History and Heritage
Come tour and sample the rich heritage of Dallas and its historic surrounding areas.
The State Fair of Texas is lauded as one of the best state fairs in the country and the biggest of its sort. Big Tex, the emblematic 55-foot cowboy, welcomes over 3 million visitors to this annual event lasting 24 days. Attractions include the heated college football game between Texas and Oklahoma (the Red River Rivalry), the must-try fried Oreos and corn dogs, an auto show, a jam-packed midway, petting zoo and tons of other fun activities and exhibits for the entire family.
The Dallas Heritage Village, located at the site of what was Dallas’ first city park in 1876, is a preserved image of what life was like in North Texas in the late 19th century. The buildings and the surroundings seen at this “village” offer visitors a unique glance at the roots of what today is the bustling metropolis of Dallas.
The Mary Kay Museum pays tribute to a local magnate: Mary Kay Ash, founder of Mary Kay, the very popular Dallas-based cosmetics company. The museum chronicles the company's success over its more than 50 years and showcases the businesswoman's accomplishments and legacy.
The Majestic Theatre is the centerpiece of the Downtown Dallas's historic entertainment center. The theater, recognized as a historical landmark at both the state and national level, opened its doors in 1921, and remains to date one of the most elegant performing arts venue in the city and possibly the Southwest.
The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza chronicles the assassination and legacy of President John F. Kennedy with documentary films, photographs and artifacts. Walk through a timeline of Kennedy's life and presidency and the moments of November 22 as an entire nation stood by. A live feed from the museum webcam features a real-time view from the sniper spot, and two areas in the museum were recreated to appear as they did in 1963.
The George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum holds the largest electronic records collection in the entire Presidential Library system with more than 200 million email messages and nearly four million photographs. Visit Freedom Hall, a high definition video wall montage of the 44 U.S. presidents, and a full-sized Oval Office. The museum and an accompanying 15-acre urban park reside on the campus of Southern Methodist University, the alma mater of former First Lady Laura Bush.
The Dallas Holocaust Museum preserves the memory of the Holocaust, having been built in honor of the millions of lives lost during this tragic moment in history. Permanent and special exhibits complement the museum's goal to educate the public and to foster understanding for the benefit of all humanity.
The Frontiers of Flight Museum, stationed near Dallas Love Field Airport, highlights the importance of the aviation industry throughout history. The collection of World War II planes and modern-day fleets show visitors the ever-evolving nature of aviation, a field where the once limited spectrums of speed and distance highlight a world of endless possibilities.
The Museum of the American Railroad celebrates the railroad industry and aims to educate visitors about its importance and cultural significance. The growth and prosperity of the United States is deeply rooted in this industry and the museum's exhibits provide an interactive way to learn about its history.
The Cavanaugh Flight Museum houses a collection of historically significant and vintage aircrafts that aims to promote America's aviation heritage and fuel interest in the aviation field. A hands-on experience is popular, with visitors often opting for flying in one of the many warbird aircrafts!
The National Scouting Museum serves as the official museum of the Boy Scouts of America. The site looks back at the history and cultural impact of the youth organization that has been around for over a century. Interactive activities and even an opportunity for young Scouts to receive their merit badge make this a truly unforgettable experience.
The Samurai Collection at The Ann and Gabriel Barbier-Mueller Museum is home to the only collection, outside of Japan, that focuses on Samurai armor. The expanding collection, centered on the life of the Japanese warrior, exhibits close to 1,000 objects that pay tribute to their rich culture.
The Dallas Firefighters Museum promotes an educational approach at commending the work of these everyday heroes. Home to the city's oldest remaining fire station, Fair Park Fire Station (1907), this site, now museum, offers a glimpse at the important history of fire rescue. Personally see how horse-drawn steam pumps used to battle blazes in the 19th century have evolved into the equipment used today.
The Cathedral Santuario de Guadalupe is a 19th century Roman Catholic cathedral church that highlights the religious plurality in Dallas. Overseeing the second largest Catholic church membership in the United States, the cathedral is a standout landmark in Downtown Dallas, particularly due to its neo-gothic façade.
The Crow Collection of Asian Art is one of only a handful of museums in the country dedicated solely to the arts and cultures of Japan, China, India and Southeast Asia. Experience a peaceful world of beauty and spirituality in the heart of the city with pieces dating from 3500 B.C. to the early 20th century. Don't miss a glimpse at precious jade ornaments from China, delicate Japanese scrolls and a rarely seen 2-by-28 foot sandstone façade of an 18th century Indian residence.
The Latino Cultural Center serves at the regional promoter of Latino arts and culture via special events, art galleries, and fun activities that aim to fuel local interest in the region. The lively purple and orange exterior of this center perfectly embodies the vibrant cultures of Latin America, something is definitely worth admiring.
The African American Museum, the only one of its kind in the Southwest, promotes an educational approach to the African American/ African art scene. By making use of various types of expositions, the museum hopes to exhibit works that highlight the talented and culturally-rich nature of the African/African American community.
The annual Asian Festival showcases the more than twenty cultures that make up this diverse region of the world. The festival provides a unique opportunity for various organizations (educational, religious, artistic, business, etc.) to come together and celebrate their culture as one. The event is open to the public and is the perfect opportunity to watch Asian performances and taste the delicious food that Asia has to offer.
OPA! The annual Greek Food Festival of Dallas celebrates the “cradle of Western civilization”. Traditional Greek folkdance, music, art, and especially food (gyro and baklava galore!) make this highly popular event in Dallas, soon celebrating its 60th anniversary.
The Dallas St. Patrick's Parade & Festival is the signature event for St. Patrick's Day celebrations. The largest of its kind in the Southwest, the festival boasts more than 90 parade floats, various family activities, and Brew Fest, a beer-sampling event worth visiting.
Voted the number one "gayborhood" in the nation by Out Traveler, Oak Lawn is the epicenter of LGBT culture in Dallas. Gay bars and nightclubs are commonplace in this popular neighborhood and its culinary scene is nothing less than noteworthy. Ultimately, Oak Lawn is a great location, less than two miles away from Downtown Dallas and other important districts.