Sixth Floor Museum Review (JFK Site)

Dallas has been forced to grapple with its association to the JFK assassination for decades. And nowhere in the city is this association stronger than the location of the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza.

Today, the building, despite its dark history, is one of the most notable tourist attractions in Dallas.

In this article, I’ll break down everything you’d want to know before visiting the Sixth Floor Museum, including giving you a taste of some of the major highlights in the museum.

What is the Sixth Floor Museum?

The Sixth Floor Museum is a museum located in the former Texas School Book Depository building where Lee Oswald was employed and allegedly shot former President John F Kennedy. The museum provides an overview of JFK’s legacy and thoroughly chronicles all of the events related to the assassination.

It is one of the top attractions in Dallas and takes about 1.5 hours to properly visit.

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Sixth Floor Museum
The Sixth Floor Museum, located in the former Texas School Book Depository building.

Where is the Sixth Floor Museum?

The museum is located at: 411 Elm St, Dallas, TX 75202.

When you visit the museum you’ll surely want to check out other sites like the grassy knoll, the “X,” and the JFK Memorial, which are all located right next to the museum or within a block or two.

Personally, I would recommend arriving about 45 minutes to an hour before the museum opens and checking out all of those sites so that you can see them before it gets too crowded.

If you’re interested in a full JFK itinerary that follows the footsteps of JFK during his visit to Fort Worth and Dallas as well as the places where Lee Oswald lived in Dallas, be sure to check out the ultimate guide to JFK assassination sites.

Did you know? The gun used in the Ronald Reagan assassination attempt was purchased on Elm Street only a mile down the road from the Sixth Floor Museum.

This “X” marks the spot where the fatal shot took place.

How do you access the Sixth Floor Museum?

Normal hours for the Sixth Floor Museum are 10am to 5pm.

The Sixth Floor Museum is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.

Here are what the prices were as of January 2022:

  • Adults $18
  • 65 and older: $16
  • Youth (6-18): $14
  • Under five: Free

I highly recommend that you purchase your tickets online well ahead of your visit because there is limited space and they do fill up.

In terms of how much time you need, give yourself about an hour and a half.

If you need to pay for parking there is a pretty good sized parking lot adjacent to the museum. Parking prices may vary but it cost us $12.

Currently, whenever you enter you will have your tickets scanned and then you’ll have to wait to go up an elevator. The line for the elevator can be a little slow because of social distancing.

Therefore, I would recommend that you start lining up at 9:45am if you can get there before it opens.

That way, you could be one of the first people in and explore the museum with little to no crowds.

Related: Hilton Fort Worth Review (Where JFK Spent His Last Night)

The entrance to the Sixth Floor Museum.

Sixth Floor Museum sites to see

There’s a lot to see in this unique museum but it’s not so big that it’s impossible to see everything in one visit. In many ways, I’d say it’s the perfect size for a museum of its kind.

But to help narrow things down and to avoid spoiling any surprises, I’ll just focus on eight key sites you want to check out in the museum.

Overview of JFK’s time and legacy

The beginning of the museum will outline the major social events and political climate of the 1960s and will give you an overview of the issues faced by JFK during his presidency.

Through interpretive panels, many photographs, and even original artifacts, you’ll get an overview of his campaign, what the Kennedy White House was like, and what some of his accomplishments were while in office.

Hopefully, you already have of a grasp on JFK as a president (since it helps to understand a lot of the conspiracy theories) but just in case you don’t the first section of the museum should help get you somewhat up to speed.

The sniper’s corner

The museum preserved the eerie window corner where Lee Oswald allegedly shot at the president three times from a half-open window.

They’ve arranged a barricade of cardboard boxes in such a way that the corner looks like it did on November 22, 1963, when law officers first searched the floor and discovered three shells and a rifle.

Although the corner is preserved on the other side of a glass partition, it’s a pretty powerful sight to behold, knowing that someone was perched here decades ago just waiting to take the life of the leader of the free world.

The window corner where Lee Oswald allegedly shot at the president.

Oswald’s wedding ring

The night before JFK was shot, Lee Oswald was staying the night at Ruth Paine’s house — a house museum you can still visit today.

Before leaving that day he left his wife his wedding ring along with some cash and then headed out with his rifle on the way to the Texas School Book Depository, where he had been employed since October 15, 1963.

Nobody knows exactly why he left the wedding ring as there are a few different explanations. But you can actually see the wedding ring on display at the museum.

The wedding ring is displayed in the clear column in the middle of the photo.

The place set

When JFK was shot he was on his way to the Dallas Trade Mart where he was supposed to attend a luncheon.

The place set that was waiting for him at the luncheon is on display, along with some other artifacts like an original luncheon invitation.

It’s one of those rare instances where boring, every day objects like salt and pepper shakers and saucer plates can evoke strong emotions as they transport you back in time and connect you to a tragic event.

It reminded me of seeing a piece of an airline seatbelt in the 9/11 exhibit at the New York State Museum. It was unexpectedly moving.

Assassination related exhibits

As you would probably expect coming to this museum, the entire assassination is well documented in various exhibits.

You’ll see complete timeline breakdowns of the events and really get a full understanding of how everything took place.

They present evidence and analysis of eyewitness testimony, forensic and ballistics, photographic and acoustical evidence, and even touch on some of the conspiracies.

It’s a very comprehensive experience worth taking your time to get through.

As someone who had read a lot of articles and watched plenty of documentaries on this, I was surprised at how many new things I learned.

I think it definitely helps to do a lot of research before you visit, though.

With all of the theories that circulate around this assassination, I’d suggest watching some documentaries and even videos from the Sixth Floor Museum YouTube channel.

It seems like every time I get a grasp on the events I learn something new that turns everything upside down but the museum does provide a solid framework for understanding the events of that day.

FBI model

One of the interesting exhibits is the FBI model of the shooting.

Initially, I thought this was just a model that the museum put together but then I looked into it and it actually has some really interesting history.

According to the museum:

The model was built by the FBI in 1964 to help investigate the Kennedy assassination and was also later used by the Warren Commission and the House Select Committee on Assassinations when they conducted their investigations.

Apparently, there are some very strict conditions for displaying this model with respect to the lighting and presentation and the museum has to work diligently to honor those.

The model is encased in special UV-filtered glass to help preserve it and I think they were doing an excellent job because the model looks pretty well preserved considering it is almost 60 years old.

FBI model JFK shooting
The model of the shooting built by the FBI in the 1960s.

7th floor

You’ll also want to take a moment to visit the seventh floor.

One of the interesting things to do is to check out the corner on the seventh floor that is directly above where Lee made his shots.

This will give you a nearly identical view of what he would’ve seen from the sniper’s perch.

In this wide open space, there’s also some artifacts from the building as it existed in the 60s and some interesting visuals that give you a sense of the growth that the Dealey Plaza area has experienced.

You’ll also want to check out the giant photomosaics of John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline Kennedy.

Initially, they look like large photographs but they are actually made up of tiny portraits of the opposite person.

So when you look at John F Kennedy, you’re actually looking at 50,000 tiny photos of Jacqueline Kennedy and vice versa. It’s a beautiful tribute.

The sniper’s vantage point as seen from the seventh floor.

Gift shop

You’ll eventually exit through the gift shop where you can find a lot of JFK memorabilia.

It seems like one of the popular souvenirs is the collection of replica old newspapers from the day after the assassination but you can find all sorts of JFK related items, including many different books.

Sixth Floor Museum FAQ

How long does the Sixth Floor Museum take to visit?

To avoid rushing, it’s recommended to give yourself 1.5 hours at the museum. However, you can experience most of what the museum has to offer in 45 minutes to an hour without having to rush too bad.

How far is the Sixth Floor Museum from DFW?

The Sixth Floor Museum is about a 25 minute car ride from DFW.

When did the Sixth Floor Museum open?

