Arts & Culture

Hidden Gems and Destinations in Dallas

Get outdoors and discover something new.

Sam Weiger
Posted on Jul 22, 2020

I'll never forget stumbling upon "Atlas Obscura: An Explorer's Guide to the World's Hidden Wonders" in the travel section of Barnes and Noble. Dallas offers plenty of these hidden wonders for explorers in search of the city's best-kept secrets. Social distancing at these less-crowded attractions should be nice and easy, so get ready to see some places full of mystique!

Coombs Creek Trail
South Dallas (Oak Cliff)
From the road, Coombs Creek Trail appears to be just any other trail. A little trailblazing will change your outlook. Your mission will be to find gnomes in trees along this trail, and the first step is to head down to the intersection of Kessler Avenue and Edgefield Avenue. Once you arrive, you will immediately see the paved walking trail on both sides of the road. Attempt your real-life version of "I Spy" by walking down the side adjacent to the street sign (if you have passed the tennis courts, you have gone too far). Are you up for the challenge?

The Graves of Bonnie & Clyde
Northwest Dallas & South Dallas (Oak Cliff)
Almost 90 years ago, history was made as the unforgettable story of Bonnie and Clyde began in Dallas. After over a year of robbing banks and eluding the grasp of officers in multiple states, one of the most extraordinary manhunts the nation has ever seen finally came to its end. Believe it or not, both Bonnie and Clyde were buried in Dallas! You will find Bonnie Parker at Crown Hill Memorial Park, and Clyde Barrow is at Western Heights Cemetery. To this day, people pay their respects with a visit to their gravesites. 

Giant Eyeball
Downtown Dallas
One of the most overlooked sculptures in Downtown Dallas is always on the lookout for tourists and will never blink if you take its photo! In 2007, artist Tony Tasset created his Giant Eyeball and plopped it right across the street from the stylish Joule Hotel. When asked by the website Co.Design why he chose to make a giant eye, he answered by saying that he "just wanted to make something awesome." I visited the Giant Eyeball this past week and learned that it lives in a spacious garden that isn't available to the public. Nevertheless, at 30 feet tall, getting a selfie with the eyeball is a piece of cake at any time of day. The eyeball glows in the dark!

The Traveling Man
Deep Ellum 
Dallas hides a plethora of unique sculptures within its city limits, including a three-piece puzzle. Artist Brad Oldham's spectacle, The Traveling Man, begins with the Awakening piece, which features only a half of a giant robot's head surrounded by metallic songbirds. After witnessing the Awakening, you will head down Good Latimer Expressway and discover from the second piece, Waiting on the Train, that the robot has emerged from underground and learned to play guitar. Be sure to reach the final piece of the puzzle, Standing Tall, where you are rewarded with a view of the fully grown, 40-foot-tall colossus!

Big Cedar Wilderness DORBA Trail
Southwest Dallas
Dallas-based outdoor adventurers flock to Cedar Ridge Preserve throughout the year, but even the most avid hikers and bikers have probably never heard of one of its neighbors, Big Cedar Wilderness Trail. Just minutes away from Cedar Ridge Preserve, Dallas Off-Road Bicycle Association (DORBA) created eight miles of hiking and biking trails around some awe-inspiring hills.

The trails are open to the public and don't cost a dime to visit.

Bishop Arts District Murals
Bishop Arts District
If you ask anyone familiar with Dallas where to see Instagrammable murals, they will most likely direct you to Deep Ellum. For this reason, the murals in Bishop Arts District are often overlooked. Although Bishop Arts is home to the well-known love equation mural behind Pier 247, it is also home to more hidden options such as Black & White CacTex behind mini-Fab or the new United We Stand gem at The Kings Club barber shop. And just a few blocks over on Jefferson Avenue, one of Oak Cliff's most bustling streets, you'll find Dallas Selena Mural by Jeremy Biggers.

Houses along Rawlins Street
Oak Lawn
Cruising through a scenic neighborhood is an excellent way to safely discover some hidden Dallas gems. Rawlins Street offers over two dozen quaint houses and a relaxing, air-conditioned experience from the comfort of your vehicle. From Wycliff Avenue to Prescott Avenue, enjoy some unique architecture without any worry about social distancing.