Explore Dallas

Dallas Travel Guide

The two biggest cities in North Texas, Dallas and Fort Worth, are 30 miles (48km) apart but have been drawn together into one urban concentration known as the 'DFW Metroplex' with a combined population of more than four million.<br /><br /> The two cities are, however, very different halves of a whole. Dallas, its soaring glass-sided skyscrapers seemingly growing like mushrooms out of the prairie, is full of glitz and glamour. Its urban landscape is vigorous and classy, its citizens enjoying the good things in life from fashionable clothing to flashy cars. This thriving city is the ninth largest city in the United States, having grown from a frontier outpost with 20 streets in 1841 to a centre for big business and big banking, helped along a little by 'black gold', the oil that was discovered 100 miles (161km) east of the city in 1930.<br /><br /> Fort Worth, the western half of the Metroplex, is the gateway to the Wild West. Having started out as 'Cowtown', a base for cattle drives, Fort Worth still reflects a laid-back and slightly 'cowpoke' attitude, although surprisingly it has also developed into a cultural centre with world-class museums and a thriving performing arts sector.<br /><br /> Dallas is certainly the place for visitors to enjoy a rich shopping experience and upmarket wining and dining, but Fort Worth is the venue for exciting and interesting attractions and a taste of western culture.<br /><br />

Dallas Heritage Village

Address: 1515 South Harwood Street, Dallas Dallas-Fort Worth

The city of Dallas' history is preserved in a living museum nestled in 13 wooded acres just south of downtown, known as Old City Park.<br /><br /> This historical village consists of 38 buildings and houses, including a working farm, elegant Victorian homes, a school, church, general store, saloon and a bank that is alleged to have been robbed by Bonnie and Clyde, all dating from between 1840 and 1910. All the structures in this recreated turn-of-the-century village have been collected from various locations in and around Dallas, and restored and re-assembled here.<br /><br /> Visitors are encouraged to make themselves at home in the village and interact with the houses, shops and other buildings. Visitors are also welcome to bring picnic lunches along and enjoy them on the park's lawns. The museum hosts several seasonal and year-round programs, such as the Plow, Plant and Shear program that tkaes visitors through the farming process.<br /><br />

Sixth Floor Museum

Address: 411 Elm Street, Dealey Plaza, Dallas Dallas-Fort Worth

The assassination of President John F. Kennedy is commemorated in the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza where the 1963 shooting took place. Most chilling of the exhibits is the window area in the former Texas School Book Depository building from where sniper Lee Harvey Oswald allegedly fired the fatal shots at the 35th President's motorcade.<br /><br /> The sixth floor of the museum also documents Kennedy's life and legacy, featuring more than 20,000 artefacts and a large amount of archival material, recreating the socila and political climate of 1963 and making the assasination a reality to those who didn't live through it. The seventh floor hosts temporary exhibits related to the shooting in some way, such as A Photographer's Story: Bob Jackson and the Kennedy Assasination, and Dallas Law Enforcement: Voices from History.<br /><br /> A granite marker at the corner of Houston and Main Streets outside shows where Kennedy was assassinated and a memorial stands in nearby John F. Kennedy Plaza. Visitors to the museum can also view the Zapruder film of the assassination.<br /><br />

Fort Worth Stockyards

Address: Intersection of Main Street and East Exchange Avenue, Fort Worth Dallas-Fort Worth

Fort Worth is one of the best places to experience the romance and mystique of the American Wild West, and the Stockyards National Historic District is the ideal starting point. The district encompasses 15 blocks packed full of exciting 'cowtown' attractions, from rodeos to cattle drives, country music shows, shops selling genuine cowboy gear, saloons and Texan diners, and the 'Tarantula Train' steam railway on which regular re-enactments of a train robbery are performed.<br /><br /> The Stockyard District is also the venue for several annual festivals and western events and home to the world-famous Billy Bob's Honky Tonk, a giant (three acre) country music club comprising an indoor rodeo, a massive dance floor, many bar counters, cafes and restaurants, and a general store. Further attractions in the district include the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame, the Jersey Lilly Old-time Photo Parlour, the Fort Worth Stockyards Stables, and the Stockyards Museum. The area also offers plenty of barbecue restaurants and steakhouses.<br /><br />

Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth

Address: 3200 Darnell Street Dallas-Fort Worth

Fort Worth's Modern Art Museum is second only in size to it's counterpart in New York, and is the oldest art museum in Texas, having been chartered in 1892. It was initially conceptualised by a group of 25 women keen to make the town more than just a centre for cows and horses. The collection officially began in 1904 with the group's acquisition of George Innes' Approaching Storm,and five years later the museum had grown enough to host its first exhibition of 45 painings. From there the musuem continued to grow by leaps and bounds and became the impressive collection that it is today.<br /><br /> The museum's permanent collection of modern and contemporary paintings includes works by Picasso, Andy Warhol, Rauschenberg and Pollock, and is particularly strong on works in the Pop and Minimalist genres, as well as German art from the 1970's and 1980's. The museum also hosts visiting exhibitions and features a large sculpture collection. Altogether, the permanent collections on display amount to 3,000 works.<br /><br /> The museum is housed in an eye-catching building, consisting of five long flat-roofed pavilions atop a 1.5-acre pond, designed by Japanese architect Tadao Ando and opened to the public in 2002. The new space boast 53,000 square feet of gallery space and has a state-of-the-art auditorium attached to it. Performances and shows are regularly hosted in the auditorium.<br /><br />

Cattle Raisers Museum

Address: Located within the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History, 1600 Gendy Street, Fort Worth Dallas-Fort Worth

Established in 1979, the Cattle Raisers Museum is dedicated to telling the story of the cowboy and cattle ranching industry of the southwest. Use has been made of talking mannequins, interactive exhibits, authentic artefacts and theatre presentations to bring alive the legends and lore of the Wild West, from Texas Rangers to rustlers.<br /><br /> The exhibitions cover four broad eras of cattle herding: the Open Range trail from 1850 to 1890, the New Horizons trail from 1890 to 1940, the Vision trail from 1940 to 2000, and the Digital trail, from 2000 to the present day. Several exhibits are named after those who donated to them or played an important role in cattle herding, such as the Ken Spain Saddle Collection, the Joe Russel Spur Collection and the Leonard Stiles Branding Iron Collection, the largest collection of branding irons in the world.<br /><br />

Fort Worth Zoo

Address: 1989 Colonial Parkway, Fort Worth Dallas-Fort Worth

Fort Worth's Zoo started off quite humbly in 1909 with one lion, two bear cubs, an alligator, a coyote, a peacock and a few rabbits. since then the zoo has grown and is now ranked as one of the top five in the United States, home to more than 5,000 animals living in natural habitat settings like Raptor Canyon, the Koala Outback and Asian Falls.<br /><br /> A recently opened new eight-acre section called Texas Wild takes visitors on a journey through the state to see indigenous animals like swift foxes, ocelots and white-tailed deer, including some endangered species. This section includes a mock-up of a Texas town with a restaurant, store, saloon and jailhouse. Another popular diversion here is the chance to try managing a computer-simulated ranch.<br /><br /> Even more recently, a Parrot Paradise, Great Barrier Reef display, Penguins exhbition and a Museum of Living Art (MOLA) have been opened. In addition to wildlife focused attractions, there are further entertainemtns available, such as a rock-climbing tower, a movie theatre, a carousel, a small express train, a weather theatre and a shooting gallery.<br /><br />

Dallas Holocaust Museum

Address: 211 N. Record Street, Suite 100 Dallas-Fort Worth

The Dallas Holocaust Museum, Centre for Education and Tolerance, is a non-profit organisation dedicated to teaching the lessons of the Holocaust and memorialising its victims. It provides guided tours for groups, audio tours for individuals, public lectures and exhibits.<br /><br /> The current exhibitions at the museum's temporary location focus on the role of the bystander in the Holocaust. The exhibition portrays in detail three different bystander actions, all on the same day during World War II, and in this way brings to light both the courage and the indifference displayed in response to the Holocaust. The museum also contains archives and a library, and a Garden of Rememberance and Tolerance designed by a boy scout.<br /><br /> Originally situated in the Jewish Community Center, the museum has relocated to a larger premises in the centre of Dallas' historical district, adjacent to the Sixth Floor Museum, due to lack of space and having to turn away thousands of visitors each year. But even this is a temporary measure as an even larger museum is planned, which will be a powerfully symbolic structure to support its profound educational message.<br /><br />

Six Flags Over Texas

Address: 2201 Road To Six Flags, Arlington Dallas-Fort Worth

The first of the Six Flags theme parks, Six Flags Over Texas has been a consistently popular family attraction for over 50 years. Situated in the small town of Arlington, midway between Dallas and Fort Worth, the amusement park is an ideal family day-trip destination. The park offers something for everyone, from 'thrill rides' (including the award-winning Texas Giant), to kids rides, to attractions and activities that can be enjoyed by the entire family at once.<br /><br /> Six Flags Hurricane Harbor, the largest water park in north Texas, is just across the road from the main Six Flags park and provides many water-based rides, pools and other water-based fun for the whole family. Six Flags Over Texas also stages events and festivals throughout the year - such as Spring Break Out, and Fright Fest (held over Halloween). With over a million annual visitors, Six Flags Over Texas has earned its reputation as one of the premier theme parks in America, and visitors to Fort Worth - and especially those travelling with kids in tow - would be ill-advised to miss it.<br /><br />

