Top Recommended Layover Activities:
1. Reunion Tower
300 Reunion Blvd, Dallas, TX 75207 · 214-712-7145
Often called the sparkling round jewel of the Dallas skyline, Reunion Tower provides a great panoramic view. The tower, contemporary in design, stands 50 stories high. The structure was built in 1978 and is adjacent to the equally impressive Hyatt Regency Hotel. Guests take a ride up a set of glass elevators that offer breathtaking views of the area. There is a revolving restaurant and bar at the top, as well as an observation floor referred to as the Lookout.
2. Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden
8525 Garland Rd, Dallas, TX 75218-4335 · 214-327-4901
One reason the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden keeps visitors coming back may be because it is home to the largest collection of azaleas in the US. Located on the eastern shores of White Rock Lake, the gardens feature 66 acres filled with blooming flowers, manicured lawns and lush trees. They also house the DeGolyer Mansion, an exquisite Spanish-style hacienda commissioned in 1940 by Texas oil baron Everett DeGolyer. The Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden also hosts a number of special events and festivals and makes a great stop for a scenic picnic.
3. Dallas Nature Center
7171 Mountain Creek Pkwy, Dallas, TX 75249 · 972-296-1955
Found on one of the area's highest elevation points, the Dallas Nature Center provides a wonderful natural refuge. The center spans 633 acres and features a number of wildlife and plant preserves. The center, which is committed to conservation and education, boasts 10 miles of hiking trails and scenic habitats, as well as camping and picnic areas. The Dallas Nature Center is also known for being home to a number of endangered species, including the black-capped vireo, a small nesting bird, and for sporting a bountiful butterfly garden.
4. Dallas World Aquarium
1801 N Griffin, Dallas, TX 75202-1503 · 214-720-2224
Where can you visit a Venezuelan rainforest and meet a small colony of 20 black-footed penguins at the same time? The Dallas Aquarium is the place! Located downtown in the West End, the facility is part of the zoological gardens and even features a 22,000-gallon walk-through tunnel. The aquarium is also home to 5,000 creatures from 400 species such as stingrays, bonnet head sharks, and chocolate chip starfish, and there’s even a 135-pound alligator snapping turtle. The aquarium is a rare water treat in landlocked Dallas!
5. Dallas Zoo
650 RL Thornton Frwy, Dallas, TX 75203 · 214-670-5656
A statuesque bronze giraffe measuring 67-and-a-half-feet tall greets one and all as they enter the Dallas Zoo. This exciting attraction is home to a variety of wildlife, and it features exhibits like “Primate Place” and “Snout Route,” which houses animals with distinctive noses like tapirs and anteaters. There is also a “Wilds of Africa” exhibit, which contains some 80 species of African animals. The facility houses approximately 8,000 animals from some 380 different species.
6. West End
603 Munger Ave, Dallas, TX 75202
This is Dallas's all-in-one tourist stop and is a great place to start any tour of the Metroplex! Located Downtown, the West End is a popular entertainment district. The area, comprised of renovated brick warehouses, dates back to the turn of the 20th century. There are 40 restaurants and 80 retail stores on site. The West End is bound by Market Street, Pacific Avenue and Woodall Rogers Freeway and is located southwest of Downtown. It is a short walk from Dealey Plaza and the Old Red Courthouse.
7. McKinney Avenue
McKinney Ave, Dallas, TX 75202
Now referred to as the Uptown section of downtown Dallas, McKinney Avenue is best known for its upscale restaurants and shopping. Whether it's enjoying a burger at the Hard Rock Café or indulging in fine French cuisine at Chez Gerard, this is the street to do it all! The neighborhood dates back 125 years and was once called Freedomtown because it emerged as a freed slave settlement. McKinney Avenue is located northwest of downtown and is easily accessible via the Downtown/McKinney Avenue trolley line.
8. Deep Ellum
3500 Elm St, Dallas, TX 75226
The name "Deep Ellum" is derived from a Southern drawl pronunciation of the word Elm. Eclectic and alternative describes this trendy Dallas neighborhood. Located a few blocks east of Downtown, Deep Ellum is outlined by Elm Street on the north and Canton Street on the south. The area is best known for its variety of restaurants, bars, clubs and galleries. Predominately an African American neighborhood in the mid-1800s, the area eventually became an industrial warehouse section of Dallas. A revitalization project that began in the 1980s can be thanked for the hip, 20-something crowd that hangs out here today.
Top Weekend Getaways And Day Trip Excursions:
1. Southwestern Bell Cotton Bowl Classic
3750 Midway Plaza Blvd, Fair Park, Dallas, TX 75210 · 214-634-7525
Since its commencement in 1937, this annual New Year's Day pig skin classic has been exciting college football fans with its lively festivities. Held at the Cotton Bowl Stadium in Fair Park east of downtown Dallas, the football game pits teams from the Big 12, Pacific 10 and Western Athletic Conferences against each other. Attendance at the game tops 70,000 people. The pre-game activities, which include luncheons, conferences and a parade, are just as popular as the game itself!
2. State Fair of Texas
3921 Martin Luther King Blvd, Fair Park, Dallas, TX 75210 · 214-565-9931
More than three million people are expected to attend this year's event, making it the largest annual exposition in North America. Features cooking contests and wildlife and livestock shows. Also offers attractions such as college football games, "The White House in Miniature," a miniature and very accurate replica of the White House, and "Kasbah," a new free show featuring international riders and the world's best horses. Other events include a touring Broadway musical, IMAX® films, and free outdoor concerts featuring high-profile stars. The 277-acre fair site is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Great event for the entire family. Late September through early October. Purchase tickets beforehand in stores around Dallas and at the door. No credit cards at the Fair.
3. Shakespeare Festival of Dallas
5808 E Grand Ave, Samuell-Grand Park, Dallas, TX 75223 · 214-559-2778
The second oldest non-profit Shakespeare festival in the USA is held from mid-June to the end of July at Samuell-Grand Park in east Dallas. One performance of each of the two plays selected for the festival can be seen daily (except Monday) in an outdoor setting. Bring your own picnic and enjoy the show.
4. Taste of Dallas
1801 N Lamar, Dallas, TX 75202 · 214-741-7185
Every July, this exciting food extravaganza attracts more than 275,000 food connoisseurs to the West End. Features include an assortment of restaurant and retail booths offering delectable dining treats. Local entertainment acts add to the vivacity of the festivities. This event offers a delicious look at this vibrant city!
5. Southfork Ranch
3700 Hogge Rd, Parker, TX 75002 · 972-442-7800
"Dallas" was possibly one of TV's most popular shows ever, and Southfork Ranch provided the setting for the Texas fairy tale of J.R. and the Ewings. The 300-acre, once working ranch is now one of Dallas' most popular tourist stops and attracts some 400,000 visitors annually. You can drop by the Oil Baron's Ballroom, shop at the Ranch RoundUp, or grab a bite at Miss Ellie's Delicatessen. Conference facilities. The ranch hosts more than 1400 private events every year.
6. Texas Stadium
2401 E Airport Frwy, Irving, TX 75062 · 972-438-7676
Home to the Dallas Cowboys, Texas Stadium is known for its exquisite outdoor beauty and the hole that lingers in its roof. It opened in 1971 and features a Texas Turf surface. The stadium can seat over 65,000 fans, and some say the hole is there so that God can watch over His favorite team. Texas Stadium is located in Irving at the intersection of Loop 12, Highway 114 and Highway 183.