I am afraid, I have to agree with the negative comments about Southfork. Being an avid fan, and visiting Dallas, I felt I could not leave without a visit to this famous ranch. Perhaps my expectations were too high, but on entering the ranch, my first disappointment, was not driving under that big SOUTHFORK archway which was always shown on the series. I discovered later, that the archway still exists, over another entrance further down, so I did get to see it later, but the gateway, which is a bit dilapidated was closed.
It is now a very commercial enterprise, so having people come through the visitor area which is really a big shop, is geared I imagine, at getting people to buy some souvenirs of the visit. Walking through to the museum, an official photographer is there armed with camera and Stetsons as props, requesting people to pose in front of a very gaudy neon Dallas sign. These photos cost $12 each, and can be collected on the way back should one want it. The Museum was interesting, as already mentioned in other reviews, so take time to browse around.
The open trolley pulled by a tractor is the mode of transport to the house, and this only takes a few minutes. We did have the driver point out a few outbuildings on the way, but his knowledge of the series, was very limited, his excuse for that being that he was not even born when it was filmed!!! A little homework might not go amiss!
The house is definitely much smaller, as is the outside patio area and the pool, which I believe was made to look much bigger by mirrors, and some trick photography. A history of the house, and how it came to be part of that wonderful series was explained to us by a much more informed guide inside the house.
We were left free to roam inside the house, but walking around knowing that none of the scenes were actually filmed there, just removed some of the magic and awe I expected to feel. It was easy to recognise all the rooms which incidentally were cordoned off, as they are exact replicas of the set. If one let the imagination take over, that sitting room with its lovely stone fireplace over which hangs the picture of Jock, could come alive again and one could visualise the Ewing family there having their pr-dinner drinks, and one of their usual family squabbles.
Disappointed yes, but would I have left Dallas without seeing Southfork – I think not!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC