Cover photo full
Wikipedia | Google | Google Images | FlickrDallas is a major city in the United States and is the second-largest city in Texas, next to Houston. The city has a population of over 1.3 million people, with more than 7 million in the metro area. Dallas is recognized to have a historical importance in the country as a center for the oil and cotton industries, it also holds the major railroad lines for cotton, cattle, and oil in North and East Texas. Aside from being a trading and transportation hub with several interstate highways converging in its area, Dallas has progressed into a strong industrial and financial center.
Dallas is also known for its Texan culture and historical background. The Arts District in the downtown area houses several art museums and theaters that tourists will surely enjoy. Famous products from Dallas that attract a lot of foodies and culinary specialists from all over the country include authentic tex-mex cuisines and barbecue. Most of the ranked steakhouses and hotels in the country can also be found in the city.
HistoryBig things has small beginnings. Dallas started as a small settlement established by John Neely Bryan in 1841, near the Trinity River. Before the permanent settlement was formed, the area on which it is situated remained under Spanish rule until 1821. The area then became part of the Mexican state of Coahulia y Tejas after Mexico declared independence from Spain. In 1845 up to the following year, the United States annexed the Republic of Texas and established the Dallas County. In 1856, what started as a small settlement was formally incorporated to a city.
Dallas became one of the major business and trading centers in the United States by the end of the 19th century. Aside from also becoming a strong industrial hub, the construction of railroads for transportation and trading attracted workers from all over Texas and its surrounding states.
SightseeingMany of the most frequented landmarks and attractions in the city can be found in the downtown Dallas area. Whether you’re an art enthusiast, nature lover, a history buff, or any other kind of tourist, you will definitely feel the “Texan” experience by checking out these sightseeing spots:
Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey PlazaOne of the most-visited attractions in Dallas, especially among American History enthusiasts, is the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza. It is located on the sixth floor of the former Texas School Book Depository building along Elm Street in downtown Dallas. The museum houses a permanent exhibit on the life, assassination, and legacy of President John F. Kennedy (JFK). The collection displayed in the museum consists of over 400 photographs, artifacts, scale models, audio recordings, and video clips during JFK’s assassination. The venue of the museum is historical as it is the exact location where Lee Harvey Oswald fired three shots, killing the famous president in 1963.
Dallas ZooThe 106-acre Dallas Zoo is the oldest and largest zoo in the state of Texas. It houses over 2,000 animals and is rapidly becoming one of the best zoological parks in the country. Throughout the years, the Dallas Zoo had been getting bad comments for its poor management and development. After being privately funded in 2009, community support has surged and is now receiving positive feedback from their visitors. The zoo has now also been awarded several recognitions for their recently opened exhibits. One of the great additions in the zoo is the Giants of the Savannah, which is an 11-acre expansion that features African elephants, cheetahs, impalas, and lions. Visitors can also enjoy feeding the giraffes and observing the animals up-close.
Dallas World AquariumA terrific attraction for families and kids, the Dallas World Aquarium is a privately-owned zoological park located on North Griffin Street. The aquarium houses all sorts of marine life, hundreds of species of exotic birds, rare manatees; penguins, sloths and sea turtles. It features a 400,000-gallon shark tank, a 40-foot waterfall, and a man-made aviary. The institution is also active in the conservation of endangered species all over the world.
George W. Bush Presidential CenterThe Presidential Center, also known as the Bush Presidential Library and Museum, is located in the University Park of Southern Methodist University. It houses a huge collection of artifacts and official records from the Bush presidential term, including several interactive exhibits, 4 million digital photos, 200 million emails, and 70 million pages of paper records. The center also showcases a full-scale replica of President Bush’s Oval Office, voting chads from his election, and a special section on 9/11 (World Trade Center Incident).