The Sixth Floor Museum opened on President’s Day 1989.

Final word

The Sixth Floor Museum is truly a well done venue.

It’s an extremely difficult task to tastefully preserve a building tied to such a tragic event.

But the museum has clearly gone to great lengths to make that happen and tell the story of these events in a way that is comprehensive and still respectful.

I would consider this a must visit attraction when in Dallas especially if you have any interest in the history of the assassination and JFK’s legacy.

LBJ Ranch Review (What to See) [2022]

It’s always fascinating tracing the history of former US presidents.

One US president that definitely did things his own way was LBJ. He was the first president to ever truly “work remotely” from the White House and did so in a major way at the LBJ Ranch.

And luckily, this ranch has been preserved by the National Park Service and offers a lot of interesting sites to check out today.

In this article, I’ll show you everything you need to know before visiting the LBJ Ranch.

What is the LBJ Ranch?

The LBJ Ranch is part of Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park and the former home of the 36th president of the United States of America, Lyndon B. Johnson.

It’s where the president grew up and also where he resided on a part-time basis during his presidency. The ranch became a hotspot for world leaders and notable figures as well as extravagant barbecues.

Today, you can take a self-guided driving tour around the ranch and check out various sites located throughout the property like the Texas White House and the gravesite of LBJ.

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Where is the LBJ Ranch?

The LBJ Ranch is located at: 1048 Park Road #49, Stonewall, TX 78671.

This is approximately 60 miles outside of Austin, Texas, and about a 1 hour and 15 minute drive from Austin.

It’s easy to get confused with all of the LBJ sites in this area so let me break it down for you below.

First, there is the Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park.

The National Historical Park consists of two districts: the Johnson City District and the LBJ Ranch District. (The districts are about 20 minutes away from each other.)

The Johnson City District is where you can tour Johnson’s boyhood home and check out the Johnson Settlement where you’ll find restored structures from the 1800s among other things.

The LBJ Ranch District is where you’ll find the Texas White House, Air Force 1/2, the old school house, and quite a few other sites.

This article is specifically about the LBJ Ranch District and I’ll go into great detail about it below.

In addition to the National Park site, there is also a state park site called: Lyndon B. Johnson State Park and Historic Site.

The state park site is located on the south side of the Pedernales River, which is just a couple of minutes away from the LBJ Ranch District.

It’s at the state park where you can find sites like the Official Texas Longhorn Herd, American Bison Herd, and the Sauer-Beckmann Farm, a living history farm that preserves rural Texas life as it existed in 1918.

Technically, a visit to the LBJ Ranch District should begin at the state park, as that is where you can be issued your driving permit and map.

Other LBJ related sites in the (roughly 1-hour) vicinity include:

  • LBJ Presidential Library (Austin, TX)
  • LBJ Museum (San Marcos)
  • Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center (Austin, TX)

How do you access the LBJ Ranch?

It is free to visit the LBJ Ranch and hours are typically from 9 AM to 5 PM.

The NPS website says that you will be issued a driving permit and map from the Lyndon B. Johnson State Park and Historic Site, which is where I think you are supposed to begin your tour.

However, we did not know that and simply arrived at the entrance of the ranch and were never issued a driving permit.

What is there to see at the LBJ Ranch?

There’s a lot to check out at the LBJ Ranch but here are eight sites that you will definitely want to see on your visit.

If you give yourself two hours you should have enough time to thoroughly enjoy these sites but if you want to visit any of the related sites, you’ll probably need more time.

Tip: If you are into guided audio tours, you can download the NPS app and rely on that to get you through the tour.

LBJ’s old school house

Just before the entrance of the LBJ Ranch, you’ll come across the Junction School.

LBJ only attended the school for a few months as a four year old but it’s still an iconic old school house building.

There’s an interactive exhibit you can listen to while visiting but it’s still just cool to step in and think about what school would’ve been like for the 30 kids (spanning seven grades) attending the small school house.

The school was open to visit before the actual ranch opened so it’s a nice way to kill some time if you arrive early. (You’ll find the entrance to the school in the back.)

Junction School

Johnson Family Cemetery (LBJ’s grave)

Shortly after you enter the ranch, you’ll come across the LBJ birthplace on your right and then you’ll see the Johnson Family Cemetery on your left.

The cemetery is private property so you’re not allowed to enter but you can view the gravesite of Lyndon B. Johnson and Lady Bird Johnson from the exterior.

They have the two most prominent gravestones so they are very hard to miss.

The wall enclosing the cemetery was built in 1946 by Frank Seaward, a rock mason from Stonewall. It was meant to give identity to the cemetery but also to counteract effects of flooding from the Pedernales River.

Interestingly, if it weren’t for the flooding river, this cemetery might not exist.

The first person to be buried here was LBJ’s great grandmother, Priscilla Buntonin in 1905. And the reason why they chose the spot was because they could not cross the flooded river and get to a different cemetery.

The visit to the cemetery was particularly interesting to us because it had only been a couple of months since we visited JFK’s grave in Washington DC and the two gravesites are vastly different.

Related: 16 JFK Assassination Related Sites in Dallas/Fort Worth

LBJ's grave

After stopping by the cemetery, you will continue on Park Road until you take a right on Bailey Road which takes you around the airstrip located in the middle of the ranch.

Along this road, you’ll find a lot of different interpretive panels that you can stop at to learn about LBJ’s legacy and how certain features on the ranch like the river may have influenced some of his policies.

There are a couple of stops along the way like the Showbarn but we did not stop and linger at any of the spots until we got near the JetStar.

Tip: At some point, be sure to play “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head” by B. J. Thomas, a song Johnson was known to listen to as he drove around his ranch in his Lincoln.

JetStar (Air Force “One-Half”)

After making your way around the airstrip you’ll then get into the area where all of the interesting things can be found.

One of the most interesting attractions here is “Air Force 1/2.”

This plane is one of several JetStars that LBJ flew in during his presidency.

This particular plane was acquired by the NPS in 2010 after it was found at the Davis-Monthan Air Force Base boneyard in Tucson, Arizona. After it was retired, it had been sitting in the desert for over two decades.

"Air Force 1/2."
“Air Force 1/2.”

These jets were small enough to land on the airstrip and could be used to go directly from Washington to the ranch.

The “real” Air Force One was a 707 that was just too big for the ranch’s landing strip.

So when the 707 was used they would typically land in San Antonio’s Randolph Air Force Base or Austin’s Bergstrom Air Force Base and then make their way to the ranch via helicopter on Marine One or use the JetStar.

What’s interesting is that you can actually step inside and view the JetStar’s interior (from behind a panel of plexiglass).

One can only imagine the type of discussions and decisions that took place in this tight cabin. Oh, to be a fly on the fuselage….

Airplane Hangar Visitor Center

This is one of those national park sites where you really want to take a little bit of time to check out the Visitor Center which is located next to the JetStar.

In the Airplane Hangar Visitor Center, you can find out more about the ranch and visit with some friendly Park Rangers who are very informed about the history of the venue.

You can also check out some interesting artifacts like LBJ’s get up and the pen he used to sign some big education bills. There are also a few rooms that tell more of the LBJ story.

The visitor center opens about an hour after the ranch so you can always start exploring the facilities nearby before it opens.

I would recommend picking up a map at the visitor center though because it will help you navigate through all the different buildings in this section of the park.

Tip: There is an additional visitor center at the intersection of Ladybird Lane and Avenue G in Johnson City, TX.

The “Texas White House”

The LBJ Ranch House or the “Texas White House” is the focal point of the entire ranch.

The initial structure, which comprises the limestone wall you’ll see on one side of the house, was built by a German immigrant, William “Polecat” Meier in 1894.

Then in 1909 LBJ’s aunt and uncle, Frank and Clarence Martin, bought the property and added the central portion of the house.

