The American passion for football is alive and well as all eyes turn toward the upcoming Super Bowl. On February 6, 2011, the Green Bay Packers and the Pittsburgh Steelers will play in Super Bowl XLV at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas. For the thousands of visitors who descend on the Dallas metropolitan area for the event, there will be plenty of football events, but Dallas also has ample attractions besides the big game.
Art lovers will find much to admire in the 19-block downtown Arts District, one of the largest in the country. The Nasher Sculpture Center and the Dallas Museum of Art house impressive exhibits. On February 5, docents will lead an hour long stroll through the District, offering insights into the history and architecture of the area.
Fair Park, site of the annual state fair of Texas since 1887, draws over 3.5 million visitors each year. The 277 acre park is home to nine museums, as well as Texas Discovery Gardens, the Texas Hall of State, Fair Park Music Hall, Dallas Aquarium, the Texas Music Center and the Cotton Bowl. The area has a profusion of 1930’s art deco buildings and murals that will please architectural and history buffs.
Dallas is infamous for being the place that John F Kennedy was assassinated in 1963. The Sixth Floor Museum, located in the former Texas School Book Depository where Lee Harvey Oswald was thought to have fired the fatal shots, is dedicated to that grim event in American History.
The Dallas World Aquarium is in the popular West End Historic District. Inside a converted warehouse is an Amazon rain forest with jaguars, toucans and monkeys. There are also environments for sharks, jellyfish and a giant Pacific octopus. Outside, black-footed penguins swim in a river. Animal lovers will also enjoy the Dallas Zoo with a monorail safari through an African setting and the tiger palace.
For cowboy fans (that’s the kind that wear Stetsons, not helmets), the Fort Worth Stockyards showcase that neighboring city’s origins as a cattle boom town. The Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame exalts the cowboy tradition and you can get a taste of the past at 11:30am and 4:00pm every day when a herd of longhorn cattle is driven through the red brick streets.
Fans of the long-running television soap opera Dallas,won’t want to miss the Southfork Ranch where the show was filmed. Tours are available and various Ewing memorabilia is on display.
Shopping in Dallas is a major league event. The flagship Nieman Marcus is in the upscale NorthPark Center and the famed Galleria is a retail mecca. All of the major department stores are represented in several other large shopping centers throughout the sprawling city.
For nightlife, try club-hopping in Deep Ellum or along Greenville Avenue. And of course, you can catch live music and bikini-clad bull riders at the infamous honky-tonk Gilley’s.
To come full circle back to football, round out your stay in Dallas with a tour of the $1.3 billion Cowboy Stadium in Arlington before the game. Tours cost $40 per person, but you’ll definitely need advance reservations during the Super Bowl weekend.
Dallas is the ninth-largest US city where everything is big. Known for its shopping, arts and, of course football, there is plenty to see and do any time of year.
Contact Covington Travel to make hotel and air reservations to visit the “Big D.”