The Getaway
30 Top-Rated Dallas Tourist Attractions & Day Trips

People who've never been to Dallas may expect to see people driving around in pickups, wearing cowboy boots and big hats. While the Big D is proud of its historical links to the agriculture, oil, and cattle businesses, and you'll see plenty of references to the western lifestyle, there are many other layers to this fascinating and stylish metropolis. Explore the vast array of unique culinary experiences, shopping venues, and entertainment choices that you won't find anywhere else but the Dallas area.


01 Reunion Tower's GeO-Deck

In the heart of downtown Dallas, Reunion Tower is one of the city's most iconic and historical landmarks, and it's also a great place to start your adventure. Head to the GeO-Deck, an observation level that sits 470 feet above the city, providing 360-degree, unobstructed panoramic views day or night. Observe local landmarks up close via the free high-definition telescopes or zoom cameras. If you time your visit just right, you can experience a magnificent Texas sunset from a bird's eye view as it disappears beneath an endless horizon.


02 Trinity River Corridor

Much of Dallas-area history is closely tied to the Trinity River, making it an essential part of the city's identity. No matter what season it is, the Trinity River Corridor, a vast natural recreational area along the river, is a must-see for visitors. Not only is it an important wildlife habitat, but it also provides 10,000 acres of hiking and biking trails, boardwalks, an amphitheater with a floating stage, sports fields, and the Trinity Overlook with photographable views of downtown Dallas, along with boating activities and horseback riding.


03 Deep Ellum

As one of Dallas' trendiest neighborhoods, Deep Ellum is also one of the city's most dynamic and historical entertainment hubs. If you're craving authentic Texas barbecue or Tex-Mex fare, this is your spot. During the day, tour the neighborhood's graffiti murals and explore its abundance of quirky stores, tattoo parlors, and art galleries alongside the locals that flock here. At night, choose between comedy shows, live music performances, open-mic nights, karaoke, and dancing venues. There's something for everyone.


04 Lower Greenville

Once a much rowdier neighborhood, Lower Greenville has become a hip, robust entertainment district and popular tourist destination after residents put in a huge effort to clean up and revitalize the area. Its eclectic population, from artists to lawyers to retail clerks, led to a fun selection of pubs, coffee shops, saloons, steakhouses, sushi bars, intriguing shops, and music venues. The nightlife in the Lower Greenville neighborhood ranks as one of the best spots in the city for a night out.


05 Beaumont Ranch

If you're a hardcore fan of the cowboy lifestyle or the television shows 1883 and Yellowstone, make plans to visit the Beaumont Ranch, an 800-acre spread just an hour's drive south from Dallas, in Grandview. The ranch sits on the famous Chisholm Trail, one of the most famous cattle drive routes in history. This working ranch welcomes guests to explore their inner cowpoke through trail rides, cattle drives, roping lessons, and other outdoor adventure activities. Roam the peaceful retreat, and you'll see herds of horses, Texas longhorns, llamas, and goats, along with local wildlife who live here.


06 Mineral Wells Fossil Park

fossils park Robert Nickelsberg / Getty Images

Fulfill your paleontologist or rock hound fantasies at this popular site about 80 miles southwest of Dallas. Visitors can search for and keep any Pennsylvanian Period fossils they find, which average about 300 million years in age. Not only are there fossilized sea lilies and plants to discover here, but there's a variety of animal fossils, including shark teeth and trilobites, along with a wide selection of gems and minerals to unearth. Bring your own digging utensils, knee pads, and bags to carry your finds.


07 Fort Worth Stockyards

If you're visiting Dallas, there's a lot of reasons you should also make plans to see Fort Worth. Dallas' rival city offers less of an uptown feel, something more akin to a big, friendly, and less expensive hometown. The biggest draw for visiting travelers is the Fort Worth Stockyards, where you can witness authentic cattle drives twice daily through the brick-covered streets of its historic district. Enjoy concerts, rodeos, gift shops, and all kinds of cuisine options from traditional Texas fare to upscale-casual gourmet. While you're there, make a point to visit Billy Bob's Texas, the world's largest honky-tonk.


08 Grapevine Vintage Railroad

Just 20 minutes from Dallas, you can hop aboard an authentic 1920s Victorian train coach at the Grapevine Vintage Railroad. The railroad service provides several different train rides and special events throughout the year, starting in March and continuing through December, including a live jazz and wine ride, a Great Train Heist adventure, and special holiday excursions as well. The train rides start in downtown Grapevine at the Cotton Belt Depot.


09 The M-Line Trolley

Dallas Texas City Public Transportation Train Arpad Benedek / Getty Images

More than 600,000 people ride the M-Line Trolley along a trek through Dallas's Uptown, State Thomas, and Arts districts each year. The vintage trolley cars are a part of the city's transportation network, yet they're also a popular attraction for those visiting the city. You can ride for free, though "what you can pay" donations are appreciated. The areas along the trolley line are full of restaurants, must-see shops, and art museums.


