In Dallas, size matters. For real. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that many of the most surreal places in the city are the ones that boast some type of larger-than-life element.

After all, it’s not called the Big D for nothing. Here’s a super-sized list of the big and bizarre, the bold and the beautiful. You'll hardly believe your eyes.

Old Red Museum

Where: 100 S. Houston St.

@traankiembedded via  

The stately magnificence of this late 19th-century building, topped with wyverns (gargoyle-like serpents), is only matched by its interiors. A brightly glowing Pegasus graces the museum’s first floor and was originally built for the 1939 World’s Fair in New York City. And, there’s a vault, too.

@travelisa_embedded via  

@spookybrunaembedded via  

Five Sixty by Wolfgang Puck at Reunion Tower

Where: 300 Reunion Blvd. East

@fivesixtydallasembedded via  

The big ball in the sky is iconic to Dallas. But, what makes it really surreal is a trip 50 stories up to Five Sixty restaurant, where the room slowly revolves for a true 360-degree dining experience. The modern Asian cuisine is pretty stellar, too.

@fivesixtydallasembedded via  

AT&T Stadium

Where: One AT&T Way, Arlington

@thejoshelkinembedded via  

The world’s largest domed structure with the world’s largest indoor screen, this stadium is a testament to the Dallas Cowboys football empire. But, there’s way more than just turf wars here. One of the most unique features of the place is its collection of museum-quality contemporary art, which enhances the iconic architecture of the building. You can see it all — including VIP access to the field and the Cowboys and Cheerleaders locker rooms — on a guided tour.

@christian_bulgerembedded via  

DeGolyer House

Where: Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Gardens, 8525 Garland Rd.

@iamindependentevilembedded via  

It’s definitely worth looking up at the DeGolyer House at the Dallas Arboretum. The restoration of the iconic 1930s home is stunning, with plaster ceiling tiles that were installed individually in 1939.

@emilysummersdesignembedded via  

The Texas Woofus

Where: Fair Park, 1300 Robert B. Cullum Blvd.

@reedw98embedded via  

This mythological chimera is composed of an impressive mashup of Texas livestock including the mane and neck of a horse, a turkey tail, pig body, duck wings, a sheep’s head, and of course, a pair of Texas longhorns. 

Teddy Bear Park

Where: 4601 Lakeside Dr.

@laneyatbpembedded via  

The cuteness is so surreal here. The Turtle Creek haven (a.k.a. Lakeside Park) is exceptionally landscaped with gorgeous waterways and lush greenery. But, it’s the whimsical, larger-than-life stone teddy bears that are the biggest deal.

Lone Star Gas Lofts

Where: 300 S. St. Paul

@roxylaakeembedded via  

The resplendent Lone Star Gas Company Building is a 13-story Art Deco showpiece with rich street entrances bearing ornate light fixtures and an elaborately appointed lobby.

@stagethymeembedded via  

Cedar Ridge Preserve

Where: 7171 Mountain Creek Pkwy.

@erzylopezembedded via  

It’s more nature than you thought possible — and at an elevation of 633 feet, the views (and sunsets) are pretty sublime. You’d almost think you’re in the Texas Hill Country. With a natural habitat of 600 acres featuring nine miles of trails, native trees, grasses and wildflowers, butterfly gardens, picnic areas and wildlife, it’s a jungle (well, more like a forest) out there.  

@daniellegalvan1embedded via  

State Fair of Texas

Where: Fair Park, 1300 Robert B. Cullum Blvd.

@dark.knight.photographyembedded via  

What makes the State Fair so surreal? Could it be the creepy-cool, gigantic Big Tex that bellows “Howdy folks” all day long. Or, perhaps the mega-lit Midway. Or, maybe it’s just all the things that get deep-fried — from bacon to brisket to bubblegum — along with new foodie inventions like cotton candy tacos. At 24 consecutive days from late September to mid-October, the State Fair of Texas is the longest-running fair in the nation, as well as one of the largest.

@oimeetsworldembedded via  

@jamesgarnertxembedded via  

@camatkinsembedded via  

Bachman Lake Park

Where: 3500 W. Northwest Hwy.

@mostpermileembedded via  

Sure, the water is pretty. But, what’s most surreal about this city park is how close the airplanes glide over the southern bank of the lake upon takeoff and landing at the nearby Love Field Airport.

The Eye at The Joule

Where: 1530 Main St.

@dd_danieldrienskyembedded via  

The eye has it — at least downtown. The signature 30-foot-tall eyeball sculpture by artist Tony Tasset is kinda weird and kinda cool — and kinda always staring at you.

@thejouledallasembedded via  

@downtown_dallasembedded via  

GeO-Deck at Reunion Tower

Where: 300 Reunion Blvd. East

@downtown_dallasembedded via  

At 470 feet in the air, the GeO-Deck will have you on cloud nine with breathtaking 360-degree panoramic views of the city along with HD zoom cameras, telescopes, and an indoor/outdoor observation deck. But, what’s really staggering is the Reunion Tower Constellation project that allows you to create a virtual star and leave your mark.

@adriana.zeneliembedded via  

The Traveling Man

Where: 2605 Elm St.

@traveltexembedded via  

Dallas does the “robot” with this 38-feet-tall sculpture by local artist Brad Oldham — it’s like Dallas’ version of Oz’s Tin Man.

A Woman’s Garden

Where: Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Gardens, 8525 Garland Rd.

@kimmy.engen03embedded via  

Impossibly serene, this au naturel wonder at the Dallas Arboretum features several enchanting outdoor rooms, a sunken garden of roses, and a Majestic Allee with an infinity reflecting pool that directs the eye towards White Rock Lake.

