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Dallas Introduction Walk (Self Guided), Dallas

Like every city in the world, Dallas features many remarkable landmarks that are both historic and cultural symbols of the city's heritage. This tour will offer you the opportunity to discover the rich history of Dallas, including but not limited to: the Reunion Tower, Old Red House, Dealey Plaza, and Sixth Floor Museum.
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Dallas Introduction Walk Map

Guide Name: Dallas Introduction Walk
Guide Location: USA » Dallas (See other walking tours in Dallas)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 11
Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.4 Km or 3.4 Miles
Author: Caroline
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Pioneer Plaza
  • Reunion Tower
  • Old Red Courthouse
  • Dealey Plaza and the Sixth Floor Museum
  • Dallas World Aquarium
  • Perot Museum of Nature and Science
  • Fountain Place
  • First United Methodist Church of Dallas
  • Arts District
  • The Cathedral Shrine of the Virgin of Guadalupe
  • Deep Ellum
Pioneer Plaza

1) Pioneer Plaza (must see)

Pioneer Plaza shows a wonderful mix of a very modern convention center juxtaposed against statues of a cattle drive from a long gone Dallas past. It is this wonderful blend that keeps the Plaza in the top five visitor destinations in downtown Dallas. The statues are amazing and in total, it is the largest sculpture project in the world.

The cattle drive depicted here is a nod to the very old Shawnee trail. This was the first route by which Texas longhorns were driven through the state, destined for northern areas of the country. It was soon replaced by the much better known Chisholm Trail (which did not pass through Dallas). The 49 longhorns depicted in bronze statues are larger than life at 6 feet tall and are extremely detailed. There are three bronze statues of cowboys herding this group along a stream amid native landscaping. It is an amazing sight to see and so realistic. The water fall is a lovely feature, the view of the cattle from the limestone cliff and the native plantings really make this scene a must see.

The Plaza is located at the intersection of South Griffin and Young Street, across from the Dallas Convention Center. Do not forget the camera when you visit.
Reunion Tower

2) Reunion Tower (must see)

Reunion Tower has been a fixture on the Dallas skyline since 1978. At 561 feet tall, it was one of the tallest structures in Dallas, and at night - one of the city's most recognizable features. The top of the building is surrounded by a superstructure in the shape of a sphere. This sphere is constructed like a geodesic dome that has over 250 lights placed at all the joints. It makes for a dazzling sight at night, as the lights put on a serious show.

Inside the three outside legs that hold up the sphere are elevators that will give visitors an amazing ride to the restaurant that is housed in the sphere. The ride takes about a minute and the elevators have a windowed front that allows for a spectacular view of Dallas. The high-end restaurant is called Five Sixty, a nod to the building’s height. Wolfgang Puck opened the facility in 2009 and the food has a very definite Asian flair.

In addition to the signature food, the restaurant revolves, taking just under an hour to make a full rotation. While reservations aren’t necessary, be sure to make one before going to avoid disappointment. There used to be an observation deck and a disco inside the sphere. The disco has been replaced by banquet facilities. The observation deck is scheduled to reopen in the future, but as of this writing, it is still closed.

The bar opens at 5pm and dinner begins at 5:30 pm. The dress code is business casual. Reunion Tower is located at 300 Reunion Boulevard.
Old Red Courthouse

3) Old Red Courthouse (must see)

The Old Red Courthouse was built in 1890 in the Romanesque revivalist style and has been placed on the National Register of Historic Places. This beautiful facility gets its lovely color from red sandstone taken from nearby Pecos, Texas. Blue granite from Arkansas is also used in the building, and it complements the red in the sandstone. The Courthouse has recently undergone a loving restoration that really makes it a must see attraction in Dallas.

There are over 100 stained glass windows that are also a must see, as is the breathtaking grand staircase. There are four theaters in the building that show movies about four different periods in Dallas history. This old building also has a high tech internet cafe in one of the turrets. The architecture is amazing, and there are plenty of touch screen presentations. So, there is something for everyone here.

The Museum is open every day. Admission fees are $8 for adults, $6 for students and seniors, $5 for children 3-16, and children under 3 are free. Those who visit on Sunday before noon get in for $5. Those who are serving jury duty receive a special discount with proof of service. Parking is available for $2.

