West End Dallas is a particularly historic part of town that caters to locals and tourists alike. Formerly a railroad and warehouse center, this historic downtown district became less relevant over time as Dallas began to move into the modern era. In the 1970s, West End was targeted for revitalization by a local developer. The historic warehouses and the other structures in the district were converted into shops and restaurants. Hotels were also added, and a variety of bars followed. Ever since the revitalization project, West End Dallas has thrived. The entertainment complex that was the West End Market Dallas, or West End Marketplace, may have closed in 2006, but there is still plenty to see and do in the district both during the day and at night.
While much of downtown Dallas gets relatively quiet once the workday ends, West End usually stays busy through the evening hours. Many visitors who come to enjoy the West End attractions during the day choose to hang around, as the nightlife is some of the best around. There are more than 25 pubs, bars, and restaurants in West End Dallas, and the bulk of them can be found where Munger Avenue meets Marker Street, or "Dallas Alley" as it is more commonly known. The bars and restaurants are relatively touristy in West End, as they primarily cater to businesspeople and tourists who are staying at the downtown hotels. The scintillating Dallas skyline provides an ideal backdrop for the West End district, especially when the sun sets and the downtown lights come on.
For those who are looking for things to do in West End Dallas during the day, there are a few main attractions that are not to be missed. The list of West End attractions includes some of the best attractions in the Dallas area, with the Sixth Floor Museum being the most renowned. This museum is dedicated to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, which occurred in West End Dallas on November 22, 1963. The infamous Texas School Book Depository building at Dealey Plaza is where the museum can be found. It is believed that Lee Harvey Oswald shot Kennedy from the School Book Depository while the President passed through Dealey Plaza in a Presidential motorcade. The plaza was named a National Historic Landmark in 1993.
For those who are especially interested in the West End attractions that revolve around the JFK Assassination, then the John Fitzgerald Kennedy Memorial is also worth adding to the agenda. This relatively simple concrete structure is dedicated to the spirit of one of America's greatest Presidents, and Dallas citizens were entirely responsible for funding its construction.
Before or after they learn about the assassination of President Kennedy in West End Dallas, visitors to the district can get a more comprehensive look at Dallas history at the Old Red Museum. Housed in a beautiful brick building, this museum offers insight into the history and culture of Dallas County.
While learning about the district's historical ties is one of the top things to do in West End Dallas, those who are traveling with younger kids might prefer a visit to the Dallas World Aquarium. This aquarium and zoo is home to a variety of fascinating creatures, including sea anemones and jellyfish. There are ten main tanks at the Dallas World Aquarium, and they offer insight into the kinds of creatures that can be found in the waters surrounding Australia, the Bahamas, and a number of other world destinations. As for the land-based creatures that are on display at this aquarium and zoo, monkeys and jaguars figure among the larger animals.
Many people who are looking to things to do in West End Dallas add a tour to the itinerary. Dealey Plaza and the events of November 22, 1963 are highlighted on West End tours, as it is hard to separate the district from the Kennedy assassination. West End tours can be guided or independent, and special cell phone tours were recently added to the list of possibilities.
While there are many fun things to do in West End Dallas, the district isn't home to a lot of hotels. Since there is a relative lack of West End hotels, travelers who want to stay close to the area will find a number of excellent hotels nearby. Both the Adolphus Hotel and the Fairmont are just a short walk away, for example, and fans of luxury hotels will also find the W Hotel in the new Victory Park development.