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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. 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.
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.
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.
As the cornerstone of the Arts District, the Dallas Museum Of Art holds a renowned collection of timeless exhibits. Permanent displays include ancient Mediterranean art, contemporary art, European paintings and more. A multitude of temporary exhibitions take you on a thought-provoking journey. Previous displays have included everything from Degas to Picasso, the works of David Weisner, and a myriad contemporary artists. Today the establishment is a highly-ranked American institution that lives up to its mission of showcasing human creativity and educating the community.
The historic Dallas Heritage Village at Old City Park features lush, manicured gardens and a recreated Victorian-era town. Nestled near downtown, the expansive park is accentuated with beautiful homes and establishments. Volunteers demonstrate weaving, cooking and welding among other activities from that time period to those looking for an insight into Texan history. The site is an official history museum and is affiliated with The Dallas County Heritage Society. The society plays host to several events throughout the year; the annual Candlelight Country Fair and Old Fashioned Fourth of July draw major crowds.
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.
This upscale center is typical Highland Park--trendy boutique shops and stores that offer exceptional services. Located minutes from downtown at Preston Road and Mockingbird Lane, Highland Park Village offers free valet parking and a variety of shops, including Ralph Lauren and Banana Republic, as well as boutiques by Chanel, Cole Haan, Escada and Hermes. All that shopping can work up an appetite, so stop by Café Pacific, Celebrity Restaurant and Bakery, or Mi Cocina.
Southern Methodist University has an enrollment of just over 9,000 students. People from more than 80 countries and all 50 states come to study on this campus. Though named after the Methodist denomination, students from every religious background are welcome. SMU has been ranked by U.S. News and World Report as one of the top 100 universities in the country. In addition to its fine undergraduate degree programs, SMU offers graduate degrees through its Underwood School of Law, Perkins School of Theology, and Cox School of Business.
Frontiers of Flight Museum is an assembly of artifacts celebrating the chronicles of flight. From the Wright brothers to the space age, each display is carefully organized to provide in-depth information on aircraft history. Exhibited models are on loan from the University of Texas at Dallas' Collection of Flight, one of the largest aviation archives in the country. Highlights include Hindenburg artifacts and the Apollo 7 spacecraft. You'll find the exhibits to be fun and engaging for the whole family.
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.
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.