Dallas – Fort Worth offers travellers fascinating history, authentic cowboy culture and more. These are the best things to see and do in the vibrant Texas city.
The Sixth Floor Museum
The assassination of President John F. Kennedy in 1963 remains one of the most shocking events in US history. The Sixth Floor Museum, in the exact building from which Lee Harvey Oswald fired at JFK in Dealey Plaza below, examines the facts and has more than 40,000 relevant artefacts on show.
Highland Park Village
Soak up the Texas sunshine while shopping at Highland Park Village, an outdoor shopping mall with such beautiful Spanish architecture it’s a declared National Historic Landmark. Chanel, Dior and many more high-end brands are here.
To say Texans take football seriously is an understatement, so it’s only appropriate to see the Dallas Cowboys play at AT&T Stadium. The NFL season starts in September and ends in early January. When in Texas.
Image credit: James D Smith
Meyerson Symphony Center
Recognised as one of the world’s greatest symphony halls, the Meyerson Symphony Center in the Arts District is the home of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. If you don’t see a performance, at least wander through the limestone and glass building to admire the architecture. The soaring, sprawling and light-filled lobby especially is a striking example of modernist architecture.
Nasher Sculpture Center
The Nasher Sculpture Center in the Arts District contains more than 300 sculptures, installations and paintings dotted through the indoor gallery space and tranquil gardens. Look for the works by Matisse, Picasso and Rodin.
Kimbell Art Museum
Not everything is bigger in Texas. Kimbell Art Museum is a small collection of only 350 works, but it packs a punch with the only Michelangelo on exhibition in the US and other rare, largely European works. Even better, it’s housed in a modern marvel of a building designed by famed architect Louis Kahn.
Dallas Museum of Art
With a diverse collection of more than 24,000 works from across the globe spanning 5,000 years of history, there’s something for everyone at the Dallas Museum of Art. One of the biggest and most comprehensive art museums in the United States, the permanent collection includes a 2000-piece exhibition of Islamic art, African arts, contemporary American works, Ancient Egyptian, Greek and Roman pieces, and a Decorative Arts and Design section with 8,000 items.
National Cowgirl Hall of Fame & Museum
Documenting and paying tribute to pioneering women of the American west, the National Cowgirl Hall of Fame & Museum is a Fort Worth cultural institution with a permanent collection that includes photography, traditional rodeo and horse riding clothing equipment, and a selection of films.
Bonnie and Clyde tour
Violent gangster couple Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow, who famously died in a hail of police bullets in 1934, were born and raised in Dallas. DFW Historical Tours takes you to their former homes and places of work, corners of the city where they committed robbery and murder, and to their graves.
Fort Worth Stockyards National Historic District
Fort Worth Stockyards is an 1800s frontier town and livestock hub that was saved from becoming a ghost town, preserved and restored to give a taste of America’s old West. Admire the original main street, saloons and stockyards, get clued up on cowboy culture with a historic walking tour, watch rodeos, eat Texas barbecue and buy authentic cowboy hats and boots. The unique experience of living Texas history is a 45-minute drive from downtown Dallas.
George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum
More interesting than it sounds, the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum includes an exhibition on the September 11 attacks, a full-size replica of the Oval Office as it was during Bush’s presidency, and the bizarre Decision Points Theater, an interactive exhibit that lets you play president.
Wild Bill’s Western Store
For more than 40 years, eccentric boutique Wild Bill’s Western Store in Dallas’ West End has been outfitting cowboys (and their imitators) with 10-gallon hats, leather boots, belt buckles, shirts and anything else a man or woman of the saddle could need. A must-see even if only to window shop.
Klyde Warren Park
An urban green space built on a reclaimed railway line, Klyde Warren Park, which connects Dallas’ uptown area with the Arts District, is a good place to people-watch, enjoy the Texas sunshine and free live music.
An eclectic neighbourhood east of downtown Dallas, Deep Ellum is known for its street murals, barbecue restaurants, micro-breweries and vibrant music and nightlife scene. The must-try restaurant is Pecan Lodge for barbecue.