Operation hours: Daily 9 am - 5 pm.
Dealey Plaza and the Sixth Floor Museum

4) Dealey Plaza and the Sixth Floor Museum (must see)

The Dealey Plaza is a park that was named after George Dealey. The area was where three main roads in Dallas came close together. There was a train tunnel that was built to accommodate the change out of traffic and trains, and then allow everything to go on their divergent paths. There were benches and trees and a place for city workers to take a moment outside. The Plaza is surrounded by large buildings, one of those being the former Texas Book Depository.

It was from this building that Lee Harvey Oswald assassinated President Kennedy while he was riding in a motorcade on November 22, 1963. The Sixth Floor Museum shows what the view was for the sniper, but also details the life and legacy of President Kennedy. There are special exhibits that follow the details of that fateful day from the views of the police officers, the medical staff at Parkland Hospital, and various reporters who were in town with the President.

The museum is open seven days a week except for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Admission fee is $13.50 for adults, $12.50 for seniors and kids, those under five are admitted free. Parking is available.

Operation hours: Monday: 12 am - 6 pm; Tuesday - Sunday: 10 am - 6 pm.
Dallas World Aquarium

5) Dallas World Aquarium (must see)

The Dallas World Aquarium was opened in October 1992 in an old 1924 warehouse that had been gutted and rebuilt on the inside. It is a for-profit aquarium and zoo located in West End Historic District of downtown Dallas, Texas. The zoo aids conservation and education by housing many animals that are threatened or endangered as part of a cooperative breeding program with other zoos around the world.

The upper level of the aquarium is an artificial reproduction of the Orinoco Rainforest. The rainforest is an aviary, with birds such as scarlet ibis and toucans flying freely. As you wind your way through the rainforest, you see the only public display of three-toed sloths in the United States, plus animals such as electric eels, caecilians, tamarins, poison dart frogs, orinoco crocodiles, and vampire bats.

The lower level houses aquariums featuring fish, sea anemones, coral, jellyfish, and other sea animals from around the world. The 10 main tanks feature the aquatic life of Japan, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, British Columbia, the Bahamas, Fiji, Palau, Southern Australia, Lord Howe Island, and the Solomon Islands. Other tanks on display include a large tank with a 40-foot (12 m) tunnel where visitors can observe fish of the continental shelf swimming around them.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Perot Museum of Nature and Science

6) Perot Museum of Nature and Science (must see)

The Perot Museum of Nature and Science is a conglomerate of three older Dallas museums. It used to be the Dallas Museum of Science and Natural History, the Science Place, and the Children’s Museum. The Perot Museum of Nature and Science (shortened to Perot Museum) is a natural history and science museum consisting of two campuses: the primary campus located in Victory Park, and a secondary campus in Fair Park. The Victory Park campus museum was named in honor of Margot and Ross Perot.

The 180,000 square feet facility has 6 floors and stands about 14 stories high. It has five floors which are accessible to the public and houses 11 permanent exhibit halls as well as 6 learning labs. The top-most floor houses the museum's administration offices. The Victory Park campus opened its doors to the public on December 1, 2012. Approximately 6,000 visitors came to the museum on its first day of operation.

Operation hours: Monday–Saturday 10am–5pm; Sunday 11am–5pm.
Fountain Place

7) Fountain Place (must see)

Fountain Place is one of the most uniquely shaped buildings anywhere in the world. It is a 60 story building that stands 720 feet high. It is the fifth tallest skyscraper in Dallas and certainly one of the most beautiful. As interesting as the building is, this is not what was originally envisioned for the property.

During the oil boom days, there were to be two towering skyscrapers and a hotel on the site, along with a host of fountains. As the economy changed, only one building was built along with all the fountains. Hence the name of the place was set as “Fountain Place,” It does not necessarily look like a fountain, although from some angles it might call to mind the dancing water of a fountain.

