20 Best Sights in Dallas, Dallas and Fort Worth

African American Museum

Fair Park also contains six major exhibit spaces (many of which are closed Monday or Tuesday): the

3536 Grand Ave., Dallas, TX, 75210, USA
214-565--9026
Sights Details
Rate Includes: Free, Closed Sun.

Bank of America Plaza

Downtown Dallas

Dallas's tallest building, at 920 feet, is visible for miles at night, thanks to the green argon tubing that outlines its 72 stories. Visitors can access Downtown's maze of underground tunnels from the building's basement. The tunnels, a welcome climate-controlled escape, include dozens of restaurants, delis, drugstores, gift shops, and florists.

901 Main St., Dallas, TX, 75202, USA
214-209--1370
Sights Details
Rate Includes: Closed weekends

Crow Collection of Asian Art

Arts District

A pair of 19th-century Chinese guardian lions from the Qing Dynasty is the first clue you've arrived at the Crow Collection (across the street from the Nasher Sculpture Center). The private gallery—a tranquil, intimate space—showcases the remarkable Asian art collection of philanthropists and native Dallasites Trammell and Margaret Crow. The museum also hosts traveling exhibits and displays treasures from China, Japan, India, and Southeast Asia. Don't miss an 18th-century carved sandstone facade from an Indian home.

2010 Flora St., Dallas, TX, 75201, USA
214-979--6430
Sights Details
Rate Includes: Free, Tues., Wed., and Fri.–Sun. 10–5, Thurs. 10–9, Closed Mon.

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Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden

East Dallas
Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden
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This lovely attraction is composed of 66 acres of gardens and lawns in White Rock Lake Park. Spend an hour or two here to escape the noise and traffic of the city, walk nature trails, admire sculpture, and recline in soft, manicured grass. The annual Dallas Blooms event, in early spring, boasts spectacular displays of tulips, daffodils, and other blooming bulbs. Fall delivers more than 150,000 autumn flowers as well as great displays of pumpkins and other gourds.

Dallas Center for the Performing Arts

Arts District

This multipurpose center offers performance spaces for the Dallas Opera, Dallas Theater Center, Dallas Black Dance Theatre, Texas Ballet Theater, and Anita N. Martinez Ballet Folklorico. The complex consists of an opera house, an indoor theater, and an open-air theater. A 10-acre, on-site park is designed to tie the spaces together and attract the public to the site regardless of performance schedules.

2403 Flora St., Dallas, TX, 75201, USA
214-954--9925
Sights Details
Rate Includes: No tours weekends

Dallas City Hall

Downtown Dallas

Renowned architect I. M. Pei is responsible for the striking inverted-pyramid design of City Hall. The modern structure is set on a seven-acre plaza that features reflecting pools and a stunning bronze Henry Moore sculpture.

Dallas Heritage Village

Dallas Heritage Village
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It may be difficult to imagine Dallas without its shiny skyscrapers, far-flung suburbs, and miles and miles of highway, but Heritage Village at Old City Park allows visitors to experience what life was like in Big D before 1910. The museum, set on 13 acres just south of I–30 and Downtown Dallas, consists of 38 restored buildings, furnished inside and out as they would have been (way) back in the day. You'll also meet a couple of donkeys, a cow, some chickens, and other barnyard animals. Visitors can tour structures such as a log cabin, an antebellum mansion, a schoolhouse, a church, a farmhouse, and a shotgun shack. The re-created Main Street features a sturdy bank (rebuilt on site brick by brick), a print shop, a general store, and a saloon, where you may be able to order an ice-cold root beer, play a game of cards or checkers, and even catch a gunfight that spills into the street. Docents are in period costume and stay in character, describing in detail their daily lives and challenges.

