In Your Own Backyard: Dallas

Explore these things to do in Dallas.
By: Sophia Dembling
Related To:
If you’re looking for something new to do without traveling too far from home, or you seek something fresh to show out-of-town visitors, the Dallas-Fort Worth area (we call it the Metroplex) can please just about everyone: art and architecture lovers, sports fans, even outdoorsy types. Check out these close-to-home options.


Cowboy Stadium

Cowboy Stadium

Locals call it JerryWorld, the Death Star and Cowboys Stadium. The world's largest domed structure looks big on TV, bigger still when seen on the horizon, bigger yet when you’re inside and -- holy cow, that’s crazy big! -- when you’re standing on the field, under the stadium’s massive 72-feet-high-by-160-feet-wide video screen.

The stadium that Jerry Jones built, primarily to house his Dallas Cowboys football team, is located in Arlington, TX, about midway between Dallas and Fort Worth. On days when no events are scheduled, you can visit the players’ locker room and have a photo taken in front of your favorite player’s locker. The cheerleaders’ locker room features life-sized photos of the women, and you can visit the post-game interview room. One tour focuses on the collection of sports-related art that hangs throughout the stadium.
dallas old red museum

dallas old red museum

Dallas’ history is colorful, in an oil field, wheeler-dealer, big spender way. Visitors can learn about its rich history at the Old Red Museum located downtown in a stately old courthouse. The beautifully restored Romanesque building that houses the museum, with its scrolled grand staircase, is part of the museum experience.

Two exhibit floors trace the city’s roots in music, culture, sports and business (plus, a few criminals thrown in). You can learn about Neiman Marcus founder Stanley Marcus’ influence on the city; see legendary Dallas Cowboys coach Tom Landry’s fedora; criminal Clyde Barrow’s gun; and the handcuffs that held John F. Kennedy assassin Lee Harvey Oswald.
dallas crow collection asian art

dallas crow collection asian art

A visit to the Crow Collection of Asian Art in the Dallas Arts District offers a soothing sanctuary for relaxation and just about anyone who appreciates Asian arts and culture.

Approach the Crow from Flora Street to see the Buddha statue overlooking splashing fountains. Above that, a glass skybridge connects the galleries and acts as a gallery itself. Thousands of paper cranes hang from the skybridge ceiling until January 23, 2012, when a black light dragon will replace them and hang through the Chinese New Year.

Art from China, Japan, India, Southeast Asia, Tibet and Nepal constitute the core of the collection of exquisite antiquities. A gallery that opened in 2010 displays contemporary Asian art. The Crow offers free meditation classes every Sunday, and Tai Chi on Saturdays. Classes are in the galleries, so you’ll close your eyes and meditate surrounded by Asian treasures.
dallas paddling trail

dallas paddling trail

Seven trails that include lakes, ponds, creeks and rivers in North Texas recently joined the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Texas Paddling Trails program. That means they’ve been improved and provide easy access for paddlers. A few of them are right in the heart of the Metroplex.

Gentle paddles take you past riparian forests of oak, elm and willow trees. Keep an eye out for herons, hawks, songbirds and turtles. You might spot foxes, bobcats and beavers on the Joe Pool Lake and Walnut Creek Paddling Trail. In wintertime, bald eagles have been spotted at Lake Ray Hubbard’s Paddle Point Creek Paddling Trail. The Dallas Trinity Paddling Trail, practically in the shadow of the downtown skyline, is still in development, but sections are open with more to come.
dallas downtown adolphus hotel dallas magnolia hotel at&t performing arts center

dallas downtown adolphus hotel dallas magnolia hotel at&t performing arts center

Photo by: Timothy Hursley

Timothy Hursley

Dallas has long been an architect’s dream because of its wide open spaces and lots of money to spend on architectural flights of fancy. Gleaming modern buildings dominate the downtown skyline. But look closer and you’ll find examples of Victorian, Beaux- Arts, Art Deco and post-modern architecture, all nestled together in a brick-and-mortar timeline of Dallas’ growth.

The Dallas Center for Architecture offers a twice-monthly walking tour of downtown Dallas that features some of the city’s most beloved buildings, including The Adolphus hotel and the Dallas Magnolia Hotel. Another twice-monthly tour explores the Dallas Arts District, from circa 1890s buildings up to the gleaming new AT&T Performing Arts Center.
Dallas-based writer Sophia Dembling is author of The Yankee Chick's Survival Guide to Texas.
Keep Reading

Next Up

3 Must-Do Outdoor Activities in the Great Smoky Mountains

There's nothing like a challenging hike with a rewarding view.

Visit Gorgeous Tulip Fields Without Flying to Holland

Washington’s Skagit Valley is the next best thing.

7 Fun Things to Do on Your Fort Myers Vacation

From sunset kayaking to delicious eats, there is so much to explore in southwest Florida's island sanctuary.

North America's Earth Wonders

North America is made up of natural wonders including unusual geological formations, towering mountains and icy glaciers.

The Ultimate Way to See All of NYC

Get a bird's eye view of the Big Apple with this thrilling helicopter ride.

5 Family Adventures in Hawaii

Put the phones down and make memories to last a lifetime with these thrilling activities on the island of Hawaii.

10 Wild West Family Adventures

Discover how Buffalo Bill, U.S. soldiers, railroaders and Pony Express riders opened the west.

Memphis: An Insider's Guide to This Funky Southern City

Experience the city's lesser known wonders.

Which US State Has the Most Spirit?

You make the call. Tell us what US state has the most spirit.

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss Travel Channel in your favorite social media feeds.