Best Things to Do in Downtown Dallas
Nestled in the heart of the Lone Star State, downtown Dallas, Texas, is a bustling metropolis known for its rich cultural heritage, vibrant arts scene, and an array of activities that promise a memorable experience for locals and visitors.
This dynamic urban center beckons you to explore its hidden treasures, offering many options catering to diverse interests. Whether you’re a Dallas resident looking to rediscover your city or a traveler seeking an authentic Texan experience, downtown Dallas has something special for you.
This guide will lead you through the 18 best things to do in downtown Dallas, curated to ensure a well-rounded exploration of the city’s top attractions. But that’s not all; we’ll also delve into the practical details, such as addresses and phone numbers, to make your visit seamless.
List Of The 18 Best Things To Do In Downtown Dallas
Are you wondering about the things to do in Dallas near me? Keep reading as we will explore the best things to do in downtown Dallas today.
- Dallas Museum of Art
- Klyde Warren Park
- The Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden
- Reunion Tower
- Dallas Farmers Market
- Pioneer Plaza
- Crow Museum of Asian Art of The University of Texas at Dallas
- African American Museum
- Meadows Museum
- NorthPark Center
- White Rock Lake Park
- Nasher Sculpture Center
- Mary Kay Museum
- John F. Kennedy Memorial Plaza
- Bishop Arts District
- Fair Park
- Sundance Square
1. Dallas Museum of Art
Phone: +1 214-922-1200
It’s not just a place to admire beautiful artwork; it’s an educational journey through human history and creativity. The museum hosts various exhibits, from ancient artifacts to contemporary masterpieces.
Special exhibitions also bring fresh and exciting content to the museum, making every visit a unique experience. It’s an excellent spot for art enthusiasts and those looking to explore the world through the lens of creativity.
2. Klyde Warren Park
Phone: +1 214-716-4500
What makes this park one of the best things to do in downtown Dallas is the vibrant sense of community it fosters. It’s a hub for outdoor activities, including yoga classes, fitness programs, and live music performances.
The park’s proximity to food trucks means you can enjoy a delicious meal while soaking up the sun. There’s also a dedicated children’s playground, making it an excellent spot for families.
3. The Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden
Phone: +1 214-515-6615
The Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden is a widely visited destination found in the city of Dallas in the state of Texas. The botanical garden has a total area of 66 acres and may be found on the side of White Rock Lake that faces southeast.
The garden is a gorgeous and peaceful place for tourists, presenting an extensive variety of flora, fauna, and sceneries to take in while they are there.
The nursery has been subdivided into several theme gardens, each with its particular layout and assortment of plant species.
The neighborhood is home to several beautiful gardens, including the Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure Garden, the Nancy Rutchik Red Maple Rill, and A Woman’s Garden, to name just a few.
The Arboretum is well-known for its many festivals and seasonal exhibits throughout the year.
One may find great joy in the Dallas Blooms Festival, which takes place throughout the springtime and is a beautiful event that displays a seemingly endless number of blossoming flowers and vivid tulips.
You may also enjoy other seasonal activities, such as Autumn at the Arboretum and the 12 Days of Christmas exhibition, which takes place throughout the winter holiday season. Both of these events take place in the Arboretum.
4. Reunion Tower
Phone: +1 214-296-9950
For a panoramic view of Dallas like no other, the Reunion Tower stands tall. The observation deck at 470 feet above ground provides a 360-degree view of the city’s skyline. Appreciating the city’s architecture, culture, and landscape is a unique vantage point.
The tower also offers dining options at the Cloud Nine Café and Five Sixty by Wolfgang Puck, providing a dining experience with a view that’s simply unforgettable.
The well-known observation tower that has become an illustrious landmark is called the Reunion Tower, and it can be found in Dallas, Texas. The Hyatt Regency Dallas complex incorporates this specific spot throughout its overall layout.
The “GeO-Deck” is the name of the famed observation deck that can be found atop Reunion Tower. Visitors can ride an elevator to the top of the tower, where they may take 2 amazing views of Dallas’s cityscape from a panoramic vantage point.
The deck provides an excellent vantage point for capturing the city’s sights and most notable attractions.
The observation deck has interactive touch-screen displays that provide in-depth information on the history of Dallas and the city’s most famous landmarks and attractions.
