Dallas - AttractionGuide


Welcome to MetroGuide Networks' overview of Dallas-area attractions. The Greater Dallas area is full of attractions for all ages. If things seem bigger in Texas, that definitely goes for Dallas, the state's top visitor destination, encompassing 384 square miles of rolling prairie, with native cottonwood, pecan and oak trees lining Trinity River and feeder creeks. Colorful Dallas has an eventful past. In 1839, Tennessee lawyer John Neely Bryan passed through spotting trading post potential, returning in 1841 to claim 640 acres, sketch out a town with a courthouse square and 20 streets. A "can-do" spirit brought railroads in the 1870s, the Federal Reserve Bank in 1914, Southern Methodist University in 1915, Dallas Love Field Airport in 1927, and the Texas Centennial Exposition in 1936. Tastes were redefined in 1907 when Neiman Marcus opened downtown. In 1930, C.M. "Dad" Joiner struck oil 100 miles east, and although Dallas County has never had a working oil well, its role as a drilling industry hub has been as good as gold. The lowest ebb in Dallas history came Nov. 22, 1963, with assassination of President John F. Kennedy on a downtown street. Yet that decade also brought beginnings of fame for the Dallas Cowboys and entrepreneurs from the Reform Party's Ross Perot to Mary Kay Ash, the pink Cadillac cosmetic queen. The State Fair of Texas has opened annually at the same location in Dallas' Fair Park since 1886. The McKinney Avenue Trolley, operating daily, is the largest volunteer-run trolley system in the world. The largest model train display in America is in the Dallas Children's Medical Center lobby. The Dallas Arboretum features the largest public selection of azaleas in the U.S. At the Dallas Convention Center, the world's largest bronze monument has more than 40 larger-than-life longhorns, horses and cowboys. With 69 million square feet, the Dallas Market center is the world's largest wholesale merchandise mart. North Park Center, the nation's first covered shopping mall, claims the largest-grossing Dillards and Neiman Marcus stores in the country, and Dallas attractions are ever expanding.

Below is a list of some suggested things to do in the Dallas Metropolitan Area, with links to more details when available.

