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Dallas Diversity

Dallas is not all Cowboys and Stetsons. It is a thriving multi-cultural city with fascinating exhibits and tributes to the many traditions and heritages that call the Metroplex home. Many of them cost little or nothing to tour.

Visit the African American Museum near cheap downtown Dallas hotels on Grand Avenue. It has one of the largest folk art exhibits in the country. Then tour the Freedmen's Cemetery a short trek north of downtown where the freed slaves once built their community. There are wonderful bronze statues sculpted by David Newton. Thanks-giving Square on Pacific Avenue is an interfaith center which embraces all religions. Wander the meditation gardens and see the beautiful stained glass spiraled dome in the chapel.

Dallas has a huge Asian community and Asian market with eateries and shops to explore. Wander through the Crow Collection of Asian Art and the Sculpture Garden downtown in the Arts District. You will see exhibits from the major Asian cultures including Japan, China and India as well as serene water features. Then, visit the sculpture garden containing close to two dozen statues by the French masters such as Rodin. Virtually hop the pond to see the best of British contemporary art at the Goss-Michael Foundation on Turtle Creek Blvd. Admission is also free, though donations are welcomed. Tour the Latino Cultural Center on West Jefferson Blvd for free and visit with artists as well as seeing the exhibits. They even offer moderate fee classes in Latino dance, music and art.

For a view of the history of the city, visit the Hall of State on Grand Ave. Then head for the historic red courthouse for tourist information, brochures and even videos. You can also see the founder's home called the John Neely's Bryan's Cabin. Tour Heritage Village on South Harwood, south of downtown to get a glimpse of the pioneer life. Then of course, there are the Dallas Cowboys. Football is a cultural event Texans take very seriously. You can tour the new stadium in nearby Arlington.

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