Southfork Ranch is an iconic gem just outside of Dallas. While tours are offered year-round, they are extra special when it's holiday time. In 1978 Lorimar Productions chose Southfork Ranch as the site for the hit CBS television series “Dallas,” which ran until 1991. The series counted millions of viewers across the United States and in 95 countries and continues to be broadcast around the world today. Because the property had such a high profile on television, the gorgeous mansion, pool, barns, and grounds became a popular tourist attraction.
The original ranch owner and his family were still living at Southfork Ranch when filming began. Requests for private parties began to pour in over the years, and facilities were created to accommodate the crowd. Soon, the owner officially opened the doors of the Ewing Mansion, "the most famous White House west of D.C.," to the public and expanded the ranch as an event center in 1985. A 63,000 square-foot venue was built to accommodate several thousand people for special events and functions. Rex Maughan, an Arizona businessman with ties to Texas, purchased the ranch in June of 1992. Take a peek of the ranch through the video below:
Today winter visitors can tour the mansion and admire its festive holiday decorations. Southfork Ranch tours start with a tram ride from the Visitors Center to the Ewing Mansion, where guests will hear a history of the ranch and, depending on weather, see Texas longhorns and American quarter horses along the way.
During the guided tour, guests will learn interesting tidbits about the years of filming at Southfork Ranch. Props and sets from the show will be on display, and tour guides will also provide more insight into the TV characters. Tours are affordable, but for anyone wanting to live large like a Ewing, there are also special packages that allow visitors to stay the night, enjoy a meal like J.R. would have, take a trail ride, and more.
Post cover image by Ted Eytan is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.