@ianaberleembedded via  

Fort Worth Water Gardens

1502 Commerce St., Fort Worth

@visitfortworthembedded via  

This fantastical place was featured in the 1976 post-apocalyptic film, Logan’s Run. So, it just had to make the cut — even though it is in Fort Worth, not Dallas. The watery oasis is worth the short road trip, though, as it’s really an architectural and engineering marvel designed by architect Philip Johnson.

@im0tiv8embedded via  

Nasher Sculpture Center Garden

Where: 2001 Flora St.

@nashersculpturecenterembedded via  

A sanctuary in the Dallas Arts District, the sculpture garden is pretty magical from all angles.

@anniejinnyembedded via  

@melbobanembedded via  

Sablon Chocolate Lounge

Where: 3839 McKinney Ave., Ste. 157

@brandondoesdallasembedded via  

You won’t believe your “heart eyes” at this decadent lounge. The impossibly gigantic, cake-topped Grand Chocshakes are nothing short of #foodporn. 

The Joule Pool

Where: 1530 Main St.

@thejouledallasembedded via  

With a unique 8-foot cantilevered addition that juts out over Main Street below, this rooftop deck gives all new meaning to “hanging out at the pool.”

@boutiquehotelswwembedded via  

Southfork Ranch

Where: 3700 Hogge Dr., Parker

@perelapicaembedded via  

Quite possibly the world’s most famous ranch, this place will be more surreal to you if you saw it in the hit TV series, Dallas — either the original from a few decades ago or the continuation of the series on TNT.

Thanks-Giving Square

Where: 1627 Pacific Ave.

@zaccrainembedded via  

A moment of wonder in the heart of the concrete jungle, this architectural gem designed by Philip Johnson opened in 1976 as a common ground sanctuary with the universal concept of thanksgiving. It’s a surreally good thing.

@joshdillllllembedded via  

Glory Window

Where: 1627 Pacific Ave.

@sabordallasembedded via  

This spiraling Chapel of Thanksgiving is in Thanks-Giving Square, but it deserves its own listing if for no other reason than the Glory Window, which is one of the largest horizontally mounted stained-glass pieces in the world — and a gorgeous kaleidoscope of colors.

@_king_photo354embedded via  

Fair Park

Where: 1300 Robert B. Cullum Blvd.

@andrew.smith.photoembedded via  

Home to an impressively large collection of 1930s Art Deco architecture, these 277 acres are largely ignored outside of the State Fair of Texas. But, the national historic landmark is no less wonder-inducing as a result and remains as the only intact and unaltered pre-1950s world fair site in the U.S.

@leahinthecosmosembedded via  

@fairparktxembedded via  

Six Flags Over Texas

Where: 2201 Road to Six Flags, Arlington

@rollercoasterandmoreembedded via  

The Thrill Capital of Texas is a whopping 212-acre theme park with an adrenaline-rush of gyroscopic and futuristic rides like the Harley Quinn Spinsanity, Riddler Revenge, and Texas Sky Screamer.

@moisesortizzzembedded via  

@marilyn.inzunzaembedded via  

Dealey Plaza and John F. Kennedy Memorial

Where: 411 Elm St.

@city.of.dallastxembedded via  

The X marks the spot where President John F. Kennedy was assassinated, and that’s what makes this place so surreal — albeit not in a positive way. Now, the plaza in downtown serves as a city park with the neighboring memorial open for daily public viewing.

@kevinyesuembedded via  


Where: 2323 Ross Ave.

@kenziexhitzembedded via  

This experiential destination is in the center of the world-renowned Dallas Arts District and includes a number of artsy things to see including KPMG Plaza boasting Richard Long’s Dallas Rag, a “China clay mud circle” commissioned specifically for the 43′ by 30′ wall and created in situ by the renowned British artist.

@hallartsdallasembedded via  

@brianisaugustembedded via  

@earlthephotographerembedded via  

Prairie Creek Park Waterfalls

Where: 2400 W. Prairie Creek Dr., Richardson

@mabelthaiembedded via  

Waterfalls have an inherent magic. And, even though these falls are pint-sized, they still create a refreshing oasis.

The Museum of Geometric and MADI Art

Where: 3109 Carlisle St.

@emilyscott31embedded via  

The artsy funhouse is the only museum dedicated to MADI art, which is an international abstract art style that relies on geometric shapes, vibrant colors, and viewer interaction.

@hanlon_millerembedded via  

@k.marshallembedded via  

Dragon Park

Where: 3520 Cedar Springs Rd.

@dianasecret89embedded via  

It’s kind of like you stepped into a secret fairy tale at this tiny park in Oak Lawn. There’s a fantasy collection of statues — think angels, fairies, gargoyles, and, of course, dragons.

@overa_photographyembedded via  

Texas Discovery Gardens

Where: 3601 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. (Fair Park Gate 6)

@stolentartsembedded via  

Float like a butterfly at this hidden reprieve in the city. It is a beautiful nature escape with 7.5 acres of gardens and a two-story butterfly house.

@sikzlolembedded via  

Dallas Heritage Village

Where: 1515 S. Harwood St.

@dallasadventureembedded via  

The history of this place is unreal. You’ll be flung back in time at this site that’s home to the largest collection of 19th-century commercial buildings and Victorian homes in Texas — perhaps even a few haunted ones. The Millermore Mansion is said to be inhabited by an unidentified lady ghost.

@mmcalica10embedded via  


Where: 2401 Victory Park Ln.

@itsugarembedded via  

Five-and-a-half pounds of Marshmallow Madness. Enough said. Okay, we’ll say more. How about mega-sized Nerds, Starbust, Snickers, Sour Patch Kids, and too many more to list. Sugar high: Found — at this sweet stop in Victory Park.

@itsugarembedded via  

@itsugarembedded via  

Start the Conversation
Account Settings
Log Out