Dallas isn’t just soap operas and cowboys. The city of Dallas is a vibrant and exciting vacation spot that proves that not only is everything bigger in Texas, but better. If you’re looking for top restaurants, exciting games, and top-rated attractions, consider planning a trip to this Texas getaway.
Dallas is an easily accessible city. Visitors who wish to fly to Dallas will be amazed at the extensive public transportation available. The Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) provides visitors with low-cost travel to the preeminent Dallas destinations via light rail and buses. Dallas has also been making great strides in walkability, expanding sidewalks and amenities in the downtown region to ensure that visitors and residents can make their way around Dallas without a car. From sporting events to area museums, getting around Dallas is a breeze with public transportation.
Feast for the Ears & Eyes
Dallas is home to a thriving art and music scene. The Arts District in northern downtown boasts venues such as the Dallas Museum of Art, the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center, the Nasher Sculpture Center, and the Dallas Children’s Theatre. Visitors can walk to Deep Ellum to mingle with the local artists and admire graffiti art throughout the district.
Just Plain Feast!
If you’re looking for local fare, the Dallas culinary scene can’t be beat. Dallas is world renowned for its Mexican, Tex-Mex, steak and barbecue. A trip to Uptown Dallas and a reservation can get visitors into Fearing’s Restaurant, the 2009 best hotel restaurant in the United States, second best only to Four Seasons King George V in Paris, France. A trip to Bob’s Steak and Chop House and visitors can enjoy the number one rated steakhouse according to USDA Prime Steakhouses chart. Even if you don’t book a table at Dallas’ top rated restaurants, any local restaurant or food truck can introduce visitors to why Dallas has become a culinary destination.
Five Dallas Year-Round Stand-Outs
Dallas is a growing city and a fun destination for families and couples. Whether spending your trip to Dallas enjoying local art or simply touring the best food in the city, you’ll understand why it’s a must-visit destination at any time of year.
1. Dallas Arboretum & Botanical Gardens
Even if you aren’t a botanist, the Dallas Arboretum & Botanical Gardens are a fascinating getaway that plunges Dallas visitors into the beauty of the local flora. Boosting 66 acres of botanical gardens, this sanctuary takes visitors away from the bustle of the historic district and into the tranquility of East Dallas. Featuring miles of walking paths, thousands of varieties of plants, and even a place for the kid’s the explore, a trip to the Dallas Arboretum is a must.
No matter which season you visit the Arboretum, there are seasonal exhibits which display the diversity and beauty of Texas’ natural flora. Autumn at the Arboretum brings a celebration of fall to Pecan Grove, forming Pumpkin Village from over 50,000 pumpkins, gourds, and squash. The 12 Days of Christmas guides visitors through the famous song, complete with maids a’ milking and lords a’ leaping. Dallas Blooms is a spring tulip show that offers the best display west of Amsterdam. Check the Arboretum schedule for up-to-date listings of limited time events.
While the Dallas Arboretum focuses on the flowers, they also host musicians and artists year round. An outdoor concert stage hosts seasonal concert series, allowing visitors to lay back and listen to music from R&B to pop. Guests are encouraged to pack picnic baskets and coolers or enjoy Dallas’ best food trucks which stop at the concert to provide Dallas’ best eats to Arboretum guests. Local artists display their sculptures, paintings, and exhibits throughout the grounds so make plans to soak in local culture while enjoying the plant life.
A trip to the Arboretum is a must for any Dallas visitor. The underground parking garage offers ample parking for visitors traveling by car at only $15 per carload while those using public transportation can board the DART light rail to arrive at the Arboretum. Tickets can be purchased at the entrance. Plan a day of fun, sun, and beauty at the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Gardens.
2. The 6th Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza
A trip to Dallas just isn’t complete without a trip to Dealey Plaza, site of President John F. Kennedy’s tragic assassination. Located on the very floor that the shooter committed the crime, museum visitors are given access to the largest archive of first-hand information on the Kennedy assassination.
Discover the politics, the social history, and the ongoing examination of President Kennedy’s death. Visitors are transported to November 22, 1963 through primary accounts of the men and women who saw and responded to the President’s assassination. Look out onto the grassy knoll from the sniper’s nest and follow the footsteps of detectives as they re-created the crime. Visitors can also explore the seventh floor of the museum which features a rotating selection of exhibits which will keep visitors coming back year after year.
Weekends and holidays can get busy at the museum and to avoid waiting in long lines, it’s suggested that visitors purchase tickets in advance. Admission prices include an audio guide which moves visitors through the museum and features historic radio pieces and the voices of those on the scene the fateful day of Kennedy’s assassination. Visitors traveling Dallas with a vehicle can find parking across the street from the museum. Those relying on Dallas’ extensive public transportation system have the option of arriving via DART light rail or from the Trinity Railway Express. Both stop a short walk away from the museum. The 6th Floor Museum is a must-see for anyone visiting Dallas, Texas.
