The Ultimate Guide To Dallas
Dallas, a sprawling metropolis with a myriad of cityscapes and cultures!
Dallas, often referred to as the Big D, is home to several art, museum, and shopping districts featuring several family-friendly attractions!
Located in Northeast Texas, Dallas is one of the largest and most populous cities in the US and a significant commercial hub that’s home to several major industries, including transportation, telecommunication, defense, banking, oil, airlines, and several others. However, besides the major enterprises, Dallas is also popularly known for its southern charm and a culturally diverse city offering several entertainment options, including several skyscrapers, museums, parks, gardens, shopping malls, and vibrant neighborhoods.
The initial growth in Dallas was due to the major railroads and interstates that passed through the city, making it a prime transportation hub. Soon came several modern industries that continue to grow Dallas as a cosmopolitan city, attracting people of different religions and ethnicity. As a result, the city of Dallas today is a melting pot of several cultures and communities and home to several neighborhoods, historic districts, and museums preserving the city’s rich history.
Experience southern charm, stunning Dallas skyline, several family-friendly attractions, and of course, barbecue & authentic Mexican cuisine on your trip to Dallas!
The city of Dallas continues to charm its residents and lure visitors through its modern-day architectures, sports venues, world-class museums, some of the best shopping malls of the Nation, the famous Dallas Zoo, many public parks, and several cuisines and incredible culinary experiences. The city life after the sunset is equally fascinating in Dallas, with several live music venues, rooftop bars, evening sightseeing tours, and several nightclubs. Though you might not find many natural sceneries and wonders in Dallas, the Big D’s cityscapes and several attractions make it a must-see in Texas!
Here is my ultimate guide to Dallas, featuring essential trip-planning information, major attractions, Dallas attractions map, shows, tours, and recommendations on hotels and restaurants in Dallas!
Planning Your Trip To Dallas
Directly flying into Dallas-Fort Worth international airport and staying close to downtown Dallas is the best way to explore the city!
Best Time To Visit Dallas: Summers are extremely hot and humid in Dallas and not the best time for sightseeing and outdoor activities. The best time to visit Dallas is during spring and fall, when the temperatures are more pleasant. Winters are cold, but it seldom snows in Dallas, so if you don’t mind cooler temperatures, winter is also a good time to visit Dallas.
Time Required At Dallas: With so much to see and do in Dallas, I recommend spending a minimum of two days to see the city’s major highlights. However, if you have more time, you could spend an entire week exploring every museum, several districts, eclectic neighborhoods, enjoy the Dallas nightlife, and of course, indulge in some of the best cuisines and restaurants in Dallas.
Getting To Dallas: The best and most comfortable way to get to Dallas is by flying into Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, located very close to downtown Dallas. Alternatively, you could also take an Amtrak train or a Greyhound bus to Dallas.
- Flight: Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW), Dallas, Texas, about 20 miles from downtown Dallas, is the closest major international airport to Dallas and is serviced by several airlines. Dallas Love Field (DAL), Dallas, Texas, located approximately 7 miles from downtown Dallas, is a domestic airport in Dallas but is serviced only by a few airlines.
- Train: The Eddie Bernice Johnson Union Station, an Amtrak train station located right in downtown Dallas, is serviced by several Amtrak train services connecting Dallas to other parts of the Nation.
- Bus: Greyhound offers bus services to Dallas, with the closest Greyhound bus stop located in Lamar Street, right next to downtown Dallas.
Parking & Transportation In Dallas: Most hotels and attractions in Dallas have ample parking, and there are quite a few public parking lots in the downtown area. Though DART, Dallas Area Rapid Transit, offers bus and light rail services in Dallas, it’s a good idea to rent a car when visiting Dallas. However, be prepared for heavy traffic during the rush hours, especially on the weekdays.
Tours & Multi-Attraction Passes In Dallas: If you’re visiting Dallas or any other city in the US for the first time, I highly recommend using a hop-on-hop-off tour service and buying a discounted multi-attraction pass from CityPASS. There’re a few local tour companies that offer guided bus tours in Dallas, including Bid D Fun Tours, Dallas Super Tours, and Fun Dallas Tours.
Lodging & Dining In Dallas: Dallas is bustling with several hotels ranging from boutique hotels to bread and breakfasts located close to downtown offering easy access to several attractions. The dining options in Dallas can be overwhelming, with several different cuisines and restaurants ranging from fine dining to casual dining. However, you must try a few popular Dallas dishes, including barbecue, gourmet Mexican food, fried chicken steak, and pecan pie when visiting the town. I have reviewed the lodging and dining options in Dallas in detail in the later section of this post.
Things To Do In Dallas
Dallas Attractions Map
Here’re the must-see places on a trip to Dallas, listed south to north!
The Dallas Zoo, built in the year 1888, is one of the oldest zoos in the US. The zoo is enormous, featuring several species of animals organized in sections, including Giants of the Savanna, the Otter Outpost, the excellent Wildlife Amphitheater with its displays of birds in flight, and my favorite, the Wilds of Africa Adventure Safari monorail.
