Sometimes, the best fun is discovering a hidden gem that tourists – and even many locals -don’t know exist. Here are 11 that may not make the travel brochures, but are worth checking out!
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life. While we continue to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, please take proper precautions or add them to your bucket list to see at a later date. If you know of a local business that could use some extra support during these times, please nominate them here:
1. The Hand Collection, Baylor University Medical Center - 3500 Gaston Ave., Dallas.
Whoever knew that hands could be so interesting? The Hand Collection is on display at Dallas' Baylor University Medical in the George W. Truett Memorial Hospital lobby. The display is open and free to the public 24-hours a day. This exhibit of more than 100 cast, bronze-coated hands is the work of Adrian Flatt, M.D., who was chief of orthopedic surgery at Baylor Dallas. He wanted to show how expressive and revealing individual hands could be.
2. Ray Charles' Dallas Home - 2642 Eugene St., South Dallas
Did you know that Ray Charles once called Dallas home in the mid-1950s? It was in this small frame home on the south side of Dallas where he composed songs, practiced, and began perfecting his distinctive sound.
3. Foucault Pendulum in Hunt Oil Building - 1900 N. Akard St., Downtown Dallas
This incredibly beautiful pendulum balances science and art as it swings over an intricate mosaic consisting of 2,600 stone pieces! The lobby where it is displayed is open to the public, and it will enrapture kids and adults alike. Make sure you refresh your memory on how the pendulum works so you can wisely explain to others about how it proves the earth is rotating right under it 🙂
4. Replica Munster Mansion - 3636 FM 813, Waxahachie
The husband and wife duo who own this home are so passionate about the 1960s "The Munsters" TV show that they made a replica of it, both indoors and out! They reside in the home full time, meaning it is not a general tourist attraction, but they open it up for special events. Gawkers are always welcome, of course.
5. Aurora Cemetery - Cemetery Road, Wise County
Was there an alien among us? The historical marker proudly tells of the legend that a spaceship crashed nearby in 1897. The pilot, who was killed in the crash, was allegedly buried here. Aurora is located about 30 miles north of Fort Worth.
6. Lakeside Park (a.k.a. Teddy Bear Park) - Lakeside Dr. and Armstrong Ave., Highland Park
Rediscover your inner child around these adorable, yet not quite cuddlesome, giant stone teddy bears. In addition to the whimsical bears, the park is filled with gorgeous waterways and trails guaranteed to put you in a youthful mood.
7. Big Rocks Park - Glen Rose
The name may not be exactly original, but it sure is accurate! What's not to like about having lots of gigantic rocks to climb on, all the while enjoying the sound of rushing water to sit and relax in?
8. Lee Harvey Oswald's Grave, Rose Hill Cemetery - 7301 E. Lancaster, Fort Worth.
Conspiracy theorists interested in President Kennedy's assassination in 1963 may like the challenge of finding Lee Harvey Oswald's simply marked grave at this expansive cemetery. Staff won't give details on the location of the marker, so plan to spend some time looking. What really has folks puzzled is the similar marker to the right of Oswald's bearing the name "Nick Beef."
9. Heritage Trails Self-Guided Walking Tour - Fort Worth
Stroll through downtown Fort Worth and learn about the city's rich history from the 25 markers located throughout the city. You can even download a map
10. The Dallas connection to Bonnie & Clyde.
Although they traveled extensively during their two-year crime spree in the 1930s, infamous criminals Bonnie and Clyde were from Dallas and returned here often, most likely to visit friends and family.
While Clyde Barrow is buried in the private Western Heights Ceremony, Bonnie Parker's gravesite is viewable in Crown Hill Cemetery, at the northeast corner of Lombardy Lane and Webb-Chapel Road.
11. Dallas Underground Walkways - Downtown Dallas
Unlike many other major cities, the underground in Dallas is relatively unknown to anyone other than downtown workers. It encompasses about 36 city blocks, with some areas below surface and others elevated in skybridges. The grids aren't well laid out or accessible, but it's kind of fun to traipse through them as in a maze, if for no real reason other than a sense of adventure!
What has been your latest hidden discovery in the city you call home? We’d love to hear about your adventures in the comments!