Dallas Texas Travel Guide

McKinney Avenue trolley

Dallas, the largest metropolitan area in the state, delights with an appealing mix of cowboy / Wild West flair and modern metropolis. The city offers cultural and historical attractions, sports, shopping opportunities and a diverse range of restaurants, bars, cafes and pubs. According to Trackaah, Dallas has a total population of 1,188,580.

Dallas is the perfect combination of Wild West atmosphere and modernity . This is where fashion, fun, coolness and western style come together in one city. Dallas delights with culinary diversity, exciting sights, impressive art, award-winning golf courses and tax-free shopping. Numerous rodeo and western events ensure that “cowboy feeling”, while the Dallas Arts District as a cultural center does not only impress art lovers.

Architecturally unique buildings such as the AT&T Performing Arts Center – center for music, opera, theater, dance and designed by well-known artists – and the Perot Museum of Nature & Science shape the modern cityscape. Not to be forgotten is the JFK 6th Floor Museum as well as the Nasher Sculpture Center and the Meadows Museum .

The city skyline doesn’t just look stunning in photos, it is. Countless different colors are reflected on the house facades and give Dallas a beautiful shimmer and shine. Regardless of whether it is the Omni Hotel, the lights of the Bank of America building or the striking Reunion Tower, which offers a great view over the city – the colorful play of lights in the city amazes every visitor.

It all began in the 1920s on the building of the Magnolia Oil Company, which had its headquarters here and thus the city’s first skyscraper . In order to welcome all decision-makers working in the oil industry to the first annual meeting in 1934, the approx. 122 meter tall, red Pegasus figure was draped on the roof of the company – and remained there until the original for a new one in 2000 was replaced. However, some volunteer hobbyists spared no expense or effort, repaired the original Pegasus, which now adorns the facade of the Omni Hotel. “The Flying Red Horse”, as the residents also call it, quickly became a symbol of the city.

Theme amusement parks , the Dallas World Aquarium as well as the Dallas Zoo and the SpeedZone delight young and old and offer a varied range of activities for family vacations.

Lakes, parks and hiking trails give the opportunity to discover the beautiful nature of Dallas and to gain a little distance from the big city hustle and bustle.

As the leading business and financial center of the Southwest, Dallas is one of the best convention cities in the United States. The conference planning in Dallas leaves nothing to be desired: in addition to the ultimate proximity to the international airport Dallas-Fort Worth, the efficient DART Rapid Transit System and around 300 large conference hotels, there is also an excellent range of art in the immediate vicinity of the Convention Center . With the Dallas Sheraton and its 1,840 rooms, this is the largest hotel in Texas.

District

Dallas is home to more than a dozen neighborhoods that offer an inexhaustible range of individual character traits and peculiarities.

The meeting point for all art lovers and those who want to become one is the Dallas Design District . A wide variety of museums, galleries and exhibitions are located here – there is definitely something for every taste in Dallas.

Highlights

  • A visit to the Reunion Tower is worthwhile at any time of the year. If you want to get a good overview of the city at the beginning of your stay in Dallas, you should first pay a visit to the Reunion Tower, because the viewing platform “GeO-Deck” offers an impressive all-round view of the city’s unique skyline. In addition to two restaurants, the tower offers a 360-degree view. With powerful telescopes you can also observe the hustle and bustle on the streets of the modern metropolis. The 171 meter high observation and restaurant tower is one of the city’s most famous landmarks and is one of the tallest buildings in Texas.
  • Cowboys can be found in Dallas in two ways – on the one hand, there is typical Wild West flair for all western fans, for example in the Dallas Texas Heritage Village, which takes visitors into the life of the 19th century or with rousing country Music in a typical honky tonk bar, which also invites notorious non-dancers to a two-step or a line dance. Important: don’t forget the Stetson!
  • The Klyde Warren Park offers a wonderful excursion into the country and that in the middle of the city – a place to relax and enjoy.
  • City founder John Neely Bryan would never have dreamed that a simulated log cabin in which he lived on the Trinity River at the time, now attracts so many people in the Founders Plaza in downtown Dallas.
  • History buffs are also guaranteed to shine with the more than three million historical documents and numerous statues exhibited in the Hall of State at Fair Park. The largest architecture collection of the 1930s in Art Deco style can also be seen here.
  • Real cowboys and their herd of bulls can be found along the Shawnee Trail at Pioneer Plaza. This somewhat different kind of cattle drive began in the 1850s and is still growing today – no wonder that this free highlight is one of the largest bronze monuments in the world. On the Pioneer Plaza at the Dallas Convention Center, the cowboy past is remembered in a very special way: The work of art “Cattle Drive” shows the impressive cattle drive of a 70-strong longhorn herd, led by three riding cowboys. Each figure was represented with its own character and the riders represent the origins of the typical Texan cowboys: Mexican, Afro-American and American. The sculptures by the artist Robert Summers are cast from bronze and are probably the largest bronze work of art in the world.