10 Dallas Cowboy AT&T Stadium

The Cowboys' home stadium is the world's largest domed structure. Even better, they welcome visitors for either guided or self-guided tours through the facility. Throw a ball and run around on the field, get an inside look at both the players' and cheerleaders' locker rooms, or take a tour of the Dallas Cowboys Art Collection. The stadium is located in Arlington, about a 30-minute drive from Dallas.


11 Klyde Warren Park

This 5.2-acre park is built over the Woodall Rodgers Freeway, between Pearl and St. Paul streets in downtown Dallas. There's a children's park and a dog park, making it an excellent outdoor activity for families and pet lovers. You can also join in on a variety of fitness activities, including yoga, tai chi, Zumba, and ballroom dancing classes. It's a perfect spot for a stroll, a picnic, or a relaxing afternoon of cloud watching. And, admission is free.


12 The Dallas Zoo

The Dallas Zoo, three miles south of downtown, is one of the top attractions in the city, with more than one million guests each year to its collection of just about every type of animal you can think of. More than 2000 animals from 400-plus species are housed in naturalistic habitats across 106 acres. Up-close experiences, like giraffe feedings and reptile encounters, are available, along with many intriguing habitats like the Chimpanzee Forest, the Hippo Outpost, and the Tiger Viewing building.


13 Dallas World Aquarium

You're missing out if you've never seen a manatee or a sloth up-close. The Dallas World Aquarium in the downtown area provides a front-row seat for observing a massive array of exotic birds and a huge range of animals that make their homes on land or in the water. You'll also experience fascinating insights into conservation efforts in ecological systems around the world. Allow yourself at least three hours to explore the exhibits.


14 Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza

The assassination of President John F. Kennedy continues to be a source of curiosity and conspiracy theories, even though it's been 60 years since the event rocked the world. The sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository overlooking Dealey Plaza marks the exact spot where the shot originated. Today, the Sixth Floor Museum houses more than 90,000 items connected to the Kennedy assassination. More than 350,000 guests per year make their way through the museum.


15 African American Museum of Dallas

Dallas has several highly respected art exhibitions and galleries, including the Dallas Museum of Art and the African American Museum, which opened its doors in 1974. Today, the AAM holds 58 archival collections and more than 200 artifacts from the African and African-American experience, making it one of the largest African American Folk Art collections in the country. You'll find it in Fair Park, where the annual State Fair of Texas takes place.


16 Visit Fort Worth

Fort Worth Stockyards Texas benedek / Getty Images

Fort Worth, affectionately known as Dallas' country cousin, offers a unique blend of cowboy culture and city life. The city's rich history is on full display at the Fort Worth Stockyards, where you can watch a real-life cattle drive, a nod to the city's deep-rooted cowboy heritage. The Fort Worth Water Gardens, a beautiful urban park, offers a tranquil escape from the bustling city. The park features three pools of water: the aerating, the quiet, and the active pool, each offering a different experience. Sundance Square, a vibrant 35-block district, is the heart of downtown Fort Worth. With a wide array of restaurants, from upscale steakhouses to cozy bistros, you'll find a culinary scene that caters to every palate.


17 Explore Denton

Victorian architecture of Denton County courthouse dhughes9 / Getty Images

Denton, an artsy college community, is a hub of creativity and learning. The city is home to the Courthouse-on-the-Square Museum, a beautiful Romanesque-style building that houses a collection of historical artifacts showcasing Denton County's history. The city's vibrant live music scene is another major draw, with numerous venues hosting local and touring bands. Denton's local breweries offer a taste of the city's craft beer scene, with each brewery offering a unique selection of brews. The Campus Theatre, a local landmark since 1949, hosts a variety of performances, from plays to musicals, contributing to the city's rich cultural scene.


18 Take a trip to Terrell

Terrell, Texas BOB WESTON / Getty Images

Terrell, a historic town located east of Dallas, offers a charming Downtown District with classic storefronts and hand-painted murals. The town's history is beautifully preserved in its architecture, with many buildings dating back to the late 19th and early 20th centuries. For scuba-certified visitors, there's the Scuba Ranch at Clear Springs, home to the largest freshwater shark in the US. This unique diving experience allows visitors to explore underwater attractions, including sunken boats and planes.


19 Discover Greenville

Greenville, once known as the "cotton capital of the world," now offers a historic downtown area with several buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The city's history is reflected in its architecture, from the Hunt County Courthouse, a beautiful example of Beaux-Arts architecture, to the restored Texan Theater, a historic movie theater that now serves as a live entertainment venue. Greenville's downtown area is also home to a variety of unique shops and restaurants, making it a great place to spend a day exploring.


20 Shop at Canton

Canton, located about 60 miles east of Dallas, is home to the First Monday Trade Days, a flea market of epic proportions. This tradition dates back to the 1850s and has grown into one of the largest flea markets in the United States. With over 5,000 vendors spread across hundreds of acres, you can find everything from antiques to clothing to home decor. Whether you're a seasoned bargain hunter or just enjoy browsing, Canton's First Monday Trade Days offer a unique shopping experience.