Perot Museum of Nature and ScienceThe Perot Museum is the combination of three major museums in the city, the Dallas Museum of Natural History, The Science Place, and the Dallas Children’s Museum. It is a natural history and science museum consisting of two campuses located in Victory Park and Fair Park. The 180,000-sq.ft facility in Victory Park opened to the public in 2012 and has a huge display of exhibits, a science park with fountains, and an IMAX theater. The secondary campus of the Perot Museum is located in the former Dallas Museum of Natural History building. It features a planetarium, an exhibit hall, and an on-site Paleontology lab.
Six Flags Over Texas and Hurricane HarborJust outside Dallas is the 212-acre theme park, Six Flags Over Texas and water park, Hurricane Harbor. Both parks are located in Arlington, Texas, a few miles west of Dallas. Six Flags Over Texas is the first theme park under the Six Flags franchise and consists of several attractions and thrilling amusement rides, including the Texas SkyScreamer, which holds the Guinness World Record for the World’s Tallest Swing Carousel ride.
Dallas Heritage Village at Old City ParkJust south of downtown Dallas is the Dallas Heritage Village at Old City Park. It is a Victorian-era park and neighborhood created in 1976. The 13-acre attraction has several historic buildings, such as a blacksmith shop and a general store with antiques. It also features Victorian houses and a 19th-century church. The Heritage Village is a great place for families and kids, it encourages tourists to experience the life in North Texas back in the 1900s.
Pioneer PlazaThe 4.2-acre Pioneer Plaza is a popular tourist attraction in Dallas. It is located at the southeast corner of Young and Griffin Streets, near the Convention Center. The plaza showcases life-sized bronze sculptures of a 19th-century cattle drive, impressively made by Robert Summers. The astonishing cattle drive consists of nearly 50 bronze steers, horses, and cowboys that portrays the city’s historical background. The plaza also features small hills, man-made cliffs, streams, and a waterfall that creates a wonderful scenery. Other historical landmarks nearby are the Pioneer Cemetery and the 60-foot-tall Confederate Memorial.
Nasher Sculpture CenterLocate at the heart of Dallas Arts District is the Nasher Sculpture Center . The museum boasts a fine collection of modern and contemporary sculptures made by great artists like Pablo Picasso, Max Ernst, Alberto Giacometti, Jeff Koons, and a lot more. Aside from the art, visitors can also relax and enjoy the Dallas skyline from the 2-acre garden surrounding the museum. The Nasher Sculpture Center building is also a masterpiece by itself, as it was designed by award-winning Italian architect, Renzo Piano.
Dallas Museum of ArtAdjacent from the Nasher Sculpture Center is the Dallas Museum of Art. The museum houses over 24,000 artworks and objects from around the world, dating back from the Early and Middle Bronze Age to the present. The huge collection displayed in the museum includes European art, South Asian Art, ancient Mediterranean art, African art, ancient American art and American art dating from the colonial period, and other expansive collections of decorative arts and design. Aside from the prestigious exhibits, the Dallas Museum of Art has free admission, making it one of the attractions you shouldn't miss when you tour around the city.
Dallas Arboretum and Botanical GardenLocated on Garland Road, on the eastern shores of White Rock Lake, the 66-acre Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden is a series of flower gardens and water features, complimenting the beautiful view of the lake. The gardens main draw is their collection of 2,400 types of azaleas, well-maintained lawns and lush trees. Aside from the flowers and breathtaking scenery, the gardens also consists of tiered fountains and landscapes, a wide picnic area, and a concert stage for special events and festivals.
Klyde Warren ParkThe 5.2-acre urban green park located in downtown Dallas is a popular destination for both locals and tourists. The park is privately owned by the Woodall Rodgers Park Foundation and is open to the public. The Klyde Warren Park features a large performance stage for events, several restaurants, a children’s playground, and an area for activities like croquet and ping pong. Locals also visit the park frequently for its urban dog park and jogging trails. The park was designed by The Office of James Burnett, a well-renowned landscape architecture firm.
DiningDallas has grown from a simple town to one of the most progressive and creative foodie heaven in the country. The Dallas food scene is a diverse menu of cuisines from all over the world, but if you want to embrace the Lone Star State stereotype, the best way to experience Texas is by trying out their own variety of barbecues and steaks. Given that there are hundreds of restaurants in the area, here is a short list of the most recommended places to get some grub, Texan style.
