This blog post was updated on July 21, 2021.
There are few city names as synonymous with the state of Texas as Dallas. Sure, Houston and San Antonio are bigger and may even have more historical significance to the Lone Star State. But Dallas is Dallas. And while there are plenty of things that everyone should add to their to-do list for when they visit Texas, (ride a mechanical bull, see a rodeo, etc), here are five things that you can ONLY do in Dallas.
Whether you think Lee Harvey Oswald acted as a lone gunman or was a patsy for a larger conspiracy, a visit to the former schoolbook depository building where Oswald is believed to have fired the fatal bullet that took President John F. Kennedy’s life on November 22, 1963 is kind of a must. The building is now a museum that chronicles Kennedy’s life and the assassination.
Check Out Southfork Ranch from Dallas, the TV Show
A big reason so many people are enamored with Dallas is because of the long-running prime time soap opera Dallas, which initially ran from 1978 to 1991 and had a brief revival from 2012 to 2014. Known for its cliffhangers, including the infamous “Who Shot J.R.?” storyline, the show show’s major setting was Southfork Ranch, a very real place located just 25 miles outside Dallas. Fans can visit to this day for guided tours of the show’s mansion and authentic Texan chuck wagon dinners.
Arguably the most famous bar in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, the White Elephant Saloon has been around for over 120 years, giving it a unique history that includes gunfights, gambling, and even legendary lawman Wyatt Earp. Today, the saloon features a Wild West theme, live country music every night, and a dance floor.
Not many outlaws have held such a grip on American pop culture as Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow, AKA Bonnie and Clyde. The two made a name for themselves robbing and killing in the 1930s and were immortalized in an iconic movie in 1967. And even thought they were ambushed and killed by police in Louisiana, they’re both buried in Dallas (although sadly not together) because it was their hometown and where they met.
The social event of the Dallas area, the Cattle Baron’s Ball has been held every year since 1974 and regularly features performances from the biggest names in country (this year’s performer is Tim McGraw). A fundraiser for the American Cancer Society, it’s often cited as the the largest one night fundraiser for cancer research in the world…which means it can be pretty pricey, but it’s for a good cause.
Are you a Dallas-lover and think we missed a unique and cool thing that guests can only do in your favorite Texas city? Let us know in the comments section below.