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1 Perfect One Day in Dallas Itinerary


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Greetings, Internet Stranger, and welcome to a perfect one day in Dallas itinerary! If Dallas, Texas is famous for one thing, it’s probably the Dallas Cowboys. But we won’t be seeing those guys today. And if Dallas is famous for two things, it’s the Dallas Cowboys and being the city where handsome President John F. Kennedy was assassinated.

Kennedy fans and conspiracy theorists come from all over the world to visit Dallas and try to learn the identity of the man (or men or women or aliens) on the Grassy Knoll. And on this one day in Dallas itinerary, we shall join them!

But that’s not all Dallas has in store for us! We’re also going to get some amazing food and see stunning art. Dallas is a city for both culture vultures and tinfoil hat wearers alike!

one day in dallas itinerary

One day in Dallas itinerary

Where to Stay?

Dallas is a fairly spread out city, so I was looking for a convenient location for my one day in Dallas itinerary, right in the heart of downtown. That’s why I opted for the Renaissance Saint Elm Dallas Downtown. It had a perfect location right in a beautiful Art Deco building in the center of Dallas’s downtown.

On top of that, the staff was super friendly, my room was modern, clean, and comfy, and it was just a short walk from the Flying Horse, where I got to have amazing coffee and kolaches for breakfast every morning. (Kolaches and coffee not included in the price of the hotel.)

One day in Dallas itinerary

If you want a great deal on this hotel, click here. And if you’d rather explore great deals on almost 1000 other hotels in Dallas, click here. This search engine will help you find the most affordable and convenient hotel during your one day in Dallas itinerary

One day in Dallas itinerary

24 Hours in Dallas

Shopping List

  • An excellent small cell charger so you can keep taking pictures of your One day in Dallas itinerary
  • My favorite guide to Texas, including Dallas
  • My book Get Lost, that I wrote myself with all my best travel tips. This book will show you exactly how solo travel can take your life from BLAH to amazing!
  • Want to learn how I saved enough money to travel 16 weeks a year? Check out my top secret How to Afford Travel digital system.
  • I always travel with travel insurance from World Nomads. You never know when something might go wrong, especially in this day and age. But with travel insurance, you’re protected even if you’re attacked by the CIA collaborating with the KGB during your One day in Dallas itinerary
one day in dallas itinerary

One Day in Dallas Itinerary

Morning: Kennedy Assassination Tour

We begin our one day in Dallas itinerary with a fabulous driving tour of just about every sight in Dallas connected to the Kennedy assassination. Even if you aren’t obsessed with Kennedy, this tour will grab your attention and teach you facts (and legends) about JFKs tragic death that you never knew existed.

You can book this tour for yourself easily by clicking here. Our guide said that though his company offers many driving tours of Dallas, this tour is the most popular. “Always has been, always will be.” I don’t want to spoil all the secrets of the tour, but I will give you a taste of what to expect with…

Approximately Top 5: Kennedy in Dallas

one day in dallas itinerary
1) Kennedy Memorial

Our one day in Dallas itinerary begins with this extremely odd looking memorial to John Fitzgerald Kennedy. It was quite controversial in Dallas when it was first unveiled, and many people hate it to this day.

But our guide said that Jackie Kennedy approved the design herself because it was created by a family friend. It perfectly expresses Jackie’s negative emotions and anger about her husband’s murder. Though she traveled all over the world with her second husband, Aristotle Onassis, she never returned to Dallas again.

one day in dallas itinerary
2) Dealey Plaza

Or more specifically, this road exiting Dealey Plaza, which is where JFK was shot and killed. The official story is that Kennedy was shot by Lee Harvey Oswald, who was murdered by a local nightclub owner named Jack Ruby before he could go to trial. (FWIW, I still believe Oswald acted alone. I’m not a conspiracy theorist! But my guide didn’t think Oswald acted alone, and I still enjoyed the tour a lot.)

Oswald fired his shots from the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository, just a short distance away. You can see the Xs on the road where the shots hit their targets. The Governor of Texas, John Connally, was also hit, but he survived. His wife was the person who famously spoke the last words ever spoken to JFK, “Mr. President, you can’t say Dallas doesn’t love you.”

one day in dallas itinerary

However, some people on that day claimed to have seen a gunman from a nearby grassy knoll, and some to this day think that there were “real” assassins hiding on the knoll. On the tour, we got to go to the very knoll itself and take pictures.

There’s absolutely nothing beautiful or interesting about the knoll, but it was still exciting to walk on a place that’s been so talked about in countless books and movies. For a few minutes, I felt like I was starring in a Hollywood political thriller myself.

one day in dallas itinerary
3) Oswald Rooming House

Next, we went to the small rooming house where Lee Harvey Oswald was staying when Kennedy was assassinated. Oswald was a communist who had lived in Russia for a while, and while he was in Russia, he met his future wife, a Russian woman named Marina. But their marriage was on the rocks at this point, and she was living with a friend nearby while he stayed in this inexpensive rooming house.