Travelers who come to a city can educate themselves about its built environment, cultural offerings, and other places of interest.
5. Dallas Farmers Market
Address: 920 S. Harwood, Dallas, Texas 75201
The Dallas Farmers Market is a well-known historic market that can be found in the heart of Dallas, Texas, in the middle of all the activity. This market has been an essential part of the city’s landscape since the latter half of the 19th century.
Over many years, it has evolved into a bustling center that features a wide variety of local shops selling wares made by local artisans and restaurants and other establishments selling food.
One of the most notable aspects of the Dallas Farmers Market is its commitment to providing customers with freshly harvested and cultivated food in the surrounding area.
Local farmers and merchants set up stalls to sell produce, including fruits, vegetables, herbs, and other goods from the immediate region.
You may find a wide variety of merchants selling fresh vegetables, flowers, and other things in “The Shed,” which is the primary open-air pavilion at the market. Especially on the weekends, the neighborhood is teeming with people and has a vibrant vibe.
Not only does the market sell freshly harvested vegetables, but it also has merchants that sell artisanal cuisine, handcrafted crafts, and other one-of-a-kind items. Cheese, baked foods, spices, and handcrafted objects are some examples of what may fall under this category.
6. Pioneer Plaza
In the United States, a public park known as Pioneer Plaza may be found in the Convention Centre District in downtown Dallas, Texas.
The park is well-known for the prominent sculptures that can be seen inside it, as well as the historical significance of its location close to the Dallas Convention Centre. It is indeed one of the best things to do in downtown Dallas.
The beautiful bronze sculpture installation that depicts a cattle drive and serves as a monument to the historical cattle drives that took place along the Shawnee Trail during the 19th century is the centerpiece of Pioneer Plaza’s most popular attraction, which is also called the Cattle Drive Sculpture.
The well-known American sculptor Robert Summers was responsible for creating the sculptures that portray the cattle drive, and they were shown to the public in 1995.
The exhibit features 49 bronze sculptures of steers and three bronze cowboys herding on horseback. The sculptures are in a nicely planted area with a stream and natural vegetation.
This results in a landscape that is not only magnificent to the eye but also conjures up feelings of history. The Pioneer Plaza is a well-known public meeting spot that is frequented by visitors from all over the world.
It is located in downtown Dallas and offers a unique combination of art, historical sites, and open space.
People who are interested in understanding the rich cultural and historical features of the American West should make it a point to visit this park because of its remarkable architecture and engaging sculptures. It is an experience not to be forgotten.
Phone: (512) 522-2216
If you’re seeking an active adventure in downtown Dallas, paddleboarding on the lakes and waterways is an exciting option. Renting a paddleboard is easy and provides a unique perspective of the city’s surroundings.
Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced paddleboarder, the calm waters of the lakes offer a fun and relaxing way to explore Dallas from a different angle. It’s an excellent activity for those looking to stay active while enjoying the city’s scenic beauty.
8. Crow Museum of Asian Art of The University of Texas at Dallas
Phone: +1 214-979-6430
The Crow Museum of Asian Art, affiliated with the University of Texas at Dallas, is a cultural treasure that immerses visitors in the art and heritage of Asia. This museum features diverse exhibits, including traditional and contemporary art from across the continent.
It’s a journey through the aesthetics and history of Asia, providing a unique perspective on the region’s artistic expression and cultural diversity.
9. African American Museum
Phone: +1 844-750-3012
The museum houses a remarkable collection of art, artifacts, and exhibitions that tell the story of African-American culture, struggles, and achievements. It makes it one of the best things to do in downtown Dallas.
It’s an enlightening and educational experience that provides a deeper understanding of African-American heritage in Dallas.
10. Meadows Museum
Phone: +1 214-768-2516
Established in 1965, the museum has become a significant institution renowned for its impressive collection, spanning various Spanish art periods and styles.
One of the museum’s noteworthy strengths lies in its comprehensive collection of Spanish art, making it one of the most prominent institutions in the United States.
Visitors to the Meadows Museum can explore many artworks, including masterpieces by renowned Spanish artists such as Francisco Goya, El Greco, and Diego Velázquez.
The collection showcases the rich artistic heritage of Spain, offering a journey through different periods and artistic movements.
