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Immerse yourself in Texan culture at the Meadows Museum of Art, before visiting the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza in Dallas; in Fort Worth, indulge your inner cowboy at the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame, then head to the Museum of Science and History.
There are enough attractions and entertainment options to keep you busy when you travel to Dallas . Pop into the Dallas World Aquarium, which exhibits both aquatic and terrestrial animals, including sharks, fish, manatees, crocodiles, sloths, monkeys, flamingos and a panther. For a dose of nature, stroll through the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Gardens, a 27-hectare tranquil green space featuring a network of 19 gardens.
To learn more about the city’s culture and history, visit the Meadows Museum of Art, which has a huge collection of Spanish art. For more than 50 years, Dallas has been associated with the assassination of President John F Kennedy. To commemorate that fateful day, the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza exhibits mementos that explore the life and legacy of JFK.
In Dallas, you will also find the George W Bush Presidential Centre, which houses the presidential library and museum. On your trip to Dallas, be sure to also visit the huge Perot Museum of Nature and Science, and Dallas Zoo in the south of the city.
Nearby is the city of Fort Worth, which is quintessentially Texan, and is sometimes referred to as “Cowtown”. This moniker is in recognition of its key role in the history of the American West.
If you want to understand why Fort Worth has such a prominent place in the history of the American cowboy, head to the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame. Stockyards Station also offers a fascinating look at the role played by both men and women in the cowboy culture.
But a trip to Fort Worth isn’t just about cowboys. Visit the Museum of Science and History, which charts Fort Worth’s contributions to scientific development in the 20th and 21st centuries. Other attractions include the Botanical Gardens and Fort Worth Zoo. At the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, you can watch how the country’s paper currency is created from start to finish.
Head into the open air and the Dallas sunshine, and you will find more green space than you can possibly cover in a single trip. The Dallas Park System is one of the largest municipal schemes in the US, claiming, as of May 2017, 381 parks covering more than 23,242 acres.
The Dallas Arboretum uses up 66 acres, and is well worth your time. Landscaped artistry is everywhere, including flowers, shrubs, trees and sculpted arrangements. The arboretum is perched on White Rock Lake, a serene 1,015-acre body of water that is the perfect scene for a walk, jog, or just for static relaxation. Bachman Lake is another popular tranquillity spot that attracts families, joggers and aviation enthusiasts, who gather to watch planes take off and land at nearby Love Field Airport.
Dallas Zoo can be found about 5km south of the city centre, in Marsalis Park. It is Texas’ oldest and largest zoo, with some 8,000 animals on show. The complex also puts on events such as animal feedings and safaris, and features a special area devoted to children.
Dallas is well-known for its world-famous barbeque and Tex-Mex cuisine. To sample these dishes, head to the Beltline Road, McKinney Avenue and Greenville Avenue, where most of the good restaurants are located. For local eateries and the bigger chains, visit the West End.
If you’re looking for a fine-dining experience, you will be pleased with Dallas’ array of restaurants owned by world famous celebrity chefs.
The most common dish you will come across in Fort Worth is, of course, steak. This is, after all, the staple of the West, and cattle still plays a huge part in the economy of the state of Texas. That translates into a wealth of traditional American eateries including pile-‘em-high steakhouses and fine-dining establishments.
However, there are a few other local delicacies that are worth hunting down, including an interesting frozen-custard dessert that is a twist on the classic ice cream sundae. Restaurants serving Tex-Mex dishes are also in abundance at Fort Worth.
Of course, you are in Texas, and you may be tempted to delve into Wild West-style souvenirs. If so, Wild Bill's Western Store sells head-to-toe, cowboy-themed clothing and accessories, as well as other mementos and stuffed animals. Similar venues are Wild Wild West (a Texas-themed store for cowboy curios, sports attire, and other souvenirs) and Pink's Western Wear.
For more general retail, you have many, many options in one of the US’ most shopping-centric cities. NorthPark Center is a 218,000 sqm space packed with stores, restaurants and a 16-screen cinema. Adjacent to NorthPark is The Shops at Park Lane, an outlet mall that includes Saks OFF 5th, Nordstrom Rack and Bloomingdales. Apart from restaurants, it features a bowling alley.
Also popular with Dallas shoppers is the flagship Neiman Marcus store on Main Street. Be sure to check out Highland Park Village, said to be the US’ oldest shopping centre, and home to high-end outlets like Chanel and Christian Louboutin. But also don’t miss Galleria Dallas, three levels of retail and dining outlets where there is something for everyone, regardless of budget.
Essential facts about Dallas
Enjoy a hassle-free journey with all the information you need to know before your trip