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Must Visit Attractions in Dallas

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Off the shores of White Rock Lake lies the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden. The 66 acres (267,093 square meters) of lush, perfectly manicured landscapes hold a treasure trove of trees, bushes, and flowers that are sure to make anyone green with envy. The DeGolyer House, a 1940s-style Spanish mansion, is also located on the grounds. Tours of the house and its sculpture garden are offered. The Jonsson Color Gardens, A Woman's Garden, and the Lay Ornamental Garden are all exquisite features of the picturesque grounds.

The beauty of Texas' nature can be experienced first-hand with a hike through this 630-acre (146-hectare) preserve. With guided and self-guided tours available along the ten miles of wooded trails, outdoor enthusiasts can wander up to the Escarpment Nature Preserve, the highest point in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Along the way you can view ponds, wildflowers and a butterfly garden before arriving at vistas and an observation tower. The trails vary in difficulty. All are natural terrain paved with rock, mulch, or dirt. They are designed for foot traffic only, and bikes or roller blades are not allowed. Hikes can last anywhere from 15 minutes to three hours, depending upon the trail selected. A snack bar, gift shop, and amphitheater are also located on the grounds.

Dallas Zoo encompasses 106-acres of exotic and traditional zoo animals. Visitors are greeted at the entrance by one of the tallest statue in Texas - a 67.5 foot (20.5 meters) giraffe. The Wilds of Africa attraction includes the chimpanzee forest, the gorilla center and an aviary on a quarter-mile nature trail where six natural habitats are featured: forest, mountain, woodland, river, desert and brush. A 20-minute monorail ride runs the course of the attraction and costs an additional fee. The ZooNorth attraction includes a bird and reptile building, children's zoo with touchable animals, cheetah exhibit, elephants, giraffes, flamingos and other traditional animals.

Dogwood Canyon contains some of the rarest ecological features in Texas. This 250-acre (101-hectare) stretch of land provides hours of outdoor fun for everyone in the family. Keep an eye out for various species of birds, amphibians, and other wildlife. Located just 12 miles (19 kilometers) from Dallas, a trip here is easy and worthwhile.

Pioneer Plaza is more than just your ordinary park. A bronze ensemble of lifelike cattle punctuates this 4.2-acre (1.6 hectare) park overlooking City Hall and the Dallas Convention Center. Nationally-acclaimed artist and native Texan Robert Summers is the artistic force behind the unique sculptures. The 70 bronze steers memorialize the cattle drives that took place along the Shawnee Trail back in 1854.

Virtually unchanged from the time of the then President John F. Kennedy's assassination in 1963, this historic site is a reminder of one of the most astonishing and despondent times in American American history. The landmark West End District, which includes the Dealey Plaza as well as the Texas School Book Depository, is one of Dallas's most important historical landmarks. The soaring skyscrapers form a modern backdrop against the park which chronicles the years gone past. Residing on the urbane landscape of downtown Dallas, Dealey Plaza is a stunning marker of the legacy left behind by the former president and his wife Jacqueline Kennedy. Dubbed as the Birthplace of Dallas, the plaza is home to the Sixth Floor Museum, which poignantly illustrates the incidents of the assassination, with the help of historic displays, artifacts and exhibits.

Discover a South American rainforest filled with monkeys, colorful toucans, crocodiles, manatees and otters. The aquarium portion of this popular attraction features 85,000 gallons (321,760 liters) of saltwater containing marine life from around the world. Giant turaco, Three-toed sloths, Weedy and Ribbon sea dragons are but a few of the intriguing animals on display. An outdoor lagoon-like exhibit features Black-footed penguins.

This is a permanent exhibition of the tragic events leading up to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza opened in 1989 and is located in the Texas School Book Depository building, the site from where Lee Harvey Oswald allegedly shot the President. Displays include a moving overview of the time period, and the life and accomplishments of the 35th President of the United States. Enlarged police photographs, news footage, and audio tools allow visitors to learn about the tragic events of November 22, 1963.

The George W. Bush Presidential Library & Museum makes available an enormous amount of information about the life and presidency of George W. Bush. Here you can explore 70 million pages of Presidential records. The museum houses foreign and domestic Presidential gifts. Whether you want to do research, or just get some insight into Presidential history, a visit here is worthwhile.

This 6,000 acre (2428 hectare) stretch of land features forest, wetlands, ponds, and grassland. It's considered an urban park, as it's located in the outskirts of Dallas. Here, you can hike to the Trinity River, admire the wildlife and plants, or just take a leisurely walk to get away from the city for a while. You can also go hiking here or check out the equestrian options.

The homestead of the fictional Ewing family has become the “world's most famous ranch.” The sprawling acreage of this North Texas ranch is located 20 miles north of downtown Dallas and, although the long-running television series Dallas has been off the air for several years, the mansion and grounds are still a popular place to visit. Tram tours carry guests on a voyage through the history of the series every half-hour throughout the day. The Ewing mansion is the key point of the tour, offering insight to the characters and filming of the series.

Dallas chose to honor the memory of President Kennedy by erecting this stately monument. This 30-foot-high, 50-foot-square monument was built in 1970. The open-air structure in the historic West End resembles an ancient tomb. It is the first memorial by famed American architect and Kennedy family friend, Philip Johnson. The monument, built with the help of private donations from the citizens of Dallas, is open 24 hours daily and is lighted at night.

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