Designed by I.M. Pei and Partners, the building presents a different look from different angles. It is truly a work of art. With its green glass façade, the building reflects the sky and surrounding structures. Uniquely shaped like a prism, every angle of the building adds to the beauty. Don’t miss looking at this building from up close and from several different points in Dallas. It is located at 1445 Ross and seems to rise from the 172 fountains that are spread around the park like setting surrounding the building.
First United Methodist Church of Dallas

8) First United Methodist Church of Dallas (must see)

The First United Methodist Church is a very old part of the downtown section of Dallas. It is also quite famous. In fact, it has been part of that overall landscape since 1860. The actual worshiping community has been together since 1846. At that point in history, there were three small Methodist Churches in the area, which were served by an itinerate preacher. Those congregations merged together by the time the First Church was formed in 1860.

The current building was finished in 1928. It is done in a Gothic style of architecture. The sanctuary is quite beautiful. You will also be able to find some of the most beautiful stained glass here that can be found in any church in the area.

You can visit the church pretty much any day of the week. Worship services are held on Sundays at 8:45 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. Sunday School is held at 9:45 a.m. and 10:45 a.m. The congregation is well known in the Dallas for its mission work in the local community.
Arts District

9) Arts District

The Arts District is a performing and visual arts district in Downtown Dallas, Texas. It is located south of State Thomas; southeast of Uptown; north of the City Center District; west of Bryan Place; and east of the West End Historic District. The Arts District is home to 13 facilities and organizations including The Annette Strauss Artist Square, the Belo Mansion/Dallas Bar Association, Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, Cathedral Shrine of the Virgin of Guadalupe, Dallas Black Dance Theatre, Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Dallas Theater Center, Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center, Nasher Sculpture Center, St. Paul United Methodist Church, Fellowship Church, Trammell Crow Center, and the Trammell & Margaret Crow Collection of Asian Art.
Sight description based on wikipedia
The Cathedral Shrine of the Virgin of Guadalupe

10) The Cathedral Shrine of the Virgin of Guadalupe

The Cathedral Shrine is one of the largest churches in Dallas, with over 17,000 families. It is also one of the most historic churches in town, as this was the first Catholic community formed in the area. It is also the Mother Church for the local diocese.

The local worshiping community was founded in 1869. It was called the Sacred Heart Church then. They built their first building in 1872. In 1890, the church was reformed into the Cathedral for the area, after the Dallas area became a diocese. The overall architectural look of the current building is gothic, and is done in a beautiful red brick. The sanctuary is done in white walls and is trimmed in oak.

This congregation is also a great promoter of the arts in the area. They hold events for the Arts District many times each year. They also sponsor the Greater Children’s Chorus of Dallas, which is a sacred choir. It is located in the same area is the Sculpture Garden, Dallas Symphony, and the Dallas Museum of Art.
Deep Ellum

11) Deep Ellum

Deep Ellum is a neighborhood composed largely of arts and entertainment venues near downtown in East Dallas, Texas. As one of Dallas' first commercial districts for African-Americans and European immigrants, Deep Ellum is one of the most historically significant neighborhoods in the city. The district boasts the city's largest collection of commercial storefronts from the early 20th century and includes many individual structures significant in their own right. Deep Ellum's real claim to fame, however, was found in its music.In addition to it, the area was a hotbed for graffiti. Many of the music venues used graffiti artists to advertise music shows.
Sight description based on wikipedia

Walking Tours in Dallas, Texas

Create Your Own Walk in Dallas

Create Your Own Walk in Dallas

Creating your own self-guided walk in Dallas is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Religious Sites Walking Tour

Religious Sites Walking Tour

Dallas is one of the biggest cities in the world and one that is rich in religious congregations. Every place of worship in Dallas is worth visiting, yet the downtown concentrates are especially memorable. Cathedrals, churches, and chapels are all here for your enjoyment.

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.1 Km or 1.3 Miles
Live Music in Deep Ellum

Live Music in Deep Ellum

Deep Ellum, a unique Art and Entertainment District near downtown Dallas, is a tight-knit community in a large city. Deep Ellum is an eclectic and progressive neighborhood and the home of fashion-forward, trend-setting style. It's also a birthplace for several new bands. Here you will find many terrific live music venues.

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.5 Km or 0.9 Miles
Arts District Walk

Arts District Walk

The Arts District is a performing and visual arts center located in the heart of Dallas and is home to several of Dallas' cultural landmarks. Since the 1970's, the "village of the arts" has offered facilities for the visual, performing, and developing arts.

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 0.7 Km or 0.4 Miles