around the garden estate. These are the most common and comfortable transportation modes between different gardens. You can also visit the magnificent mansion of the Everette Lee DeGolyer, whose estate makes up for most of the land occupied by the Dallas Arboretum. With guided tours available, you can have curators and gardeners explain everything to you as you marvel at different varieties of plants and flowers.
3. Perot Museum Of Nature And Science
In Dallas, you can visit this vast museum of nature and science-filled with exciting and thrilling exhibits for everyone. Its unique and startling building is easy to notice from a distance. The museum is located right next to downtown Dallas and catches your eye as you drive on the freeway right next to it. Surprisingly, this museum was founded as a package of three museums in one. It replaced the Dallas Museum Of Natural History, The Science Place, and the Dallas Children’s Museum. With 180,000 square feet of exhibition space, the Perot Museum Of Nature And Science takes fun and knowledge to the next level. Moreover, the museum does it in an interactive way that you will not feel bored or exhausting for even a few seconds. There will always be something new that sparks your curiosity.
As you walk in from the museum front doors, you will move up through an escalator with an original Tyrannosaurus skeleton at the end. From there onwards, your adventure in the world of nature and science will begin. You can view galleries that showcase our planet’s history and display its beauty in the purest form. The Perot Museum Of Nature And Science has a dinosaur hall, a fully operating research lab, interactive activities for kids, and so much more. If you plan to visit this museum, make sure to set some time apart because you will not feel like leaving any time soon.
4. The Sixth Floor Museum At Dealey Plaza
Located in what was previously a school book depository for Texas, The Sixth Floor Museum is a unique place to visit. This place and location where the assassin of President John F Kennedy fired his shot from. This museum tells the story of Kennedy’s assassination like you have never seen or heard before. You get to see different artifacts and photographs related to that horrific shooting. It also displays the motive behind the President’s Texas tour in great detail. The Sixth Floor Museum successfully creates an environment where you can understand the circumstances around this incident. It takes you on a chilling ride that will enable you to live this story.
Once the story is set, you get to see the exact area where his assassin placed himself for the shot. The museum has recreated the entire setting to take in as much authenticity as possible. You also get to see what it was like looking at the motorcade from that position through giant screens. At this incident, this place was a warehouse full of books. This is why you will see plenty of wooden cartons lying around the artifacts to recreate the sense of that actual setting. At the Sixth Floor Museum, you also get to hear stories from multiple eyewitnesses who saw this horrific occurrence right before their eyes. It was indeed a significant loss for the nation, and the fact that this museum commemorates it with such a great sense of responsibility is terrific.
5. Dallas Zoo
Situated not far from downtown Dallas, this zoo is a great place to be with your family and friends. It was established more than 130 years ago and is considered one of the oldest zoos in the United States. So it is even more surprising that it is managed by a non-profit organization, the Dallas Zoological Society. It is responsible for membership programs, yearly events, special exhibitions, public relations, and retail. This zoo has more than 2,000 animals from over 400 species. It has also achieved the hallmark number of a million visitors in a calendar year. The currently enormous collection of the Dallas Zoo started from a couple of deer and two mountain lions in 1888. After that, with increased funding and assistance from the supportive community, Dallas Zoo was able to turn into what it is today.
Two of the most famous zones inside the Dallas Zoo include the Wilds Of Africa and the ZooNorth. These contain endangered tiger habitats, a nature exchange program, penguin coves, chimpanzee forest, a Gorilla research center, forest aviary, adventure safari, and much more. The Dallas Zoo also boasts a highly comprehensive conservation program. With participation in more than 40 Species Survival Plans, the Zoo administration saves African elephants, African penguins, Black rhinoceros, Chinese alligators, fishing cats, spider monkeys, pink pigeons, thick-billed parrots, and wattled cranes. Besides visiting animal exhibits, you can attend Safari Night or the Zoo-To-Do fundraising festival.
6. Six Flags Over Texas
In Western Dallas, you can visit the iconic theme park, Six Flags Over Texas. It is constructed on more than 200 acres of land, filled with amusement rides and fun activities. If you are an adventure seeker visiting Dallas with your family, this is a must-visit place. This theme park is owned by the Six Flags Entertainment Corporation and is considered one of the best of its kind in all of Texas. It was opened to the public in 1961, and since then, the visitor count of this place has been rising like nowhere else. A real-estate developer in Texas conceived it after he visited Disneyland in California. He thought that his home state needed a theme park where everyone could come and spend a day full of fun and entertainment. This is precisely what Six Flags Over Texas now provides to all visitors.
With attractions and rides spread all across the park, there is just so much to do. The flagship attractions at the Six Flags Over Texas include Broadway-style shows, Intamin Ride, Log Flume, Mine Train Roller Coaster, Parachute Ride, Freefall Ride, and the I-Box Hybrid Coaster. In addition, this park is credited with having the tallest and faster roller coaster in all of Texas, the Titan. It also features the second-highest swing ride all over the world. Thanks to these hallmark attractions, this park attracts millions of visitors and tourists every year.