About 30 years later, Johnson purchased it from his aunt along with 240 acres.

As Johnson climbed the political ladder, more features were added to the house including office facilities and the pool out in front.

Today, it has a total of 8 bedrooms and 9 bathrooms.

During his presidency, LBJ spent a lot of time at the ranch house and often had leaders from around the globe come through as well.

In fact, it was at this very ranch where in 1963 JFK was supposed to stay the night after his visit to Dallas. The plan was for him to leave Dallas, go to Austin for a fundraising event, and then head over to the ranch.

You can see what the room JFK would’ve stayed in probably looked like in the photo below.

The Texas White House wasn’t just a funny name given to the building it was actually a functioning remote White House — a first of its kind.

LBJ felt more comfortable in his home state and utilized that comfort to his advantage when making deals and negotiating with other leaders from lawn chairs.

It’s estimated that during Johnson’s administration, the President spent approximately 25% of his time in office at the Texas White House (74 visits totaling 490 days).

Unfortunately, you can’t go inside for a tour right now because the building is undergoing a lot of work.

Sadly, it looks like it will be a couple of years before that work is completed so you’ll have to wait some time before getting inside.

In 1972 the Johnsons donated the Texas White House to the National Park Service, just a year before the death of LBJ. After that, Lady Bird Johnson would continue to live at the Ranch part time until her death in 2007.

Did you know? The oak trees found throughout the ranch are evergreen and some may be around 200 years old.

The Klein Shop

The Klein Shop was the maintenance shop for the ranch but now it’s where you can find several of LBJ’s favorite shiny cars from the 1960s.

You’ll find a few different cars but one of the most interesting is the 1962 “Amphicar” which is an amphibious automobile LBJ used to play some tricks on new visitors.

Be sure to hit the interactive exhibit to hear about how those tricks played out.

If you need to use the restroom, you can find a restroom in the back of the interior of the building.

The Friendship Stones

When notable guests came through the ranch, LBJ would sometimes have them leave a lasting impression by drawing their name into wet concrete.

These became known as the Friendship Stones.

For preservation, the original stones were kept in curatorial storage but the NPS has put some of the replicas on display in an area near the back of the ranch.

It’s in this little corner where you can find big names like John F Kennedy, J Edgar Hoover, John Glenn, and dozens of others.

The barbecue grove

LBJ was known for throwing down some huge barbecue bashes by the river.

These were lively events where hundreds of guests dined on barbecued ribs or brisket smoked over pits, as live music filled the air under the oak trees.

Johnson found this to be one of the best ways to get people together and allow them to enjoy themselves. In fact, JFK was supposed to attend one of these major barbecue bashes after his visit to Dallas.

Apparently, every now and again they actually do have a barbecue on site which I think is super cool. I would certainly pay a pretty penny for that experience.

Other places to check out include:

Final word

We visited the ranch on a long drive from Austin to El Paso where we ended up at a hotel that LBJ stayed at.

To be honest I was not expecting much.

But once we entered the ranch and started to gain a better understanding of LBJ and his history, the ranch started to get interesting.

Then, after checking out the presidential jet and other sites like the Texas White House, the car collection, etc., I really got a sense of the history of this place and realized that this is actually quite a hidden gem.

For those reasons, I think the LBJ Ranch is definitely a worthy stop if you are ever in the Austin or San Antonio area.

16 JFK Assassination Related Sites in Dallas/Fort Worth (Ultimate Guide)

If you’re interested in learning about the JFK assassination that occurred in Dallas and seeing all of the different sites associated to that tragic moment in history, you’ll find that the Dallas/Fort Worth area has 16 or so must-see sites you’ll want to visit.

In this article, I’ll give you all of the sites that you’ll want to check out and all of the historical and practical information you need to know about them in order to have a smooth and meaningful visit.

How to see JFK Sites in Dallas (overview)

I recommend roughly following the order below because it’s ordered in a way that factors in both the sequence of events and driving efficiency.

This itinerary begins in Fort Worth where JFK began his time in DFW and delivered his two final speeches and then takes you to Dallas and follows along the motorcade route.

Once you finish that, you can experience all of the downtown Dallas destinations, including places like the Sixth Floor Museum and Grassy Knoll before moving on to grab a bite at a historic lunch spot tied to the shooting.

After you’ve had your Italian food fix, you’ll head down to the Oak Cliff area of Dallas and hit up a few more spots that will shed light on Lee Oswald and even provide fodder for conspiracy theories.

To wrap up, you can make your way to Irving, Texas, and finish up at the Ruth Paine House where you can learn more about what Oswald’s life was like in the weeks leading up to the assassination.

Checking out all of these locations will give you a comprehensive set of experiences and really help you understand the full spectrum of events that may or may not have taken place on November 22, 1963.

After doing the itinerary below, I walked away with a better understanding of the JFK assassination, lots of new questions, and also another level of admiration for the former president.

If you want to see all of the sites below, give yourself a full day or if you want to move at a more leisurely pace, a day and a half.

Background to JFK’s 1963 visit to Texas

Before visiting all of the sites in Dallas, it helps to have a bit of context as to what JFK was doing in Texas.

In June of 1963, while visiting in El Paso, Texas, and meeting in the Hotel Cortez, Kennedy agreed to a second presidential visit to Texas later on in the year.

Where JFK stayed in El Paso in June 1963. The decision to visit Texas in November was made in this building — the Hotel Cortez.

The goal of this visit was to to raise campaign fund contributions, boost his odds for re-election in November 1964, and end in-fighting among Texas Democratic Party members.

JFK planned a two day business visit with some leisure time after that.

On the first day, he would arrive in San Antonio and then later that day fly to Houston where he’d give an address at the Rice Hotel and testimonial dinner at the Sam Houston Coliseum.

The former Rice Hotel in Houston.

After dinner in Houston, he would make his way to Fort Worth aboard Air Force One and the next morning after attending a breakfast event he would head to the Dallas Trade Mart to give yet another speech.

Later that day he’d fly to Austin for a $100 per plate dinner at the Austin Municipal Auditorium with the hopes of raising some serious cash.

After all of the speeches were made, JFK and the entourage would enjoy some relaxation at LBJ’s ranch in the Texas Hill Country, where Lyndon Johnson would put on one of his epic barbecue events on the Pedernales River.

The barbecue spot by the river at LBJ’s ranch.

Because the election in Texas (and nation wide) was so close in 1960, the visit to Texas was a very crucial one.

Kennedy insisted on the protective bubble being removed from the Lincoln Continental convertible so that onlookers could get a close look at him and Jackie Kennedy.

He wanted to be exposed to the greatest number of people possible and make a strong connection with those potential voters.

One has to think that the decision to remove the protective bubble was largely motivated by him knowing he needed to do everything he could to increase his chances of winning Texas in the 1964 election, especially since he lost Dallas in 1960.

List of JFK sites

Now that you have little overview of how to visit the sites and some context for the visit, let’s jump into all of the JFK sites you’ll want to see.

First, I’ll give you a list of all the sites and then I’ll go into detail for each individual location.

  • Hilton Fort Worth
  • JFK Tribute
  • JFK motorcade route
  • JFK Memorial
  • The white “X” (Dealey Plaza)
  • Grassy knoll (Dealey Plaza)
  • Sixth Floor Museum
  • Campisi’s
  • Dallas Municipal Building
  • Lee Oswald’s old house
  • Lee Harvey Oswald Rooming House Museum
  • Officer Tippit memorial
  • Texas Theater
  • Ruth Paine House Museum
  • The Trade Mart
  • Parkland Hospital

Hilton Fort Worth

  • Address: 815 Main St, Fort Worth, TX 76102

In Forth Worth, JFK spent the night at the Texas Hotel (currently the Hilton Fort Worth).

Some prominent members of the community wanted the President to be sufficiently impressed with his hotel room so they came together to furnish JFK’s hotel suite with original artwork from famous artists such as Picasso and Vincent van Gogh.

The original suite JFK stayed at on the eighth floor (room 850) has since been remodeled so the original room does not exist.

However, if you head to the eighth floor and go to the rooms near 808 and 810 that is reportedly where the old suite JFK stayed in was located.

A room at the Hilton Fort Worth.

The morning of the shooting, JFK would give a speech to thousands of people outside the Texas Hotel and then head back inside to the Crystal Ballroom to give his final speech to the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce over breakfast.

The ballroom shimmers a little different today and just outside it you can find dozens of framed JFK photos and news clippings from his visit to Fort Worth.

The ballroom where JFK gave his last speech.

We decided to stay a night at the Hilton Fort Worth to fully immerse ourselves in the history. I really enjoyed the hotel and loved that it had such a historic feel to it on every floor. Rooms are not very expensive, either.

However, if you are able to splurge you can look into the special JFK suite up on the 15th floor but that might cost you $2,000+!

JFK Tribute

  • Address: 916 Main St, Fort Worth, TX 76102

Just outside the Hilton Fort Worth, there is a tribute/memorial that is worth checking out that is located right where JFK gave his impromptu speech before breakfast.

Dedicated May 29, 2012, the tribute consists of a Lawrence Ludtke 8-foot-tall bronze statue, and a 10-foot, bowed granite wall engraved with memorable quotes and adorned with large photos from JFK’s visit to Fort Worth.

You can read about JFK’s legacy as you ponder what the scene would’ve been like outside the hotel close to 60 years ago as the 35th President of the United States gave one of his very last speeches.

JFK tribute just outside the hotel.

It’s kind of unbelievable but it’s reported that before JFK left the Hilton Fort Worth he made the following remark regarding presidential appearances:

“if anybody really wanted to shoot the President of the United States, it was not a very difficult job–all one had to do was get a high building someday with a telescopic rifle, and there was nothing anybody could do to defend against such an attempt.”

JFK motorcade route

  • Address: Dallas

You can book tours that will take you along the JFK motorcade route or you can simply drive the route yourself like we did.

Use this map to follow the original motorcade route that JFK took leading up to his final moments before the assassination.

The route starts at Dallas Love Airport and then works its way through the heart of Dallas.

The streets along the route are almost exactly the same from 1963 but there will be a couple of occasions where you need to simply turn off the route and then get back on after a block or two.

These include Cedar Springs and Olive Street and Harwood Street and Woodwall Rodgers Freeway.

With morning traffic, it took us about 25 minutes to drive the full route and while it’s a little unremarkable in the beginning, if you’re like me, you’ll probably get goosebumps as you make the final slow turn on Elm Street.

It’s said that once the motorcade was nearing the spot of the shooting, Governer Connally’s wife, Nellie, turned to JFK and commenting on the lively crowds showing up, said, “Mr. President, you can’t say Dallas doesn’t love you!”

JFK then uttered his last words, “No, you sure can’t.”

John F. Kennedy Memorial Plaza

  • Address: 646 Main, Dallas, TX 75202

After we finished the motorcade route we decided to park at the Sixth Floor Museum and then wander around to check out the nearby JFK sites.

The JFK Memorial was designed by famed architect Philip Johnson who called it “a place of quiet refuge, an enclosed place of thought and contemplation separated from the city around, but near the sky and earth.”

The monument, standing 30 feet tall and 50 by 50 feet, is an empty tomb, that “symbolizes the freedom of Kennedy’s spirit.”

JFK Memorial Dallas

It’s an interesting memorial but it’s in serious need of some pressure washing.

I mean honestly, how dirty are these folks gonna let this memorial get?

Stained or not, some people aren’t impressed by it and while sections do sort of look like a giant lego piece it’s still worth checking out mostly because it’s free and only takes a couple of minutes to visit.

JFK Memorial Dallas
The inside of the JFK Memorial in Dallas.

The white “X” (Dealey Plaza)

  • Address: Near 411 Elm St, Dallas, TX 75202
  • Elm Street has white “X”s painted on the pavement where JFK was shot, including where the fatal headshot occurred.

    Interestingly, the city of Dallas does not place these white Xs on the street and nobody knows exactly who does it. The Xs are periodically removed when the streets are re-paved but they always reappear virtually immediately.

    The city does not object to them and just lets them be but some people do dispute that they are placed accurately.

    Whether or not “X” actually marks the spot, heading down to Elm Street and checking out the white Xs is moving, especially when you gaze back up at the half-opened window on the sixth floor of the old Texas School Book Depository.

    white "X" on Elm Street Dallas
    The white “X” on Elm Street.

    Grassy knoll (Dealey Plaza)

  • Address: Near 411 Elm St, Dallas, TX 75202
  • The infamous grassy knoll at Dealey Plaza is where many conspiracy theorists assert a second shooter was located.

    Reportedly, some people saw a plume of smoke in the trees near the grassy knoll which would have indicated a second shooter.

    Others reported strange activity in the area like unfamiliar automobiles in the rail yards and two men standing behind the fence, suggesting that something was not quite right.

    The grassy knoll and Dealey Plaza make up a pretty small area but you can find a hand full of interpretive panels located throughout the plaza that give you some insight into the history.

    JFK Grassy knoll Dallas
    The grassy knoll.

    You can also stand right where the Zapruder film was shot and view the scene from the exact same angle which I thought was pretty interesting.

    We visited this area around 9am so crowds were minimal to nonexistent but it does seem like this area gets quite busy at peak times.

    The location where the Zapruder film was shot.
    The location where the Zapruder film was shot.
    The  Zapruder film is considered the most complete film of the shooting.

    Sixth Floor Museum

    • Address: 411 Elm St, Dallas, TX 75202

    The Sixth Floor Museum is an absolute must for anyone interested in the JFK assassination.

    The main attraction at this museum is probably the “sniper’s perch” which is the corner of the Texas School Book Depository building where Oswald allegedly fired three shots at John F Kennedy.

    This is where they found the rifle which was traced to Oswald along with three shells.

    The corner is assembled with cardboard boxes to look just like it did the day Oswald was up on sixth floor. It’s pretty ominous when you first see it.

    While the entire corner is glassed-off, you can head up to the seventh floor and take a look at the corner view which would be almost the exact same view the shooter had.

    The Sixth Floor Museum goes well beyond the assassination and gives you insight into the life and career of JFK with many interpretive exhibits.

    In addition to the exhibits, there are some interesting artifacts like the wedding ring of Lee Oswald, a replica of the rifle used, and models of cameras used to capture JFK’s final moments.

    I recommend that you buy your timed-entry tickets in advance so that when you arrive at the time of opening you can get in and hopefully avoid the crowds.

    Tickets are $18 per adult but note the museum is closed on Monday and Tuesday. Give yourself about an hour and a half for the self-guided experience.

    We arrived at the parking lot around 9am and parking was plentiful. For the day parking cost $12.

    You can read my full review of the museum here.


    • Address: 5610 E Mockingbird Ln, Dallas, TX 75206

    Once you have worked up a little bit of an appetite, head over to the original Campisi’s restaurant for lunch.

    This is a restaurant that Jack Ruby frequented a lot and that he visited the night before the JFK assassination.

    Jack Ruby was the individual who killed Lee Oswald only a couple of days after Oswald was apprehended.

    The owner of the restaurant, Joe Campisi allegedly had mob ties and to add even more mystery, he and his wife visited Jack Ruby in jail after Ruby killed Oswald and nobody knows what they discussed.

    For those who believe in a mob connection to the assassination, this raises a lot of questions, including the possibility that the mob killed Lee Oswald to keep him quiet.

    While there’s a lot of uncertainty around Joe Campisi and Jack Ruby, the good news is that there’s certainty that the food is good and you can’t go wrong with their thin crust pizza.

