Dallas, Texas, is a bustling city with a rich history and a thriving cultural scene. Whether you’re interested in history, sports, or just having a good time, there’s something for everyone in Dallas.
In this Dallas travel guide, I’ll provide an overview of some of the city’s top attractions and tips for getting around and making the most of your trip.
Table of Contents
- Getting There and Getting Around
- Top Attractions
- Food & Drink
- Where to Stay
- Tips For Visiting
Getting There and Getting Around
Dallas is served by two major airports: Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) and Dallas Love Field Airport (DAL). DFW is the larger of the two airports, with flights from most major airlines.
Love Field is smaller but is served by Southwest Airlines and a few other carriers. Once you arrive, several options for getting around the city include renting a car, taking public transportation, or using ride-sharing services like Uber or Lyft.
The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza
The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza is a museum dedicated to the life, legacy, and assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
The museum is on the sixth floor of the former Texas School Book Depository building, the site from which Lee Harvey Oswald allegedly shot Kennedy on November 22, 1963.
The museum’s exhibits include artifacts, photographs, and films related to Kennedy’s life and presidency and the events surrounding his assassination.
The exhibits also explore the cultural and political climate of the 1960s and the impact of Kennedy’s death on the nation.
One of the museum’s most popular exhibits is the recreated sniper’s perch, which offers visitors a chance to see the view from the sixth-floor window where Oswald allegedly fired the shots that killed Kennedy.
The museum also features a memorial to Kennedy, with a replica of his coffin and an eternal flame.
Visitors to the museum can take self-guided tours or join a guided tour, which includes in-depth commentary and additional historical context.
The museum also offers educational programs for students and teachers, as well as special events and exhibits.
The Sixth Floor Museum is open seven days a week, except for Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.
Admission fees vary depending on age and residency, with discounts available for seniors, military personnel, and students.
The Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden
The Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden is a 66-acre botanical garden located on the shores of White Rock Lake in East Dallas.
The garden features a diverse collection of plants from around the world, including seasonal flowers, trees, and shrubs.
The garden is divided into several different areas, each with its own unique features and attractions.
The Trial Garden, for example, showcases new and experimental varieties of plants, while the Crape Myrtle Allee is a breathtaking display of more than 75 varieties of crape myrtle trees.
The Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure Garden is a family-friendly area with interactive exhibits and activities designed to teach children about science, nature, and the environment.
The garden also features a 17,000-square-foot treehouse with multiple levels and views of the surrounding gardens.
The Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden also hosts several seasonal events throughout the year, including the popular Dallas Blooms festival, which features over 500,000 spring-blooming bulbs and flowers.
The garden also hosts concerts, classes, and workshops for visitors of all ages.
Visitors can take self-guided tours of the garden, or join a guided tour led by one of the garden’s knowledgeable staff members.
The garden also features several on-site dining options, including a cafe and a restaurant with views of White Rock Lake.
The Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden is open daily, except for Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.
Admission fees vary depending on age and residency, with discounts available for seniors, military personnel, and students.
The Dallas Museum of Art
The Dallas Museum of Art is a world-renowned art museum.
The museum’s collection spans over 5,000 years of human creativity, featuring a diverse range of art from around the world, including ancient artifacts, contemporary art, and everything in between.
The museum’s permanent collection includes works from many notable artists, including Vincent van Gogh, Jackson Pollock, Claude Monet, and Pablo Picasso.
The museum also features a strong collection of African art and art from the Americas, Asia, and Europe.
In addition to its permanent collection, the Dallas Museum of Art hosts several temporary exhibitions throughout the year, showcasing the work of contemporary artists, as well as exploring various themes and art movements.
The museum also offers a variety of educational programs and resources for visitors of all ages, including guided tours, classes, and workshops.
The museum’s Center for Creative Connections provides interactive exhibits and activities designed to engage visitors with the museum’s collection.
Visitors to the museum can also enjoy several on-site dining options, including a cafe and a restaurant with views of the museum’s sculpture garden.
The Dallas Museum of Art is open six days a week, closed on Mondays. Admission to the museum is free, although some special exhibitions may have an additional fee.
AT&T Stadium is a state-of-the-art, multi-purpose sports and entertainment venue located in Arlington, Texas, about 20 miles west of downtown Dallas.
It is the home stadium of the Dallas Cowboys, one of the most storied franchises in the National Football League (NFL).
The stadium’s most striking feature is its retractable roof, which can be opened or closed in just 12 minutes, allowing for comfortable game day experiences in any weather condition.
The stadium’s seating capacity is over 100,000, making it one of the largest football stadiums in the world.
In addition to football games, AT&T Stadium hosts a wide range of other events, including concerts, boxing matches, and college football games.
