Mention the word Texas and most people picture cowboy boots, longhorn cattle, Texas BBQs and Dallas (or the Big D as the locals call it). Dallas is the state’s cultural and spiritual capital and the ninth-largest city in the United States. Built on oil, the city’s vibrant art scene, diverse cultures, and various sports teams run the show today.
Established by John Neely Bryan in 1841 as little more than a settlement, attractions, dining options and entertainment in Dallas are up there with the world’s best cities. Dallas shines as the star city in Texas, beckoning travellers from far and wide to come on down with their cowboy hats to visit these Dallas landmarks and experience the best of the Lone Star State.
- Dallas Landmarks
- 20 Landmarks in Dallas
- 1- Nasher Sculpture Center
- 2- Pioneer Plaza
- 3- Dallas County Courthouse
- 4- Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden
- 5- American Airlines Center
- 6- Founder’s Plaza
- 7- Perot Museum of Nature and Science
- 8- John F. Kennedy Memorial
- 9- Klyde Warren Park
- 10- Southfork Ranch
- 11- The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza
- 12- Reunion Tower
- 13- AT&T Stadium
- 14- Fair Park
- 15- Cedar Ridge Preserve
- 16- Six Flags Over Texas
- 17- Magnolia Hotel Building
- 18- Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge
- 19- George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum
- 20- Deep Ellum
- 21- The Dallas Eye
- 20 Landmarks in Dallas
20 Landmarks in Dallas
1- Nasher Sculpture Center
The Nasher Sculpture Center is home to a wide variety of impressive sculptures by some of the world’s most renowned modern and contemporary artists, such as Barbara Hepworth and Alberto Giacometti.
Opened in 2003, the centre initially displayed art pieces belonging to the Nasher family’s collection, however, the centre now shows a broader range of works of some of the world’s best artists.
Situated right in the middle of downtown Dallas, the sculpture garden is easy to reach and provides an excellent spot for relaxation amongst fine art and nature, with a scenic café to get some refreshments.
Nasher Sculpture Center is at 2001 Flora St, Dallas, TX 75201.
2- Pioneer Plaza
Pioneer Plaza represents the city’s early years, when it was a rugged settlement out in the middle of nowhere, with the largest bronze monument in the world.
Artist Robert Summers crafted the impressive monument in Dallas of a herd of 49 longhorn steers on the Shawnee Trail.
Lush trees frame the sculptures, while a waterfall and a flowing stream complete the picture in the open space in downtown Dallas.
Pioneer Plaza is at 1428 Young St, Dallas, TX 75202.
3- Dallas County Courthouse
The Dallas County Courthouse, known affectionately as Old Red because of its crimson turrets and high central tower, was built in 1892 and lost its role in 1966 when the new courthouse building was completed nearby.
The Old Red Museum was established inside the old Dallas County Courthouse, taking visitors on a tour of the city’s history through various exhibits, including fossils, 19th-century artifacts and sports memorabilia.
Situated on the southern end of Dealey Plaza, follow up the Dallas County Courthouse with a visit to the Sixth Floor Museum, also in the plaza, to create a day filled with history and discovery.
Dallas County Courthouse is at 100 S Houston St, Dallas, TX 75202.
4- Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden
The urban oasis that is the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden is a tranquil refuge from the lively streets of downtown Dallas.
Situated on a beautiful 66-acre (27 ha) plot on the shores of White Rock Lake, the botanical garden consists of 14 unique displays of trees, ornamental shrubs, seasonal flowers and plants.
Not only is the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden famous for its lush flora, but the site also plays host to a multitude of festivals, concerts, art exhibitions and other events throughout the year.
It’s an escape for nature lovers and offers events in the garden and around the lake.
The Dallas Arboretum is at 8525 Garland Rd, Dallas, TX 75218.
5- American Airlines Center
The home of the Dallas Mavericks NBA team and the Dallas Stars NHL team, the American Airlines Center has been a Dallas entertainment landmark since 2001.
The venue hosts several large concerts by world-famous performers annually, making it a great destination even if you’re not a sports fan.
With recent performances by Elton John, Celine Dion, Billy Joel and Ariana Grande, there’s sure to be something for everyone to enjoy.
American Airlines Center is at 2500 Victory Avenue, Dallas, TX 75219.
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6- Founder’s Plaza
Founder’s Plaza is a must-see historical landmark in Dallas that tells the story of the city’s origins from a humble settlement founded by John Neely Bryan in 1841 to today’s vibrant metropolis.
The creative attraction incorporates various historic structures and sites, some of which date back to the city’s origins, to take you on a journey through the city’s history.
Situated in the heart of downtown Dallas, you can view a terrazzo map of Dallas County in the 1800s and learn more about the early residents of Dallas by visiting a replica of John Neely Bryan’s (the city’s founder) cabin.
