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During one of our trips for graduate school (yes, traveling as a student is possible!), we visited downtown Dallas, Texas. Even though we had to work, we still managed to have two days to explore the top things to see and do in Dallas. In our two days in Dallas, we saw the top things to do in Dallas including the popular tourist sites, major Dallas attractions and museums. We have designed this Dallas travel guide for how to plan a two day trip to downtown Dallas so you can get the most of the city! In guide to Dallas, we include the top things to do in downtown Dallas, where to eat in downtown Dallas, and where to stay in downtown Dallas. Dallas is also a popular stopover destination since the Dallas-Fort Worth airport is an American Airlines hub and popular stopover location. So if you’re in Dallas for a stopover flight, consider spending one or two days in Dallas for exploring!
Top Things to Do in Downtown Dallas Texas
Top Dallas Attractions
If you have two days or a weekend getaway planned for Dallas, definitely take time to visit these top things to do in Dallas! If you’re looking to do a lot of things in Dallas, consider getting the Dallas City Pass that saves you entry on some of the top activities in Dallas!Save 37% on the 4 best attractions in Dallas with CityPASS – Shop Now!
Pioneer Park is one of the top tourist sites in Dallas because of the enormous cattle drive sculpture in the middle! The cattle Drive sculpture commemorates the nineteenth-century cattle drives that took place along the Shawnee Trail in what is now modern-day Texas. The sculpture includes 49 bronze steers and 3 trail riders which are at the larger than life scale! The sculpture is situated along a cliff, which gives it movement, dimension, and a dramatic effect. And this bronze sculpture is the largest of its kind in the world!
Yes, you read that right; there is a giant eyeball sculpture in the middle of downtown Dallas! This very realistic sculpture of an eyeball was constructed in 2013 and is a very recognizable landmark in the middle of Dallas! The Giant Eyeball is actually located on a private property’s yard, so you can’t walk up right up to it, but you can easily see it from the fence and street!
6th Floor Museum: Remembering President John F. Kennedy
The 6th Floor Museum at Dealy Plaza is a museum that chronicles the years and hours before President Kennedy was assassinated by Lee Harvey Oswald. Located on the 6th floor of the old Texas Bookholders building where Oswald fatally shot President Kennedy, this museum works to preserve the legacy of the President and present the facts that likely weren’t taught in your high school history lesson.
The museum discusses the political climate before and during JFK’s presidency, his life and family, the moments leading up to his assassination, the response from the press and public, and the final investigation. We appreciated that the museum included a display discussing the conspiracy theories surrounding this tragic event. The museum was incredibly well put together and the audio guide was great.
Is The 6th Floor Museum Appropriate for Children?
The museum is appropriate for families; there is nothing incredibly graphic that would upset children. However, the museum space is small and can get crowded even with timed ticketing, so it might be hard to maneuver the museum with a stroller or young children. If you want to bring children to this museum, use your discretion on what you’re comfortable with.
How Can I Visit the 6th Floor Museum?
Tickets for the 6th Floor Museum are timed entry and can be purchased ahead of time online. You can buy tickets at the door, but the line was very long and it seemed pointless to stand in if tickets were available online. We spend about 2 hours inside the museum.
During your visit, don’t forget to visit the JFK Memorial and enjoy the greenery at Dealy Plaza.
The Majestic Theater
If you’re looking to see a show in Dallas, consider visiting the Majestic Theater. The Majestic Theater is the last remnant of the Theater Row on Elm Street. The Majestic Theater was opened in the 1920s and served as a venue for musicals, plays, live orchestras, and magic shows including Harry Houdini. Into the 1930s the theater began to show movies. The Majestic was considered one of the grandest theaters on Theater Row. In 1973, the theater closed, but thanks to the city and restoration efforts, the Majestic reopened and continues to entertain visitors today!
The Old Red Museum
The Old Red Museum of Dallas County History & Culture is a must-see because of its beautiful red sandstone and Romanesque architecture. This castle-like building was constructed in 1890 as the Dallas Courthouse. Today, it serves as a museum for Local Dallas History
Dallas World Aquarium
If you’re looking for something fun to do that will make you feel like a kid again on your weekend getaway to Dallas, consider visit the Dallas World Aquarium! The beautiful aquarium is full of birds, fish, and animals from all over the world.
Dallas Museum of Art
One of the best Parts about the Dallas Museum of Art is that it’s free! This art museum includes collections from all around the world, ancient to modern. In addition to the free collections, the museum offers touring and special exhibitions at an additional fee.
Where to Stay in Downtown Dallas: Cambria Hotel Downtown Dallas
During our stay in Dallas, we stayed at the Cambria Hotel in Downtown Dallas. This upscale hotel with a lower price was great for our few days in Dallas. The hotel features a restaurant that serves breakfast and lunch, complimentary wifi, valet parking, and a great location near the Majestic Theater. The rooms were beautiful and modern with large windows, lots of space, a coffee and tea bar, and a fridge.
Explore and Eat In Deep Ellum
Deep Ellum is a small community in downtown Dallas that features new, hip restaurants and bars. Attracting a more young and millennial crowd, Deep Ellum is full of unique dining and drinking experiences.
Where to Eat in Downtown Dallas
If you’re looking to get excellent Asian cuisine during your two days in Dallas, visit Sapa House! This casual Asian restaurant features dishes including pho, sushi, bento, and Thai flavors.
Niwa Japanese BBQ
If you’re looking for a unique dining experience, consider visiting Niwa Japanese BBQ. In the traditional Japanese BBQ fashion, you’ll cook your meats and veggies right at your own table! The food was amazing and our service was excellent. There was a great variety of meats and veggies to choose from in addition to already prepared appetizers.