The presence of works by iconic artists provides visitors with a unique opportunity to engage with the evolution of Spanish art and appreciate the diverse expressions and techniques employed by these masters.
The museum’s commitment to preserving and showcasing these artworks contributes significantly to the cultural landscape of Dallas and the broader art community.
11. NorthPark Center
Phone: +1 214-363-7441
Beyond being a hub for shopping, it has evolved into a multifaceted destination that seamlessly integrates art, fashion, and culture into a cohesive and enriching environment.
Its remarkable art collection is at the heart of North Park Center’s unique identity. The center proudly showcases an impressive array of artworks, including pieces by internationally acclaimed artists such as Andy Warhol.
This art infusion into the shopping experience transforms North Park Center into a cultural haven where visitors can appreciate world-class art while exploring the diverse retail offerings.
Art and commerce are integrated throughout the mall, creating an immersive and visually stimulating atmosphere. Visitors are not merely shoppers; they become participants in a cultural experience that transcends the traditional boundaries of a shopping center.
The curated art collection adds more sophistication and creativity to the overall ambiance. North Park Center goes beyond the role of a retail space by hosting art exhibitions, events, and fashion shows.
This dynamic programming approach elevates the center from a shopping destination to a cultural hub. Visitors can engage in various activities, from exploring thought-provoking art installations to attending fashion shows showcasing the latest trends.
12. White Rock Lake Park
Phone: +1 214-660-1100
At the heart of this expansive oasis is a beautiful lake that enhances the natural beauty of the surroundings and serves as a focal point for various recreational activities.
The park provides a welcome retreat for outdoor enthusiasts, offering a range of activities to suit different interests. Jogging and cycling trails meander through the park, providing fitness enthusiasts opportunities to enjoy nature’s beauty while staying active.
The tranquil setting of White Rock Lake also makes it an ideal spot for picnicking, allowing visitors to relax and unwind amidst scenic surroundings.
Bird-watching enthusiasts will find White Rock Lake a haven for avian diversity. The park’s natural habitats attract various bird species, allowing bird watchers to observe and appreciate the local wildlife.
Adding a cultural dimension to the park experience is the Bath House Cultural Center, located within the park’s boundaries. This center is a cultural hub, hosting art exhibitions and cultural events.
Visitors can immerse themselves in creative expressions and cultural activities, enhancing their overall experience in the park.
13. Nasher Sculpture Center
Phone: +1 214-242-5100
The Nasher Sculpture Center is a dedicated haven for modern and contemporary sculpture in a serene outdoor setting. With a commitment to showcasing exceptional works of art, the center provides visitors with a unique and thought-provoking experience.
At the core of the Nasher Sculpture Center’s appeal is its impressive collection, featuring pieces by renowned artists such as Henry Moore and Joan Miró. These carefully curated and displayed sculptures contribute to the center’s reputation as a hub for artistic excellence.
The collection is a testament to the evolution of sculptural forms in the modern and contemporary art landscape, making it the best thing to do in downtown Dallas.
The outdoor setting of the Nasher Sculpture Center is an integral part of its charm. The beautifully landscaped garden is a gallery space, seamlessly blending nature with art.
Visitors can stroll through this carefully designed environment, engaging with sculptures in an atmosphere that encourages contemplation and appreciation.
Walking amidst the sculptures in Nasher’s garden is not merely a visual experience but also a sensory and intellectual one.
The interplay of form, space, and nature creates a tranquil and immersive setting, allowing visitors to connect with the sculptures on a personal and reflective level.
The Nasher Sculpture Center’s commitment to fostering a dialogue between art and the public is evident in its dynamic programming.
In addition to the permanent collection, the center hosts temporary exhibitions, educational programs, and events that further enrich the visitor’s understanding of sculptural art and its cultural context.
14. Mary Kay Museum
Phone: +1 972-687-5720
This museum celebrates the life and enduring legacy of Mary Kay Ash, the visionary founder of Mary Kay Cosmetics.
Located at the heart of the Mary Kay Global Headquarters, the museum serves as a testament to the remarkable journey of Mary Kay Ash and her impact on the beauty industry.
As visitors step into the museum, they are immersed in the history and evolution of the Mary Kay brand, gaining insights into the principles and values that have contributed to the company’s enduring success.
