It’s notoriously part of human nature to not take advantage of the assets and attractions of places where you live. How many residents in the Dallas Ft. Worth Metroplex have actually visited the Fair Park museums, for instance? If you think it’s a lot, then ask yourself, how many visited a second time? The old cliché, “Been there, done that” may have originated in Dallas, where people are always asking if there are any more places to visit in Dallas that haven’t been visited before. In light of that, there are many offbeat places to visit in Dallas, Houston, Austin, Texarkana, and other Texas cities that even the locals may not know about, so that end, we will discuss:

Congress Avenue Bridge in Austin. Okay, so this is a bridge, and you may be thinking it is a spectacular work of architecture like the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, or massive and incidentally always for sale like the Brooklyn Bridge, but no. This bridge’s claim to fame is that it plays host to the largest colony of urban bats in North America. From the Ides of March through Thanksgiving is the best time to see the bats fly out from under the bridge and consume the sky with their numbers as they go looking for something to eat.

Paris, Texas itself may be an interesting place to visit as the inspiration for Wim Wender’s film titled after the town, but another reason to drop by is to see the 63 foot tall Eiffel Tower that has been built there (just 1,000 or so feet shorter than the real deal in France). This replica is stunning in its similarities to the tower in Paris, France except for maybe, the 10-foot wide Stetson cowboy hat sitting astride the top of the tower’s peak. Does this make sense? Not at all, but that’s okay. If the Eiffel Tower wants to visit Texas and wear a Stetson, so be it.

The Sixth Floor Museum is only offbeat if you are presently a teenager and have no idea who John F. Kennedy was. A cultural and historical response to the tragic assassination of the President, this museum is one of many places to visit in Dallas that may both stimulate and educate you at the same time. The various events of Kennedy’s life, as well as the chronology of events leading up to his assassination, are portrayed in several exhibits, along with various collections and artifacts upon which the historically curious may ruminate. The hitch is that the museum is located on the spot where Oswald’s weapon, used to assassinate the President, was found.