Founder’s Plaza is at 1700 N Airfield Dr, Grapevine, TX 76051.
7- Perot Museum of Nature and Science
Not only is about Perot Museum of Nature and Science a contemporary architectural landmark in Dallas, but it’s also home to interactive displays and exhibits about different aspects of science, technology, and engineering.
Have you ever wondered how to use brainwaves to move objects? Would you like to learn how to design a robot?
Opened in 2012, the facility combines education with fun to create an awe-inspiring experience for all ages.
Hop on the centre’s earthquake simulator to experience the power of Mother Nature first-hand and marvel at the prehistoric creatures that roamed the earth during the Ice Age.
There’s no shortage of fun experiences at the Perot Museum of Nature and Science.
Perot Museum is at 2201 N Field St, Dallas, TX 75201.
8- John F. Kennedy Memorial
Designed by renowned architect Philip Johnson, this minimalist monument in Dallas was erected in 1970 to honour former President John F. Kennedy, assassinated in Dallas on 22 November 1963.
Built to symbolise President Kennedy’s free spirit and resembling a cenotaph, this 30-foot tall (9 m), 50-foot wide (15 m) marble monument is one of Dallas’ most impressive landmarks.
The John F. Kennedy Memorial stands as a sobering reminder of what happened on that fateful day in 1963.
It is an absolute must-visit landmark that relives the former president’s life and last moments.
John F. Kennedy Memorial is at 646 Main St, Dallas, TX 75202.
9- Klyde Warren Park
What was once the Woodall Rodgers Freeway which separated Dallas into two areas between St Paul and Pearl Street is now the site of the Klyde Warren Park.
A sprawling oasis, the park connects Dallas’ once disjointed neighbourhoods with one another while also serving as an outdoor recreational area for all ages to enjoy.
Only constructed in 2012, Klyde Warren Park is still a relatively new addition to the Dallas outdoor attractions list, however, the park is already a haven for locals who flock to the park to enjoy all sorts of activities.
Football, badminton, croquet, children’s playgrounds and even areas to practice tai chi and yoga can be found within the park’s boundaries, making it an excellent green landmark in Dallas.
Klyde Warren Park is at 2012 Woodall Rodgers Fwy, Dallas, TX 75201.
10- Southfork Ranch
If you’re old enough to recall the hit television show ‘Dallas’ during the 1980s, you’ll be familiar with Southfork Ranch.
Southfork, which is 25 miles (40 km) north of downtown Dallas, was used as the show’s setting, welcomes visitors with guided tours of the sprawling mansion to relive their favourite scenes from the series.
If you’re too young to remember the Dallas mania that swept the world, Southfork Ranch and its gorgeous setting is still an impressive Dallas landmark to see.
Southfork Ranch is at 3700 Hogge Dr, Parker, TX 75002.
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11- The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza
The main crime scene from which Lee Harvey Oswald famously assassinated President John F. Kennedy on the 22 November 1963 was the former Texas School Book Depository, now the Sixth Floor Museum.
The events that unfolded at this site changed the course of history.
The chronology of the famous assassination is displayed at the museum and over 40,000 artefacts provide insights into what happened.
Overlooking Dealey Plaza and the Grassy Knoll, the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza allows you to inspect the window from which Oswald pulled the trigger and the location where the supposed second shooter was hiding.
Conspiracy theorists will want to spend time at the Sixth Floor Museum and visiting the actual place where Lee Harvey Oswald shot JFK is rather eerie.
The Sixth Floor Museum is at 411 Elm St, Dallas, TX 75202.
12- Reunion Tower
The 560-foot tall (171 m) Reunion Tower has been an iconic part of the Dallas skyline ever since it was built in 1978.
Illuminated by bright lights at night, the tower’s geodesic shape is accentuated after dark.
The tower’s GeO-Deck is an impressive observation deck 470 feet (143 m) above the ground and offers 360-degree views of the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex.
Reunion Tower also has two revolving restaurants where you can eat, drink and enjoy the Dallas skyline in comfort and style.
Reunion Tower is at 300 Reunion Blvd E, Dallas, TX 75207.
13- AT&T Stadium
The home of the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys, AT&T Stadium is Mecca for football fans, where 80,000+ faithful Cowboys fans pack into this massive indoor arena to cheer on their team.
Completed in 2009, the AT&T Stadium is the world’s largest covered stadium and an impressive display of contemporary sculptures that you would expect to see in a major gallery.
It’s worth taking a guided art tour (Monday to Thursday at 10 am, noon and 2 pm) to admire the Dallas Cowboys Art Collection.
