Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden#9 in Best Things To Do in Dallas – Fort Worth
True, Dallas has plenty of towering skyscrapers and traffic-laden highways. But it's also rich in green space. For respite from the big city, head to the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden, which occupies 66 acres in White Rock Lake Park about 7 miles northeast of downtown. Forget about the hustle and bustle with a stroll through the Margaret Elisabeth Jonsson Color Garden, where more than 2,000 varieties of azaleas blossom in the spring and several acres of chrysanthemums come to life during the fall. Several historic homes surround the lake, tucked away in numerous patches of natural forest; take some time to visit them and escape the blazing summer heat.
What some recent travelers loved the most about the Dallas Arboretum are the various sculptures placed throughout the grounds. Meanwhile, other visitors recommend the gardens for kids. If you do bring your youngsters, make your way to the Rory Meyers Children's Adventure Garden, a massive 8-acre museum that houses 17 galleries filled with dynamic demonstrations, games and teacher-led labs focused on environmental science. The Children's Garden also contains 150 inventive exhibits that include canopied walkways and a 9,100-square-foot Exploration Center with plant and soil labs, among other features.
You can get to the Arboretum and Botanic Garden from downtown by car or by hopping on the No. 60 bus. The space is open to the public every day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. General admission costs $15 for adults and $10 for children ages 3 to 12 (visitors ages 2 and younger can enter for free); entrance to the Children's Garden costs an additional $3 fee. On-site parking costs $15 per car. If you purchased the Dallas CityPASS, your admission fee is covered. To learn more, visit the Dallas Arboretum and Botanic Garden website.
More Best Things To Do in Dallas – Fort Worth
#1 Fort Worth Stockyards National Historic District
If you only have a day in Fort Worth, head straight to the Stockyards. This living museum pays tribute to Fort Worth's Wild West heyday with daily cattle drives and plenty of restaurants serving up cowboy cuisine. Start your visit at Stockyards Station at the heart of this historic neighborhood – from here, you can join a guided walking or Segway tour or hop on a stage coach. If you're interested in the district's history, pay a visit to the Stockyards Museum, which is housed in the former Livestock Exchange building and now contains an extensive collection of documents and artifacts from Fort Worth's Old West era. Meanwhile, the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame and the Texas Trail of Fame will also offer insight into Fort Worth's most notable residents. If you have kids in tow, take a twirl through the Cowtown Cattlepen Maze or a ride on the Grapevine Vintage Railroad.
Recent visitors strongly recommend visiting the Stockyards on a Friday or Saturday night for the Championship Rodeo. Starting at 8 p.m., talented cowboys will show off their riding, roping and racing skills in the Cowtown Coliseum. Afterward, you can test your dancing skills at Billy Bob's Texas – at 3 acres, Billy Bob's claims to be the world's largest honky tonk. While many reviewers said this was a great activity for first-time visitors, they also cautioned that it is quite touristy.
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