The stadium also features several on-site restaurants and bars and a large team store selling Dallas Cowboys merchandise.
Visitors to AT&T Stadium can take guided tours of the facility, which include a visit to the field, the locker rooms, and the post-game interview room.
Visitors can also learn about the stadium’s construction and design, and see some of the artwork and memorabilia on display throughout the facility.
The George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum
The George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum is a presidential library and museum located on the campus of Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas.
The library and museum are dedicated to preserving and showcasing the legacy of George W. Bush, the 43rd President of the United States.
The museum features a variety of exhibits that chronicle the life and presidency of George W. Bush, as well as key events and issues during his administration.
Exhibits include a full-scale replica of the Oval Office, complete with the original furniture and decor used during Bush’s presidency, as well as exhibits on the September 11th attacks, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, Hurricane Katrina, and the global financial crisis.
The museum also features a collection of artifacts, including personal items of the President and First Lady, gifts received from foreign leaders, and campaign memorabilia.
Visitors can view the collection up close and learn more about the stories behind the objects.
In addition to its exhibits, the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum offers educational programs and resources for visitors of all ages.
The museum hosts regular events, such as lectures and panel discussions, and offers resources for educators to incorporate the museum’s content into their lesson plans.
The museum also has a beautiful outdoor area, which includes a 15-acre park and a landscaped courtyard.
The park features a variety of native Texas plants and trees, and visitors can enjoy walking trails, picnic areas, and a Texas rose garden.
Admission to the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum varies depending on age and residency, with discounts available for seniors, military personnel, and students.
The museum is open daily, except for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day.
The Dallas World Aquarium
The Dallas World Aquarium is a unique and immersive aquarium located in downtown Dallas.
The aquarium features a variety of aquatic animals and ecosystems from around the world, including marine life from the Gulf of Mexico, South America, Africa, and Asia.
The aquarium is divided into several exhibits, each featuring a different ecosystem and showcasing the animals that inhabit it.
Highlights include a recreated rainforest environment, complete with birds, monkeys, and a variety of reptiles and amphibians, as well as a 400,000-gallon exhibit that houses sharks, rays, and other large fish.
Visitors can also see penguins, manatees, sea turtles, and other marine life up close, as well as a variety of tropical birds, including toucans and parrots.
The aquarium also features a touch tank where visitors can interact with and learn about sea creatures such as starfish and sea urchins.
In addition to its aquatic exhibits, the Dallas World Aquarium also features a restaurant and gift shop, educational programs and events for visitors of all ages.
The aquarium is open daily, and admission prices vary depending on age and residency. Discounts are available for seniors, military personnel, and groups.
The Bishop Arts District
The Bishop Arts District is a trendy and vibrant neighborhood in the Oak Cliff area of Dallas.
The district is known for its eclectic mix of independent boutiques, restaurants, and art galleries, as well as its historic buildings and colorful street art.
The Bishop Arts District has a thriving arts scene, with several galleries showcasing the work of local artists and several street art murals and installations.
Visitors can also find a variety of handmade crafts, jewelry, and other unique items at the district’s many independent shops.
The district is also a foodie’s paradise, with a wide range of restaurants and cafes serving up everything from gourmet burgers and craft beer to farm-to-table cuisine and artisanal coffee.
Visitors can enjoy outdoor dining on the district’s many patios and sidewalks or grab a bite to eat at one of the district’s many food trucks and trailers.
The Bishop Arts District is also home to various events and festivals throughout the year, including art walks, music festivals, and holiday celebrations.
Visitors can check the district’s website for a calendar of upcoming events and activities.
Klyde Warren Park
Klyde Warren Park is a 5.2-acre park in downtown Dallas, built over a freeway that runs through the city.
The park is a popular destination for locals and visitors alike, offering a variety of activities and events throughout the year.
The park features several green spaces and gardens, a children’s park, and a dog park. Visitors can enjoy outdoor games like ping-pong and foosball, rent a bike, and explore the park’s many trails and paths.
The park also offers a variety of fitness classes, including yoga and boot camp, as well as live music and other entertainment.
Klyde Warren Park is also home to various food trucks and pop-up restaurants, offering a wide range of cuisines and dining options.
Visitors can enjoy everything from burgers and tacos to gourmet sandwiches and artisanal ice cream, all while taking in the park’s stunning views of the downtown skyline.
Throughout the year, Klyde Warren Park hosts various events and festivals, including live music concerts, outdoor movie screenings, and holiday celebrations.
Visitors can check the park’s website for a calendar of upcoming events and activities.
Admission to Klyde Warren Park is free, though some events and activities may require a fee.
The park is open daily, and offers a variety of amenities, including restrooms, water fountains, and free Wi-Fi.
