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Best things to do in Dallas

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Where in the world: USA  /  Texas  /  Dallas
Those looking for cultural activities, cafes, restaurants, and shops will find plenty of things to do in Dallas, especially at Bishop Arts District. Perot Museum of Nature and Science is filled with interactive exhibits and multimedia displays designed to teach and entertain visitors of all ages. Travelers looking to escape the crowded city can walk the lanes of Dallas Arboretum & Botanical Garden, a park filled with floral displays on the shores of White Rock Lake.

Dallas is best known for its Specialty Museums, Gardens, and Aquariums.

Top 15 things to do in Dallas

1. Dallas Arboretum & Botanical Gardens

Wander through 27 hectares (66 acres) of stunning floral displays and tree-lined paths at Dallas Arboretum & Botanical Gardens. Situated on the shores of White Rock Lake, the complex boasts a collection of landscaped gardens, open green spaces, and fountains, all with lakeside views overlooking the Dallas city skyline. Admire the garden’s impressive collection of over 2,400 varieties of azaleas, or visit the original estate, the Spanish-style Degolyer House, now home to a garden cafe and the Degolyer Restaurant. Check online for a list of shows happening year-round at the garden’s outdoor concert stage.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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2. The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza

Located in the building where Lee Harvey Oswald fired the three infamous shots that killed John F. Kennedy, The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza examines the life, death, and legacy of the 35th president of the United States. The museum's exhibits use historic films, photographs, and interpretive displays to present the assassination in a historical context, drawing on government investigations that followed the event. This is the only place in the world where you can take a look through the very window on which Oswald leaned as he fired upon the presidential motorcade. Remember that only a limited number of visitors can enter at any one time, so be sure to book your timed-entry tickets well in advance.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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3. The George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum

The George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum is the 13th Presidential Library administered by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). The Presidential Library system formally began in 1939, when President Franklin Roosevelt donated his personal and Presidential papers to the Federal Government. With its state-of-the-art interactive exhibits, the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum gives visitors an in-depth look at eight years of American history, the American Presidency, and important issues of public policy.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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4. Perot Museum of Nature and Science

Perot Museum of Nature and Science serves as home to several permanent exhibit halls filled with interactive activities, multimedia displays, and artifacts. Start by taking the T. rexcalator to the top of the museum, then work your way down to ensure you don’t miss a thing. You'll be able to experience an earthquake, dig deep in real-time dinosaur research being done by real paleontologists in the paleo lab, see one of the largest displays of rare gems, and more. The onsite 3D, 4K projection theater provides an immersive, educational film experience. Buy tickets online in advance to avoid waiting in line.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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6. Reunion Tower

Reunion Tower is a 561 ft (171 m) observation tower in Dallas, Texas and one of the city's most recognizable landmarks. Located at 300 Reunion Boulevard in the Reunion district of downtown Dallas, the tower is part of the Hyatt Regency Hotel complex and is the city's 15th tallest building. A free-standing structure until the construction of an addition to the Hyatt Regency Dallas in 1998, the tower was designed by architectural firm of Rochester's Xerox Tower, Welton Becket & Associates.

Suggested duration: 2 hours
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7. Dealey Plaza National Historic Landmark District

Forever associated with the assassination of John F. Kennedy in 1963, Dealey Plaza National Historic Landmark District provides intriguing insight into this period of history. The area was named a National Historical Landmark in 1993 to preserve buildings, structures, and streets, which have been identified as possible assassin locations. Visit the associated museum in the book repository or view the contemporary JFK memorial.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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8. The Dallas World Aquarium

They say everything is bigger in Texas, and that includes wonders of the underwater world at The Dallas World Aquarium. Located in Dallas’ historic district, the aquarium and zoo complex features eight themed exhibits dedicated to education and the preservation of endangered animals and sea creatures. Wander through the tropical rainforest exhibit for a chance to see exotic birds, Orinoco crocodiles, and three-toed sloths, or get up close to dozens of sharks, rays, and sawfish at the Mundo Maya exhibit. Check the aquarium’s website for the daily schedule to attend a feeding with your favorite animal.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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9. Klyde Warren Park

Located downtown, Klyde Warren Park has a kids’ play area, dog park, putting green, petanque and crocket fields, and much more. Go for a stroll or jog, or take a free class, such as yoga or tai chi. For a more cerebral activity, borrow books or magazines from the park’s library, or play chess, checkers, or backgammon. If you're hungry, head to the restaurant or food trucks, or enjoy a meal in the grassy picnic area. Other amenities include free Wi-Fi and plenty of restrooms. Check the park's website to find out about upcoming performances on the stage and other events.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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10. Magnolia Market Silos, Waco