    Tip: If you have more than two people, ask for the Jack Ruby booth (the actual booth he ate at).

    Campisi's original location

    Dallas Municipal Building

    • Address: 106 S Harwood St, Dallas, TX 75201

    Opened in 1914, the Beaux-Arts Style Dallas Municipal Building is the old police station where Lee Oswald was taken after he was arrested and it’s the same spot where he was eventually shot and killed by Jack Ruby.

    While being transported to an armored car that would take Oswald from Dallas City Jail to Dallas County Jail, Jack Ruby stepped away from a group of reporters and shot Oswald point-blank range in the abdomen with a .38 Colt Cobra revolver.

    Right after he was shot, Oswald was asked, “Do you have anything you want to tell us now?”

    He shook his head “no” just before going unconscious. And that was it.

    The shooting was broadcast on live TV and so Oswald was the first known person to ever be murdered on live television.

    How did the onlookers react?

    It’s reported that once the crowd outside the police headquarters found out who had been shot, they erupted into an applause.

    On March 14, 1964, Ruby was convicted of murder with malice and was sentenced to death but his conviction was overturned. While he was waiting for a new trial, he died of a pulmonary embolism on January 3, 1967.

    Today, the Dallas Municipal Building is the home of University of North Texas Law School.

    Oswald’s jail cell on level 5 has been preserved along with other areas from that time, but I don’t think any of the sites are open to the public for regular viewing.

    Reportedly, the Oswald’s jail cell was also the cell used for Jack Ruby after he killed Oswald.

    Oswald was shot in the basement where the parking garage connected to the building so it’s not visible from the outside. However, it’s still interesting to check out the building and if you contact the right people you might be able to access the interior.

    Lee Oswald’s old house

    • Address: 214 W Neely St, Dallas, TX 75208

    When the Oswalds returned from Russia, they lived in this house from March 2, 1963 to April 24, 1963.

    This is the house where Oswald was spotted in the infamous photo of him holding his rifle and two newspapers later identified as the Worker and the Militant.

    It’s believed that the rifle in the photo is the same rifle that was used to shoot JFK.

    Some people have claimed that that photograph was doctored but analysis of the photos have shown otherwise.

    Today, the building looks like an old, creepy abandoned house but you can still view the stairs in the backyard.

    There are openings in the fence which would allow someone to get into the backyard and take a picture under the stairs.

    I’m not big on trespassing in Texas and would have felt a little weird re-enacting that photo so we just got our shots from the outside of the fence.

    Lee Harvey Oswald Rooming House Museum

    • Address: 1026 N Beckley Ave, Dallas, TX 75203

    The Lee Harvey Oswald Rooming House Museum is the temporary residence that Lee lived in from October 14 to the time of the JFK assassination. Out of all of the spots on this list, this left the biggest impression to me.

    Yes, it’s interesting to check out the tiny bedroom that Lee Oswald lived in and to see the rooming house still looking like a 1960s home.

    But the main attraction here is talking to Miss Pat who actually grew up around the house and had personal interactions with Oswald.

    She has all kinds of different stories to tell and if you believe in the “standard version” of events, she will probably blow your mind and leave you pondering a lot of questions about what happened.

    You’ll need to call 469-261-7806 to book a ticket and a private tour will cost $30 per person. You’ll have up to two hours with her which will absolutely fly by.

    Officer Tippit memorial

    • Address: E 10th St &, N Patton Ave, Dallas, TX 75203

    Officer JD Tippit was an 11-year veteran with the Dallas Police Department who was patrolling the Oak Cliff area in Dallas after the assassination.

    He’d been given a description of JFK’s shooter (slender white male, 5 ft 10 in, about 165 pounds) and about 45 minutes after the assassination of JFK, Tippit spotted someone who fit the description.

    This suspicious person would end up being Lee Oswald.

    According to eyewitnesses, as Tippit got out of his car and was having an exchange with Lee, Oswald shot Tippit several times and ultimately killed him.

    Today, you can visit the intersection where the shooting occurred and view the monument marker as you pay respects for the fallen officer.

    Texas Theater

    • Address: 231 Jefferson Blvd, Dallas, TX 75208

    After Oswald killed officer J.D. Tippit, Oswald made his way to the Texas Theater.

    It’s reported that Oswald bought some popcorn and then snuck his way into a film called War Is Hell without purchasing a ticket.

    After getting alerted by a neighboring store owner about a suspicious-looking Oswald, a Texas Theatre cashier phoned police.

    Soon, officers arrived, the house lights were flipped on, and police found Oswald sitting with his gun near the rear of the theater.

    Reportedly, Oswald tried to fire at one of the officers which resulted in an altercation. Eventually, officers wrangled him out of the building but not before Oswald took a shiner to the face.

    The Texas Theater still runs shows today so you could get access into the theater by purchasing a ticket to a show.

    At one point, the seat location that Oswald sat in was marked but I’m not sure if that still the case (the original seat has been removed).

    If you wanted to see things in chronological order, you could put the Dallas Municipal Building after this location. However, because that building is located in Downtown Dallas I found it easier to lump that location in with the other downtown sites.

    Ruth Paine House Museum

    • Address: 2515 W 5th St, Irving, TX 75060

    The Ruth Paine House Museum is the former home of Ruth Paine who allowed Lee Oswald’s wife, Marina Oswald, to stay with her in 1963.

    Lee Oswald would stay at this house on the weekends when he wasn’t at the rooming house.

    This house is special because it’s where Lee spent his last night before the shooting and it’s also where he hid his rifle.

    Now, it’s been turned into a house museum with each room representing an exhibit of sorts.

    You can see the bedroom that Lee slept in and where he left his wedding ring and the cash for Marina the morning he went to work with his rifle.

    If you book a tour here, you can learn a lot more about how Ruth Paine got connected with Lee Oswald and listen to stories about how she felt after she found out Oswald was the alleged assassin.

    The Trade Mart

    • Address: 2100 N Stemmons Fwy, Dallas, TX 75207

    The Trade Mart (Grand Courtyard) is the building that JFK was headed to after the motorcade route.

    It was here that lunch was going to be had and you can see the actual place setting that was prepared for him if you visit the Sixth Floor Museum.

    I don’t think The Trade Mart is open to the public so you would have to contact someone in order to get access.

    However, you can still drive by it and check out the JFK Trade Mart Statue & Plaque.

    We chose to visit the Trade Mart and Parkland Hospital at the very end of our time in Dallas since it just made things easier but technically this would have been the end of the motorcade route.

    Parkland Hospital

    • Address: 4666 La Rue St, Dallas, TX 75211

    Parkland Hospital is where JFK ultimately came to rest.

    Specifically, it was trauma room one where he would be pronounced dead at 1pm on November 22, 1963.

    Parkland Hospital is also where Oswald was taken after he was shot by Ruby and Oswald would be pronounced dead at 1:07pm on November 24, almost exactly 48 hours from the time JFK passed away.

    And if that wasn’t enough of events going full circle, Jack Ruby also died at this hospital after suffering a pulmonary embolism.

    Something interesting about what happened at Parkland Hospital is that Texas law required a body to be autopsied before it could be shipped away from the state.

    But because it would take so long to autopsy JFK’s body, officials worked out a compromise so that an MD would stay by JFK’s body the entire way back to DC.

    Today, the exact trauma room no longer exists but there is a memorial marker in the radiology department for where it once existed.

    It’s probably obvious but because this is a hospital, entry is going to be limited and so the site may not be available for much of the public.

    JFK’s body was eventually buried in Arlington National Cemetery near Washington DC and his gravesite is still a major attraction today.

    JFK’s grave with the eternal flame burning.

    Final word

    Visiting these sites will likely cause you to feel an array of emotions.

    Hope, shock, skepticism, horror, all seem to arise at different times.

    But there is something to be said about walking in the footsteps of history.