First on the list is Nick and Sam’s, which is surprisingly not just an ordinary steakhouse. Nick and Sam’s is an uptown restaurant that’s quickly becoming one the local’s favorite dining spots. The place is highly regarded for their incredible assortments of steaks, appetizers and wine choices. Another great choice is Fearing’s, personally managed by Dallas renowned chef, Dean Fearing. The classy restaurant is situated inside the Ritz-Carlton, and is frequented by locals for its south-western dishes like buffalo tenderloin and rabbit enchiladas.
Last but not the least is the classic urban bistro, The Grape Restaurant. Serving the Dallas community for over 40 years, The Grape is highly recommended for their phenomenal cuts, seafood, and cheese burger. After a day of adventure, tourists can also relax over a glass of wine or enjoy cocktails and beers at The Ivy Tavern, Cold Beer Company, and Parliament.
ShoppingShopping is one of the most enjoyable pastimes of any tourist. Different shopping districts can be found all over Dallas such as suburban malls and trendy boutiques. Designer stores and major brands are also present. One of the most popular malls and favorite go-to destinations of the locals in Dallas is the NorthPark Center. The Highland Park Village is also a great shopping hub, aside from its collection of luxury brands and restaurants, the shopping village is also an architectural gem featuring Spanish, Mediterranean, and Mexican designs.
Another upscale shopping destination is the Galleria, which houses top retailers and flagship department stores. The mall also has its own ice skating rink and jungle-themed indoor play center. Last on the list is the Neiman Marcus store located in the heart of downtown Dallas. The high-end clothing and cosmetics store is simple a must-visit destination, especially for women.
AccommodationThe accommodation options in the city of Dallas is established to fit all types of tourists, from luxury suites to budget inns, you can even get a decent room for less than $ 50 USD . The most popular choices when visiting are the 3-star hotels like Sheraton, Best Western, and Crowne Plaza.
The Ritz-Carlton, located just a few blocks from the Museum of Art, is highly recommended for travelers who want to experience a luxurious stay in Dallas. The five-star hotel has been awarded several times not only for being the top pick in the city, but also for being one of the best hotels in the state. Another multi-awarded hotel in the Dallas Arts District is the Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek (also a five-star hotel). Luckily, there is also a wide variety of villas and inns for those planning to have a much longer stay and are budget conscious.
Annual FestivalsThe biggest annual celebration in Dallas is the State Fair of Texas, a 24-day celebration of the state. It consists of livestock exhibits with over 8,000 entries every year, cooking presentations and food fairs, equestrian events, creative arts entries, and more than 70 amusement rides; including the tallest Ferris wheel in North America, the Texas Star . Another exciting festival in the Dallas metropolitan area is the “Grapefest” in Grapevine. Celebrated for over 25 years, it is considered to be the largest wine festival in the Southwest.
TransportationDallas and its surrounding area is served two commercial airports, the Dallas Love Field and the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, but most flights are catered in the latter. The DFW is recognized as the largest airport in Texas, and is ranked 4th in the list of busiest airport in the United States.
Having your own car as a way to get around the city is very important and practical, but if you don’t want to rent one (or spend an expensive taxicab fare), taking a bus or a train ride to your destination is also a good option. The public transportation in the city very cheap and is served by the Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART). Buses, trolleys (M-Line), and trains (Trinity Railway Express) can take you around the downtown area and 12 other cities surrounding Dallas. You can also take the DART Rail when going to the DFW International Airport.
Nearby Cities in DallasTourists can take the Trinity Railway Express (TRE) from downtown Dallas to Fort Worth. They can check out the museums in the Cultural District, enjoy an afternoon in Cowtown Coliseum or at the Water Gardens in downtown Fort Worth. The American Airlines Center in Arlington, which is one of the biggest stadiums in the country, is easily accessible by taking the DART Rail.
Do you see any omissions, errors or want to add information to this page? Sign up.
Author: radiantan. Last updated: Jan 15, 2015