21 Visit Athens

Athens, a small town located southeast of Dallas, offers a historic downtown area filled with unique shops, restaurants, and historic buildings. The Henderson County Courthouse, a beautiful neoclassical building, is a must-see. The Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center is another major attraction, offering interactive exhibits, aquariums, and outdoor ponds. For scuba divers, there's the Athens Scuba Park, a clear freshwater lake with numerous sunken attractions, including boats, an airplane, and even a motorcycle.


22 Explore Granbury

Historic Granbury Texas Donovan Reese / Getty Images

Granbury, a picturesque town located southwest of Dallas, is known for its well-preserved 19th-century architecture. The town's Historic Downtown Square, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is filled with unique boutiques, restaurants, and galleries. The Dinosaur Valley State Park, located nearby, is a must-visit for nature and dinosaur enthusiasts, with well-preserved dinosaur tracks and beautiful scenery. The Hood County Jail Museum, a historic two-story jailhouse, offers a glimpse into the town's past.


23 Relax at Lake Texoma

Sunset at Lake Texoma asiantiger247 / Getty Images

Lake Texoma, one of the largest reservoirs in the US, straddles the border between Texas and Oklahoma. The lake is a popular destination for a variety of outdoor activities. Water enthusiasts can enjoy jet skiing, water skiing, and fishing, with the lake known for its excellent striper bass fishing. Land lovers can enjoy horseback riding, hunting, hiking, and biking on the miles of trails surrounding the lake. There are also numerous campgrounds around the lake, making it a great destination for a weekend getaway.


24 Visit Waco

The Brazos River, Waco Texas Hundley_Photography / Getty Images

Waco, located between Dallas and Austin, is a city rich in history and culture. The city is home to the Magnolia Market at the Silos, a popular destination for fans of Chip and Joanna Gaines' home renovation show "Fixer Upper." The Dr. Pepper Museum, located in the 1906 Artesian Manufacturing and Bottling Company building, is a must-visit for soda lovers. The Waco Mammoth National Monument, where you can see the fossilized remains of a herd of Columbian mammoths, offers a unique experience for history and nature enthusiasts.


25 Explore Tyler

Smith County Courthouse BOB WESTON / Getty Images

Tyler, known as the rose capital of America, is home to the Tyler Rose Garden, the nation's largest rose garden with over 38,000 rose bushes. The Thirsty Pines Tour takes you on a journey through the Piney Woods Wine Trail, where you can sample wines from local vineyards. Stanley’s Famous Pit BBQ, a local favorite, is known for its mouth-watering barbecue. The Tyler State Park, with its spring-fed lake and miles of trails, offers a variety of outdoor activities, from hiking to bird watching.


26 Dallas Cattle Drive Sculptures at Pioneer Plaza

Pioneer Plaza Collection Andrew Sherman / Getty Images

Pioneer Plaza, located in downtown Dallas, is home to the Dallas Cattle Drive Sculptures, a large-scale reenactment of a cattle drive. The installation features 49 bronze statues of Texas Longhorn cattle being herded by three mounted cowboys. The park, designed to resemble a section of the Shawnee Trail, a major Texas cattle drive route in the 19th century, is a tribute to Dallas' cowboy roots.


27 Dallas World Aquarium

Dolphin Watch Balashark / Getty Images

The Dallas World Aquarium, located in the West End Historic District of downtown Dallas, is a haven for sea life. The aquarium is home to a vast array of sea life, including bonnethead sharks, stingrays, jellyfish, sea turtles, giant groupers, and rare leafy seadragons. The aquarium's rainforest exhibit, which replicates the Orinoco Rainforest, features free-flying birds, tree sloths, and aquatic species.


28 The Nasher Sculpture Center

Downtown view Dallas. Grant Faint / Getty Images

The Nasher Sculpture Center, located in the heart of the Dallas Arts District, is a museum dedicated to the study and display of modern and contemporary sculpture. The center, which opened in 2003, features a collection of sculptures by masters like Picasso, Rodin, and Matisse. The center's outdoor sculpture garden, a serene urban retreat, features large-scale works set among trees and reflecting pools.


29 George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum

george w bush museum Stewart F. House / Stringer / Getty Images

The George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum, located on the campus of Southern Methodist University in Dallas, offers an in-depth look at America's 43rd president. The museum features more than 43,000 artifacts from the George W. Bush presidency, including a full-size replica of the Oval Office and a piece of steel from the World Trade Center.


30 Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden

The Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden JUN DONG / Getty Images

The Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden, located on the southeastern shore of White Rock Lake, is a 66-acre oasis of beauty. The garden showcases seasonal flowers, ornamental shrubs, trees, and plant collections. The garden also hosts seasonal outdoor festivals, concerts, art shows, and educational programs, making it a hub of cultural activity.


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