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Known for its sports teams, Fortune 500 companies, world-class shopping, and steakhouses, Dallas has ample opportunities to entertain all types of travelers. This gem of the “Lone Star State” offers a wealth of attractions, including a vibrant cultural and arts district, historic landmarks, botanical gardens as well as an array of exciting day trips. In a city that offers a long list of dynamic must-see attractions, here are the top things to do in Dallas, Texas.
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What Is It? An interesting look into the eight years that the 43rd president took office, the George W. Bush Presidential Center is situated on 23 acres in northern Dallas’ University Park.
Why Do It? Particularly a fascinating look into a poignant exhibit on 9/11, the Bush Presidential Library is home to an extensive collection of textual, audiovisual and electronic records in an impressive 14,000 square-foot museum.
Good to Know: Visitors can explore interactive exhibits, walk around a replica of the Oval Office, and be educated on the president’s policy-making process.
What Is It? Situated on 66 acres along the southeast shore of White Rock Lake, The Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden is a respite from the big city.
Why Do It? Here visitors can stroll through 14 diverse gardens where chrysanthemums illuminate the grounds in the fall and over 2,000 varieties of azaleas bloom to life in the spring. Historic homes line a tranquil lake, in addition to a variety of unique sculptures situated amongst patches of natural forest.
Good to Know: Visitors can also attend seasonal festivals, art shows, and educational programs throughout the year.
What Is It? The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza chronicles the assassination of US President John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963.
Why Do It? Shots from Lee Harvey Oswald’s gun echo through Dealey Plaza as this tragic historical event is honored every year and is immortalized in a fascinating attraction with exhibits that detail accounts of JFK’s life, work, and devastating death.
Good to Know: It’s located within the former Texas School Book Depository building at the intersection of Houston and Elm Streets.
What Is It? An impressive 180,000 square foot facility, the Perot Museum of Nature and Science is jam-packed with loads of mind-shaping hands-on exhibits and educational displays.
Why Do It? Probe through dinosaur skeletons, dig for fossils or learn how birds fly and socialize.
Good to Know: Created to encourage the stimulation of curiosity, the museum boasts an incredible five floors with 11 permanent exhibit halls and 3D computer animation that teaches visitors about engineering, technology, and conservation.
What Is It? Built atop a busy downtown freeway, Klyde Warren Park is Dallas’ version of Central Park.
Why Do It? Popular with locals and visitors alike, this 5.2-acre park has something for everyone. With a special kids area, local musical performances, and a reading area, this isn’t your typical city park.
Good to Know: Visitors will find a range of events and activities offered at the park, including croquet, ping pong, a putting green, chess, yoga, food trucks, and tango lessons.
What Is It? A long-standing icon in Dallas since 1903, the Dallas Museum of Art boasts more than 24,000 works of art from around the world.
Why Do It? Ranging from ancient artifacts to contemporary art, here visitors will find African, Egyptian, Greek, and Roman art pieces intermingled with classic 16th and 19th-century art from influential artists like Claude Monet and Jackson Pollock.
Good to Know: The museum has also played host to a variety of traveling exhibitions with pieces from Georgia O’Keefe and Vincent Van Gogh.
What Is It? Located within walking distance from the heart of Dallas’ historic downtown, The Dallas World Aquarium appeals to travelers of all ages.
Why Do It? Here visitors will find a tremendous 87,000 gallons of saltwater aquarium that is home to a variety of sea life including stingrays, jellyfish, sea turtles, octopuses within the expansive tanks.
Good to Know: Visitors will also find an array of other fascinating wildlife like penguins, flamingos, a living rainforest with manatees, monkeys, and crocodiles, and a Mayan exhibit with flamingos and an ocelot.
What Is It? Perfect for the first stop on any Dallas itinerary, the GeO-Deck at the Reunion Tower gives visitors a breathtaking bird’s-eye view 470 feet above the ground.
Why Do It? Impressive day or night, it’s one of the best places to get a view of the entire city.
Good to Know: In addition to the observation level, the tower also has a revolving restaurant and an interactive display detailing notable landmarks spread across the city’s skyline.
What Is It? A 4-acre park with of historical significance and focal point of downtown Dallas, Pioneer Plaza highlights the trails that originally brought settlers to Dallas.
Why Do It? Here visitors will find native plants, towering trees, and 50 1,200 pound bronze re-creation sculptures of a cattle drive complete with longhorn steers being driven by three cowboys atop valiant horses.
Good to Know: What was once a parking lot, Pioneer Plaza now stands as the largest public open space in the central business district and offers visitors man-made cliffs, waterfalls, and the ultimate Dallas photo backdrop.
What Is It? Considered Dallas’ football palace, the Dallas Cowboys football team are the heartbeat of the city’s culture.
Why Do It? Boasting an impressive 3 million square feet with a capacity for 80,000 screaming fans, here visitors can tour the venue and peek into the Cowboys’ locker room, post-game interview room, and Cowboys Cheerleader locker rooms.
Good to Know: The massive AT&T Stadium can even be seen from the GeO-Deck at Reunion Tower 18 miles away on a clear day.
What Is It? With over 2,000 exotic animals, the Dallas Zoo sits on 106-acres and a variety of different habitats with a highlight on the Giants of the Savanna in Africa, Wildlife Amphitheater with birds in flight, and an Endangered Tiger Habitat.
Why Do It? A family-friendly attraction, the zoo provides opportunities to learn about diverse wildlife, engage in interactive exhibits, and have a fun theme park to keep kids entertained for hours.
Good to Know: Founded in 1888, it is one of the oldest zoos in the United States.