    There’s no better way to absorb, appreciate, and understand the events that took place and while a lot of the content is pretty heavy, checking out all of these locations was worth every second to me.

    Oswald Rooming House Museum Review (Dallas, TX)

    There’s something special about standing in the exact spaces of major historical events. You’re able to appreciate and absorb the history in a way that otherwise just would not be possible.

    One location where you can do this is the Oswald Rooming House Museum in Dallas — a site closely tied to the assassination of JFK.

    If you’re thinking about visiting the Lee Harvey Oswald Rooming House and want to know tips on how to go about that and what to expect, keep reading below!

    What is the Oswald Rooming House Museum?

    The Lee Harvey Oswald Rooming House is a former boarding house that was once the temporary home to Lee Harvey Oswald from October 14, 1963 to the time of the JFK assassination.

    Today, it’s a museum house open to the public where you can visit Oswald’s old room and talk with the owner of the house who grew up interacting with Oswald.

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    Where is the Oswald Rooming House Museum?

    The Oswald Rooming House Museum is located at: 1026 N Beckley Ave, Dallas, TX 75203.

    This is about two miles from the The Sixth Floor Museum (the former Texas School Book Depository), which is where Oswald allegedly shot JFK.

    The house from the 1960s.

    Don’t get the Oswald Rooming House Museum mixed up with another nearby house that was also once the home to Oswald.

    That house is located at 214 W. Neely Street and it is infamous for the staircase found in the backyard.

    Related: Hilton Fort Worth Review (Where JFK spent his last night)

    It was directly under that staircase that Oswald took one of the most infamous photos with him holding the rifle that was allegedly used in the assassination.

    That photo is also thought to be one of the most important pieces of evidence incriminating Oswald.

    Today, you can view the house and even check out the stairs in the back (without having to trespass).

    How do you access the Oswald Rooming House Museum?

    The museum is open to the public but you need to make reservations or book a tour in order to get access to the house.

    The house can be visited as part of a bus tour but we decided on a private tour (highly recommended).

    Private tours can be booked via telephone by calling the owner at: 469-261-7806.

    It’s possible to do a last-minute tour but it is recommended that you schedule at least a week or two in advance to make sure there will be availability.

    The prices for this tour may fluctuate or change but we paid $30 per person for what could’ve been a session of two hours. Cash and credit card are accepted.

    We had to leave to visit another site so we only had 60 minutes which actually was not really enough time.

    You might be wondering how on earth a tour of such a small rooming house would last up to two hours. Well, I’ll get into that below….

    One thing to know about the tour is that you are allowed to take photographs inside but she asks that you appear in all of your photographs.

    So you can have someone including Miss Pat, take a picture of you in some of the key spots.

    The Oswald Rooming House Museum experience

    In my opinion, there are two major reasons for visiting the Oswald rooming house museum: Lee Oswald’s bedroom and Talking with Mrs. Pat.

    Lee Oswald’s bedroom

    The first reason to come is that you can see the bedroom of Lee Oswald and the actual wardrobe closet that was in his room at the time.

    Lee Oswald bedroom
    Oswald's bedroom 1963
    Oswald’s bedroom. Photo from 1963 via CBS News.
    Lee Oswald bedroom wardrobe

    Note that Oswald did not sleep in this room the night before the assassination.

    Instead, he spent the night at the Ruth Paine House where he typically would stay on weekends.

    Reports indicate that Lee Oswald made his way over to his bedroom in the Oswald Rooming House Museum after he assassinated JFK.

    Once he arrived at the house he went to his wardrobe and grabbed a jacket and a gun and then left the house. He would go on to allegedly shoot and kill officer Tippit and eventually be apprehended in the Texas Theatre.

    Seeing the tiny quarters that Oswald lived in is pretty surreal.

    First, it’s just crazy and a little eerie that this is where he was living at the time of the assassination.

    Second, the room is just very, very small.

    Talking with Mrs. Pat

    The main attraction here is a talk with Patricia Hall aka “Mrs. Pat.”

    She is the granddaughter of the former owner of the house, Mrs. Gladys Johnson, who owned it when Lee Oswald was a tenant.

    Mrs. Pat is full of stories, theories, and conversation related to the JFK assassination.

    And it is the stories that are so addicting to listen to.

    What’s most interesting to me is that she grew up around the house as a kid.

    When she was 10 years old she had interactions with Oswald and remembers very specific stories that she openly shares.

    You get to hear (first-hand) what Lee Oswald was like and how he interacted with kids in the neighborhood. It’s very intriguing.

    Beyond recalling her childhood memories, she also has a lot of information about the events related to the assassination.

    She definitely does not believe in the “standard” explanation of what happened.

    If you are versed in the death of JFK, you know that there are several theories around his death involving actors like Lyndon Johnson, the CIA, the mob, Fidel Castro, etc.

    As you sit down in a 1960s style living room, Mrs. Pat is able to go deep into all of these theories and show you how things fit together (or rather how they don’t fit together).

    While I don’t know if I am on board with all of her views on the events, her perspective made me ponder a lot of things.

    Regardless of whether or not you are in full agreement or full disagreement with her, you can’t deny that listening to her stories is utterly fascinating.

    She is like a living museum exhibit.

    But unlike an exhibit, she won’t be around forever, so talking with her feels like something you truly need to cherish.

    In addition to the stories, she also has a few interesting items in the house to show you that I won’t fully spoil for you in the review.

    My biggest tip I would have before visiting here is to do some serious research.

    Watch documentaries, listen to podcasts, read articles, etc.

    Come with questions about the research, ask them, and then just let Miss Pat go off with her stories.

    If you are not on board with any of the JFK conspiracy theories, I think it will be impossible to not come away with at least some questions about the current leading narrative.

    Final word

    The Oswald Rooming House Museum was my favorite location out of the dozen or so JFK assassination sites that we visited in Dallas.

    I found Miss Pat’s story to be very captivating and it was also very interesting to see Lee Oswald’s little bedroom. I would highly highly recommend this tour for anyone remotely interested in the history behind the JFK assassination.

    Ruth Paine House Museum Review (JFK Site)

    On a recent trip to the Dallas-Fort Worth area, I was surprised to find out how many sites there were related to the JFK assassination.

    With so many different places to see, you might have to narrow down your options to only a few and if that is the case then I would highly recommend you checking out the Ruth Paine House Museum.

    Below, I’ll give you a detailed review of the experience and let you know exactly what to expect and how to book if you’re interested.

    What is the Ruth Paine House Museum?

    The Ruth Paine House Museum is a house turned museum that is known for being the place where Lee Harvey Oswald stayed the night before the JFK assassination.

    Lee Oswald’s wife, Marina Oswald, lived at the Ruth Paine House and Lee Harvey Oswald would spend weekends there when he was not staying at his boarding house (which you can also visit).

    Now, the house is a museum open to the public and full of exhibits that tell the story of Ruth Paine, Michael Paine, Lee Oswald, and Marina Oswald.

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    Where is the Ruth Paine House Museum?

    The Ruth Paine House Museum is located at 2515 W. 5th Street, Irving, TX.

    Before the pandemic, tours would begin at the Irving Archives Museum and then you would be transported to the house in a van.

    However, now you simply arrive at the Ruth Paine House Museum and then you can decide if you want to visit the Irving Archives Museum afterwards. (The museum is only about a seven minute drive away from the house at 801 W Irving Blvd, Irving, TX 75060.)

    Reservations are required to visit the Ruth Paine House Museum and you can book a tour through this website. Tickets are $12 per person which in my opinion is a bargain.

    Ruth Paine House Museum Background

    In 2009, the City of Irving purchased the Paine House and in 2011 they began efforts to restore the house to its original 1963 appearance.

    This wasn’t the cheapest task and it’s estimated that they spent about $100,000.

