Off the shores of White Rock Lake lies the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden. The 66 acres (26 hectares) 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.
White Rock Lake sprawls over 1,015 acres (410.75 hectares). It boasts picturesque picnic spots and recreational areas that provide great respite from city life. Numerous waterfront trails are popular among local hikers and bikers as well as those visiting Dallas. A complete loop around the lake takes about three hours. The adventurous can indulge in an array of outdoor activities on offer like fishing, sailing and, horseback riding. Bird enthusiasts have reason to rejoice, as the area attracts beautiful, exotic species. The panorama of verdant landscapes that enclose calm waters is the very definition of tranquility.
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.
A visit to the Dallas Children's Theater is entertainment for the entire family. Introduce your little ones to the world of live theater by involving them in activities here. Classes are offered here, and are conducted by established artists. A number of excellent plays including Rumpelstiltskin, The True Story of the Three Little Pigs and several musicals have been shown here.
This historic site sprawls over 227 acres (918,636 square meters) and has one of the nation's largest collections of Art Deco buildings. Built in 1936, Fair Park is registered as a National Historic Landmark. It was built by the WPA to house the Texas Centennial Exposition, celebrating Texas' independence from Mexico. It boasts an inspiring list of museums including the African American Museum, Age of Steam Railroad Museum, Museum of Nature and Science, Music Hall At Fair Park, Dallas Aquarium and Dallas Horticulture Center. You will also find concerts at the outdoor Coca Cola Starplex, college football in the Cotton Bowl, and the annual State Fair of Texas. The Visitor Center shows a 10-minute film about the park and offers walking tours by appointment.
The Nasher Sculpture Center on Flora Street is a significant landmark in Dallas. The gallery, designed by Renzo Plano, displays works by Rodin and Picasso. This monumental structure with glass ceilings is bordered by a beautiful garden. The works are just as striking as the building itself. Rodin's Eve is an excellent example of how a simple subject can be sculpted beautifully. Picasso's elegant sculpture, Fleurs dans un vase, uses a mix of materials and will mesmerize you.
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.
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. Palm tree polyps, Blackeye goby, Harlequin shrimp, Zebra angelfish, Napoleon wrasse and many more are few of the aquatic life on display.
The sole survivor of the 1920's movie palaces, this restored showplace is an honored venue for a variety of performers. It has helped breathe new life into the Arts District. Gilded and ornate, its prestige sweeps patrons into a another time. This venue seats just over 1,600 people. It hosts the Majestic Broadway Series as well as the world-renowned Dallas Black Dance Theater. Additional commercial performers have one-night only or multiple night runs.
Step into West End and you are instantly taken back in time. Beautifully restored and renovated old buildings among tree-lined streets and brick sidewalks, testify to the historical importance of this district that was established in 1872. Apart from the ancient buildings whose architecture never ceases to marvel, the district also has museums, amazing stores and delicious restaurants. Host to various events throughout the year, West End is definitely a hit amongst visitors and has something to offer for every individual!
The Old Red Courthouse is an outstanding feature of the Dallas County Historic Plaza. It was built in 1892 in Romanesque Revival style. It is constructed of rough-cut, Pecos Red Sandstone and trimmed in Arkansas blue granite. The courthouse is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as a City of Dallas Landmark and a Recorded Texas Historical Landmark. Four prior courthouses have graced the same location. The Old Red Courthouse contains the Old Red Museum.
A wide variety of artifacts at this museum act as a somber reminder of the Holocaust, a tragic event that took place during World War 2. Among the graphic reminders on display is an actual boxcar that was used during that time, adding an authentic touch to the museum. Rotating exhibits from all over the world stop here on a regular basis. For a firsthand account, tours led by a Holocaust survivor can also be arranged by appointment. Other than the artifacts representing the event, the museum also celebrates more than 3000 years of Jewish culture and heritage as well an interactive display that focuses on promoting tolerance and universal acceptance. Overall, the museum is a moving tribute to recent history and is well worth a visit.