Dallas Museum of Art

Arts District

Housed in a series of white limestone galleries built off a central barrel vault, this museum remains one of the city's greatest cultural institutions. The permanent collection covers a lot of territory, from the arts of Africa, Asia, and ancient Greece to a painting collection with works by artists as diverse as esteemed colonial painter John Singleton Copley and contemporary German painter Gerhard Richter (part of a strong and growing contemporary collection). A popular draw at the museum is an installation that re-creates rooms in the Mediterranean villa belonging to Texas swells Wendy and Emery Reves. The Center for Creative Connections, designed for families, allows patrons to interact with art and artists.

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1717 N. Harwood St., Dallas, TX, 75201, USA
214-922--1200
Sights Details
Rate Includes: Free, Closed Mon.

Dallas Zoo

Fair Park

The Fort Worth Zoo is a huge draw in the area, but the Dallas Zoo shouldn't be overlooked. The Wilds of Africa section re-creates the habitats of animals such as African penguins, chimpanzees, saddle-billed storks, and okapi (zebralike cousin to the giraffe). When it's not too hot or too cold, you can ride a monorail (for a fee) through the Africa exhibit to gain a treetop perspective and to learn more about the animals. Zoo North, the older section of the zoo, includes some exhibits that haven't been changed in decades. But other sections are modern and interactive, especially the tiger habitat and the children's zoo. A fabulous aviary allows children to feed birds, some of which will perch on your hand or shoulder. There's also a petting zoo, pony rides, giant fish tank, playground, and stream for jumping and splashing in. The DART red line stops just outside the zoo's entrance.

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650 South R.L. Thornton Fwy., Dallas, TX, 75203, USA
469-554--7500
Sights Details
Rate Includes: $15, Daily 9–5

Fair Park

Fair Park

In South Dallas, this 277-acre National Historic Landmark has the largest collection of 1930s Art Deco architecture in the United States. It is also home to the State Fair of Texas for three weeks each fall. Within the park, you'll find the Museum of the American Railroad, the Dallas Aquarium, the Texas Discovery Gardens, and the Museum of Nature and Science.

Hall of State

In the park's murals tell the story of Texas in heroic terms. The Tower Building (open weekdays, 8:15–5:15) has free brochures that describe the buildings and artwork. A self-guided walking tour takes about 90 minutes.

3939 Grand Ave., Dallas, TX, 75210, USA
214-421--4500
Sights Details
Rate Includes: Free, Closed Mon.

Meadows Museum

Southern Methodist University is home to one of the world's largest and most significant collections of Spanish art outside Spain. Philanthropist Algur H. Meadows began acquiring the pieces while on business in Spain in the 1950s. He gave his collection to SMU, and the museum continues to acquire pieces today. The collection spans 1,000 years and includes masterpieces by El Greco, Velázquez, Ribera, Murillo, Goya, Miró, and Picasso, grouped chronologically in beautifully lit galleries. The museum also has an admirable sculpture collection and hosts exhibitions of wide-ranging interest. Don't miss the well-edited gift shop.

5900 Bishop Blvd., Dallas, TX, 75205, USA
214-768--2516
Sights Details
Rate Includes: $12, Tues., Wed., Fri., and Sat. 10–5, Thurs. 10–8, Sun. noon–5, Closed Mon.

Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center

Arts District

The I. M. Pei–designed space is a place of sweeping dramatic curves, ever-changing vanishing points, and surprising views. Inside is the Herman W. and Amelia H. Lay Family Organ, a hand-built, hand-installed Fisk organ with 4,535 pipes. Free tours are offered four days a week (days vary) at 1 pm. Check the website, or call the center for current tour information and a list of upcoming performances.

Nasher Sculpture Center

Arts District

The late Raymond and Patsy Nasher—real-estate developers, civic leaders, art lovers, and philanthropists—collected modern and contemporary sculpture for decades, before giving the collection, valued at $400 million, to the city in 1997. The center, which opened in 2003, is an international draw with an extensive representation of great masters—Borofsky, Calder, Dubuffet, Giacometti, Matisse, Miró, Moore, Picasso, and Rodin. The building, which has 10,000 square feet of gallery space, is faced with Italian travertine stone and topped with a glass roof to let in natural light. The 1.42-acre outdoor sculpture garden is landscaped with pools, fountains, pathways, and more than 170 trees. The view of Downtown from the calming green space is spectacular, especially after dusk.

