Live Like a Ewing: Inside Dallas’ Southfork Ranch

Ewing Mansion was the iconic fictional home of the "Dallas" TV series.
Ewing Mansion was the iconic fictional home of the "Dallas" TV series. | © Southfork Ranch
Photo of Alex Temblador
5 June 2018

It was 40 years ago that the original series of Dallas first aired, introducing the world to the drama-loving Ewing family and their vast oil fortune. While the TV series that left the world wondering “who shot J.R.?” ended in 1991, your memories of the show can live on with a visit to the Ewing’s fictional mansion at the real-life Southfork Ranch.

Tour the Dallas set

Nested on 357 acres of ranch land about 35 minutes north of Downtown Dallas, Southfork Ranch and Event Center is the prime location of the Dallas set and home to the famous Ewing Mansion. One of the best ways to explore Southfork is to take a tour, which is free for children under 5 and $15 for adults. Tours are available year round (except Thanksgiving and Christmas Day) and run every 30–45 minutes. The tours leave from the Visitor Center by tram, which takes you on a lovely path, with views of horses and Texas longhorns, to the Ewing Mansion. Once at the Ewing Mansion, tour guides provide information about Southfork Ranch and insight about the filming of Dallas. Visitors can marvel over memorabilia like the gun that shot J.R. and Lucy’s wedding dress. After the tour, you can freely walk through the ranch grounds, taking as many pictures as your camera can hold.

Touring the inside of the Ewing Mansion at Southfork Ranch is a great Dallas experience. | © Southfork Ranch

Have a Western dining experience and eat like a cowboy

When visiting Southfork Ranch, you’ll be glad to know that Miss Ellie’s Deli is open on-site with sandwiches and snacks to satisfy your food cravings after an insightful tour of the Ewing Mansion. However, for a more engaging dining experience with a large group of friends or family, book the Chuckwagon Dinner. The dinner includes a guided tour of Southfork Ranch, as well as dinner, cowboys singing campfire songs, and ranch hands telling cowfolk stories and reciting cowboy poetry. It’s a true Western experience that’s sure to make for a memorable night.

Go horseback riding across the grounds

Dive deep into the Dallas culture by riding horses on the trails at Southfork. There are five slots per day for trail rides through Southfork Ranch, offering a breathtaking and unique experience. If you’re not comfortable atop a horse, consider a one-hour riding lesson from wranglers at Southfork Ranch. You’ll learn all the ins and outs of riding a horse so that in no time, you’ll be able to ride a horse like a true Ewing.

Visitors to Southfork Ranch can ride horses along trails or take horseback riding lessons. | © Southfork Ranch

Pick up some Dallas souvenirs

Before you leave the Southfork Ranch, be sure to shop. There are two retail shops, one of which has Dallas-inspired apparel, décor, or accessories, and another that has Southfork Ranch gift items and Texas collectibles. You’ll want a little extra something to take home in addition to all the photos you’ve taken of the Ewing Mansion to remember your Dallas-inspired trip to Southfork Ranch.