The owner of the house does ask that people not take photos for public consumption inside, so I am respecting her wishes and not publishing any on this blog. You’ll have to take the tour yourself to see what Oswald’s room looked like. (Spoiler! It was super small and plain.)

one day in dallas itinerary
4) Texas Theatre

OK, so after assassinating the president of the United States, Lee Harvey Oswald had ONE. CRAZY. DAY. He went back to his boarding house and got a gun, and then headed off to a bizarre corner in the middle of nowhere where he then shot and killed a police officer named JD Tippit who approached him. (There is a plaque marking the spot where Officer Tippit was gunned down.)

Next, Oswald tried to escape by running into the Texas Theatre, which you see above you. He was apprehending by a police officer here, even though Oswald punched the officer while trying to escape. The officer always said that he was glad he didn’t shoot and kill Oswald because then the police wouldn’t have had a chance to interview him.

one day in dallas itinerary

Also, this is just a gorgeous old-fashioned movie palace. Texas seems to have them all over the state, so I suggest checking out as many as you possibly can. The main reason it looks so nice is that Oliver Stone paid to have it renovated when he came to Dallas to shoot the movie JFK. Stone seems kind of like a weird dude, but I have to respect him for that.

one day in dallas itinerary
5) The Sixth Floor Museum

The tour ends at the Sixth Floor Museum, which is a must-see during your one day in Dallas itinerary. Your guide will help you get checked into the museum and then leave you here. This museum is actually located in the Texas School Book Depository where Oswald was working.

He shot Kennedy from a window on the sixth floor of the museum. (I took the above photo from that window, so you can see exactly what Oswald would have seen on that day. Creepy!)

one day in dallas itinerary

The Sixth Floor Museum also has exhibits on Kennedy’s presidency, the aftermath of the assassination, and the Warren Commission, which was the commission charged with determining whether or not Oswald had acted alone. (They decided that he had.)

Also, future president Gerald Ford was on this committee, so that definitely seems suspicious. I mean, he was the only president who was never elected.

The Sixth Floor Museum is a small museum, but well worth your time. Where else can you see Lee Harvey Oswald’s Soviet wedding ring?

one day in dallas itinerary

Once again, creepy!

one day in dallas itinerary

One Day in Dallas Itinerary

Afternoon: Dallas Museum of Art

Some people think people in Dallas only care about sports, but this is not true. There are literally dozens of fine art fans in Dallas, and I can prove it. The Dallas Museum of Art is one of the biggest art museums in the country–of course it is because we’re in Texas–and it’s the perfect place to spend your afternoon on your one day in Dallas itinerary.

I loved my afternoon at this fine art establishment, and I can’t wait to show you my favorite pieces. But first, lunch!

one day in dallas itinerary
24 Hour Treat: Miriam Cocina

It’s definitely going to be about that time on your one day in Dallas itinerary when you can expect to get hungry. Fortunately, there’s a great Mexican-Dominican restaurant in between the Sixth Floor Museum and the Dallas Museum of Art called Miriam Cocina.

I suggest getting the combination platter number 5, which comes with a chicken mole enchilada and a brisket taco. Nothing says Texas like a brisket taco! The meat was moist, and the flavors were bold but not too spicy. This kind of dish is exactly what comes to my mind when I think of HQ Tex Mex.

one day in dallas itinerary

Miriam Cocina also has great cocktails like the Batey, which is like a fancier, creamier pina colada. And hey, there’s fruit in it, which means it’s healthy and very appropriate to have with your lunch, no?

Now that you’re nice and fed, just step on over to the museum and get ready for:

Three Fun Facts: Dallas Museum of Art

one day in dallas itinerary
1) Is It All Western Art?

Absolutely not! The Dallas Museum of Art has fantastic art from all over the world. Here we can see a set of scrolls from Japanese depicting two “mad monks” who speak to each other in a language only they can understand. These monks were widely admired for shutting out the outside world and only listening to the voices inside their head. Honestly, same.

one day in dallas itinerary

Please be aware of a possible monkey on the loose in the Indonesian art collection. He didn’t jump on my head when I walked by because I kept looking at him in the eye like an alpha monkey. You do the same and you should be fine.

one day in dallas itinerary

Now, feast your eyes on this intricate two-faced guardian figure from Gabon. I don’t mean to use the word two-faced as an insult. The statue is literally two-faced. See!

one day in dallas itinerary

In its spare time, this guardian statue moonlights as the District Attorney for Gotham City.

one day in dallas itinerary

The Indian art collection is especially impressive. I saw Ganesha statues all over India during my travels there, but I never saw one that had this radiant dark color. (Apparently it’s made from black schist, which I assume makes this Ganesha so somber and luminous.)

one day in dallas itinerary
2) What About American Artists?