    Eventually, the Ruth Paine Home was ready for visitors and it opened up on November 6, 2013 — the 50th anniversary of the JFK assassination.

    Over the years, the museum has added additional artifacts and household items and they seem to be continually working to make the house look more and more like how it appeared in the 1960s.

    Related: 16 JFK Assassination Related Sites in Dallas/Fort Worth (Ultimate Guide)

    Ruth Paine House Museum Tour

    Before you enter the house, your guide should give you a briefing on a lot of the background of the house and Ruth Paine herself.

    You’ll find out who she was and what was going on in her life when she decided to let Lee Oswald’s wife, Marina, live with her.

    Once you hear the full story of how it all came to be, it all sort of makes sense why she would let them into her house.

    You’ll also learn a little bit about the neighbors including the neighbor that got Lee Oswald the job at the Texas School Book Depository and the one that took him to work on the day of the shooting.

    It’s pretty fascinating that multiple homes on the street have such close ties to the JFK assassination.

    Ruth Paine House Museum

    Inside the Ruth Paine House Museum

    The tour is a pretty simple one which will take you through a handful of different rooms in this tiny house.

    In each room, you’ll find short re-enactments of different scenes that are displayed through projected vignettes. It’s definitely one of the more unique ways to take in this type of history.

    The re-enactments will mostly tell the stories of Ruth, Marina, and Lee during their time living at the house and before and after the assassination.

    You really get a sense of the type of relationships that these people had with each other which I believe helps you understand the type of people that they were.

    It’s a pretty well done exhibit overall but I would recommend two changes to improve the experience:

    First, my recommendation would be for the museum to time the start of the movie projections a little better because we were dropped into some of the rooms midway through the scenes.

    Also, the volume from the other rooms is a little loud and can make it difficult to focus on what you’re listening to because of multiple voices coming from different areas in the house.

    If they could fix those two things, I think it would greatly enhance the visitor experience.

    On the tour, you’ll start off in the living room which has some original items from the house including the speaker box and a large brown lamp.

    Original items in the Ruth Paine house.

    This living room is where a very famous photo was taken from Time magazine that featured Oswald’s mother and Marina Oswald with her infant.

    Reportedly, Oswald’s mother thought she was being paid for the photo shoot and after she found out that was not the case she became uninterested and was basically over it.

    From the living room, you will head to a couple of the bedrooms.

    The first bedroom is the room that Lee Oswald slept in the night before the assassination and it’s probably one of the main attractions of this museum for most people.

    Lee woke up early that morning, went through his morning coffee drinking routine and without waking anyone in the house headed out with his rifle but not before leaving behind his wedding ring and some cash next to Marina’s bed.

    Lee’s wedding ring can still be viewed today at the Sixth Floor Museum in Dallas.

    This was the bedroom that Marina occupied along with the two kids.

    The second bedroom is Ruth Paine’s old room where you can hear more of her story.

    The bathroom is said to be virtually unchanged from the 1960s, including the bright pink color that you find today.

    The kitchen is a really cool area that even has appliances dating back to the 1960s.

    In addition to some retro literature, you’ll find some photographs which were used to track down the right type of appliances and other furniture items during the restoration efforts.

    It’s actually really fascinating how they’ve used family photos and videos from interviews to reconstruct the interior of the house.

    Also, I found it pretty impressive how they were able to find items that were exact or nearly exact matches to what was in the house previously.

    From the kitchen, you can check out the backyard although there is not much to see other than a swing set. Beware: there is a pretty obnoxious dog in the neighboring yard that will likely go on a barking spree when you enter the backyard.

    After you check out the kitchen you’ll be ushered into the garage where Lee Oswald stored (and hid) his bolt-action Mannlicher-Carcano rifle unbeknownst to the owner Ruth Paine.

    Ruth was a devout Quaker who would have surely objected to the presence of a gun in her house but Lee and Marina did not tell her about the gun.

    In fact, when the police arrived to investigate, Ruth was stunned to find out that Marina knew Lee had stored his rifle in the house.

    One can only imagine the thoughts that were running through her head over that weekend.

    On the wall in the garage, you can find some info on some of the conspiracy theories surrounding the JFK assassination. As you might expect, Ruth Paine was accused of playing a role in some of those conspiracies.

    Irving Archives and Museum

    Once you finish at the house you have the option of heading over to the Irving Archives and Museum which I would recommend doing.

    The Irving Archives and Museum has a special exhibition room dedicated to Ruth.

    Inside, you’ll find old school 1960s TVs stacked in the corner replaying black and white news footage from the time of the assassination.

    The screen in the middle is the main attraction and you can choose from about seven different short video clips — each clip about five to six minutes long.

    These video clips showcase interviews with Ruth Paine where she goes into detail about things like dealing with the grief of JFK’s assassination and her association to it.

    She also talks about dealing with the negative spotlight, and her thoughts on Marina, Leo Oswald, and more.

    I recommend checking out the exhibit because in addition to giving you insight into Lee and Marina’s relationship, it really does a good job of telling the story Ruth Paine.

    It’s unimaginable to think about how it would feel to know you were housing the alleged assassin of the President of the United States.

    However, if you listen to the interviews you’ll find that Ruth is an extremely open person and seems like a very genuine and trustworthy person as well.

    Final word

    The Ruth Paine Museum is a must-see attraction for people interested in the JFK assassination. Admission is cheap and I found it very worthwhile to watch history play out in the actual rooms where these events took place.

    JFK Priority Pass Lounges Guide (Alaska, Air France, Etc.) [2021]

    JFK is home to several Priority Pass airport lounges and even a restaurant.

    But how do you find these lounges and which terminals are they in?

    This article will tell you how to get to these Priority Pass JFK lounges and what to expect when you get there when it comes to things like food, drinks, showers, crowds, etc.. I’ll cover all of the lounges for Priority Pass including the Air France, KAL, Wingtips, and Alaska lounge and even the new restaurant.

    Interested in finding out the top travel credit cards for this month? Click here to check them out! 

    What Priority Pass lounges are at JFK?

    There are seven Priority Pass lounges at JFK and one restaurant:

    • Air France Lounge — Terminal 1
    • KAL Business Class Lounge — Terminal 1
    • Lufthansa Business Lounge — Terminal 1
    • Primeclass Lounge — Terminal 1
    • Air India Maharaja Lounge — Terminal 4
    • Wingtips Lounge — Terminal 4 
    • Alaska Lounge — Terminal 7
    • Bobby Van’s Steakhouse — Terminal 8

    I’ll discuss the details of each of these below.

    How to get Priority Pass

    You can get Priority Pass by purchasing a club membership but I always recommend considering credit cards that offer you a Priority Pass Select membership.

    These cards would be cards like the Chase Sapphire Reserve and the Platinum Card from American Express. Those cards do come with higher fees so you might want to think about credit cards with lower annual fees that offer Priority Pass like the Hilton Surpass Card, which offers you 10 free lounge visits every year.

    If you don’t normally spend a lot of time visiting airports and traveling, then 10 lounge visits is more than enough for you and you’ll benefit from the lower annual fee.

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    JFK Terminals

    JFK has six operative terminals, which are numbered 1 through 8. In case you were wondering, Terminals 3 and 6 were demolished in 2011 and 2013 after Terminal 5 was expanded. Full list here.

    JFK Terminal 1

    JFK Terminal 2

    JFK Terminal 4

    JFK Terminal 5

    JFK Terminal 7

    JFK Terminal 8

    Getting between terminals at JFK is not very easy because the majority of the terminals are not located airside. There is a free train called the AirTran but that requires you re-enter through security when traveling between terminals. An exception to this is that Delta connects its terminals 2 and 4 with a shuttle bus.