7. Nasher Sculpture Center
This is a unique museum filled with hundreds of sculptures and artifacts. Most of the exhibits displayed at the Nasher Sculpture Center represent modern and contemporary art. This museum was opened in 2003 to drive attention towards the incredible Raymond Nasher collection. Along with his wife Patsy, he collected sculptures from all over the world for his private collection. In the late years of his life, it was decided that his collection and some other renowned sculptures would be showcased at this sculpture center in Dallas. Nasher Sculpture Center is located right next to the Dallas Museum Of Art so that you can visit both of these attractions on the same day.
The collection displayed at the Nasher Sculpture Center dates back to the 1950s. This was when Raymond and Patsy Nasher decided to build a sculpture collection based on their love for art. The artists featured at this sculpture center include Alexander Calder, Paul Gauguin, Mark di Suvero, Barbara Hepworth, Henri Matisse, Claes Oldenburg, Richard Serra, and many more. The architectural aspect of the center cannot be ignored either. It is constructed beautifully with long glass panes and wooden flooring, which uplifts the overall ambiance of the facility. The center is also home to a beautiful garden spread across 2 acres. There are three sculpture galleries inside the center, each displaying gorgeous works of these famous sculptors. The center also holds regular exhibitions where artists, curators, and sculpture critics get together from all over the world to marvel at this magnificent form of art.
8. Dallas World Aquarium
This fantastic aquarium is situated in the Historic District of Dallas. With its conservatory breeding program, the Dallas World Aquarium is acknowledged for its efforts to conserve and protect rare aquatic species. This aquarium was opened to the public in 1992 with an increased focus on driving attention towards the importance of saving and protecting marine life. The aquarium is divided into two major exhibits. One part of the facility displays creatures from freshwater, whereas the other is solely dedicated to saltwater animals. An artificial rainforest is also developed inside the building to incredible house birds. Each tank at the aquarium is themed with creatures from a specific part of the world. These include sea animals from Japan, Sri Lanka, the Bahamas, Palau, Lord Howe Island, Indonesia, British Columbia, Fiji, Southern Australia, and the Solomon Islands.
There is also a picturesque underwater glass tunnel through which you can walk and see the marine life swimming its way around you. The panoramic glass of the tunnel immerses you into the mesmerizing world that lies underwater. At the Dallas World Aquarium, you can see River Rays, Sharks, Lionfish, Crocodiles, Flamingos, and Penguins populating their natural habitats. The aquarium also runs multiple educational programs and coordinates with the Dallas School District. They arrange for guided tours through the aquarium in which directors brief about everything there is to know about these animals. So whenever you are in Dallas and are looking to refresh your mind with the wonders and curiosities of sea life, the Dallas World Aquarium is your place to be in.
9. Klyde Warren Park
The Klyde Warren Park in Dallas is located in the middle of the city and appreciates nature for its meaning in every one of our lives. This urban park replaced a concrete jungle and a freeway. The reason behind the development of this park in this place was so that Dallas could show its awareness of the importance of green spaces. This park was developed with funding from the world-famous investment banking company, J.P. Morgan. This endeavor has massively brought together people from all over Dallas, making them understand the relevance of mother nature. Therefore, this park can be considered the Central Park of Dallas. With ample space for everyone to come here and enjoy their time, this park is turning into a central hub.
Other than just drawing the public, the park administration does more to engage its visitors. More than 1200 programs and activities are arranged for the park visitors every year. This means that there will be something going on here, no matter when you visit. The impact of this park on the urban culture in Dallas has been tremendous. There is also a botanical garden located inside the park. With outdoor game arenas, sporting activities, biking trails, a dog park, and an exercise club, you will feel recreation and freshness all around you. At the Klyde Warren Park, you will have everything from walking over the lush green lawns and seeing the fountains dance to enjoying local cuisine from several food trucks.
10. Reunion Tower
You will surely notice the 550-foot tall Reunion Tower whenever you are in Dallas. It is the tallest tower with a ball-shaped structure on top. It is also more commonly known as “The Ball” in Dallas. The Reunion Tower was completed in 1978, and it made the Dallas skyline even more iconic. With great views of the entire city, the Reunion Tower is a great place to visit if you are in Dallas for the very first time. An elevator will take you to the top when you reach the tower. Stairs are also present, but they are used for maintenance purposes only. When you reach the top, you will see a 360-degree view of Dallas City. From the top of the tower, you can see the flow of traffic on freeways through one side and watch the mighty Dallas skyline through the other.
This tower was constructed as a part of the urban redevelopment project. It stands tall and is the 15th tallest structure in Dallas. The space at the top of the tower is large enough to house an entire restaurant. Here, you can dine while marveling at the views Dallas has to offer. There are interactive screens installed on the observation deck that displays information about Dallas’s history and culture and the surrounding areas. There are multiple telescopes installed on all sides of the deck. You can have a close-up look at whatever you feel interested in through them. Taking in this bird-eye view of the city can be engaging and captivating. It is undoubtedly an experience not to miss for anything.
The city of Dallas is filled with history, culture, art, and some of the best Texan food. There are some great places to stay in and acknowledge the urban beauty of this city. Crown jewel of the southern state of Texas, Dallas is an incredible destination for your next trip. It has everything one looks for in an ideal vacation.