Leisure fun and fresh air

To get some distance and peace from the hustle and bustle of the big city, take a walk, picnic or simply a short break in the sun on one of the many green spaces in the city. Near downtown, outdoor enthusiasts will find Belo Garden, Main Street Garden Park, and Klyde Warren Park. There are a number of bicycle and hiking trails available for athletes. A visit to White Rock Lake or the Katy Trail also reveals a breathtaking piece of nature.

Untouched nature is probably not the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of Dallas – yet the region has a variety of outdoor activities to offer – just a few minutes’ drive from downtown.

Only a quarter of an hour from downtown Dallas, you can look forward to a total of 13 kilometers of hiking trails in a beautiful scenic setting: The Oak Cliff Nature Preserve offers a large area of ​​untouched nature with meadows, forests and streams. The total of six circular hiking trails are also particularly suitable for bike tours.

Highlights for children and families

Dallas Zoo

  • Walk through the habitat of numerous animals from all over the world: The largest and oldest zoo in Texas is home to more than 2,000 animals from 406 different species – a wonderful destination for animal lovers and families. Little visitors and animal lovers alike will remember a trip to the Dallas Zoofor a long time. From the African elephant to the black widow, the visitor can expect a rich variety of birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians and invertebrates. In addition to different animal species on a wide variety of terrain, you can also feed giraffes or go on safari with the monorail. The 1.6 kilometer long Gorilla Trail, a petting zoo for children and the award-winning “Wilderness of Africa” are further highlights of the Texan zoo.
  • Also wild (but in a completely different way) is the Six Flags over Texas theme park in Arlington with loads of adrenaline-pumping rides, including 13 roller coasters. The world’s largest hybrid roller coaster “New Texas Giant” was once a classic wooden roller coaster, which in 2011 was supplemented by high-tech steel components. Today a speed of over 100 km / h is reached over a distance of one and a half kilometers.
  • And for those who still haven’t had enough: A multitude of water slides and other activities promise plenty of bathing fun: In Arlington, right between Dallas and Fort Worth, there is the Six Flags Hurricane Harbor amusement park , which offers 20 hectares of pure water fun guaranteed. From the interactive family adventure in Hook’s Lagoon to an exciting white water rafting tour in the Sea Wolf to the surfing lagoon, in which the waves reach heights of over a meter, as well as a multitude of spectacular water slides – and recreational opportunities – leave the heart of every water lover beat faster. Tip: Every Friday you can float in the rubber dinghy and watch one of the latest movies.

Shopping

  • Texas is the embodiment of the Wild West and thus a paradise for everyone who has always wanted to fulfill their childhood dream of playing cowboy. The first stop should definitely be Wild Bill’s Western Store, where you can equip yourself with a hat, boots and belt buckle (the “buckle”). The “cowboy look” is completed by a typical “western tie” (bola tie).
  • One of the most famous department store chains in the USA is based in Dallas: Neiman Marcus. The chain’s “flagship store” invites you to shop in the Texas
  • Outlet shopping in the Allen Premium Outlets, Grapevine Mills or the Hillsboro Outlets is less of a burden for the wallet .
  • The Galleria Dallas,with over 200 well-known stores and an ice rink, is one of the most popular shopping addresses in the southwest of the USA.
  • With the oldest shopping mall in the USA, the Highland Park Village in Dallas, which opened in 1931, shopping was practically invented here.
  • An insider tip are the shops and galleries of the Bishop Arts District, which also invites you to take a leisurely stroll with its beautiful historic buildings, cafés and green spaces.
  • The collection of first-class, well-known designer stores makes the Northpark Mall in Dallas a “must see” shopping destination. Over 230 stores such as Valentino, Hollister, Abercrombie & Fitch, Burberry and Lucky Brand Jeans as well as the department stores Neiman Marcus and Barney’s New York invite you to stroll and spend money. If you want to take a little break in between, the art and sculpture collection in the mall is recommended – this turns the shopping experience into a cultural event.
  • For a special kind of souvenir, stop at “Bullzerk” on Greenville Avenue. There are quirky little things and funny T-shirts on the topic of Dallas and Texas.