Magnolia Market at the Silos, commonly called Magnolia Market, is a shopping complex that encompasses two city blocks in downtown Waco, Texas. It is marked by two 120’ high silos, built in 1950 as part of the Brazos Valley Cotton Oil Company. The Brazos Valley Cotton Oil Mill Company closed in 1958, and the silos ceased to serve as storage in the 1990s. The grounds opened to the public in October, 2015. The complex is owned by Chip and Joanna Gaines, TV personalities best known for HGTV's Fixer Upper TV series. The Gaineses completely transformed the Waco landmark, which helped to change the city as well as many surrounding areas.

The grounds include a 12,000 sq. ft. retail store located in the historic grain barn and office building, a food truck park with picnic tables, a garden store, bakery, and lawn area. Admission to the grounds is free except during special events.
In 2016, its first full year of operation, Magnolia Market reported an estimated 1.9 million visitors. Special events are held regularly at the complex, including Spring at the Silos (March), Silobration (October), and Christmas at the Silos. Events include concerts, vendor booths, and other activities.

In 2019, it was announced that Magnolia Market is undergoing a $10.4 million expansion. The expansion plans include adding new shops and public spaces to the two-block area anchored by the Silos. Attractions include a whiffle ball field, more shops, and gardens, as well as the relocation of the historic Waco Church to the 4.9-acre site. Magnolia Market Complex already draws an estimated 30,000 visitors per week.
Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
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11. Dallas Museum of Art

Dallas Museum of Art is a major art museum with over 24,000 objects dating back from over 5,000 years ago up to the present day. Established in 1903, the museum famously houses art from all around the world. Some of the highlights of the museum’s collection are its large ancient Mediterranean collection and European Renaissance pieces, such as Francesco Bacchiacca's "Madonna and Child." When visiting, make sure to take a closer look at the outside of the museum, which earned its chief architect a gold medal from the American Institute of Architects in 2007.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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12. Bluebonnet Trail, Ennis

Suggested duration: 2 hours
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13. Pioneer Plaza

Pioneer Plaza is a large public park located in the Convention Center District of downtown Dallas, Texas (USA). It contains a large sculpture and is a heavily visited tourist site. Adjacent to the plaza is the Pioneer Park Cemetery which features the Confederate War Memorial. Together, it is the largest public open space in the Dallas central business district.
The land on which the plaza sits, once railroad and warehouse property, was cleared for the 900ft-tall hotel and office Dallas Tower which was part of the failed Griffin Square development. The plaza and its accompanying sculpture were the idea of real estate developer Trammell Crow, who wanted an iconic "Western" sculpture in the city of Dallas and assembled a group to donate the sculptures. The $9 million project was begun in 1992 on 4.2acre of land donated by the City of Dallas; $4.8 million of the cost came from private funds raised from individuals and local businesses. Local artists sued to stop the project and claimed that it was historically inaccurate for the city, but the project opened on time in 1994
Today the park is maintained by the adjacent Dallas Convention Center and is the second most visited tourist attraction in downtown Dallas. As a work in progress, an additional steer is occasionally added to the herd.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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14. White Rock Lake Park

Formed by a collection of farms that had been dammed in the past, White Rock Lake Park became an esteemed running, hiking, fishing, and bird watching site. Covering 507 hectares (1,254 acres) of land, and with the maximum depth of 5.5 m (18 ft), the lake is used exclusively for fishing and sailing; swimming and motorboats were banned in the 1950s. Check out the 15 km (9.3 mi) trail, and look for fishing piers over the lake's clear waters. The park is home to an array of birds, squirrels, beavers, and coyotes, as well as, reportedly, a ghost from the 1930s.
Suggested duration: 4 hours
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15. Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth

At Kimbell Art Museum see the Old Masters amid modern, architecturally designed splendor. Opened in 1972, the museum holds approximately 350 works with many examples by famous artists, including Rembrandt, Gauguin, and Matisse. The museum's permanent exhibits focus on ancient, European, Asian, pre-Columbian, and African/Oceanic art, plus a number of visiting and temporary exhibits. Book tickets online for temporary exhibits to avoid lines. You'll find audio and group tours scheduled regularly for no extra charge with an admission ticket; group tours with a guide must be scheduled.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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