Other tours on offer are Rally Days tours to soak up the excitement leading up to a Cowboys home game, VIP guided tours, educational tours and self-guided tours.
AT&T Stadium is about 20 minutes from downtown Dallas at 1 AT&T Way, Arlington, TX 76011.
14- Fair Park
Fair Park and its Hall of State is a significant attraction in Dallas and is packed with history.
Home to more than three million historical papers and artefacts, including the nation’s most incredible collection of 1930s art deco-styled buildings, the park’s Hall of State is a must-visit to learn more about the city’s history.
Fair Park comes to life during the annual Texas State Fair when the 24-day long celebration in September/October attracts more than one million visitors.
Fair Park is at 3809 Grand Avenue Dallas, Texas 75210.
15- Cedar Ridge Preserve
The 600-acre (243 ha) Cedar Ridge Preserve has more than nine miles (14 km) of hiking trails, where you can admire native trees, grasses, wildflowers and look for animals, birds and reptiles.
Cedar Ridge Preserve is a slice of Texan Hill Country (about 20 minutes from downtown) untouched by development and a natural landmark near Dallas for nature lovers.
With over 13 trails to hike through pristine nature, butterfly gardens and picnic areas, it’s a tranquil getaway from the bustling streets of Dallas.
Cedar Ridge Preserve is at 7171 Mountain Creek Pkwy, Dallas, TX 75249.
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16- Six Flags Over Texas
Six Flags Over Texas was the first Six Flags theme park to open its doors to the public in 1961.
Named for the six nations that have claimed sovereignty over Texas (in case you’re wondering, they are Spain, France, Mexico, Texas, the Confederate States of America and the United States of America), this 212-acre (86 ha) park has adrenaline-inducing thrill rides for all ages to enjoy.
Of all the exhilarating rides, one worth mentioning is the landmark New Texas Giant, which plunges riders down a terrifying 45 m (148 ft), 79-degree drop.
If heights aren’t your thing, check out Mr Freeze: Reverse Blast, which accelerates riders from 0-70 mph (0-113 kph) in reverse.
With around 45 attractions, Six Flags Over Texas is the place to go for an adrenalin rush.
Six Flags Over Texas is about halfway between Fort Worth and downtown Dallas at 2201 E Road to Six Flags St, Arlington, TX 76011.
17- Magnolia Hotel Building
The splendid Magnolia Hotel building in downtown Dallas is as synonymous with Dallas as oil barons and football.
Built in 1922, the 400-foot tall (122 m) Magnolia Petroleum Company Building rises 29 stories into the sky and was the first skyscraper in the USA to have air conditioning.
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places and home to a boutique hotel, the building’s most famous attraction is the historic Pegasus sign.
The flying red horse has lit up the night sky since 1934, symbolising the city’s oil boom of the 20th century.
Magnolia Hotel is at 1401 Commerce St, Dallas, TX 75201.
18- Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge
This engineering feat is one of the most recognisable landmarks in Dallas and was the brainchild of world-renowned architect Santiago Calatrava.
Straddling the Trinity River, the bridge was named after oil heiress and philanthropist Margaret Hunt Hill and was part of a large scale redevelopment around the Trinity River.
Officially opened in 2012, the bridge features a 120-meter tall (394 ft) arch and for a good view of the bridge, the Trinity Skyline Trail passes along the river underneath it.
Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge is at Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge, Dallas, TX 75207.
19- George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum
George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum is on the grounds of the Southern Methodist University campus in Dallas.
This impressive Dallas monument houses various artefacts and exhibitions detailing the life of the 43rd President of the United States.
The centre’s expansive collection includes a replica of the Oval Office, President Bush’s memoirs on 9/11 and various gifts given to the former president during his time in office.
One of the centre’s unique attractions is its interactive Decision Points Theatre, which allows you to relive and react to the significant events of Hurricane Katrina and compare your choices to those of the former president.
George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum is at 2943 SMU Boulevard, Dallas, TX 75205.
20- Deep Ellum
The Deep Ellum district in downtown Dallas is the city’s entertainment capital and where you will find live music, great food, cool bars, galleries and shops.
Rivalling Austin as the state’s live music epicentre, Deep Ellum has been attracting artists since the 1880s and has seen world-famous performers like Nirvana, Radiohead and Pearl Jam roll through its streets.
One of Deep Ellum’s most popular daytime attractions is its collection of The Travelling Man sculptures, a series of impressive sculptures by Brad Oldham and Brandon Oldenburg depicting metal robots and birds together.
Signifying the city’s history as a significant railroad connection and, more recently, as a haven for artists, the collection includes three unique statues, ranging from a 4.5-foot (1.4 m) sculpture to the collection’s centrepiece, a 38 feet (12 m) tall sculpture named Walking Tall.
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