The Reunion Tower, a very prominent spherical structure looming along with the other skyscrapers in downtown Dallas, is a 560 feet tall observation tower. Reunion Tower offers some of the best views of the Dallas skyline, features a restaurant, and hosts several events.
Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza
Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza
Located on Elm Street on the sixth floor of the Dallas Administrative Building, where President John F. Kennedy was assassinated, the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza is a museum featuring several exhibits, photographs, and artifacts offering insights into the legacy of President John F. Kennedy and the tragic event of his assassination.
Dallas World Aquarium
Dallas World Aquarium
The Dallas World Aquarium, located in the historic downtown district, features several fishes, birds, and other amphibians organized in several sections. The Aquarium also offers several programs, including ranger talks, animal feeding, and a few dining options.
Perot Museum of Nature and Science
The Perot Museum of Nature and Science is a science and nature museum featuring several exhibits pertaining to earth sciences and the technical, scientific, and industrial achievements of modern times. The museum also features a 3D theater and is a fun place for kids and grownups alike.
Dallas Museum of Art
Dallas Museum of Art
The Dallas Museum of Art is one of the largest art museums in the US, featuring a massive collection from all over the globe ranging from classical to contemporary artworks. Located a few miles from the Perot Museum, the Dallas Museum of Art is a must-see for art fanatics.
Klyde Warren Park
Klyde Warren Park
Located in the downtown midst of the skyscrapers, the Klyde Warren Park is a small urban park and an excellent place to enjoy the cityscapes in a woodland setting. The Klyde Warren Park is just a few miles from the Dallas Art Museum and a nice place to spend the evening outdoors while enjoying delicious food from the several food trucks.
Shopping & Nightlife In Dallas
Home to several shopping malls and districts, Dallas is a popular shopping destination in Texas for locals and visitors alike!
Shopping Malls In Dallas: Shopping might not be on top of your list when visiting a place, but even though you’re not planning to shop, you must tour a few exuberant shopping malls in Dallas! The malls in Dallas not only feature some of the most luxury brands, but they also offer several cafes, restaurants, movie theaters, and other fun activities and events. Below I have listed my favorite and some of the most popular shopping malls in Dallas.
- North Park Center: On the top of my list is the North Park Center, located in North Dallas, the North Park Center is a huge shopping mall featuring several luxury and boutique stores, several eateries, and AMC Theater.
- Galleria: Located in North Dallas, Galleria is a four-story shopping mall featuring several shops, eateries, a kid’s play area, and the famous year-round ice-skating rink.
- The Shops at Park Lane: The Shops at Park Lane is an open-air shopping complex in an urban setting, featuring several stores, eateries, a bowling alley, and spas.
Nightlife In Dallas: The nightlife in Dallas is equally fascinating, and I just don’t mean clubs and pubs. You will find several families and kid-friendly things to do in Dallas at night, including live performances, amazing dinner shows, and evening city tours. When it comes to nightclubs and pubs, the Big D has several options, including rooftop bars, live music venues, and lounges. Here’re some of the most popular nightclubs and lounges in Dallas – Gallery Rooftop Lounge, Midnight Rambler, Inwood Tavern, and Opening Bell Coffee.
I recommend staying close to downtown Dallas for easy access to the several attractions and an authentic Dallas experience!
Hotels In Dallas: Staying in downtown Dallas has several upsides, including easy access to several attractions and the liberty to enjoy late-night shows and nightlife. There’re several hotels in downtown Dallas, ranging from boutique hotels to bread and breakfasts. Here’re are my top picks for hotels in and near downtown Dallas.
- The Adolphus: Located in downtown Dallas, The Adolphus is the epitome of luxury, featuring elegant suites and rooms with excellent dining and spa services.
- The Joule: One of the most popular boutique hotels in Dallas, The Joule features luxurious rooms, an elegant lobby, and extraordinary guest services.
- Hyatt Regency Dallas: Located close to the Reunion Tower, the Hyatt Regency Dallas offers easy access to several downtown attractions and great lodging and dining choices.
- Omni Dallas: Close to the shopping district in downtown Dallas and with a walkway to the Dallas Convention Center, Omni Dallas offers contemporary rooms, excellent guest service, and a couple of on-site dining options.
Restaurants In Dallas: The dining options in Dallas can be overwhelming, ranging from fine dining to food trucks serving various cuisines, including Southern delicacies, Tex-Mex, Mediterranean food, and Indian cuisine. You are likely to find every cuisine in Dallas! There’re so many eateries in every street of the town it’s impossible to try them all and pick one over the other. However, here’re a few dishes and joints you must try when in Dallas – barbecue in Lockhart Smokehouse BBQ or Pecan Lodge, steak in Pappas Bros. Steakhouse or Perry’s Steakhouse & Grille, and authentic Mexican Food at Meso Maya Comida y Copas or Pappasito’s Cantina.
Other Texas Attractions & Related Posts
I hope you enjoyed reading the post, The Ultimate Guide To Dallas, and I hope this will help you plan your trip to Dallas. You can find other Texas attractions in my Texas Travel Guide.
Happy feeding your soul!
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