Dallas is one of the few cities in the United States where everything is bigger and brighter. From the huge and widely respected Reunion Tower, one of the largest and most distinguished buildings in the country, to large mansions featuring that traditional southern style, a homely, down-to-earth exterior and imposing roofs that make them stand out, just about everything you find in Dallas stems from a “big idea.”
So if you want to visit the “Big D” you’ll definitely want to check out some of the large and legendary skyscrapers in Dallas’ downtown area. At the same time, however, you’ll also find the city hides many lesser known locations that are equally, if not even more fascinating, and are well worth a visit.
Dallas’ Famous Architectural Treasures
While you might already know that the city is “big” on just about anything you can think of, the architecture you will find in Dallas is also quite beautiful. In fact, the area we are about to speak of holds one of the world’s most impressive collections of Pritzker Prize winning buildings.
From cool urban parks to some of the most distinguished and unusual museums in Texas, Dallas holds many great treasures in its Dallas Arts District – one of the largest entertainment districts in the entire United States. Some of the most impressive buildings and locations you will find here also include the AT&T Performing Arts Center, the 475-seat Montgomery Arts Theater, the imposing St. Paul United Methodist Church, the stunning Dallas Theater Center and the Moody Performance Hall.
The Dallas Fair Park is another one of the city’s jewels when it comes to architectural design. The park contains a large collection of Art Deco exhibition buildings that were built for the Texas Centennial and World Fair in 1937.
Finally, the Meadow Museum – usually referred to as “Prado on the Prairie,” with reference to the famous museum in Madrid – is yet another one of Dallas’ most artistically pleasing buildings. Once you visit it, you will be entranced by its intricate exterior, and you’ll be even more fascinated by the many unique masterpieces contained within; works such as those belonging to well-known Spanish artists like Goya, Picasso, and El Greco.
Unique Gardens and Parks
History buffs will simply love the uniqueness and exquisite historical value of the Dallas Heritage Village at Old City Park, a living history village set in one of Dallas’ oldest parks. The village features 38 fully restored old buildings that show precisely what life was like in the North Texas area during the 19th century. You can visit buildings such as a school house, a Greek Revival style mansion, and a farmstead. The organizers have even gone so far as to include live farm animals, costumed docents and authentic events that display the cultural heritage of the era in living form.
Another old and renowned park is Fair Park. Built in 1886 and made famous as the actual site of the 1936 World Fair, this park also holds a significant amount of history along with some of the longest running fairs in the United States, as well as North America’s largest Ferris wheel.
Finally, if you’re more of a fan of nature and plant life in particular, you’ll love the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden. Located on Garland Road in Dallas, the venue sits on about 66 acres of land across the shore of White Rock Lake. Aside from rare and exquisite plants, the area also features bikini trails and a few excellent spots for wildlife spotting and bird watching.
The Reunion Tower – Dallas’ Most Prized Landmark
You can’t visit Dallas without looking up the famed Reunion Tower. At an impressive height of 561 feet (171 meters), this building is literally towering over the landscape of Dallas. This iconic landmark was completed in 1978, and it soon became the most recognizable venue in Dallas’ urban landscape.
The tower features a structure representing a geodesic ball supported on top of five cylindrical concrete poles. Located at 300 Reunion Bvd E, Dallas, the building is the most frequently visited venue in the entire city.
Also, after the 2011 renovations, it’s worth mentioning that the tower displayed a host of exciting new changes. In 2013, the Geo-Deck viewing platform was opened, allowing visitors to enjoy an unforgettable experience of seeing a 360-degree view of Dallas from above, from within the tower, at a height of about 470 feet.
The Quintessential Dallas Experience
Want to find everything that makes Texas unique and impressive? A few locations found just a short drive outside the city of Dallas will grant that wish. One of them is the famed Mesquite – the Rodeo Capital of the world.
This small community, found about 14 miles east of the city of Dallas, hosts weekly rodeo championships all summer, and will provide you with that authentic Texas experience you’ve probably been looking for ever since you set foot in Dallas for the first time. Mesquite rodeo championships have been drawing visitors since 1958, and it features activities like bull riding, mutton busting, steer wrestling and a host of other opportunities for fun family entertainment.
Mesquite also has a more toned down, modern side to it. If Rodeo isn’t always your thing, you can also visit the petting zoos, or bring your kids to experience everything from face painting and pony rides to laser shows and other activities that will keep you coming back for more.
Another one of Dallas’ signature venues is a little place called Southfork Ranch. If you watched television in the 1980s, there’s little chance that this name wouldn’t sound familiar. This is where the world famous soap opera, Dallas, was shot. In later years, the ranch, known for its tranquil surroundings and authentic Texas atmosphere, has become a place of pilgrimage for Dallas fans. Located on 3700 Hogge Drive, Parker (about 25 miles north of Dallas), near Murphy and Cross Creek Ranch, the ranch allows you to visit all the locations where the series’ key scenes were set, and even enjoy a traditional Texas chuck wagon dinner later on.
As you can see, Dallas offers a completely unique experience that cannot be likened to any other city in the United States. Visiting Dallas, regardless of the season or circumstances, will bring you a truly fulfilling and memorable experience.
Some of the directions to the places mentioned above to our location are mapped below for your convenience.
Reunion Tower to our location:
AT&T Performing Arts Center to our location:
Fair Park, South Dallas to our location:
Meadows Museum to our location:
Bishop Arts District to our location:
State Fair of Texas to our location: