George W. Bush Presidential Library & Museum

#10 in Best Things To Do in Dallas – Fort Worth
George W. Bush Presidential Library & Museum picture1 of 3
George W. Bush Presidential Library & Museum2 of 3
Dallas CVB

Key Info

2943 SMU Boulevard

Details

Museums Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
4.1

scorecard

  • 4.0Value
  • 4.5Facilities
  • 4.5Atmosphere

Set on 23 acres in northern Dallas' University Park, The George W. Bush Presidential Library houses extensive textual, audiovisual and electronic records from the 43rd presidency. As you can imagine, the library is more of a research facility than it is a tourist attraction. Instead, casual visitors should make their way to the adjacent 14,000-square-foot museum, where detailed displays explore such events of Bush's time in office as 9/11, as well as the themes of education reform and the economic crisis. Inside the museum, you'll find interactive exhibits that put you in the former president's shoes: You can walk around a replica of the Oval Office, and in the Decision Points Theater, you can experience the Bush administration's decision- and policy-making process.

According to recent visitors, the highlight of a visit to the George W. Bush Presidential Library & Museum was the 9/11 exhibit, which they describe as extensive and well-organized. Travelers say that the exhibit, which contains a piece of steel from the World Trade Center, is moving, especially if you have friends or family in the military.

You'll find the George W. Bush Presidential Library & Museum on the eastern edge of the Southern Methodist University campus, a short walk from the Mockingbird light rail station (served by the Blue, Orange and Red lines). You can also reach the museum from downtown Dallas by car via Route 75 North. Parking is available in the Bush Center lot for $5 for the first hour and 75 cents for each additional 30 minutes. The museum is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and from noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday. Admission to the museum is $16 for adults with discounts available for seniors, students and children; kids ages 4 and younger can enter for free. If you purchased a Dallas CityPASS, your admission fee is covered. To learn more, visit the George W. Bush Presidential Library & Museum website.

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Fort Worth Stockyards National Historic District1 of 16
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Type
Time to Spend
#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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