North Texas Irish Festival

Where: Fair Park,Dallas-Fort Worth

When: March 2018 TBC

Over the past quarter of a century the North Texas Irish Festival has become a March tradition in Dallas. Featuring more than 50 different bands, a blend of traditional and modern Celtic groups and solo artists, it is now the largest musical festival in the state. Along with the music and dance performances comes a wide variety of exhibitors, workshops, plays and demonstrations.<br /><br /> It is not all Irish, either. Local Scottish clans join in, demonstrating the strong bonds between Irish and Scottish heritage with the popular 'Scottish Village'. 2012 marked the 30th anniversary of the festival that started out as a small gathering in a local bar, and a new addition in 2012 was the culinary stage where top Dallas chefs demonstrate how to make classic Irish dishes. Gaelic sports are demonstrated and played during the festival, and for those whodon't feel like beer there is Callahan's Fine Wine Bar.<br /><br /> An unusual development over the years has been the addition of the small pet adoption area, started by the Animal Rescue League with a handful of dogs years ago. It's now grown to become a large part of the festival, with over 50 rescue groups involved and not just dogs, but also cats, rabbits and other small furry animals available for adoption by festival-goers.<br /><br />

Texas State Fair

Where: Fair Park,Dallas-Fort Worth

When: 29 September to 22 October 2017

The State Fair of Texas is more than just an event; having run since 1886 it is one of the oldest and most revered traditions in the Lone Star State, along with cotton candy and corndogs. 'Big Tex', a towering friendly-faced animated cowboy figure, greets the crowds who flock to the 23-day fair which offers an abundance of exhibits, entertainment, livestock events, contests, fun rides (including the massive Texas Star ferris wheel) and parades.<br /><br /> Food is a huge focus of the fair, and one of the big reasons for many people going to the fair, and the importance was acknowledged in 2005 with the addition of two annual food contests at the fair - a prize for the tastiest offering, as well as a prize for the most creative offering. The tastiest offering has gone to dishes like buffalo chicken in a flapjack and fried bubblegum.<br /><br /> Aside from food, there is a main stage as well as a smaller stage that provide live musical entertainment throughout the duration of the fair. A culinary stage hosts celebrity chefs doing cooking demonstrations, usually with a focus on Texan specialties, and an auto show annually exhibits more than 400 newly released cars. The Classic Corral portion of the auto show puts som ebeautifully maintained classic cars on display.<br /><br /> The Texas State Fair is the largest in the US, and the family-friendly spectacle makes a fun day out for anyone visiting Dallas in the autumn.<br /><br />

Deep Ellum Arts Festival

Where: Deep Ellum Entertainment District on Main Street, between Good Latimer and Hall Streets,Dallas-Fort Worth

When: 6 - 8 April 2018

The Deep Ellum Entertainment District is the hottest and most happening neighbourhood in downtown Dallas and a fitting setting for the adult-oriented street-party styled annual arts festival, which draws more than 100,000 devotees over the three-day run.<br /><br /> The festival features three outdoor stages with non-stop band performances, numerous diverse visual arts exhibitions from murals to 'art cars', fashion shows, a pet parade and a poetry circus. More than 200 juried decorative and visual artists take part in the festival, and more than 100 new bands and/or singers perform throughout the three days.<br /><br /> Food is not forgotten, with a food village created by some of Deep Ellum's signature restaurants and further food on offer from other restaurants and vendors, ranging from Mexican, Caribbean, Mediterranean, Italian and of course barbeque. Wine, craft beers and sodas are also for sale, with cocktails available at some bars and restaurants. Food and drinks are sold by way of coupons, available for sale to festival-goers at the gates. Admittance to the three-day festival is free.<br /><br />

Taste of Dallas

Where: Fair Park, 1200 South Second Avenue,Dallas-Fort Worth

When: 9 - 11 June 2017

Taste of Dallas is a food and culture festival with a long, proud history. Not only can visitors sample culinary delights prepared by Dallas' top chefs, but the festival's new venue, the air-conditioned Fair Park, also stages a myriad other sights and activities, such as live music performances, visual art exhibitions, kid's events, shopping markets, and more.<br /><br /> Taste of Dallas is one of the most important cultural events of any Texan's year - indeed, nearly 3.5 million satisfied customers have passed through its gates over the last 26 years. There is a special separate Kids' Tasting Town, where children get a chance to have their own cooking demonstrations, meet some of their favourite cartoon characters, get up close and personal with animals at the petting zoo, and more.<br /><br /> Festival-goers pay a daily admission fee and then go through the exhibitors, all top chefs and restaurants in the area cooking and offering tasters of their dishes. Tasters are bought for minimal amounts, and in this way festival-goers get the chance to taste offerings from a wide variety of chefs and restaurants. Drinks are also available for sale at the festival, including wine, beer, cocktails and soft drinks.<br /><br />

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