Southfork Ranch – Dallas, Texas – Full-Time RV Life

Our visit to Dallas was short and sweet, but there were a couple of places that were high on our to-do list, and this little jaunt was one of them.  During the years of 1978 through 1991, there was a popular TV series, Dallas:


Of course, the phrase “Who shot JR?” was the biggest cliffhanger in TV history.   Millions tuned in to watch the feud between the land-loving, ranch-running Bobby and his evil, greedy, oil tycoon brother, JR.   Cliff Barnes was the villain (or was he?) always in the mix trying to foil the backhanded and sneaky business moves JR tried to make.  Jock and Miss Ellie were the quintessential mom and dad duo leaving a massive legacy to their children–the ranch from Miss Ellie’s family and the oil business Jock built from the bottom up–and was always a contention of war between the family.  The show was nominated for 15 Golden Globes, 19 Primetime Emmy Awards, and 4 People’s Choice Awards.  Netflix has the series on DVD and it can also be purchased on Amazon.  While the series was riveting back in its prime, it probably would not gain popularity today.  In fact, they tried to revive the television classic featuring the next generation with cameo appearances from JR, Bobby, and Suellen, but it only lasted three seasons.

Mike and I were familiar with the show, so we piled into the truck with our goddaughter and her mom to go take a look.  As we approached Southfork Ranch, the heart of Dallas, Mike started blasting the intro song through the speakers and opened the windows.  As we drove by with the theme song blaring, we were transported to circa 1980 as all the faces of the familiar characters ran through our heads and we ‘Da-Da’d’ the tune at the top of our lungs.  Seeing the big white house and beautiful wrought-iron gate with the tree-lined entrance was magical, even if the ranch was closed for the day.

The entrance to Southfork.

Yes, we parked the truck on the side of the road like common tourists.  I peaked through the heavy wrought iron and got this tiny glimpse of the house:


I then walked a few steps to the side of the gate (okay, I know it wasn’t really appropriate, but I couldn’t help myself) and got this view:


I even walked out on the street to snap this scene:


Because the longhorn lazing in front of the ranch didn’t really show up well in the above photo, I got closer and spied this perspective along with some of the outbuildings:


I’m not sure if the longhorn will turn into steaks and hamburgers or if they were for ambiance, but they were wonderful to see.

Of course, a cheesy tourist visit isn’t complete without cheesy pictures:

My goddaughter, Gabby, and her mom, Sherrie.

And obligatory selfies (sans ridiculous duck lips):


To be honest, the ranch is much smaller than TV made it out to be, and the land surrounding it does not appear to be as massive.  We didn’t take the tour because we got there too late, but we might have been disappointed.  It’s best to leave the lives of the Dallas rich and famous to our imaginations, keeping JR and Bobby and their beautiful home intact.

Our drive to Southfork was spectacular because of our fond memories and the ability to totally immerse ourselves in the experience with youthful exuberance.  Watching Gabby’s what-in-the-world-is-this-all-about facial expressions was entertaining, as well.

For now, all that’s going through my head is, “Da-Da, Da-Da, Da-Da-Da-Da-Da-Da, Da-Da-Da, Da-Da-Da.” At least that’s how it runs through my head–does it yours?

Until the next adventure,

Love, Dawn


  1. So funny to read this. My husband and I were young newly weds (sort of) and we got hooked on this like every one in the day. Before VCRs and DVR recordings. We were out visiting friends-who didn’t watch it. We realized it was about to come on so we abruptly left and sped home. Only to realize we were locked out of our house! Husband drove loaner cars from work so no key on his car keys and I left mine inside. We ran frantically around the house trying to break in! I’m surprised no one called the cops. Finally he got in our garage and got the ladder-our bathroom window was open. Our small window BTW. So I had to climb up and squeezed in. Turned the TV on and let hubby in. After that episode we realized we were nuts and vowed to never get hooked on a tv series again! 😁😆😄

    1. Your story had me laughing out loud–how funny! Thank you so much for sharing. The show brings back so many memories–not just the program itself, but those moments of anticipation waiting for the show to start and those quick runs to the bathroom or kitchen during the commercial breaks. Such great memories! Thanks so much for stopping by and giving me a chuckle! Dawn

    2. Hilarious – and reminds me of how much then-husband and I were hooked on TV back then. It’s a good thing you couldn’t serial watch those shows like you can now!

  2. I loved that show! I thought I’d forgotten how the theme song sounded, so tried to recall. Then, I looked it up and played it. I remembered it after all! 🙂 Wonderful photos!

What are YOUR thoughts?

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.