The exhibits within the Mary Kay Museum offer a comprehensive exploration of Mary Kay Ash’s achievements, the evolution of the brand, and the pivotal moments that have shaped the company.
Visitors can delve into the innovative strategies and entrepreneurial spirit that have defined Mary Kay Cosmetics since its inception.
The museum serves as a living archive, showcasing the cosmetics and the business philosophy Mary Kay Ash espoused.
It provides an engaging narrative that chronicles the company’s growth and its impact on the beauty industry.
15. John F. Kennedy Memorial Plaza
Phone: +1 214-747-6660
The John F. Kennedy Memorial Plaza, found in the central business district of Dallas, Texas, is a significant and well-known monument that honors the life and legacy of John F. Kennedy, who served as the 35th President of the United States.
The monument, built by architect Philip Johnson and dedicated in 1970, has a simple, open-air structure. Johnson was responsible for the memorial’s design. It is made of tall white walls that come together to form a cenotaph in the middle.
The cenotaph provides a focal point for introspection, which memorializes President John F. Kennedy by including his name, the dates of his birth and death, and a passage from his inauguration speech.
The plaza around the monument is an open space perfect for reflection since no buildings are nearby. Visitors can engage with the monument in an atmosphere that is peaceful and courteous as a result of this.
An engraved passage taken from John F. Kennedy’s commencement address at Amherst College serves as a reminder of the enduring power of ideas. The passage is located nearby.
The monument is a sad location that encourages visitors to contemplate the legacy of President John F. Kennedy, the significance of his administration, and the eternal principles that he stood for.
16. Bishop Arts District
Phone: (214) 434-1421
Renowned for its artistic flair, the district has earned a reputation as a hub for independent boutiques, art galleries, and distinctive dining experiences.
This neighborhood’s appeal lies in its trendy and eclectic offerings and historic charm, adding a unique character to the area.
Wandering through the Bishop Arts District, visitors are treated to a kaleidoscope of artistic expression, with numerous boutiques showcasing the work of local artists and designers.
The district’s art galleries provide an opportunity to explore and appreciate the diverse creative talents within the community. The Bohemian atmosphere fosters an environment where individuality and innovation thrive.
Beyond its artistic allure, the Bishop Arts District is a culinary haven, boasting diverse eateries offering unique and delectable dining experiences.
From cozy cafes to upscale restaurants, the district provides a culinary journey that caters to various tastes and preferences.
The combination of artistic exploration and culinary delights makes every visit to the Bishop Arts District a multi-sensory experience.
17. Fair Park
Phone: +1 214-670-8400
At the heart of Fair Park is the renowned State Fair of Texas, an annual event that draws visitors from far and wide with its attractions, live performances, and culinary delights.
Beyond the State Fair, Fair Park houses diverse attractions, adding to its allure as a cultural and recreational hub. The African American Museum showcases African Americans’ rich history and contributions, providing an educational and enlightening experience.
The Texas Discovery Gardens, with its vibrant and meticulously maintained gardens, offers a botanical haven for nature enthusiasts and those interested in sustainable practices.
The Cotton Bowl Stadium, an iconic venue within Fair Park, adds a touch of sports history to the complex. Its storied legacy as a host to major sporting events contributes to the cultural tapestry of Fair Park.
The architectural charm of Fair Park is notable for its Art Deco design, creating a visually captivating environment that enhances the overall experience.
The green spaces within the complex provide a tranquil backdrop, inviting families and visitors to enjoy outdoor activities, picnics, and strolls.
18. Sundance Square
The plaza is a great place to enjoy live performances, dine in style, and explore the vibrant atmosphere of downtown Fort Worth.
In conclusion, downtown Dallas, Texas, beckons with a wealth of experiences that cater to various interests, from art and culture to nature and history. The list of the best things to do in downtown Dallas is your key to unlocking the city’s secrets and creating lasting memories.
So, whether you’re looking to immerse yourself in the arts, explore lush gardens, or dive into history, downtown Dallas offers a tapestry of experiences that make it a destination worth exploring.
It’s time to plan your visit and embark on a journey that encapsulates the true spirit of Texas. Downtown Dallas is ready to welcome you with open arms and a world of discoveries.