Dallas is the crown jewel of Texas (despite what the Austinites may think). Nestled comfortably in the middle of gorgeous hill country along the Trinity River, Dallas boasts of beautiful scenery and a city rich in history and culture. It’s hard not to notice the glitz and glam that blends perfectly with the country charm for a small-town-in-the-big-city feeling that is uniquely Dallas. There are so many wonderful experiences waiting for you in the “Big D”, but here are just a few.
A massive metroplex that only just blossomed well into the 20th century, Dallas is a relatively young city, but outside town at Dinosaur Valley State Park, you can see haunting echoes of the Earth's distant past. The park is home to a wild landscape bisected by the Paluxy River, along which are several sets of tracks from dinosaurs that roamed the area more than 100 million years ago.
A gathering so huge (in true Texas fashion) that they don't bother measuring attendance, the Texas State Fair is a world-famous 24-day celebration of food, music, and Texan culture. You can spend days meandering around the fair enjoying concerts, livestock shows, and iconic Texas State Fair—food like turkey legs and corny dogs (among strange others, such as fried spaghetti and meatballs)!
Best Day Trip
Just a half hour's drive from central Dallas is the other half of the DFW metroplex: Fort Worth. Much smaller than Dallas—people in North Texas have nicknamed the city "Cowtown"—Fort Worth still has a lot to explore, including the National Cowboys of Color Museum, the National Cowgirls Museum and Hall of Fame and the Texas Cowboys Hall of Fame. Head over to the Fort Worth Stockyards, where once wide-open cattle fields have been replaced with a rodeo, a hopping nightlife scene, and Billy Bob's, one of country music's most iconic honky tonks.
Off the Beaten Path
With pleasant weather throughout most of the year, Dallas loves its outdoor patios. The Truck Yard—a one-time junkyard converted into a beer garden—is a trendy space for an outdoor beer. But for an off-the-beaten-path beer and burger joint, check out this Dallas favorite with one of the most contentious names of any bar in the country: Lee Harvey's. Contrary to local lore, the place has no connection to Lee Harvey Oswald, JFK's alleged assassin, but if Lee Harvey's is an attempt to reclaim the name from one of America's greatest villains, with a menu this good and an atmosphere this cool, it's making good progress.
Most Iconic Attraction
Technically a suburb of Dallas, Arlington is a contiguous part of the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex and is home to what locals call "Jerry's World," an 80,000-seat arena named after Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and the homefield of the city’s NFL team. If you're in town during football season check out a Cowboys game—if not, catch another event. The stadium often hosts megastar concerts for acts like Beyoncé, U2, and Taylor Swift.
When packing, don't forget to bring your favorite stilettos and flashy accessories, because when the sun goes down in Dallas the people come out looking their finest. McKinney Avenue in uptown Dallas is one of the city's tonier strips. Deep Ellum, an art-focused neighborhood east of downtown, is thick with edgier bars and concert venues. For the young (and young at heart) intent on burning the midnight oil, there's Lizard Lounge, where electronic dance music pumps until long after the bars close.
The assassination of President John F. Kennedy took place in Dallas, and though Dallasites will be quick to tell you their city has many more positive claims to fame, they haven't shied away from commemorating one of the most significant events in American history. Learn about that world-changing, tragic event with a visit to Dealey Plaza and the infamous "grassy knoll," as well as the immaculately curated museum at the old Texas Book Depository Building nearby, from which Lee Harvey Oswald is believed to have pulled the trigger.
Ever wonder what Walt Disney's hands looked like? What about Katherine Hepburn's? The hands that wrote the works of Dr. Seuss? If so, Dallas has a peculiar attraction for you: the Adrian E. Flatt Hand Collection. The free museum, started by a hand surgeon, is a collection of more than 120 bronze casts of some of the famous hands in history.
Neighborhood to Explore
Just north of uptown Dallas (though still south of the neighborhood people call North Dallas), is the twin "cities" of Highland Park and University Park, tiny municipalities entirely within the city proper where the poshest of the posh in Dallas (like former president George W. Bush) make their homes. On its tree-lined streets the neighborhood has some of the city's most iconic mansions, plus the campus of Southern Methodist University and the George W. Bush presidential library.
Regardless of one's political inclinations, George W. Bush was president during one of the most consequential periods in American history. The George W. Bush presidential library serves as a museum documenting the events of that period, including the September 11 attacks and the invasion of Iraq. It's also the site of a 15-acre park with native Texas flora, the perfect place to take a break from exploring the sprawling city of Dallas and get out into nature.
Dallas is a city full of fun-loving, lively people, and it shows in their surroundings. You can’t throw a rock in the city without hitting something new to try or discover. The people have a certain charm to them and “southern hospitality” is taken to whole new heights due to the city’s devotion to making Dallas a welcoming, wonderful place for its visitors. There’s so much more to see than meets the eye. Let us show you on one of our highest-rated tours! Our “Best of Dallas” and “JFK” tours are some of the best in the Big D, and with the help of our first-rate guides, we’ll show you exactly why Dallas’ slogan is “Big things happen here.”