Relaxation

  • Walking on clouds – pure relaxation: who doesn’t like to be pampered according to all the rules of the art? The Bliss Spain the luxurious W Dallas Victory Hotel in Downtown leaves nothing to be desired. Here, clogged pores, cramped muscles and sprawling eyebrows are the order of the day – just like a cowboy. On over 470 square meters you can “let your body and soul dangle” – for example with a “Hot Milk and Almond” pedicure, which ensures that you (almost) walk on clouds or with a “Carrot & Sesame Body Buff” where the skin is pampered in a cocoon of essences of carrots and sesame seeds. A visit to a Bliss Spa wouldn’t be complete without a taste of the legendary brownie buffet.

Restaurants

With over 9,000 restaurants, Dallas really leaves nothing to be desired for gourmet lovers. The different neighborhoods convince with a variety of different offers and guarantee visitors an unforgettable time.

  • The best way to start the day is with a hearty breakfast in the Smoke Restaurant , which serves modern Texan cuisine with a Mexican twist and southern classics.
  • If you are in the mood for a cool blonde in the morning – you can find that here too: The Mudsmith restaurant also offers breakfast sandwiches , freshly squeezed juices and delicious coffee to strengthen yourself for the day.
  • Downtown Dallas has world-class barbecue restaurants. A jewel among them is the Lockhart Smokehouse. The city of Lockhart is known as the “barbecue capital of Texas”, so the Smokehouse sources its grilled goods exclusively from there. The Kreuz Market Sausage, a sausage made from a German recipe, is particularly popular. Brisket, ribs and pork shoulder are cooked over oak for hours and get their typical BBQ taste. Why not try “Burnt Ends”, a specialty made from chopped up beef brisket that cooks on the grill until it turns a dark color, making it particularly tasty. And what would a real BBQ be without a “cool blonde”? Enjoy a freshly tapped regional beer on tap or, if you are not a beer fanatic, a cocktail according to your taste.
  • It can be said that cooked brisket tops the ranks of the “Holy Trinity” in Texas. This is particularly noticeable in The Slow Bone restaurant . In addition to other classics such as bratwurst and pulled pork, the filled pork loin or the fried chicken are particularly recommended. Side dishes such as cauliflower gratin, jalapeño macaroni with cheese or classic tomato and cucumber salad round off the taste experience.
  • The Pecan Lodge has become an integral part of Dallas as a BBQ location. The locals like to queue up here to satisfy their hunger with a large portion of beef ribs with mac’n cheese. The fried okra pods as a side dish are also highly recommended!
  • A dinner at Eno’s Pizza Tavern is the perfect way to round off an enjoyable day. The restaurant offers a wide range of regional craft beers, from the bottle or freshly tapped.
  • The best way to end the day in Texas is with a nice, juicy piece of meat on your plate, for example in the YO Ranch Steakhouse, which, in addition to its beef steaks weighing up to 680 grams, is also known for game specialties.

Bars and microbreweries

Dallas has a lot to offer when it comes to beer: Here you will find a thriving, innovative craft beer scene that is something to be proud of.

  • A great stop to have lunch and try local beer is the Braindead Brewery. In addition to several types of craft beer, there are hearty snacks and lunch dishes such as burgers, sandwiches, soups, etc. – and you can talk shop about beer here.
  • You can end the evening in the LUCK restaurant , which offers authentic Texan specialties and a large selection of craft beers .
  • Would you like another nightcap? Then there is a “local buzz” at the Four Corners Brewing Company. The golden ale is brewed with regionally produced honey and is an insider tip.
  • The beer at the Lakewood Brewing Company is “Belgian inspired” , where new brewing recipes are constantly being tried out and offered as “special releases”. You should definitely try Bourbon Barrel Temptress, a mild stout beer matured in oak barrels. Live music and food trucks with regional delicacies are available in the associated beer garden.

