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Dallas CVB

Key Info

411 Elm Street / Dealey Plaza

Details

Museums, Sightseeing Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend

scorecard

  • 4.5Value
  • 4.0Facilities
  • 4.5Atmosphere

On Nov. 22, 1963, shots from Lee Harvey Oswald's gun echoed through Dealey Plaza as President John F. Kennedy's motorcade turned off of Houston Street onto Elm. Today, this scenic green space in downtown Dallas is visited every year by thousands who gather to honor the 35th president.

This tragic day in United States history has been immortalized on the sixth floor of the former Texas School Book Depository, where Oswald pulled the trigger just more than 50 years ago. The Sixth Floor Museum (which actually occupies the sixth and seventh floors of the building) houses exhibits detailing JFK's life, presidency and assassination. According to many recent visitors, one of the most fascinating exhibits is a recreation of Oswald's set-up at the southeast window, accompanied by touch screens that detail the events of that day. (If you're interested in seeing Dealey Plaza and Elm Street the way Oswald saw it that day, you can watch the live Dealey Plaza Cam, a streaming webcam set up at the very window through which Oswald tracked the presidential motorcade.)

To reach the museum, you can take the free D-Link bus, or hop on any one of the DART lines to West End station, which connects to all DART lines. The museum sits just three blocks west from the station. You are free to visit and explore Dealey Plaza at any time; there is no admission fee. You can visit the Sixth Floor Museum Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Monday from noon to 6 p.m. The museum recommends setting aside about 90 minutes to tour the exhibits. Admission to the museum is $16 for adults, $14 for seniors and $13 for youths ages 6 to 18; kids 5 and younger can enter for free. The use of audio guides is included in the entry cost. Because of the attraction's popularity, the museum recommends purchasing your tickets in advance online. If you purchased a Dallas CityPASS, your admission is covered. Several of the best Dallas tours also make stops here. To learn more about the museum and Dealey Plaza, visit the facility's official website.

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#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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