Dallas museums are a diverse lot. The thriving city is in touch with its roots and artistic side, as is evidenced by the diverse cultural institutions that welcome visitors. Some of the best museums in Dallas are clustered around the Arts District. The 68-acre neighborhood in the heart of Downtown Dallas is home to landmark architecture, museums, and theaters. The entire district serves as an outdoor museum of sorts when guides from the Dallas Center for Architecture lead guided walking tours.
The Dallas Museum of Art is certainly a highlight of these tours. The oldest of the Dallas museums in the Art District stretches out for 370,000 square feet in a building designed by award-winning architect Edward Larrabee Barnes. Inside, you'll find a collection of art that spans continents and cultures. The DMA hosts a variety of special events, including evening jazz concerts and tours and kids' workshops.
Creative types often consider the DMA among the best museums in Dallas, as do people who like to experience the triumph of the artistic vision. Visits to the nearby Nasher Sculpture Center complement time at the DMA, as this museum has a narrow focus on modern and contemporary sculpture.
The thriving neighborhood is also home to the Trammel Crow Center and Crow Collection of Asian Art. Here, you'll find a chance to wander through lush gardens and enjoy fine meals after you've viewed the world-class art.
While downtown Dallas is the first place many think of when looking for museums, the city and its suburbs are home to a dazzling array of cultural institutions. Three Dallas museums focus on aviation history, while others focus on natural history and historical happenings.
In the West End neighborhood, you'll have the chance to tour the Dallas Holocaust Museum/Center for Education and Tolerance. Not recommended for young children, this cultural institution shares the story of the great tragedy while teaching about a positive response to prejudice for the good of all mankind. The exhibit at the Dallas Holocaust Museum focuses on three events from a single day in 1943, April 19, which highlights different responses to the same event. When you visit the Dallas Holocaust Museum, you'll explore at your own pace with an audio guide. This hand-held digital guide has a variety of stories that are accessible just by pressing the right number at the right time. The audio programming is available in English and Spanish.
Not far away, you'll find the John F. Kennedy Memorial Plaza. His legacy is explored at the The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza. Every year, countless people make a visit to ponder his assassination and the importance of this president's history to contemporary culture.
Aviation has been an important part of the Dallas landscape for generations. Love Field hosts the Frontiers of Flight Museum that explores the century that took flight from Kitty Hawk to the moon. As you explore, you'll have the chance see aircraft from the early days, World War II, and even the Apollo 7 Command Module. Just north of town in Addison, you see can restored airplanes from World War I through Vietnam with a visit to the Cavanaugh Flight Museum.
American Airlines, who keeps a hub at the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, also maintains the C.R. Smith Museum here. The hands-on, interactive museum is one of the few in the world dedicated to commercial aviation. The biggest item on display is a restored DC-3 plane from the 1940s, the Flagship Knoxville.
If you're curious about the natural world, several museums will pique your interest. The Dallas Museum of Nature and Science encompasses three difference cultural institutions at Fair Park, which merged in 2006. The Science Place, Dallas Children's Museum, and the Dallas Museum of Natural History joined forces to offer intriguing exhibits and family programming. Consistently ranked as one of the best museums in Dallas, the multifaceted place to explore is also home to a planetarium and an IMAX theater.