3. Perot Museum of Nature and Science
Kids and kids-at-heart can stimulate their curiosity at the Perot Museum of Nature and Science. The museum features eleven permanent exhibits that range from an interactive exhibit that caters solely to those under the age of five, a sport exhibit where visitors discover whether they could outrun a T-rex, and an exhibit to release your inner entrepreneur and create your own invention. A regular rotation of traveling exhibits give everyone something new to see with each visit.
In addition to the exhibits, the museum also houses its own 3D theater which shows three different movies three times a day. Explore the wonders of the Galapagos, learn about the internal workings of a tornado, or simply see a Disney film in 3D. Tickets to a film can be purchased while buying museum tickets. Check the film selection and show times before visiting the museum to ensure you catch your show.
The Perot doesn’t just offer interactive and exciting exhibits, Discovery Days are another family activity offered every second Saturday of the month for no more than the price of a ticket. Scientists, artists, and educators flock to the museum to show, teach, and interact with visitors regarding the Discovery Days topic. If you’re traveling to Dallas, check to see if Discovery Days will coincide with your visit.
Visiting the Perot Museum is a family- and budget-friendly excursion that can create memories for the whole family during a trip to Dallas. Adults can visit the museum for $15 and children for $10. Film tickets start at $5 and all tickets can be purchased online prior to your visit to ensure a speedy entrance into the museum.
4. Catch Dallas’ Pro Sports Teams
Dallas isn’t just a city with fantastic museums, theaters, and dining. Dallas is also a sports city. With three pro teams, there’s a game for everyone. When planning a trip to Dallas, book tickets to see the Stars, the Mavericks, or the Cowboys for an unforgettable trip.
The Dallas Mavericks are renowned not only for their award winning seasons, clinching the 2011 NBA Championship most recently, but also for their billionaire tech owner, Mark Cuban. Just like their owner’s outgoing personality, games are high energy and fun. Become a painted fan to try to score free tickets or purchase tickets on the sidelines to sit among the celebrities and ardent fans of the Mavs. A visit to Dallas during basketball season just isn’t complete without seeing the Dallas Mavericks play.
If basketball isn’t your favorite sport, the Dallas Cowboys are another hometown team that gives visitors a memorable evening out. Watch Tony Romo and Dez Bryant dominate the field against the best teams in the nation and Rowdy rile the fans up on the sidelines. While not located in Dallas, the AT&T Stadium is a convenient 25 minutes from the city center. Those driving can find adequate parking at the stadium while those without a car should arrange a shuttle.
The Dallas Stars offer some winter sports entertainment, playing other NHL teams from the across the continent. This family-friendly team offers family packs which include food, drink, and tickets starting at just $22 per person. Hockey fans and first-timers alike will have a great time visiting the Dallas Stars on the ice.
Dallas is, at its heart, a sports city. With diehard fans and thrilling games, visitors should plan to visit at least one stadium during their Dallas stay.
5. Dallas Zoo
Dallas is home to the oldest zoo in Texas and visitors who enjoy wildlife will love a trip to the Dallas Zoo. Established in 1888, the zoo started with two deer and two mountain lions but visitors today will enjoy over 2,000 animals who represent over 400 species. With unique habitats from around the world, visitors can spend half a day on a whirlwind tour through the exhibits or plan a relaxing day among the animals.
The zoo is divided into two major regions. ZooNorth is the oldest region of the zoo and houses the Otter Outpost, Bug U!, and the Wildlife Amphitheatre. This region also is home to the Children’s Zoo which gives kid’s the chance to learn and touch with a full petting zoo and a creek for children to cool down on hot days. The Koala Walkabout is a look at the Australian Outback through walking trails. ZooNorth provides an in-depth look at some of the most remote ares of the world.
The Wilds of Africa is the second region of the Dallas Zoo and the first zoo exhibit to feature every habitat on the continent of Africa. Visitors can explore this exhibit by stepping onboard the Monorail Safari which transports visitors into the heart of Africa on its one mile trek and through all six African habitats – bush, desert, forest, woodland, river, and mountain. After leaving the monorail, guests can explore the Chimpanzee Forest and Penguin Cove. The Gorilla Research Center is a two acre exhibit that allows its residents to roam free. Visitors can look on from the Gorilla Research Station which offers high vantage points and large windows for viewing.
The Dallas Zoo is easily accessible off I-35 and via the DART Red Line. Open everyday except Christmas, visitors should plan to arrive at opening to have enough time to see all the exhibits before closing. A trip to the Dallas Zoo is an unique opportunity to see some of the rarest animals on the globe in this accredited and awarded facility. No matter how long you’re planning to stay in Dallas, make time to visit the Dallas Zoo.