We arrived in Dallas early afternoon and spent the rest of the day settling into the hotel and chilling. It’s nice to have some downtime on a long trip like this. So, we planned to see Dallas in one day. Since we had such a short time, we didn’t hire a car so this is Dallas Sightseeing on foot. Here’s what we managed to fit in. All within walking distance of the train station.
John F. Kennedy Memorial Plaza
Of course, you can’t visit Dallas for the first time and not explore some of the historical sights related to JFK. So our first stop was JFK Memorial Plaza. The monument was designed by American architect, Philip Johnson and was dedicated to Kennedy in 1970. It is a striking building and the perfect start to our Dallas in a day walking tour.
Sixth Floor Museum
Our next stop was the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza. If you plan on visiting the museum, I recommend booking tickets online in advance. We didn’t and we spent a long time in a slow-moving queue for the sole ticket kiosk. It’s a popular museum so expect long queues.
The museum is only open from Wednesday to Friday so we were lucky that it was open for our one day in Dallas. Tickets cost $18 for adults and $14 for children. Under 5s are free.
It’s a small but interesting and informative museum. However, there are a lot of exhibits packed into small spaces so it gets quite crowded in places. Expect to have to wait to see some of the displays especially near the entrance door.
The museum covers many aspects of Kennedy’s life as well as focusing on the assassination. You also get an audio guide which talks you through the displays. If you don’t mind standing back a little then you’ll find it less crowded and a more enjoyable experience.
Being inside the building itself is one of the main attractions of visiting though and you do get the opportunity to see the window from where the shots were allegedly fired and look over the Grassy Knoll.
There was, of course, a great many photos and video of the shooting itself and the events which followed it but really the information provided was rather superficial. Of course, I would think most Americans would already know it all. Probably most Brits also. However, there was some info on the possibility of a conspiracy and speculation as to whether Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone and this was quite interesting. Particularly as standing at the window where the shot was supposed to have been fired and looking out onto the road where Kennedy’s car went past it is very difficult to see how an inexperienced shooter could have hit the moving target. It is really much further than I thought beforehand.
The Grassy Knoll
After the museum, we walked down to the Grassy Knoll area and looked at the memorial. There are two white Xs marked on the road to show where Kennedy was when he was hit.
It is a very busy road but that didn’t stop Paul (or any of the other tourists) from wandering into the road to take a photo of the Book Depository from the spot.
Dallas does not have a great number of tourist sights other than the above but we did find this rather interesting monument in Pioneer Plaza. The monument celebrates Dallas’ heritage by showing a cattle drive of Longhorn Cattle. It is constructed in Bronze by a local Texan artist, Robert Summers. Close up it is pretty impressive and of course, in true Texan style is the largest of its kind in the world.
Afterwards, we spent some time just wandering around the area looking at the architecture. Next time, we’ll hire a car and then see more of the wider Dallas area. During our Dallas in a day walking tour, we saw some major sights but there’s a lot more to see still.