The Perot Museum of Nature and Science
The Perot Museum of Nature and Science is a world-class museum in downtown Dallas’s Victory Park neighborhood.
The museum features a variety of exhibits and interactive experiences that showcase the wonders of the natural world and the latest advancements in science and technology.
The museum is divided into several floors, each with its own theme and set of exhibits.
Highlights include a dinosaur exhibit featuring life-sized models and fossils, a space exhibit with interactive displays and models of the solar system, and a engineering and innovation exhibit that showcases the latest advancements in robotics and artificial intelligence.
Visitors can also explore the museum’s collection of gems and minerals and its extensive collection of wildlife specimens from around the world.
The museum also features a 3D theater, where visitors can watch educational films on a variety of topics, as well as a hands-on lab where visitors can conduct experiments and learn about scientific principles through interactive exhibits.
In addition to its exhibits, the Perot Museum also offers a variety of educational programs and events, including workshops, camps, and lectures.
Visitors can check the museum’s website for a calendar of upcoming events and activities.
Admission to the Perot Museum of Nature and Science is ticketed, and prices vary depending on age and residency. Discounts are available for seniors, military personnel, and groups.
The Dallas Zoo
The Dallas Zoo is a popular attraction in the Oak Cliff area of Dallas.
The zoo is home to over 2,000 animals from around the world, including lions, tigers, giraffes, elephants, and a variety of exotic birds, reptiles, and primates.
The zoo is divided into several areas, each with its own theme and set of exhibits. Visitors can explore the African savannah exhibit, where they can get up close and personal with a variety of African animals, including zebras, giraffes, and elephants.
The zoo also features a gorilla exhibit, where visitors can observe these majestic primates in their natural habitat.
Other highlights of the Dallas Zoo include the Wildlife Amphitheater, where visitors can watch animal shows and demonstrations, and the Children’s Zoo, which features interactive exhibits and hands-on activities for younger visitors.
The Dallas Zoo also offers a variety of educational programs and events, including behind-the-scenes tours, overnight stays, and summer camps. Visitors can check the zoo’s website for a calendar of upcoming events and activities.
Admission to the Dallas Zoo is ticketed, with prices varying depending on age and residency. Discounts are available for seniors, military personnel, and groups.
Food and Drink
Dallas is known for its Tex-Mex cuisine, as well as its barbecue and craft beer scene. Some of the city’s top restaurants and bars include:
Pecan Lodge: This barbecue joint is consistently ranked as one of the best in the city, with delicious brisket, sausage, and other smoked meats.
El Fenix: This Tex-Mex chain has been serving up delicious enchiladas and margaritas since 1918.
Cane Rosso: This pizzeria serves up authentic Neapolitan-style pizza and craft beer, and cocktails.
The Rustic: This popular bar and restaurant features live music, craft beer, and a menu of comfort food favorites like chicken, waffles, and mac and cheese.
Four Corners Brewing Co.: This brewery offers a variety of craft beers, as well as tours and tastings.
Where to Stay
Dallas has a wide variety of hotels and accommodations, ranging from budget-friendly to luxury hotels. Some of the top hotels in the city include:
The Joule: This luxury hotel features stylish rooms, a rooftop pool, and several on-site restaurants and bars.
The Ritz-Carlton, Dallas: This elegant hotel features luxurious rooms and suites, a spa, and several on-site dining options.
The Adolphus: This historic hotel dates back to 1912 and features luxurious rooms, a spa, and several on-site dining options, including a French-inspired brasserie.
The Fairmont Dallas: This centrally located hotel features stylish rooms, a fitness center, and several on-site dining options.
The Westin Dallas Downtown: This modern hotel features comfortable rooms, a rooftop pool, and a fitness center, as well as several on-site dining options.
Tips for Visiting
Dallas can get very hot in the summer, so plan accordingly and make sure to bring sunscreen and stay hydrated.
Take advantage of public transportation
Dallas’s convenient light rail system can take you to many of the city’s top attractions. You can purchase tickets at vending machines located at each station.
Consider purchasing a Dallas CityPASS
This pass includes admission to the city’s top attractions, including the Sixth Floor Museum, the Dallas Zoo, and the Perot Museum of Nature and Science.
Check the calendar for events
Dallas has a lively events scene, with concerts, festivals, and other events happening throughout the year. Check the calendar before your trip to see what’s happening during your visit.
Explore beyond downtown
While downtown Dallas has many great attractions, don’t be afraid to venture out into the surrounding neighborhoods, like the Bishop Arts District or Deep Ellum, for unique dining, shopping, and cultural experiences.
Dallas offers a wide variety of attractions, dining, and accommodations for visitors.
From its rich history to its thriving cultural scene, there’s something for everyone in this dynamic city. With a little planning and exploration, you will surely have a memorable trip to Dallas.