    Air France Lounge — Terminal 1 


    • Airside – near the Air France Boarding Area by Gate 1


    • Daily: 2:00pm to 7:30pm


    • Maximum 3 hour stay
    • Access may be restricted due to space constraints
    • Cardholder must be 21 years of age or older
    • Children under 2 years are admitted free – All children must be accompanied by an adult

    The Air France Lounge at JFK is a spacious, two-floor lounge with modern decor and quiet seating, although it can get a bit busy before large flights ship out. While there are large windows in the lounge, there are no views in this lounge truly ideal for plane-spotting but it’s still a beautiful lounge to relax in.

    There’s a well-stocked bar and a decent selection of snacks as well as hot and cold foods, such as croissants and eggs for breakfast. There are showers available at this lounge and spa treatment available too.

    KAL Business Class Lounge — Terminal 1 


    • Airside – after Security Checkpoint, the lounge is located on the right hand side, across Gate 3. All passengers must hold a boarding pass departing from Terminal 1


    • Daily: 8:30am – 12:00pm
    • Cardholders will not be admitted into the lounge outside these hours


    • Limited to two guests per cardholder
    • Access may be restricted due to space constraints
    • Children under 2 years are admitted free – All children must be accompanied by an adult

    The KAL Business Class Lounge in Terminal 1 is largely overshadowed by the Lufthansa Lounge and the Air France Lounge, which are nicer. The KAL Lounge is mostly one large lounge room full of sofas and chairs, but limited with electrical outlets.

    The food selection is very limited and you probably won’t find hot food options. Instead, you’ll be limited to things like sandwiches, chips, cookies, etc. You’ll be able to find enough to get you by but just don’t go in expecting a full meal.

    This is why some people bring in their own food from the outside in order to quench their hunger (the lounge will usually allow for outside food to be brought in).

    Like many other KAL lounges, the drink selection is limited in this lounge and definitely not on par with the Air France Lounge.

    Showers are available at this lounge.

    Lufthansa Business Lounge — Terminal 1


    • Airside – after Security Checkpoint on the left hand side. International and in-transit flights only.


    • Mon, Wed, Fri, Sun: 12:30pm – 6:00pm
    • Tue, Thu, Sat: 12:30pm – 5:30pm


    • Maximum 3 hour stay
    • Children under 2 years are admitted free

    Primeclass Lounge — Terminal 1


    • Airside – after Security, next to Gates 8 and 9. International flights only


    • Mon, Tue, Thu, Sat: 12:00pm to 6:30pm
    • Wed, Fri, Sun: 9:30am to 6:30pm


    • Maximum 4 hour stay
    • Lounge access may be restricted due to Lounge capacity constraints and the lounge reserves the right to reserve seating as necessary
    • Children under 6 years are admitted free
    • Complimentary drinks are limited to two per person
    • Computer workstations and printers available

    This is a pretty solid 5,120-square foot contract lounge where you can find a variety of hot foods and a decently sized buffet. The lounge feels pretty modern and fresh and has a good variety of seating options for you to choose from.

    The biggest restriction to note here is that complimentary drinks are limited to only two per person (you should be issued drink vouchers). Also, this lounge serves premium cocktails and alcoholic drinks but those are served for an additional charge. Cocktails will cost you $16 and other premium alcohol will cost you about $14. Beer and wine will range from $8 to $10.

    This lounge does have shower facilities.

    Air India Maharaja Lounge — Terminal 4


    • Airside – after Security, next to Gate 5


    • Daily: 9:30am to 6:30pm


    • Maximum 4 hour stay
    • Lounge access may be restricted due to lounge capacity constraints and the lounge reserves the right to reserve seating as necessary
    • Children under 6 years are admitted free.

    This is a pretty basic lounge on the smaller side. It is not going to probably offer you anything special but should cover your basic needs for food and drinks. This lounge does not have shower facilities.

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    Wingtips Lounge — Terminal 4 


    • Airside – after proceeding through TSA/Security Checkpoint, turn right and proceed approximately 100 meters where the lounge is located on the left


    • Mon, Tue, Wed, Sat: 8:00am to 8:00pm
    • Thu, Fri, Sun: 8:00am to 9:00pm


    • Maximum 4 hour stay
    • Limited to six guests per Cardholder
    • Children under 3 years are admitted free
    • Dress code applicable (shoes and shirts required for entry – no baseball caps allowed).
    • This lounge is only accessible for passengers departing from Terminal 4. Passengers departing from other terminals may not be able to enter this lounge.

    This is one of those lounges that can be strict about admitting Priority Pass members so if you’re trying to visit from 5pm to 1am, do not be surprised if you’re not allowed access with your Priority Pass membership. And if you do get admitted into the lounge, be warned that crowds (and noise) can become an issue at this lounge.

    The lounge has an okay food/snack and drink selection but nothing special. You’ll mostly get to choose from some refreshments and snacks (pretzels, cookies, etc.) along with salads. There are international beers available so you can switch things up if you’d like.

    Wingtips Lounge at JFK.

    Alaska Lounge — Terminal 7


    • Airside – after Security Checks, proceed to the Mezzanine Level above Security.


    • Daily: 5:00am to 9:00am & 2:30pm to 9:00pm
    • Closed: Dec 25


    • Lounge access is permitted 2 hours prior to a scheduled flight departure
    • Limited to two guests per cardholder or immediate family (spouse and children under 21 years of age)
    • Lounge access may be restricted due to Lounge capacity constraints and the Lounge reserves the right to reserve seating as necessary
    • Children under 2 years are admitted free
    • Alcoholic drinks are limited to three per adult.

    This is a new lounge that just opened up in 2018 and so it was an exciting addition to the Priority Pass network, as it’s one of the best Priority Pass lounges at JFK. It’s a beautiful lounge with a rustic vibe optimal for relaxation. The lounge is home to large floor to ceiling windows that are great for watching the runway.

    There’s a lot of comfy and private seating options in this lounge and plenty of power outlets for everyone — there’s even a fireplace in the lounge.

    As for food you can expect standard breakfast foods like bagels and muffins for breakfast along with the famous pancake machine. In the afternoon, soups, salads, and other light refreshments will be available (though you can pay $8 for hot food items). There’s also a nice coffee bar in the lounge, too.

    You’ll have access to complimentary beer and wine though premium drinks can be purchased as well.

    Alaska Lounge at JFK.

    Bobby Van’s Steakhouse — Terminal 8


    • Airside – after Security, turn right and Bobby Van’s Steakhouse is located opposite Gate 14


    • Daily: 5:00am to 8:00pm


    • Cardholders can use their lounge visit entitlement to receive $28 USD off the bill.
    • Each $28 deduction represents a single lounge visit
    • If a Cardholder registers 1 Guest they will receive $56 USD off their bill which will be charged as 1 Cardholder visit + 1 Guest visit on their account.
    • Only 1 membership card per visit per Cardholder will be accepted at point of entry.
    •  The US$28 is valid for purchase of any meal and/or drinks.
    • To be eligible, Cardholders must present a Valid Card and Boarding Pass with confirmed same-day travel before placing an order.
    • Cardholder is responsible for balance if total final bill exceeds US$28 per person. Any remaining balance cannot be used towards gratuity.

    If you’re in the mood for a steakhouse then consider trying out Bobby Van’s, which will offer some solid airport dining. You won’t be able to get a steak covered for $28 but you you can offset the cost of one down to $8. Also, there are plenty of other menu items that fall under $28 like burgers and sandwiches.

    Centurion Lounge Reminder

    You are not offered access to Amex Centurion Lounges with Priority Pass but I thought this would be a good time to remind travelers that a new Amex Centurion Lounge is located at JFK in Terminal 4.

    Final word

    JFK has a hand full of options for Priority Pass members. However, the layout of JFK Airport makes it difficult to visit many of these lounges since you generally can’t connect airside. Also, the lounge admission policies (and quality) of some of the lounges are questionable although there are at least two solid options with the Alaska and Air France lounge.