Learn & Explore in Dallas, Texas

  • Monarch butterfly on a yellow flower

  • stone sculptures in a display case

  • Outdoor view of bushes and flowers

  • Infinity edge pool overlooking White Rock Lake

  • Silver vanity set in a display case

  • color mosaic mural

Dallas is full of fun activities and awe-inspiring museums to explore. Here’s a look at my ‘local favorites’ – the Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas Arboretum, and the Perot Museum. Whether you’re an indoors-lover or an outdoors-adventurer, these three attractions are an excellent choice during any season.

Dallas Museum of Art
The Dallas Museum of Art (DMA) is one of the best museums in the Dallas area, general admission is free and parking is convenient. Explore four different floors with beautiful displays of ancient artifacts from all over the world. My Favorite exhibit is the Hopi Visions: Journey of the Human Spirit, this exhibit features a colorful mural by Hopi artists Michael Kabotie and Delbridge Honanie.

For night owls, check out Late Nights at the DMA every third Friday of the month from 6 p.m. to midnight. Invite your friends once a month after work while you enjoy breathtaking displays of art.

On-site dining options are available at the Dallas Museum of Art, The Socca Mediterranean Cafe offers outdoor patio dining – enjoy light appetizers, salads, local cheeses and select wines or local beer.

I suggest scheduling your DMA visit when other events are happening at the adjacent Klyde Warren Park. After visiting the museum, walk across the street to Klyde Warren to enjoy food trucks, concerts, yoga classes, group meditation, Zumba classes, great people watching and more! Plus, the views of the surrounding iconic Dallas skyscrapers is amazing.

Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Gardens
Next on the list is the beautiful and massive Dallas Arboretum. It is a 66-acre botanical garden that offers fun events for everyone. This outdoor museum of foliage is a plant-lovers dream come true. I suggest wearing your comfiest shoes and allow yourself a few hours so you can relax and explore.

Give your eyes the pleasure of enjoying a robust range of beautiful colors, flowers, trees or exotic plants while breathing in the smell of lavender and marigold flowers. You might be lucky enough to see monarch butterflies fly by. The Arboretum is great for large groups, romantic dates, and family outings. The Children’s Adventure Garden is great for an afternoon with your family.

While you’re visiting the Arboretum, enjoy some delicious afternoon tea.  During my recent trip to the Dallas Arboretum, visitors were gushing about their total experience at the Historic DeGolyer Tea Room. Enjoy seasonal Holiday Tea November 23 through December 21.

If you’re in love with fall colors and events, visit the Arboretum by November 21st to enjoy one of the most spectacular pumpkin patch displays. This year’s theme for the pumpkin patch is, “The Adventures in Neverland.” More than 90,000 pumpkins are used to create magical displays. Fall is the perfect season for a special graduation, engagement, or bridal photoshoot at the Dallas Arboretum. Don’t fret if you’re not able to visit the Arboretum in fall, they feature an amazing Christmas display that you don’t want to miss!

Plan ahead and check out the event schedule on the Arboretum’s website for more information. Insider’s Tip: consider purchasing your parking pass online to enjoy a discount.

Perot Museum of Nature and Science
Learn about the mysteries of the pre-historic era and enjoy the collection of giant dinosaur bones at the Perot Museum of Nature and Science. View archaic bones and fossils, and experience the coolest adventure to the past, inside the T. Boone Pickens Life Then and Now Hall.

Also, consider checking out the Lyda Hill Gems and Minerals Hall – my favorite exhibit – where you’ll be whisked away by the 5-foot tall geode brimming with purple crystals that resemble the stars in the Milky Way. Plan to spend about two hours, or more, touring all five floors of the museum.

After the museum, take a 12-minute walk to the West End Historic District of downtown Dallas – an ideal dining neighborhood for families. Peek at the West End’s list of restaurants prior to your visit to save time.

My favorite dining spot is the multi-level Happiest Hour patio bar and lounge, which offers an excellent ambiance, delicious American fare and drinks. Happiest Hour is a six-minute walk from the museum, and they have free valet available.

Altogether, my three favs offer diverse options for everyone – families, couples, adults-only events or large group events. Dallas is a great city and this is just the tips of the iceberg! Come and explore the Lone Star state for yourself!

To access more information about local restaurants, unique attractions, and special offers in Dallas, visit our Destination Guide, or explore Hilton properties in Dallas below.

Know Before You Go

This post was written by Hilton Suggests Team Member, Ashley S. Are you interested in traveling to Dallas? Let us know if we can help you with any other recommendations. Tweet us for more great local travel tips!

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