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Dallas, Texas. You’re
planning trying to plan a visit, but have no idea where to start. Maybe you won’t have much time while you’re there. Travel planning can be overwhelming anyway, but it is especially so when you are trying to cover a lot in a little amount of time. Recently, I posted about hitting the highlights in Fort Worth as well as unique places to eat in Dallas. To be used as a companion to both of these, here is a guide to hitting the highlights for a comprehensive Dallas, Texas visit!
1. Reunion Tower
See the sights from Reunion Tower. Known as “The Ball”, the tower was constructed in February 1978 and was a freestanding structure until 1998 when the addition of the Hyatt Regency Dallas was completed.
From 470 feet up, you will have 360-degree views of Dallas from the “GeO-Deck”. Enjoy interactive displays and telescopes as well as the Cloud Nine Café. If you are looking for fine dining, try out Wolfgang Puck’s restaurant Five Sixty. It’s located 560 feet in the air at the very top of the tower!
You can even see Dealey Plaza, the Grassy Knoll and the Old Red Museum from up there!
Make sure you see it at night too! The globe lights up at night and will display special events. During the NCAA Women’s Final Four held in Dallas in March 2017, it was lit up like a basketball and then displayed each of the four teams playing in the tournament! It also lights up for St Patrick’s Day, 4th of July, etc.
You can purchase single tickets or combo tickets (for day and nighttime visits) or even better, purchase the Dallas CityPASS and visit Reunion Tower plus 3 other attractions and SAVE 41%!!
Reunion Tower is located at 300 Reunion Boulevard East, Dallas, Texas 75207
2. Dealey Plaza
Main Street, Elm Street, and Commerce Street. Where these three streets come together to pass under the “triple underpass” (a railroad bridge), you will find Dealey Plaza. Established in 1935, it is a Dallas city park that spans 3.1 acres and includes the Grassy Knoll and the Sixth Floor Museum.
There is a long rectangular pool with multiple fountains as you walk along the plaza…
as well as a memorial to the assassination of JFK which occurred one block north of the plaza in 1963. What I didn’t know is that Dealey Plaza was significant even prior to 1963. It marks the birthplace of Dallas, founded in the 1840s by John Neely Bryan.
Dealey Plaza is located at 411 Elm Street, Dallas, Texas 75202
3. Sixth Floor Museum
The Sixth Floor Museum is located in the Dallas County Administration Building (formerly the Texas School Book Depository). The museum occupies the top two floors of the seven story building; however, it was the sixth floor from where Lee Harvey Oswald shot JFK.
Quite an interesting museum even if you aren’t a history buff! The museum is included as an attraction in the Dallas CityPASS which will SAVE YOU 41%!
Sixth Floor Museum is open Mondays 12pm-6pm and Tues-Sun 10am-6pm and is located at 411 Elm Street, Dallas, Texas 75202
4. The Grassy Knoll
A part of Dealey Plaza, the Grassy Knoll is the area just north (or to the right) of the spot President Kennedy was passing when he was shot on Elm Street.
This is a view of Elm Street looking towards the triple underpass from right outside the Sixth Street Museum. If you look closely, you can see the white X in the middle of the street marking the exact spot where he was shot at 12:30pm CST on November 22, 1963.
Grassy Knoll is located just west of the Sixth Floor Museum in Dallas, Texas 75202
5. Old Red Museum
Just across the way from Dealey Plaza is the Old Red Museum. I love love love the architecture of this building!
Built in 1892, it once was the Old Red Courthouse. This was not surprising to me because my first thought was “I bet this was a courthouse back in the day!”
It houses Dallas County’s historical artifacts with special exhibits and interactive experiences.
Not only is it near Dealey Plaza, but also the JFK Memorial and the Sixth Street Museum.
Old Red Museum is open daily 9am-5pm and is located at 100 South Houston Street, Dallas, Texas 75202
6. Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge
The Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge is a relatively new addition to the Dallas skyline.
