The Lone Star State is full of rich history and incredible heritage, and here in Dallas, we’re bursting at the cultural seams. While perhaps most infamous as the city where our nation’s 35th president, John F. Kennedy, was assassinated, there’s much more behind this modern metropolis in North Texas. Get out and take in the rich history at these four outdoor cultural heritage sites.
Dallas Heritage Village at Old City Park
The Dallas Heritage Village is home to the largest and finest collection of 19th century pioneer and Victorian Texas homes, as well as commercial buildings like churches and stores. The historic homes were moved from throughout North Central Texas to Dallas’ first city park. The 20 tree-lined acres of Dallas Heritage Village are the perfect backdrop while strolling the grounds and imagining what life was like over 100 years ago. For a small admission fee, you can take a guided history tour to learn about the legends and stories behind each site.
The Dallas Arboretum & Botanical Garden
Located on the grounds of the old Rancho Encinal estate built by Everette and Nell DeGolyer in 1940, the Dallas Arboretum is home to 66 acres of plants and horticulture, all native to the area. Now one of the top botanical gardens in the world, people come here daily to witness the rich history and nature that is preserved so well. While the gardens are fairly young, the site is full of history. It was once home to the DeGoylers, who were prominent in the city of Dallas and the oil industry from the early to mid 1900s. The home, which is on the National Register of Historic Places, has been restored and updated to reflect its heyday in the 1940s.
Founders Plaza is an open park in the heart of Downtown Dallas, which includes immense historical sites like the Old Red Courthouse, John Neely Bryan Cabin, the Kennedy Memorial, and a terrazzo map of Dallas County that dates back to the 1800s. It’s a lovely area to stop and unwind after walking through downtown, and while you’re strolling you can take in the history that comes with it.
White Rock Lake
Enjoyed by more than 1 million visitors per year, White Rock Lake is an urban oasis in Dallas and covers over 1,000 acres. It is home to hiking and biking trails, sailing, kayaking, bird watching, a museum, and more. Once used as the main water source for the city, much of the unique architecture of White Rock Lake was due to the work of the Civilian Conservation Corps that began in 1935. The Stones Tables Pavilion and Picnic Area was first built in the 1930s to use as a gathering place for families within the park, and conservationists are working hard to restore the area.
Dallas is full of rich, beautiful history that makes our city who and what it is today. Kick off your cultural tour of the city as you explore these four outdoor cultural heritage sites. For more fun adventures in and around Dallas, visit the Mosaic Dallas blog.