Our visit to Dallas included stops at two museums that showcased significant events that shaped our country.
George W. Bush Presidential Center
Having never visited a presidential library, we were not sure what to expect. The George W. Bush Presidential Center far exceeded our expectations.
Glass cases containing gifts given to the President and First Lady by foreign dignitaries lined both sides of the center hall as we entered the center. To the right, there was a rotating exhibit. When we were there, the theme was Liberty & Laughter: The Lighter Side of the White House. This was a fun walk through history and how humor played a role in the presidency through the years. It was really fun to see how many of our leaders had a sense of humor.
One of the most moving sections for us was the 9/11 display. From the paper timeline of the President’s day and week that followed to the sculpture made from part of the World Trade Center, the impact of this event on our nation was palpable.
We also enjoyed the replica of the Oval Office, state dinner displays, and personal life displays.
Planning Your Visit
The Center is located on the campus of Southern Methodist University in Dallas and was very easy to get to. There is parking close by, or you can park farther out and take a shuttle in.
- Monday – Saturday – 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
- Sunday – Noon – 5:00 pm
They recommend you purchase your timed tickets online for the day you wish to visit. You will be asked to provide either a printed or electronic ticket for each person.
As there are various ticket prices and variables, I would refer you to Bush Center Admission Information to plan your visit.
The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza
A visit to Dallas must include The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza. Located in the famed Texas School Book Depository building, this museum chronicles the life and tragic death of President John F. Kennedy.
As you can see from the Google image below, there are two Xs on Elm Street marking the two spots where President Kennedy was hit as his motorcade progressed along Elm Street from right to left in the picture.
We started our visit by exploring Dealey Plaza, located in front of the Texas Book Depository building. This gave us a better feel of the location and event before we went inside the museum.
Once inside, we took an elevator to the Sixth Floor Museum. This had to be one of the most moving and emotional experiences we’ve had. The museum took us through JFK’s early life, the beginning of his political career, his election to be President, and then through that fateful November day and the days that followed.
The artifacts, photographs, and recordings helped to explain what happened in graphic detail. Bravo to the curators of this museum.
Tickets and Visitor Information
Purchase your tickets ahead of time, and you can pick your entry time. This is not a large museum, and they limit the number of people so it is not too crowded. You can purchase your tickets there, but then you may have to wait to enter. There are many tour buses that visit, so we’d highly recommend getting your timed entry ticket in advance.
- Monday & Tuesday – Closed
- Wednesday – Sunday – 10 AM to 5 PM
- Adult $18
- Senior (65+) $15
- Youth (6-18) $14
- Child (0-5) Free
There is paid parking around the building. They say no oversized vehicles or buses are allowed. However, we have an F-350 dually and were able to park in the lot directly behind the Museum.
There is also public transportation. Check the local DART lines for more information.
NOTE: If you are staying out near Grapevine, the TRE (train) goes from Grapevine to Union Station (a 5-block walk from the Museum). We thought about this option but decided to drive and take our chances with traffic.
As we continue our travels around the country, we are amazed at the history all around us. Our trip to Dallas did not disappoint, and we would highly recommend these two historical experiences.
If you missed our previous posts about Dallas, check them out here:
We’re Mike & Jennifer Skinnell, and together we are The Rambling Quilter. We travel the country full-time in our 41ft. fifth-wheel pulled by our F-350 – affectionately named Beauty & The Beast. Mike still works part-time, and Jennifer writes our blog, travel articles, and contemporary fiction. Our blog is purely for entertainment purposes. However, if you’d like to support Jennifer’s writing career, her author link is below.