The 95-acre Dallas Zoo is recognized as the largest zoological park in the state, featuring the Wilds of Africa, Zoo North and Lacerte Family Children’s Zoo. The Dallas Zoological Society operates the zoo, as well as the Children’s Aquarium at Fair Park.
The Cedar Ridge Preserve, formerly the Dallas Nature Center, is a natural habitat spanning 633 acres and featuring 10 miles of hiking trails; picnic areas; butterfly gardens; native flora; and a host of wild animals, birds, insects and reptiles. Visitors also enjoy various programs, including educational seminars and workshops as well as nature walks.
Twelve Hills Nature Center is an urban preserve located in North Oak Cliff. It serves as an outdoor classroom for the adjacent Rosemont Elementary and also as a passive recreational area for the neighborhood. Twelve Hills Nature Center seeks to educate both adults and children about environmental stewardship and community-building through the grassroots creation and maintenance of a native Texas blackland prairie and small wetland.
For the athlete and sports enthusiast, Dallas is home to several professional sports teams, including the Dallas Stars (NHL), Texas Rangers (MLB), Dallas Mavericks (NBA), Dallas Cowboys (NFL) and FC Dallas (MLS). The Texas Motor Speedway is also in the area and stands as one of the most modern tracks in the world, as well as one of the largest sports and entertainment facilities in the nation. The complex offers an event nearly every day of the year, including the NASCAR Sprint Cup, Nationwide Series, Craftsman Truck Series and the Indy Car Series.
Dallas is recognized as the No. 1 shopping destination in the state, hosting a number of internationally known specialty stores, unique boutiques and antique shops, premier shopping malls and much more. The year-round warm weather promotes outdoor shopping opportunities through the historic Bishop Arts District and the original Downtown Oak Cliff. Downtown has experienced rejuvenation in recent years with the addition of new businesses ready to serve the area’s growing residential and commercial population.
Located in the southern portion of Oak Cliff, Southwest Center Mall offers a variety of small retailers anchored by Macy’s, Sears and Burlington Coat Factory. Once the premier retail center of the 1950s, Wynnewood Shopping Center still serves the major shopping needs of area consumers. Other local retail sites include Pinnacle Park, the new Sierra Vista Plaza, the famed Big T Shopping Plaza and Motown Plaza.
A day of taking in the sights can certainly work up an appetite. Fortunately, the Oak Cliff community is spotted with an appealing assortment of dining establishments, including a host of local restaurants that have garnered recognition among some of the best in Dallas—notably La Calle Doce, Bolsa and Luckie’s Smokehouse. The Bishop Arts District is lined with culinary favorites as well, such as Hattie’s and Zen Sushi. No matter what your appetite craves, Oak Cliff is sure to have a dish to satisfy. Fresh seafood, prime steaks and savory barbeque menus please diners—and with the area’s vibrant Hispanic population, Mexican and Latin American cuisine reigns supreme.