Where you’ll really strike oil and see cowboys
That Dallas that’s portrayed in “Dallas”? The one with the oil wells and cowboy hat-wearing people and all? That’s not really Dallas. But here’s where you’ll find all that:
Cowboys and cowboy hats: Cowtown. That would be Fort Worth. Visit the Stockyard District (fortworthstockyards.org) for daily trail drives down the street (at 11:30 a.m. and 4 p.m.) as well as plenty of stores in which to buy a cowboy hat.
Once you have the hat, please do not wear it to business meetings in Dallas or inside Cowboy Stadium. People will look at you like you’re a loon. You may wear your hat walking around the Fort Worth Stockyards as much as you like, though.
You may also wear it in Bandera, where you’ll find plenty of dude ranches as well as more places to buy cowboy hats. Check it out at banderacowboycapital.com.
Cowgirls: As you know, few Texas women actually tuck their jeans into cowboy boots. For a look at many who do, visit the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame (cowgirl.net), 1720 Gendy St. in Fort Worth’s Museum District. To be honest, many of the women in the Hall of Fame (such as Sandra Day O’Connor) are cowgirls only in the philosophical sense and aren’t known for jeans-wearing at all. But Dale Evans surely was. Admission is $10; $8 for seniors and children.
Gushing oil well: This happens on designated days at the Spindletop Gladys City Boomtown Museum (spindletop.org) in Beaumont, which is a re-creation of a wildcatter town honoring the history of Texas’ key gusher. It includes a replica well that gushes forth from time to time. It was scheduled to gush again at 4 p.m. June 9 during the attraction’s Wildcatter Weekend. The museum complex is off U.S. 69 on the Lamar University campus. Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for seniors and $2 for kids.
Working oil rigs: By far the most productive oil area is the Permian Basin in West Texas. The Texas Railroad Commission says this part of Texas produced 282 million barrels of the stuff in 2011. You’ll also see the rigs in the Panhandle, South Texas, the Plains ... pretty much everywhere but the Dallas area.
Oil platform: You don’t see one of these in the TV series, but you can actually see and visit one in Galveston. Ocean Star Offshore Drilling Rig & Museum offers a self-guided tour of a retired rig at 1900 Harborside Drive. Admission is $8 for adults, $5 for seniors and students 7 to 18, and free for kids 6 and younger. Find out more at oceanstaroec.com.
Cows: OK, these really are all over the place – even across the street from Southfork itself. Can’t miss ’em.