We’ve not only got American artists, we’ve got Texan artists! Look at this church at the crossroads by Charles T. Bowling. Something about this painting just screams America to me–except there’s no people in it. PS. Charles T. Bowling is a perfect name for a Texan.

one day in dallas itinerary

We’ve also got more famous American artists like Georgia O’Keeffe. O’Keeffe claimed that these were paintings of clam shells. I…am not going to say what I think they look like because this is a family blog. But I think Sigmund Freud might have some different thoughts about this.

one day in dallas itinerary

Feel like smiling? Then check out this painting of a Dutch girl laughing by Robert Henri. All of the Henri paintings I have seen are of blurry children laughing. That’s nice to find a pleasant, non-controversial subject you enjoy painting about. Has anyone ever gotten mad about seeing a little kid smile?

one day in dallas itinerary

This is my favorite painting in the entire museum. What in God’s name is being done to this poor cat? Please rescue him!

one day in dallas itinerary
3) What About European Art?

We’ve got that too! The European collection at the Dallas Museum of Art is on the younger side, so most of the pieces I saw were from the 19th and 20th centuries. Here we have a bugler by Edouard Manet. You can tell he’s really French because his colors are red, white, and blue.

one day in dallas itinerary

If you’re looking for something a little more autumnal, we have these muted rooftops from Cezanne. I dig that this painting looks kind of unfinished. I can’t tell if it was intended to look that way or if Cezanne was poisoned with curare while painting it by a jealous husband and never had time to finish. (Not sure at all that this was the way Cezanne died, but I don’t feel like looking it up.)

one day in dallas itinerary

My favorite piece of European art in the gallery is “Persian Letters” by Belgian artist Rene Magritte. OMG, so many questions! How are those pants standing up on the table by themselves? Why don’t they have any feet? Is there a ghost inside the pants–but a ghost would still have invisible feet. Also, why is this painting called “Persian Letters” when there’s nothing Persian in the painting, and I don’t see any letters.

You know how people sometimes ask if you could invite three people, living or dead, to a dinner party, who would they be? Well, for me Magritte would be one of those people so I could get him on the record about these topics.

one day in dallas itinerary

One Day in Dallas Itinerary

Evening: Dinner at Petra and the Beast

It’s time for dinner on our one day in Dallas itinerary, and I know just the place. Petra and the Beast is one of the coolest restaurants in Dallas. It’s a small place and they don’t take reservations, but I was able to be seated on a Wednesday with no trouble at all.

The restaurant specializes in unusual cuts of meat and fascinating types of pasta, so I suggest trying both when you are there. For my appetizer, I had pig tails with nardello peppers and ham and seed “chorizo”. I gather that the pig tails are usually on the menu, but prepared in different ways. They were so spicy and crunchy and fatty and just burst in your mouth! I had no idea a pig tail could be so pleasurable!

one day in dallas itinerary

For the pasta course, I went with my waitress’s suggestion and ordered the chevre triangoli pasta. These delicate stuffed pasts were a perfect mild pairing with the sour crunchy beans and summer vegetables mole. I had never thought of doing a summer vegetable mole either, but it managed to be both rich and seasonal! The world is full of such wonders.

one day in dallas itinerary

There was only one dessert on the menu on my one day in Dallas itinerary: a caramel chocolate tart covered in butterscotch cream. You can’t even really see the tart in my photo, but it was there! The tart was extremely dense and rich, though it was almost hidden in a cloud. I’ve never seen a tart under cream before. How does it not get soggy?

The end of my meal was especially delightful because I was seated next to some ladies who were friends with the executive chef and they introduced me at the end of the meal. I can’t promise this will happen to your during your one day in Dallas itinerary…but I can’t promise it won’t happen!

one day in dallas itinerary

One Day in Dallas Itinerary

How to Get There?

By Car: This is an easy way to get to your 24 hours in Dallas, if you are coming from somewhere else in Texas. You can drive here easily from Houston or other major Texan cities.

However, I don’t know how to drive, so this wasn’t an option for me. Fortunately Uber is widely available in Dallas. If you need to rent a car, you can use the search engine Expedia to find the best price from the available car rental companies.

one day in dallas itinerary

By Plane: Fortunately, there is an airport in Dallas! In fact, there’s more than one, but you’ll probably be flying into the Dallas/Fort Worth Airport. Since I live in New York City and don’t know how to drive, I found that flying was the easiest way to get to Dallas. (Again, I recommend using a search engine like Expedia to search for the best prices on flights.)

By Bus: You can use the Megabus to get to Dallas from nearby cities like Houston. It’s a pretty cheap ride–if you are car-free and coming from a fairly nearby destination, this might be the way for you. I didn’t use the bus to get to Dallas, but I did use the bus to get from Dallas to Houston, and it worked perfectly.

one day in dallas itinerary

That’s a Perfect One Day in Dallas Itinerary!

What would you do with a one day in Dallas itinerary? Does Robert Henri only paint laughing children? Have you ever found pleasure in a pig tail? Please email me at [email protected] and let me know!

Note: If you want to know how I put my travel itineraries together, just click here. Keep in mind that while each article is about how to spend 24 hours in a place, that doesn’t mean you should ONLY have a one day in Dallas itinerary

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