Nightlife

In the evening you can visit the Deep Ellum district. In the area, which is particularly popular with young people, there are plenty of bars and pubs where well-known artists regularly perform. Main Street, Victory Park or Greenville Avenue also attract with a varied evening program. If you want to strengthen yourself beforehand, you should visit one of the around 9,000 restaurants, for example Gator’s Croc & Roc in the West End.

In addition to local culinary specialties and the “frozen drink” typical of the restaurant, you can enjoy the fantastic view of the city on the roof terrace.

A wide range of accommodations for every taste and in every price range round off a stay in Dallas.

Accommodation

Some hotels in Dallas with a pool that provide a welcome refreshment on hot days.

  • The pool of the four-star hotel The Joule Dallas is set into the roof terrace on the tenth floor. The highlight: the end of the pool consists of a glass front and protrudes about two meters above the hotel facade. You literally swim over the roofs of the city and enjoy a unique view of the Dallas Appetizers and cocktails are served poolside in the rooftop café.
  • The outdoor infinity pool at the Omni Hotel also offers breathtaking views of the city . Additional amenities include a heated whirlpool – for cooler temperatures – and a cocktail bar. On the fourth floor there is also an area with a swimming pool and cabanas – open huts with comfortable seating.
  • The Jade Waters pool area at the Hilton Anatole Hotel is particularly child-friendly and is set up like an adventure park – with water features and slides, two of which are over 50 meters long, a river on which you can float in a rubber dinghy and numerous loungers and Cabanas for relaxing.
  • Those who like it sportier should take a dip in the rooftop pool of the Fairmont Hotel. It has Olympic dimensions. After training, you can enjoy snacks and drinks right by the pool.

Out and about in Dallas

There are many ways to explore a city: by car, bike, on foot or by public transport. Dallas not only has an excellent public transport network, but also has a direct connection from the airport to the various districts of the city – a combination that makes traveling to such a metropolis much more pleasant. Discover “The Big D” according to your own wishes.

A convenient way to discover The Big D is the “ Dallas Sightseeing Electric Cruizer Tour ” with an open electric vehicle that at first glance seems a bit too big. The tour gives visitors a good first insight into the history and life of this metropolis, but also the opportunity to take a look away from the tourist attractions and enjoy the most beautiful views over the city, explore still relatively unknown neighborhoods and discover excellent restaurants .

Almost everything in The Big D can be easily reached on foot or by public transport such as the M-Line trolley, the DART system or the D-Link buses. It’s a lot of fun to explore the city on your own!

West End Station in Dallas

The Dallas Area Rapid Transit Authority (DART) makes commuting pleasant for tourists and business travelers: A rail link connects the Dallas / Fort Worth International Airport with various metropolises in northern Texas, bringing visitors quickly to their destination.

There are also various options for exploring the city by public transport within Dallas. The free “ D-Link ” bus, for example, takes visitors through downtown Dallas and Oak Cliff, a district that has only officially been part of the metropolis since 1903 and was previously an independent city. During this tour, participants get to know the diverse districts and experience the best of art, fun, culture and cuisine. Starting with the famous Bishop Arts District, The Cedars, Victory Park via Uptown, Main Street District to the West End Historic District – the offer seems endless!

For those who like things a little more nostalgic and quieter, a free ride on the McKinney Avenue Trolleys is an ideal alternative. This restored and quaint tram runs from the Dallas Arts District to McKinney Avenue in Uptown and hides some treasures along its route: antique shops, restaurants and clubs. A trip is definitely worth it. The highlight is the fact that this tram can also be booked for parties and events – an unforgettable experience for sure. The historic tram has been traveling seven days a week since 1983.

Of course, Dallas also has other means of public transport such as bus, shuttle or taxi. So travelers can rest assured: Dallas ensures that visitors are guaranteed to be able to explore every unique and exciting neighborhood in the city.

McKinney Avenue trolley

With the CityPASS through Dallas

Tourists can explore the city in a fast, inexpensive, yet relaxed way. The Dallas CityPASS is a booklet containing tickets to the best tourist attractions in town. Visitors pay up to 50 percent less than the entry price at the cash desk and have also saved a lot of time, because you buy all tickets at the same time and also have the advantage of being able to use the so-called “fast lane” at many attractions. The pass is valid for nine days from the first use, which allows each visitor to plan their trip individually.

With the Dallas CityPASS, visitors get free entry to the Perot Museum of Nature and Science, the Reunion Tower GeO-Deck, and the Dallas Zoo, the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza, the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum or the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden.