Dallas was made famous by the homonymous television series that became popular in the 80s. Oil and cowboys are the two things that, due to television stereotypes, people associate most with Texas and what is undoubtedly one of its most famous cities. But the truth is that Dallas has a lot more to offer to a visitor. And since it also lends itself to being a good stop on a road trip in this part of the States, it is good to learn more about why you choose to stop here for a night or two.
Almost as if it were the same, gigantic metropolis, Fort Worth stands out from Dallas. Although today they can really be considered a single huge urban agglomeration, the two cities have distinct historical centers and it was only the population growth of the last few decades that made them grow enough to unify. Having already dedicated a guide to Fort Worth, let's now understand how to visit Dallas, deepening its main ones places of interest, with some advice on when to visit, where to eat and sleep.
- What to see in Dallas
- Kennedy's places
- The most famous buildings
- The neighborhoods of Dallas
- West End Historic District
- Arts District
- Bishop Arts District
- Deep ellum
- Fair Park
- When to go and main events
- Where to eat in Dallas
- Where to sleep in Dallas
- Football Americano a Dallas
What to see in Dallas
Although the capital of Texas is Austin, Dallas represents its economic heart. Founded as a merchant outpost in 1841 and developed since the two major railways of the US Southwest came together, it has always been an attraction for entrepreneurs, tycoons and large traders. This commercial crossroads is also on the border between the eastern part of the state, characterized by large oil fields, and the western one, where the wide grasslands offer the perfect pastures for the herds ruled by cowboys.
But even if in the center (Pioneer Plaza, 1428 Young st.) We find the cowboy monument, with about forty life-size bronze cows. As I was saying Dallas is though capable of going beyond stereotypes Hollywood and to surprise the visitor with its many peculiarities and with its cultural and artistic life, perhaps unexpected in the eyes of a tourist. Let's see what awaits us.
One episode that made Dallas infamous is the assassination of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy, which took place on November 22, 1963. This dark chapter of American history cannot go unnoticed in those who visit the Texan city, where a couple of places in particular bring it back to mind.
- JFK Memorial (646 Main st.). Erected on June 24, 1970, this downtown monument is Dallas' official reminder of the president's tragic death. It is a very simple structure, with a square shape, 15 meters wide and 9 meters high, which invites meditation.
- Sixth Floor Museum (411 Elm st.). The dramatic episode of 1963 is narrated in this particular museum, which you enter with involvement in a relevant chapter of the history of the twentieth century. The setting of the murder is recreated in great detail, starting from the window from which the shots were fired, up to the place where Kennedy was fatally wounded. The museum is not a macabre reconstruction, but a place of historical narration. The front page of the Dallas Times Herald from that day is displayed here, but also illustrates Kennedy's life and ideas. Temporary exhibitions are also set up in a wing of the museum. All updated timetables and prices are available on the official website.
Kennedy Places Tour in Dallas
The most famous buildings
Downtown Dallas is characterized by skyscrapers and modern buildings, like any major American city, but also by some buildings of historical value. During your visit it is worth stopping in front of, or inside, some of these buildings. Let's see which are the main ones not to be missed.
- Reunion tower (300 Reunion Blvd.). Lovers of futuristic architecture will not be disappointed with this 171-meter tower that supports a large sphere, called GEO-Deck, to dominate the city. Inside it there are both a restaurant and a space dedicated to telescopes to look at the stars. In the large panoramic space that revolves all around, various types of activities are organized, ranging from yoga classes to educational initiatives for children. Times and prices to go up to the panoramic area, as well as all the activities to which you can join, are updated on the official website.
- Old Red Courthouse (100 S. Houston st.). Anyone who has seen at least a few episodes of the Walker Texas Ranger TV series, starring Chuck Norris, will easily recognize this historic red building with its characteristic turrets. Built in 1892, it is one of the oldest buildings in the city and probably the best preserved of the time. Today it houses both the tourist office and the county museum: two other reasons, besides the aesthetic factor, to stop here.
- Union Station (400 S. Houston st.). Dallas main train station deserves special attention. From the outside it is perhaps not as attractive as other stations, but the inside still retains a certain retro charm and in particular a large room is set up by catering for banquets and ceremonies.
- Hall of State (3939 Grand Avenue). Home of the Dallas Historical Society, this impressive building was built in 1936 for the Centennial Exposition. Over the years it has hosted events in honor of presidents, sovereigns and heads of state of numerous nations. Even if you are unlikely to participate in one of the large private events organized here, it is worth stopping in front of the imposing semicircular façade.
In addition to the aforementioned Sixth Floor Museum dedicated to Kennedy and one of a kind, Dallas takes pride in some other places dedicated to art and the dissemination of culture. There are probably other US cities that you are used to associate with famous museums, but even in Texas you can discover some hidden beauty in the museum halls.
- Dallas Museum of Art (1717 N. Harwood st.). Over 22 thousand works of art from all over the world are concentrated in this gallery which houses ancient and modern pieces, representing numerous artistic currents. One of the museum's symbolic paintings is Edward Hopper's Lighthouse Hill, while among the sculptures we cannot fail to mention Sculptor and his muse by Auguste Rodin. But you will also find an entire wing dedicated to Spanish colonial art, a section dedicated to children and much more. Updated timetables and prices are available on the official website.
- Nasher Sculpture Center (2001 Flora st.). For modern art lovers this is a must see in the city. Iron and glass are the main materials of the works exhibited in this art center created by the Nasher family starting from their private collection. Among the artists on display we see Rodin and Mirò, Konning and Calder, as well as many other representatives of international art. Updated timetables and prices are available on the official website.
- Women's Museum (205 S. Whiting st.). Which women have made history and which history have women made in the world? In this museum you will find some of the many answers to these questions. You don't need to be an avid feminist to appreciate the exhibits in these rooms and to learn something really interesting about the history of the world. Updated timetables and prices are available on the official website.
- African American Museum (3536 Grand Ave.). Exhibitions and initiatives follow one another in this exhibition space where the key theme is the history of African Americans. A permanent exhibition is dedicated to African and Afro-American folk art. Updated timetables and prices, as well as details on the exhibitions currently in progress, are available on the official website.
- Perot Museum (2201 N. Field st.). An all-round natural science museum, ranging from minerals to engineering, from world history to the study of energy. If you have children you will not be disappointed by the section created especially for them, but also as adults you will have a lot to discover in the various thematic areas, starting with the very special one dedicated to sport. Updated prices and timetables are available on the official website.
- Dallas World Aquarium (1801 N. Griffin st.). We always talk about nature in this huge aquarium, which also extends its scope to the mainland as a real zoo. On the official website you will find the different sections that can be visited, as well as updated prices and timetables.
The neighborhoods of Dallas
Dallas is a very diverse city and the different neighborhoods that make it up each have their own peculiarities. Both to organize yours visit to the city, both to decide where to look for your accommodation if you want to stay here, it may be useful to understand what makes each area different from the surrounding ones. Let's see the most interesting neighborhoods.
West End Historic District
The historic district of West End is one of the essential stops when visiting Dallas: it remembers its origins and represents its history and the evolution it has had over the years. If you have a rental car you can get there independently, but it is well connected to the rest of the city by public transport as well inside you can move comfortably on foot, as well as with alternative means that you can rent on site, such as bicycles or segways.
You will find yourself in a district made up mostly of old warehouses and red brick buildings used as deposits. If in the mid-nineteenth century workers moved mainly in these streets, today the old structures have found new life as restaurants, shops and private homes. In short, it has turned into trendy neighborhood where to go out for something to eat, perpetually animated by a lively atmosphere.
From the museums listed above (which aren't even all the ones in the city!) You will have guessed that in Dallas art is taken seriously. The arts district is, of course, one of the areas of the city where some of the main museums are located: it is the largest arts district in the United States. Take a trip even if you have no interest in entering one of the museums: the monuments that adorn the streets, i murals that color the walls and restaurants inspired by art will amaze you.
A stone's throw from the main museums, we also find the beautiful green area of Klyde Warren Park. To escape the city traffic, there is no better place in downtown Dallas. It is the perfect place to rest in the shade in summer, or perhaps to grab something to eat from one of the many street vendors, if you want to spend little or don't have time to sit at the restaurant.
Bishop Arts District
Not to be confused with the previous one, this is a neighborhood where they are protagonists street art, alternative nightlife and independent fashion shops. It is no coincidence that here is the Texas Theater, a cinema specializing in cult films. If you are looking for a place out of the ordinary where to go out at night in Dallas, take a stroll in this area.
It is the district of entertainment and alternative nightlife. Perfect for those who love to go out in the evening and nightlife, but also for those looking for historic jazz and blues clubs. Unfortunately in the past years it has had a reputation as a shady area, also because during the period of prohibition, night clubs were concentrated here where alcohol could be consumed illegally.
Today the situation is very different and music is the protagonist of the neighborhood. Each club has its own notes and you go from the restaurant that shows country bands to the real disco, passing through jazz and Latin American.
Fair Park is an area that has the park of over one hundred hectares where fairs, festivals, art exhibitions, shows, concerts and sporting events take place. An area where art and culture are at the center of attention and where it is easy to come across art deco buildings. It is worth going here both to visit some of the city's museums, which are located right in this area, and to enjoy the vast green area where it is pleasant to walk.
When to go and main events
In general the city is enjoyable all year round, however the high summer temperatures and winter rainfall mean that the best times for a visit are spring and autumn. The months of July and August are very hot, while those of January and February are usually the wettest (not to exclude some possible snowfall). From September to November the climate is certainly milder, although it is from March to May that the most favorable temperatures are recorded with the opportunity to admire the bluebonnets, typical wild flowers of the region.
In deciding when to visit Dallas, you may be influenced by the dates of an event, and there is no shortage of opportunities in the Texan metropolis. Here are some examples.
- Savor Dallas Festival. It takes place in May and is a culinary event where food is the protagonist in various initiatives organized throughout the city. Alongside the gastronomic experience, there are numerous forms of live entertainment.
- International Guitar Festival. Also in May, this historic music festival is held at the Dallas Market Hall, which sees the alternation of famous guitarists and budding young talents. Are you a fan of good music and especially guitars? This is the event for you!
- Rodeo Mesquite. Have you always dreamed of seeing a live rodeo? If you happen to be in Dallas in the summer, find out about the dates of this event which takes place in the town of Mesquite, just minutes from Dallas. Numerous events alternate for the occasion and are obviously based on bull riding and lasso capture. You will be amazed by the skills of the cowboys.
- State Fair of Texas. Between the end of September and the end of October, the grandiose fair takes place where you will immerse yourself in a riot of colors, sounds, smells and flavors. From the amusement park to the craft stalls, from live music to the sale of cattle, you will certainly not be disappointed by the setting in perfect Texan style.
Where to eat in Dallas
Here are some culinary tips:
- Maple Leaf Diner: this is a diner that, in addition to serving traditional American dishes, also offers Canadian specialties, opened in 2015 by the current Canadian owner Michael Delaurier, who could not find dishes from his land in his wife's city. Choice also valid for breakfast.
- Mike’s Chicken: chicken wings that melt like butter in your mouth? This, together with the salsa buffalo by Mike, is the main pride of this place that has made fried chicken a real art. In Mike's kitchen everything is cooked instantly, nothing is precooked.
- The Porch: pleasant place with a fairly varied menu and excellent burgers. Also good variety of salads and soups; very popular among desserts there Gooey Butter Cake, traditional Saint Louis cake in Missouri.
- Pappas Bros. Steakhouse: refined place, with a wide selection of cuts of meat and an encyclopedic wine list. If you want a good steak this is the best choice in town.
Where to sleep in Dallas
In a large metropolis like Dallas there is no shortage of overnight options. There are accommodations for all tastes and budgets. Below we recommend some hotels of different types, but you can also look at all the hotels available (link below) to find the one that suits you best.
- The Ritz-Carlton. A classy four-star hotel right in the center. Suitable for those seeking comfort within easy reach of the main city attractions. Restaurant, bar and wellness center are some of the services offered by the hotel, where you will be accommodated in rooms with attention to detail.
- Residence Inn by Marriott Dallas at The Canyon. Close to the Bishop Arts District, this three-star hotel offers rooms also equipped with kitchens for those who want to be independent on meals, but also the best services such as swimming pool and fitness center. In addition, there are regular entertainment evenings for guests.
- Spacious Poolside Apartment Downtown. Do you prefer a large apartment, perhaps with a swimming pool? Here is the ideal solution in the center to have the full freedom of an apartment with some hotel services.
All accommodations in Dallas
Football Americano a Dallas
You are in the home of one of the most famous and most popular American football teams, i Dallas Cowboys. For this reason, if you are passionate or even simply curious, do not miss a guided tour of the majestic AT&T Stadium.
And if you are lucky enough to be in the area during the regular season, why not take the opportunity and go see a live game?
Dallas Cowboys Tickets
Enter the TRAVEL code to obtain 10 euro discount on a minimum purchase of 150 euros