Destinations

Exploring Dallas Texas

Dallas - Texas School Book Depository

Spending 28-days on a cruise ship sounds like the perfect way to relax. Something that I do not disagree with. However, it is a little harder to get back into getting around yourself. Since disembarking in San Diego, I took a couple of days to catch up. I organised some last minute flights and accommodation in Dallas and well here I am.

San Diego To Dallas

Today was entirely a travel day, with a little time in San Diego in the morning. Travelling from San Diego to Dallas in my case was a two stage journey. It could just be the timing of booking the flight, but there were no direct flights available. So I booked a flight which went San Diego > San Francisco > Dallas.

When checking in I was quite pleased to secure a first class upgrade for quite a reasonable price. It is always nice to be a little more comfortable when flying. The flight from San Diego to San Francisco went smoothly. However, the two-hour layover in San Francisco dragged out to almost 4 hours. As a result, I arrived in Dallas around 9 pm. To cap things off, there was almost a problem with getting the room I booked. But at the end of the day, all was well, and I was soon in bed getting ready to see the sights.

Day 1 – Dallas

The first thing that I noticed about Dallas is how far apart everything is. Of course, this makes it difficult to do too much in one day. So I choose something close by (The Sixth Floor Museum) and took advantage of the hotel shuttle to get there.

The sixth floor Museum is located in the former Texas School Book Depository. The museum is quite a historic landmark in the United States. The sixth floor is said to be the position which Lee Harvey Oswald took on the 22nd of November 1963. It is from this position he took the shots which led to the death of John F. Kennedy. Of course, this leads to the name and the location of the museum itself. Seeing and hearing the history through the self-guided tour was very interesting.

Dallas - Texas School Book Depository

I took a casual approach to the rest of the day, just walking the general area to finish back at the hotel. There were two main area’s that caught my attention on this walk. The first is a park in front of the convention centre named Pioneer Square. This is a 4-acre landscaped park featuring over 40 bronze statues. The statues include both longhorn’s and cowboys on a cattle drive along the Shawnee Trail, created by Sculpture Tobery Summers.

Dallas - Pioneer Park Sculpture Robert Summers

The second spot which caught my attention on the walk today was Thanks-Giving Square. A wonderful little spot in the middle of the city full of fountains, grass and trees. The walls are adorned in sayings and a centrepiece with three bells, state and national flags.

Dallas - Thanks-Giving Square

Day 2 – Dallas

Today was set to be another walking day, exploring the area around the Arts District. There are a number of museums around this area and a couple of other interesting spots.

First up I decided on riding the McKinney Avenue Trolley (M-Line) for the full loop. The Trolley departs from nearby the Dallas Museum of Art and heads into the Uptown and West Village areas. The ride was definitely enjoyable, but there was not much that caught my eye and I continued back to the start.

Dallas - M-Line Trolley

I decided to take a walk around the Nasher Sculpture Center and try to interpret some of the sculptures. It would appear that for the most part, I struggled to match my interpretation to the description. One fun installation that caught my eye was a big room full of orange balloons. It was my sort of art where you could take part of try to navigate through the balloons. In some ways, it is quite disconcerting, but quite an interesting experience.

Dallas - Nasher Sculpture Center

My final stop for the way was not far from the Nasher Sculpture Center. The Cathedral Santuario De Guadalupe is built in the Victorian Gothic Style. The building is quite eye catching and is in excellent condition due to restoration efforts. In general, it seems to be simple but elegant with some beautiful stained glass windows and pipe organ.

Dallas - Cathedral Santuario De Guadalupe

Day 3 – Dallas

The main highlight for day 3 was a visit to another museum by the name of Old Red Museum. The first piece of history is the building the museum is located in, The Old Dallas Courthouse. The build is very distinctive built from red brick and featuring multiple turrets around the building. There is also a clock tower right at the top.

Dallas - Old Courthouse

Once inside the museum, the building is almost as interesting as the exhibits. There are four different gallery’s each of which covers a different period of Texas history. Not to give too much away to those who may want to visit the museum I will just share two pieces.

The first is the stairs in the building. Especially the railings have some amazing detailed ironwork, which caught my eye.

Dallas - Old Courthouse Stairs

The second is a restored Pegasus Gas Station sign which signs brightly again. Not above a gas station anymore, but you can imagine how it stood as a beacon at one time.

Dallas - Restored Pegasus Gas Station Sign

Day 4 – Fort Worth

The cities of Dallas and Fort Worth are in many ways conjoined. Over time they have expanded to become almost a single metropolitan area. Today I was meeting a friend who lives in Fort Worth to take a look around. The train from Dallas took roughly an hour which soon passed once I realised there was Wifi available.

First up was a visit to the Fort Worth Stockyards. In some ways, I was kind of expecting more than what was here. Even still this was a great way to experience just a little of what old-style Texas may have been. We both enjoyed our time in the maze (picture below) and also took the opportunity to grab some lunch.

Fort Worth Stockyards Maze

If our planning had been a little better we could have taken a ride on the Grapevine Vintage Railroad. However, it seems they were just departing as we arrived. So that may be something to check out next time.

Fort Worth Stockyards Grapevine Vintage Railway

 

After the Stockyards, we decided on an indoor activity as the sky looked fairly ominous. We choose the Amon Carter Museum, which is an art museum with a Texas theme or style. We just made it inside as the rain decided to come down very heavy and quite happy with the choice.

Fort Worth View From Amon Carter Museum

Day 5 – Dallas

For my last day in Dallas I decided to explore the Dallas Historic Village. The village is made up of a collection of around 30 buildings from the 19th century. These buildings cover most of the different buildings you would expect to find in a community. From the houses, stores, workshops and community buildings.

I could probably write extensively about this village. But honestly it is a journey that is very visual and to be honest worth exploring yourself. I will share a couple of images below from my visit.

Millermore is a house from the mid-1800’s in the Greek Revival style.

Dallas Historic Village - Millermore

There is also the main street with a number of stores and the saloon. It is worth checking the time of your visit and try to be here to see the reenactment of a shoot out.

Dallas Historic Village - Saloon

Finally, I spotted an old style popcorn cart, just disappointing it was closed today.

Dallas Historic Village - Popcorn Cart

Goodbye Dallas

The time in Dallas has been very enjoyable. Although there was a rough start with a late arrival and the hotel. In the end, everything worked out quite good and I discovered quite a few interesting places.

With the exception of a little rain in Fort Worth, the weather was quite good. With temperatures around the mid to high 20’s (Celcius). A nice change from the very hot and humid weather through the Panama Canal.

If you have enjoyed this post I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

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