- If you can dream it, you can do it. Walt Disney
Travel to Dallas
Think of Dallas and thoughts of cowboys, JR and shiny skyscrapers might spring to mind - but how about humungous glow-in-the-dark frogs, art deco architecture and top-quality culture? This Texan big hitter might surprise you with its amazing arts district, high-end shopping, pulsating nightlife, and a leading sports team for nearly every night of the week.
The Big D is the ninth largest city in the USA, and its Arts District is the country’s biggest urban art district, spanning 28 hectares (68 acres) and 19 blocks. You can gaze at Miró and Matisse creations at the Nasher Sculpture Center, listen to world-class music at the Foster-designed Winspear Opera House, or stay up late for after-dark tours of the massive Dallas Museum of Art.
In nearby Victory Park, sate your curiosity about those frogs (and even leap over them) – the amphibian sculptures make their home outside the snazzy (and terrific) Perot Museum of Nature and Science.
On the eastside of Downtown, Deep Ellum takes you back to the city’s roots. A bustling commercial area from the late 1800s, and the hub for Dallas’ jazz and blues scene in the 1920s, this district looked like it was dying a death when an expressway sliced through its centre in 1969.
Tourist Attractions in Dallas
While not the tallest building in Dallas, the Reunion Tower is undoubtedly the most distinguished and most recognizable. Completed in 1978 and appearing as a geodesic ball perched atop five cylindrical concrete poles, its 560-foot length is spectacularly lit up at night, emphasizing its unique outline. After renovations in 2011, the Reunion Tower now boasts a revolving restaurant with 360-degree views over Dallas, and the GeO-Deck observation level, home to an informative interactive display providing details about the building and notable landmarks.
Dallas Museum of Art
The Dallas Museum of Art has been a long-standing institution in the city since it opened in 1903. All told, the museum has a collection of more than 24,000 works from the Americas and around the globe, including everything from ancient artifacts to contemporary art. Highlights are its collection of ancient Mediterranean art from Egyptian, Greek, and Roman times; European art from the 16th to 19th centuries, including pieces by Claude Monet; contemporary artists including Jackson Pollock; and a collection of more than 50,000 art-related volumes in its library. Another art exhibit worth catching is the Wendy and Emery Reves Collection, housed in a re-creation of the Reves Villa and including Impressionist paintings, antique carpets, Chinese porcelain, and early Renaissance and 17th-century European furniture.
Dallas World Aquarium
Conveniently located within walking distance of the city's historic downtown core, Dallas World Aquarium is a fun and educational excursion for young and old alike. Housed in some 87,000 gallons of saltwater are a vast array of sea life including bonnet head sharks, stingrays, jellyfish, sea turtles, giant groupers, and rare leafy seadragons, all living in natural reef settings. A fun highlight is the Orinoco Rainforest exhibit, complete with numerous free-flying birds such as toucans, along with tree sloths and aquatic species such as Orinoco crocodiles and poison dart frogs. Hot Tip: Check the feeding schedule before arrival for a chance to see the animals at their most animated, as well as for details of upcoming talks and lectures.
The Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden
Just minutes from downtown Dallas, the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden sits on 66 acres along the southeast shore of White Rock Lake. The property's world-famous display gardens (14 all told) showcase seasonal flowers, ornamental shrubs, trees, and plant collections, while seasonal outdoor festivals and concerts, art shows, and education programs are also popular. Although conceived in the early 1930s, this splendid tourist attraction didn't become a reality until 1984 when the park was laid out on the grounds of a mansion built in 1939 (guided tours are available). Adding to the fun are the exquisite sculptures and fountains in areas with names like Toad's Corner, Texas Town, and Pecan Grove. Be sure to do a little exploring around White Rock Lake Park, too. Surrounded by 10 miles of hiking and biking trails, it's known for its excellent bird and wildlife spotting, as well as fishing and sailing.