2001 Flora St., Dallas, TX, 75201, USA
214-242--5100
Sights Details
Rate Includes: $10, Tues., Wed., Fri.–Sun. 11–5, Thurs. 11–9, Closed Mon.

Old Red Museum of Dallas County History and Culture

Downtown Dallas

This 1892 Romanesque courthouse, known as "Old Red," contains a museum on Dallas County's history. Each gallery has a short film, interactive exhibits, artifacts, and historical photographs. Discover some of Dallas's claims to fame, such as the invention of the integrated circuit, air conditioning for cars, and the frozen margarita, as well as sports memorabilia. A special draw is the hands-on learning center, where children can dress in period costume, play marbles, and answer history questions on touch-screen monitors.

100 S Houston St., Dallas, TX, 75202, USA
214-745--1100
Sights Details
Rate Includes: $10, Mon.–Sat. 9–5, Sun. noon–5

Reunion Tower

This tower has been an iconic fixture of the Dallas skyline since 1978. The lights on the giant ball at the top of the tower often dance at night. Visitors can visit the rotating restaurant and lounge or ride an elevator up 55 flights to an observation deck that affords views of Dallas and beyond.

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300 Reunion Blvd E., Dallas, TX, 75207, USA
214-712--7040
Sights Details
Rate Includes: $17, Sun.–Thurs. 10am–10pm, Fri.–Sat. 9am–11pm

Swiss Avenue

This East Dallas strip has the city's best representations of two distinct periods. On lower Swiss Avenue (2900 block), nearer to Downtown, the Wilson Block Historic District is an unaltered block of turn-of-the-20th-century frame houses restored as offices for nonprofit groups. Set-back Prairie Style, Italian Renaissance, Tudor, and Colonial Revival mansions are common in the Swiss Avenue Historic District, the city's first historic district (designated in 1973). Park anywhere along Swiss Avenue in the 4900–6000 blocks, and walk down the tree-shaded street to admire the grand homes and beautifully landscaped yards. Residents and their household staffs are accustomed to folks stopping to gawk or take photos—but do respect their privacy and stay on the sidewalk.

Thanks-Giving Square

Downtown Dallas

This small triangular plaza designed by Philip Johnson contains quiet gardens and an interfaith chapel with stained glass by Gabriel Loire.

1627 Pacific Ave., Dallas, TX, 75201, USA
214-969--1977
Sights Details
Rate Includes: Free, Closed Tues.

The Dallas World Aquarium

West End

The word "aquarium" doesn't fully describe everything to experience at this privately owned Downtown attraction. Sure, there are fish, octopus, anemones, eels, and jellyfish. But there are also penguins in an outdoor exhibit; a rain forest with monkeys, manatees, toucans, crocodiles, turtles, and more, all surrounded by native plants; and an eight-story Mayan exhibit that features a walk-through shark aquarium, flamingos, a jaguar, and an ocelot. The West End DART light-rail station is just a few blocks away.

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1801 N. Griffin St., Dallas, TX, 75202, USA
214-720--2224
Sights Details
Rate Includes: $20.95, Daily 10–5

The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza

Downtown Dallas

On November 22, 1963, shots rang out on Dealey Plaza, at the west end of Downtown, as the presidential motorcade rounded the corner from Houston Street onto the Elm Street approach to the Triple Underpass. Eventually the Warren Commission concluded that President Kennedy was gunned down by Lee Harvey Oswald, acting alone and firing from the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository. The building is now known as the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza, where exhibits explore the life and legacy of JFK, offering context of the politics of the early 1960s and the importance of Kennedy's Texas visit. One of the most popular exhibits is the re-creation of the sniper's nest at the southeast window, viewable but not accessible.

411 Elm St., Dallas, TX, 75202, USA
214-747--6660
Sights Details
Rate Includes: $25, Closed Mon. and Tues.