Sightseeing in Dallas

A trip to Dallas is sure to leave you fueled with the energy of this big southern city. Only the third largest city in Texas, Dallas is also the ninth largest city in the United States; what can I say, the grow them bigger in Texas.  Founded in 1841, Dallas was formally incorporated as a city in 1956. Normally being landlocked would hamper a city’s growth but the strength of the oil and cotton industries along with easy access from rail lines turned it into a major inland port.

There is so much to do in Dallas whether you’re a sports fan, art enthusiast, history buff or a foodie, there’s not only something but many, many things for everyone.

The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza

Not a shining moment in Dallas or American history, the assassination of President John F. Kennedy is seared in our countries consciousness forever. Pay homage to a fallen hero by examining exhibits that honor his life, death and legacy.  More a tribute to the President than a graphic depiction of his final hours, you will get to experience first hand accounts, interactive educational programming, original photographs and films, and a growing collection of more than 35,000 artifacts.

Dallas Heritage Village

Dallas Heritage Village at Old City Park gives visitors a unique look at Dallas as it was from 1840 to 1910. The museum is actually a collection of 38 historic structures on 13 wooded acres. A visit to the Dallas Heritage Village will give you a personal look at a working Civil War era farm, a traditional Jewish household, some stunningly proud Victorian homes, a school, a church and several commercial buildings.

Dallas Museum of Art

The Dallas Museum of Art is a cultural oasis jam packed with amazing permanent collections and internationally noted traveling exhibits, the current being a King Tut encore tour through three United States cities. The current collections feature incredible works of art from African culture, Modern and Ancient American artworks, Ancient Mediterranean sculptures, Asian art, Contemporary paintings, Decorative Arts, European masterpieces, pieces from the Pacific Islands, Provenance art, and the prized Reves Collection. There is simply too much to see at the Dallas Museum of Art for a one day excursion so plan on selecting only your favorites or returning time and time again.

Dallas World Aquarium

The Dallas World Aquarium brings the ocean to this landlocked metropolis. Once an old warehouse, the building saw new life in 1992 when the Aquarium opened to the public. The aquarium was such a popular respite for the throngs of visitors that an adjacent building was purchased in 1996 and added to the aquarium. The alley between the two buildings was also incorporated into the exhibits as it became known as the ORINOCO – Secrets of the River and served as the channel between freshwater and saltwater exhibits. In 2000 a new building was constructed and the Mundo Maya exhibit opened in 2004.

Crow Collection of Asian Art

If you’ve narrowed your art experience to Asian and Asian inspired art then perhaps you’ll want to skip the Dallas Museum of Art and go directly to the Crow Collection of Asian Art. The Crow is actually several galleries that are dedicated to Asian arts including works from China, Japan, India and Southeast Asia. The Crow collection began in the mid 1960s when Trammell and Margaret Crow bought their first piece of Asian art. Once purchased the Crows were addicted and the collection expanded.  Currently the collection features more than 4,000 pieces of art that span from 3500 B.C. to the early 20th century. The entire collection is not on display to the public, the curator has selected the 569 best pieces for you to view.

Dallas Center of Contemporary Art

Likewise, if you’ve fallen for the contemporary art movement you may want to leave the broad reaching Dallas Museum of Art behind and spend a day exploring the targeted Dallas Center of Contemporary Art. This 12,000 square foot museum is flooded with natural light for optimum viewing. The museum is dedicated to finding and exploring art works that are new and unfamiliar and features ever changing exhibits. Expect some change as the Dallas Center of Contemporary Art moves into its own building in 2009.

Baboon at Dallas ZooCreative Commons License photo credit: jimbowen0306

Baboon at Dallas Zoo

Dallas Zoo

The Dallas Zoo is the largest zoo in Texas (which is saying a lot) with a whopping 95 acres to explore and thousands of animals to examine. Founded in 1888 the Dallas Zoo is the first zoological park in the Southwest and has vowed to move with the times as evidenced by their commitment to conservation and management of living species in captivity. If you’re visiting the area over a holiday, check to see what special programs are going on for a value added experience.

McKinney Avenue Trolley

Take a tour of Dallas’s uptown and take a load off. The McKinney Avenue Trolley’s are a great way to sit back and take in the sites of the uptown region and they don’t cost a thing. That’s right, a free ride.  The McKinney Avenue Trolleys are carefully restored antique electric cars running on the city’s original streetcar tracks. Five cars are still operating and if you’re lucky you can hitch a ride on the air-conditioned car called Winnie.

Frontiers of Flight Museum

The Frontiers of Flight Museum takes you through several generations of aviation dreamers. The Dallas/Fort Worth area currently boasts that it is the aviation capital of the world, so what better place to learn everything there is to now about flight from the first dreamers who took to the air to the engineering geniuses who created today’s masterpieces. One of the most unique and popular exhibits at the Frontiers of Flight Museum is a must see, the Lighter Than Air exhibit features artifacts from the days of the great blimps, including some incredible surviving artifacts from the Hindenburg.

Museum of the American Railroad

Still interested in moving? How about the Museum of the American Railroad? One of the most comprehensive heavyweight passenger collections in the United States, the Museum of the American Railroad houses a pre World War II passenger train, a Railway Post Office and baggage car, coaches, lounge cars, Pullman sleeping cars and a dining car. The museum also features smaller artifacts that make the collection more complete. But the real highlight of the Museum of the American Railroad is when the 1914 parlor car and the 1937 dining car are open for special occasions and you can enjoy cocktails and fine dining aboard.

By: Stuart SeegerCC BY 2.0