African American Museum
Housing one of the nation's most extensive and best collections of folk art, the museum at Fair Park is dedicated to preservation and display of historical, artistic and cultural contributions made by African Americans.
3536 Grand Avenue. (214) 565-9026
Age of Steam Railroad Museum
This outdoor exhibit at Fair Park allows visitors to relive the golden age of the passenger train, and features the world's largest diesel electric locomotives.
1105 Washington Street. (214) 428-0101
American Airlines C.R. Smith Museum
American Airlines history unfolds here from humble beginnings through five eras of flight. Video presentations, interactive displays, a 2-seater flight simulator, an IWERKS movie “Spirit of America,” and other flight-related activities are on tap. Housed in a glass hangar is the Flagship Knoxville, a restored 1940s DC-3.
4601 Highway 360. (817) 967-5737
Antiques Galore
Antiques aficionados won't be left in the cold in Dallas, where perusing and buying options include The Gathering, with dealers specializing in 18th and 19th century European pieces; Love Field Antique Mall, with the largest selection of antiques, collectibles and classic cars in the U.S.; McKinney Avenue Antique Market, with quality items from American to English on the trolley line near the Arts District; and Park Cities Antiques, with upscale English, French and American pieces.
The Gathering, 1515 Turtle Creek Boulevard. (214) 741-4888
Love Field Antique Mall, 6500 Cedar Springs. (214) 357-9800
McKinney Avenue Antique Market, 2710 McKinney Avenue. (214) 871-9803
Park Cities Antiques, 7830 North Central Expressway. (214) 696-5983
Cavanaugh Flight Museum
The Cavanaugh collects, maintains, and flies an extensive collection of aircraft, as well as artwork and artifacts from World War I through the Vietnam conflict. The significant and rare aircraft comprise one of the nation's largest private aviation collections.
4572 Claire Chenault Drive, Addison. (972) 380-8800
Dallas Aquarium
Marine and freshwater fish, reptiles, amphibians and invertebrates from Walking Batfish and Electric Torpedo Rays to a six-foot-long Alligator Gar all star at this Art Deco facility at Fair Park, built in 1936 to coincide with the Texas Centennial, with a saltwater section added in 1964. Special attractions include the Amazon Flooded Forest, and the World of Aquatic Diversity. As the first to breed and rear Texas Blind Salamanders, the aquarium also is known for maintaining and breeding the desert pupfish, and is one of only two aquariums to breed the now extinct species Megupsilon aporus.
1462 First Avenue. (214) 670-8443
Dallas Mavericks
The Dallas Mavericks bring new energy and excitement to the court as the NBA team plays at the American Airlines Center.
2500 Victory Avenue. (214) 747-6287
Dallas Museum of Art
Formerly the Dallas Museum of Fine Arts, the Dallas Museum of Art traces beginnings to 1903, with the facility opening in 1909 in Fair Park under the name Free Public Art Gallery of Dallas. In 1991, a $30-million expansion was designed by Edward Larrabee Barnes to help create mini-museums. The old gallery now houses the Museum of Africa and Asia, the Museum of Europe, and the Museum of Contemporary Art. The Nancy and Jake Hamon Building, completed in 1993, houses the Museum of the Americas, with art from Pre-Columbian to the mid-1940s.
1717 North Harwood Street. (241) 922-1200
Dallas Neighborhoods
Well worth exploration are Dallas' eclectic neighborhoods. Among them are Deep Ellum, described as a Southern Soho; The West End, with family fun by day and and exciting nightlife; Uptown, in the heart of the antique district; Knox-Henderson, with quaint, old-world style; Highland Park, described as the Beverly Hills of Texas; Swiss Avenue, a grand boulevard with historic homes; and the Dallas Arts District, a 17-block area covering some 60 acres of downtown.
Dallas Stars Hockey
The Dallas Stars take to the ice at the American Airlines Center, opened in 2001 at a cost of about $325 million with a design that puts fans closer than ever to the action. Platinum seats have a host of comforts and amenities, and there are 143 luxury suites on the Flagship, Platinum and Admiral levels.
211 Cowboys Parkway. (214) 387-5500
J. Erik Jonsson Central Library
Named in memory of Texas Instruments' J. Erik Jonsson, this eight-floor library has a copy of the Declaration of Independence, printed on July 4, 1776. Also on the seventh floor on permanent display in a special room is First Folio, printed in 1623, and the first complete printing of Shakespeare's plays. In the second floor Children's Center, is a hand-crafted scale model of the 8th century Viking ship Drakkar.
1515 Young Street. (214) 670-1400
Lone Star Park at Grand Prairie
This 36,000-square-foot pavilion is open six days a week for thoroughbred and quarterhorse racing during Thoroughbred Season, April-July and Quarterhorse Season, October-November.
1000 Lone Star Parkway. (972) 263-7223
Nasher Sculpture Center
Occupying a full city block downtown, the Nasher Sculpture Center (opening in mid-October, 2003) features a 54,000-square-foot building and a 1.5 acre sculpture garden designed by architect Renso Piano in collaboration with landscape architect Peter Walker. The $70-million Center, adjacent to the Dallas Museum of Art, provides a home for the internationally acclaimed Raymond and Patsy Nasher Collection of modern and contemporary works. Rodin, Degas, Picasso, Matisse, and many other renowned artists are represented. Raymond Nasher was one of the first real estate developers to put art in commercial complexes.
2001 Flora Street. (214) 242-5150
Sharkarosa Wildlife Ranch
Sharkarosa is a non-profit wildlife ranch with exotic and native animals including lemurs, camels, zebra, sloth, and kangaroos, along with longhorns, buffalo and more. Safari tours, kid's train rides, and helicopter rides are part of the fun, with party facilities and a bounce house on grounds.
11670 Massey Road, Pilot Point. (940) 686-4600
Six Flags Over Texas
From giant-sized coasters to family-friendly rides, Six Flags Over Texas has thrilled generations. Now Superman Tower of Power, the tallest ride of its kind in the world at 325 feet high, allows guests to fly like the Man of Steel himself.
Intersection of Interstate 30 and Highway 360, Arlington.
Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza
Each year more than two million visitors pay homage at downtown's Dealey Plaza where John F. Kennedy was assassinated. The Sixth Floor Museum within the former Texas School Book Depository building (where the investigative Warren Commission concluded Lee Harvey Oswald shot the president) contains a permanent exhibition on JFK's life, times, death, and legacy. Two evidentiary areas tied with the shooting are preserved, including the alleged sniper's perch. Artifacts include the Zapruder camera that recorded the infamous footage, and the FBI model of Dealey Plaza used by the Warren Commission.
411 Elm Street. (214) 747-6660
Southfork Ranch
In 1978, a legend was created rivaling any other series in television history, as an unknown Texas ranch became recognized worldwide. The series was "Dallas," the family the Ewings, and the ranch was Southfork, where the Dallas legend lives on well beyond the 356 episodes produced. Guided tours of the Ewing mansion and grounds spotlight memorabilia from the gun that shot J.R. to Lucy's wedding dress and Jock's Lincoln Continental. Visitors can roam the ranch, eat at Miss Ellie's Deli and shop in two themed retail stores, heavy on Southfork-label merchandise.
U.S. Highway 75/Central Expressway North to Exit #30, Parker Road. Turn right on Parker, proceed 5.5 miles to intersection of Hogge Road, turn right, with Southfork entrance on immediate left. (972) 442-7800
Texas Rangers Baseball
The Texas Rangers play major league baseball from April through October at the Ballpark in Arlington. The Ballpark complex includes the Legends of the Game Baseball Museum, Children's Learning Center, and Dr Pepper Youth Ballpark.
1000 Ballpark Way. (817) 273-5100
Zero Gravity Thrill Amusement Park
Bungee jumping, the Skycoaster ride to 110 feet at 60mph before pulling the ripcord, an unassisted 130 feet freefall drop into a net, experiencing 4 Gs in the Skyscraper, and 0 to 70 in 1.2 seconds on the Blastoff are offered at the Zero Gravity Thrill Amusement Park in northwestern Dallas.
11131 Malibu Drive. (972) 484-8359
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