Completed in 2012, the bridge is 1206 ft (368 m) long, 120 ft (36.7 m) wide and spans 603 ft (184 m). It has 58 cables that have diameter ranges of 5 to 6.5 inches and lengths of 390 to 642 ft. Providing a connection from Dallas to the Trinity Groves area, the bridge was designed by world-renowned Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava.
Here is my thing with architecture. I love it. The older I get, the better my appreciation for it. However, before a year ago, if you had asked me who my favorite architect was, I probably would have looked at you like you had two heads.
That would be because I couldn’t have produced a single architect’s name to save my life. This all changed in the fall of 2016 when I discovered Calatrava’s Peace Bridge in Calgary, Canada. I immediately fell in love with it! Later, I would go on to see five more of his structures all over the world including the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge. In the future, you can bet I will check Calatrava’s project list before I leave on a trip to be sure not to miss any of his creations. I can now say I have a favorite architect! 😉
I love this shot of Dallas peeking out from underneath the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge.
Be sure to catch the bridge and the Dallas skyline at night.
Both are beautifully lit and gorgeous. Nothing better than pretty city lights!
TIP: Parking info isn’t readily available online. From downtown Dallas, cross the bridge into West Dallas and take a right into the Trinity Groves parking lot. Go all the way down to the end and then take a right into the free parking lot for both the bridge and the park.
Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge is located at North Riverfront Boulevard and Woodall Rodgers Freeway, Dallas, Texas 75207.
7. Ronald Kirk Bridge
Next to Margaret Hunt Hill is the Ronald Kirk Bridge, a 1900 ft pedestrian bridge renamed in 2016 for the first African-American mayor of Dallas.
The formerly named Continental Bridge opened in 2014 and offers splash pads, a bocce court, lounge chairs, and human-sized chess boards as well as planned activities.
Ronald Kirk Bridge is open daily from 5am-11pm and is located at 109 Continental Avenue, Dallas, Texas 75208
8. Margaret McDermott Bridge
Not too far away, you will find the Margaret McDermott Bridge.The bridge was named for philanthropist Margaret McDermott, wife of the founder of Texas Instruments. Each of its twin arches spans 1,311 ft across the Trinity River.
Interestingly enough, the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge is the first in a series to be designed by Calatrava and built to cross the Trinity River in Dallas. Following suit, the Margaret McDermott Bridge was just completed and is replacing an old bridge.
Here you can see the Margaret McDermott from the Margaret Hunt Hill. 🙂
Margaret McDermott Bridge is located 3 miles south of the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge in Dallas, Texas 75208
9. Klyde Warren Park
One of the more interesting things I’ve seen in my travels is Klyde Warren Park, a park built over a freeway.
The 5.2 acre deck park is an urban green space built over the Woodall Rodgers Freeway.
It is also a relatively new kid in town as it opened in 2012. It features all kinds of activities such as yoga, kids’ activities, live music, Zumba and food trucks! I even found a Steel City Pops which originated in my hometown of Birmingham, Alabama!
I love its creative design!
Klyde Warren Park is open daily 6am-11pm and is located at 2012 Woodall Rodgers Freeway, Dallas, Texas 75201
10. Southern Methodist University
Walk the campus of Southern Methodist University and see its beauty. Founded in 1911 by the Methodist Episcopal Church, SMU is a private university located in the Highland Park area of Dallas. The school has an enrollment of around 11,000 students.
See the “Wave” sculpture outside the Meadows Museum which houses one of the largest collections of Spanish art outside of Spain. Guess who the architect is. You got it-Calatrava! And for reasons I’m still unsure of, I didn’t realize this at the time I took this photo. I only figured it out as I wrote this post!
The School of Theology is pretty at dusk.
See Dallas Hall (Dedman College), SMU’s oldest building. It celebrated its 100th birthday on November 28, 2012. (There’s a pattern here for 2012. That was a big year for Dallas!)
Southern Methodist lists an official address as 6425 Boaz Lane, Dallas, Texas 75205.
As you very well know, there is SO much more to do in Dallas. If you don’t have much time, this will give you a good “sampling” of Dallas and hits the high points. However, if you do have more time, be sure to check out my post on day trips from Dallas coming soon!
‘Til next time…