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Things to Do in Dallas

You don't have to wear cowboy boots in Dallas, but if you do, you’ll fit in just fine. This swinging city in northeast Texas just can’t hide its Lone Star pride, and in many ways, it epitomizes the state itself: sprawling, bold, and bursting with oversized charm (and yes, Western apparel). Although it’s no longer the fastest-growing skyline in US, as it was in the early 2000s, downtown Dallas still boasts enough activities to keep visitors of all ages entertained. Take a sightseeing tour through the museums, parks, and cafes lining the streets of the Dallas Arts District, the cultural hub of the city. Stand next to sparkling five foot–tall geodes at the Perot Museum of Nature and Science, or roll through the streets of the West End Historic District on a Segway tour. Tour Dealey Plaza, the site of J.F.K.’s assassination, and the accompanying exhibits at the Sixth Floor Museum. Or treat your taste buds on a food tour: You’ll sample a range of delicacies, from upscale cuisine to down-home Lone Star specialties like chili and brisket. For a glamorous look at city lights, plan to see the city itself from the 470-foot (143-meter) GeO-Deck at Reunion Tower at night. In contrast to Dallas, nearby Fort Worth offers scaled-down walking tours featuring eclectic architecture and laid-back country vibes, which will help you understand how it earned its nickname, Cowtown.
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John F. Kennedy Memorial Plaza
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Simple but profoundly moving, the John F. Kennedy Memorial in Dallas comprises a granite slab bearing the assassinated president’s name etched in gold. The slab is surrounded by soaring concrete walls that appear to be free-floating, capturing the feeling of loss felt around the world following Kennedy’s assassination on November 22, 1963.

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Dealey Plaza
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Dealey Plaza is a public park in Dallas, Texas, best known as the location where President John F. Kennedy was assassinated on November 22, 1963, fired on by a sniper from the Texas School Book Depository. A museum focusing on Kennedy and the assassination now occupies the former depository, and there are various remembrances around the plaza.

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Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza
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John F. Kennedy’s presidency, ending with his assassination in Dallas, profoundly shaped American history. Explore his legacy at the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza in Dallas. Filled with insightful exhibits that celebrate JFK’s personal and political life, you’ll come away with a deeper understanding of this notable American president.

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Pioneer Plaza
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Pioneer Plaza, located in downtown Dallas’ Convention Center District, honors the 19th-century cattle drives on the Shawnee Trail with a bronze sculpture of 49 longhorn steer driven by three cowboys on horseback. With a waterfall and artificial cliffs, the park is one of the most popular tourist spots in Dallas.

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Dallas Arts District
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The Dallas Arts District is a hub for performing arts, museums, and architecture, and at 69 acres and 19 blocks in size, it is one of the largest urban arts districts in the United States. Visitors interested in the arts will want to check out the Winspear Opera House, Meyerson Symphony Center, and the Wyly Theatre, among others.

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LEGOLAND® Discovery Center Dallas Fort Worth
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Grapevine’s LEGOLAND® Discovery Center is a must for families with little and big builders. This vibrant space has an impressive number of rides and attractions, more than four million LEGO® pieces forming such amazing creations as a replica of the DFW area in striking detail, and 4D films included with your admission.

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Billy Bob's Texas
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The famous roadhouse-style barbecue steak, brisket, and ribs are only part of the story at Billy Bob’s Texas, dubbed the world’s largest honky tonk. More than 6,000 people can squeeze into the Fort Worth venue to watch country music concerts, hit the dance floor, dine at the restaurant, play arcade games, or watch a bull riding contest.

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Reunion Tower
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Located in the heart of downtown Dallas, Reunion Tower has been a city landmark since 1978. Referred to affectionately as “The Ball” by locals, the tower offers sweeping panoramic views from the only indoor/outdoor observation deck in the city, plus high-definition telescopes and cameras, interactive exhibits, and two rotating restaurants.

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SEA LIFE® Aquarium Dallas
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Beyond anything you’d expect inside a mall, atSEA LIFE® Aquarium Dallas you can immerse yourself in the oceanic environment filled with sharks, sea turtles, stingrays, clownfish, jellyfish, touch tanks, and more. Visitors of all ages will love walking through the 360-degree ocean tunnel, watching fish swim overhead.

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Nasher Sculpture Center
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The Dallas Arts District’s Nasher Sculpture Center is home to some of the finest examples of modern sculpture in the world. With more than 300 pieces in the permanent collection, visitors can see works by Alexander Calder, Willem de Kooning, Pablo Picasso, and Alberto Giacometti, plus special exhibits featuring artwork on loan.

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More Things to Do in Dallas

AT&T Stadium (Cowboys Stadium)

AT&T Stadium (Cowboys Stadium)

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AT&T Stadium (previously named Cowboys Stadium) is a top attraction for sports fans visiting Dallas. Located in Arlington, Texas, the stadium is most famous for its resident Dallas Cowboys football team and giant retractable roof. In addition to football games, the venue hosts concerts and other events year-round.

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Perot Museum of Nature and Science

Perot Museum of Nature and Science

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Based in downtown Dallas, the Perot Museum of Nature and Science offers a variety of exhibits at its Victory Park campus. The museum features 60,000 square feet (5,574 square meters) of hands-on activities, interactive displays, games, and activities. Special events are planned throughout the year for both kids and adults.

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George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum

George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum

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The George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum explores the two terms of the United States’ 43rd president. Several exhibits tell the story of American history from 2001 to 2009, including the terrorist attacks of September 11, while the nation’s second-largest presidential library welcomes visitors to peruse official records and artifacts from Bush’s presidency.

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Fort Worth Stockyards National Historic District

Fort Worth Stockyards National Historic District

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Fort Worth, once known as Cowtown, is a city that never forgot its roots. You can see those roots still honored at the Fort Worth Stockyards National Historic District, where a Texas longhorn cattle herd takes to the streets daily. This festive ritual is exemplary of how the city continues to embrace its Cowboys and Culture brand.

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Dallas Zoo

Dallas Zoo

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The oldest and largest zoo in Texas, the Dallas Zoo is home to hundreds of animals, including a herd of elephants, giraffes, cheetahs, ostriches, gorillas, and penguins. On the zoo’s 106 acres you’ll also find the Lacerte Family Children’s Zoo, a highly rated reptile and amphibian exhibit, and the only koalas in Texas.

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Zero Gravity Thrill Amusement Park

Zero Gravity Thrill Amusement Park

Calling all thrill seekers! The Zero Gravity Thrill Amusement Park in Dallas is the only amusement park in the US exclusively dedicated to extreme thrills. With five different adrenaline-pumping adventures, the park offers free falls, high-speed drops, and spinning at four g-force for those who dare.

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Dallas World Aquarium

Dallas World Aquarium

Described by visitors as more zoo than aquarium, the quaint Dallas World Aquarium provides a unique experience attractive to families. Feel like you’ve entered a real rain forest at the aquarium’s re-creation of the South American Orinoco Rain Forest, home to colorful birds and the only three-toed-sloth exhibit in the US.

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Medieval Times Dallas

Medieval Times Dallas

Transport to a time of knights, kings, and queens at Medieval Times in Dallas, a unique dining and live-action experience that’s entertaining for the whole family. Enjoy a four-course feast included with your ticket while you watch sword fights, jousting from horseback, and even falcons in flight.

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NorthPark Center

NorthPark Center

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Considered one of the best malls ever by some travelers, NorthPark Center in Dallas offers a high-end shopping experience in a glamorous environment with mirrors, marble, and glass. In addition to department stores such as Nordstrom, Macy’s, Neiman Marcus, and Dillard’s, the mall is home to a variety of restaurants.

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Fair Park

Fair Park

Fair Park is not only one of the largest state fairgrounds in the country but a step back in time to 1886, when the Dallas State Fair—today the State Fair of Texas—first opened; the world’s fair also took place here in 1936. You can still view the park’s extensive original art deco architecture and ride the nation’s largest Ferris wheel.

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Neiman Marcus

Neiman Marcus

If you’re a fan of luxury brands and a leisurely day that includes a decadent lunch and plenty of exercise for your credit cards, head to the Neiman Marcus flagship store in downtown Dallas. This 1914 Beaux Arts department store, which occupies a full block on Marcus Square, including an on-site restaurant and espresso bar.

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Six Flags Over Texas

Six Flags Over Texas

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The Arlington outpost of Six Flags Over Texas is home to about 50 rides, with new ones popping up every few years. Here you’ll find something for any age, from gentle Yosemite Sam’s Texas Tea Cups for little ones to Titan, a stomach-churning roller coaster, plus several water rides for cooling off on a hot Texas summer day.

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