Texas is big, and Dallas, known as the Big D, is its cultural hub. From here, you can fan out in every direction and see some of the great things Texas has to offer. Home to an American cultural icon, a famous cattle industry and a rich history, here are some of the best day trips from Dallas.
1. Fort Worth Stock Yards
Are you attending RFD-TV's The American Semi-Finals at Cowtown Coliseum next week? The cattle drive will still occur daily at 11:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. Come out and see us!Posted by Fort Worth Herd on Thursday, 9 February 2017
In Texas, the West begins at the Fort Worth Stock Yards. The original Union Stockyards were built in 1887, by the city of Forth Worth, as a market for the thousands of heads of cattle being driven through the area, every day, from the Indian territory, further west. Now, this area serves as a reminder of Texas’s cattle history.
You can witness history twice daily, as cowboys on horseback drive a herd of cattle through the stockyards and into holding pens. There, you can see (and smell) what life might have been like, 125 years ago, when this same process took place dozens of times throughout the day.
Fort Worth Stock Yards
Address: 130 East Exchange Avenue, Fort Worth, TX 76164
Website: Fort Worth Stock Yards
The Herd Cattle Drive: Daily at 11:30 am and 4 pm
Address: 130 East Exchange Avenue, Fort Worth, TX 76164
Website: Fort Worth Herd Cattle Drive
2. Dr. Pepper Museum
America is the home of soda, and in Texas, nothing says soda like an ice cold Dr. Pepper. The oldest of America’s carbonated, syrupy flavored soft drinks, Dr. Pepper was created in 1885, at Morrison’s Old Corner Drug Store, right in Waco, Texas. Charles Alderton, a pharmacist, developed the combination of syrups that became the distinctive soda, and together he and Morrison began to manufacture and sell the drink.
At the Dr. Pepper museum, located steps from the Brazos River in Waco, you can walk through the original Old Corner Drug Store and sit at the counter where it all started. Early bottling equipment, along with samples of early bottles are everywhere. And for the kids, test your own mix of syrups in their Liquid Laboratory. Can you invent the next great soda? The museum is open daily, until 5:30 pm.
Dr. Pepper Museum
Address: 300 South 5th Street, Waco, TX 76701
Website: Dr. Pepper Museum
3. Winstar World Resort and Casino
About an hour north of Dallas, just over the Oklahoma border, lies a gaming experience like no other. From Casino 360˚, where every winner is a star, to the more than 88 tables, offering blackjack, poker, baccarat, and others, Winstar World Resort and Casino has something to appeal to everyone. And if you’re up for a bigger challenge, high limit tables are available, seven days a week.
If poker is your game, Winstar has 46 tables just for you, with a regular schedule of regional and national tournaments to test your skill against some of the best poker players around. To really enjoy the experience, take the Viator shuttle, a 90-minute ride that lets you enjoy the gaming experience, without worrying about the drive.
Winstar World Resort and Casino
Address: 777 Casino Ave., Thackerville, OK 73459
Website: Winstar World Resort and Casino
4. Lake Park on Lewisville Lake
North Texas is far from any beach, but Lewisville Lake offers visitors the next best thing, only a short drive from Dallas. Lake Park, on the southern shoreline, is a huge recreation area - over 650 acres (263 hectares). Operated by the city of Lewisville, the park offers something for the whole family, from golfing and disc golf to boating, fishing, tenting and RV camping.
Soccer and baseball fields are lit for play, well into the night. The highlight of the park is swimming from the shoreline beach. It doesn’t have much sand but it does have several picnic tables and shallow water for safe swimming. If you’re looking for a respite from the Texas summer, Lake Park on Lewisville Lake is the place to go.
Lake Park on Lewisville Lake
Address: 600 Sandy Beach Road, Lewisville, TX 75057
Website: Lake Park on Lewisville Lake
5. Terrel, Texas
Northeast of Dallas, in the small town of Terrell, Texas, lies a surprising remnant of World War II. In June 1941, the British descended upon this small Texas town and established the British Flying Training Program, designed to instruct British Royal Air Force (RAF) pilots. Terrell was the first, and largest, of the schools, which were located across the southern United States.
More than 2,000 Royal Air Force and American Air Force pilots earned their wings here, flying over the skies of North Texas, before they tested their mettle in the European theater. The No. 1 British Flying Training School Museum, located at Terrell Municipal Airport, highlights this little-known chapter in World War II history, with log books, training materials, uniforms, and other memorabilia. Take a step back in time with a visit to this unique small Texas town.
No. 1 British Flying Training Program
Address: 119 Silent Wings Blvd, Terrell, TX 75160
6. Jefferson, Texas
Jefferson, Texas, located 2.5 hours east of Dallas, is a city almost as old as the state itself. Founded in 1841, on land ceded from the Caddo Indians, Jefferson became a booming town in its first 25 years. A log jam called the Great Raft raised the level of Caddo Lake and the Red River allowing the water to be navigable by boat. By 1870, this was the fourth largest town in Texas. But in 1872, the Army Corps of Engineers blew up the raft, allowing the river to flow freely. Water in the river and the lake became too shallow to navigate by boat and Jefferson’s time as a commercial district dried up. Still, it is one of the most historic towns in the state, where almost every commercial structure on the main road through town, has a historic marker, from the courthouse to the Jefferson Theater.
Come in February for Mardi Gras Upriver. In May the local historical society presents the Diamond Bessie Murder Trial, a play commemorating one of Jefferson’s most infamous murders. For a trip to find out what Texas history is really about, Jefferson is a town not to be missed.
Dallas is the cultural hub of North Texas. From here, you can see a bit of everything in almost any direction you travel, from a bit of Texas’s cattle history to historic small Texan towns, to a soda icon. Branch out and see all that North Texas has to offer.
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