Southfork Ranch Parker Reviews
5 stars if you are fan of the TV show, 1 star if you are not Sep 27, 2013
Used in the TV show of the same name as the city that it took place in, Southfork is the name of the ranch that was used in the TV show, “Dallas”. I wrote a little history about the TV show in the blog. There are 2 versions of it, one being the original, and the other being the continuation of the original after 20 years.
Actually located in the town of Parker, which is north of Dallas, you will more likely, need a car to get there. The ranch is located in a rural area, and there are not enough outside signs to indicate where it is, so it can be hard to find. And the other thing, is finding the right entrance that takes you to the visitor center. I don’t remember which one it was.
The visitor center is a gift shop and museum, and also where you pay admission for the museum and the tour of the mansion. Fans of the TV show will definitely want to check both out.
The museum is definitely something to do while waiting for the next tour. It contains props from the TV show, like Lucy’s bridal dress or the gun used to shoot JR, as well as other things. You can also get a photo taken with the Dallas sign in the background, but that costs extra. Plus a nice little memorial to Larry Hagman, who played JR in the show, and recently passed away.
The tour starts at the museum, where one gets on a tram, and gets shown around some parts of the ranch. Then when arriving at the Ewing Mansion, you go inside, and given a tour of the different rooms, belonging to different characters from the TV show. The mansion and the swimming pool are a lot smaller than what was shown in the TV show, and space can be tight at times.
Still, it was a nice place to look around. The paintings of each character looked nice, and the tour guide gave an interesting history of the mansion itself, which once belonged to a real family. That family had to move out once it was known where the TV show was filmed.
After the tour, you can head into another gift shop, where there is a display of the Cadillac, belonging to Jock Ewing. Plus you can try on some cowboy hats. And a restaurant nearby, but I did not eat there.
Overall, it was a nice visit, and worth the time. But have to say, if you never heard of the TV show, or never cared for it, then definitely skip it. But if you are a fan of either version of “Dallas”, then definitely check it out.
Part of the USA - Texas 2013 travel blog
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Site Location of the TV Show "DALLAS" Nov 05, 2009
If you are a fan of "Dallas" the TV drama which was a big hit in the late 1970's through the late 1980's you will love this! The first episode of Dallas aired on April 2, 1978 as a five part miniseries. And soon became an instant hit.
Dallas entertained us with such characters as JR Ewing, Sue Ellen Ewing, Ellie Ewing Farlow, Jock Ewing, Ray Krebbs, Donna Cluver Krebbs, Willard 'Digger' Barnes, Rebecca Barnes Wentworth, Pamela Ewing, Cliff Barnes, Lucy Ewing Cooper, Jenna Wade Krebbs, Pamela Barnes Ewing, Bobby Ewing, Claton Farlow, Jenna Wade, Sly Lovegren... just to name a few.
Wow. I was just a kid when this show aired and I clearly remember the excitement and hype over the night "Who Shot JR?" I decided to visit the Ranch because of the historical, classic, slice of Texas that comes with the setting, and the glamour of Hollywood. I thought to myself, "how can I live in Dallas, and not visit Southfork? "
Admission is $10.00, and if you are a AAA Member they honor a 10% discount. They give you a tour of the grounds, where you are able to see over 300+ Acres of land. You take a ride on a tram from the entrance pass stable areas, gift shop, and deli. Once you have arrived at the home, then you are allowed to take a self-guided tour throughout the home. (You introduced to the history of the home, and the 3 owners.) And then you are allowed to roam free through the mansion.
The home is well preserved, and remolded. There are a few changes made here and there, but the spirit of the decor remains. I remember seeing the famous living room, kitchen, and I was really drawn to the balcony, JR's bedroom, bathroom (gorgeous!) and of course the pool. The interior is elegant, traditional, and preserves that "Texas Cowboy" style.
They have a conference center where they hold lectures and events; as a matter of fact Frito Lay Co. was having an event and guided tour of the Ranch at the same time I was there. The guided tours are daily, there is a western themed Visitor center, a Dallas Legends Exhibit, Miss Elllie's Deli, and a shopping if you would like to pick up a few things from the show (or) the region.
While taking the tour I could hear fans exchange memories of clips from the show, and conversations the characters exchanged over dinner, in the pool and on the balcony. I then began to think about dialog between my grandmother, mother, father, and sisters which took me back. Ahhhh... those were the days. :D
They have facilities available to the public such as: ten ballrooms, western themed events, rodeo arenas, weddings can be held there, motor coaches, and a Southfork Hotel.
If you are a true fan of the show, this will be such a treat. The tour lasts for approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour, and a wonderful place to add to the list when you are visiting Dallas.