Walking Tour: Downtown Dallas

  • Start Sixth Floor Museum
  • End Dallas Farmers Market
  • Length 1.4 miles; three hours

Begin your walk indoors at the Sixth Floor Museum, where you can learn all about the events of November 22, 1963 when President John F Kennedy was shot by Lee Harvey Oswald from this building. Notice just how close the fateful window is to the X painted on Elm St where the bullets struck Kennedy.

Now head outside to Dealey Plaza. You can’t help but be struck by how small it is. All the images from that day make it seem like one vast expanse, rather than the intimate park that it really is. Note how close the Grassy Knoll is to the X.

Should you want to discuss theories about what happened that day, there are always conspiracy theorists and others with books to sell ready to share their views.

Otherwise, walk south along the top of the plaza, past the restored fountains. Turn east on Commerce St and get a dose of Dallas’ other history at the Old Red Museum. Cut across Founders Plaza, where a much-moved and much-restored 1850s cedar cabin gives a little idea of how the early pioneers lived. Better yet, prance through the water jets in the pavement for a cooling splash.

Head south across Main St to the enigmatic John F Kennedy Memorial. Read the signs explaining the design and see if it makes sense to you. Walk south on S Market St for three blocks and turn east on Young St. You can’t miss the Pegasus Sign, a red neon icon for Dallas that has ended up on a rather stumpy pedestal (it used to be on a skyscraper).

Continue on Young St for another block and you’ll see a herd of bronze longhorns looming down on you at Pioneer Plaza. Wander uphill through the naturalistic setting and pause among the old trees and even older tombstones of the Pioneer Cemetery.

Keep going west for five blocks along Marilla St for your final reward: the shops, food and refreshments of the Dallas Farmers Market.