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Romantic Dallas

Let Love Bloom
Romantic Dallas
Whether you're visiting for a weekend, looking for a relaxing staycation, or planning a memorable first date, Dallas offers plenty of ways to stoke the flames of romance.
Photo courtesy of Dallas Convention & Visitors Bureau
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    Let Love Bloom
    Let Love Bloom
    One of the city's most beloved green spaces, the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden is an ideal place to spend a romantic afternoon or evening. Set on 66 acres alongside White Rock Lake, the urban sanctuary draws over a million visitors a year with its wide variety of gardens and trails and its year-round calendar of events; the picturesque backdrops also make it a favorite for proposals, weddings, and bridal photo shoots. Take a stroll through peaceful Crape Myrtle Allee or the vibrant Jonsson Color Garden, or sign up for a cooking class or tasting/demo at A Tasteful Place, a 3.5-acre edible garden complex opened in 2017. Check the listings for upcoming concerts or flower festivals, then bring a picnic and make a night of it.
    Photo courtesy of Dallas Convention & Visitors Bureau
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    A Flavor for Romance
    A Flavor for Romance
    If one of the fastest ways to the heart is through the stomach, then Dallas should have you falling in love in no time. The diverse food scene here includes plenty of spots that provide the perfect setting, attentive service, and refined flavors for a romantic dinner à deux. Go classic at The Mansion Restaurant at the Rosewood hotel, where you can dine on elevated cuisine among the former private estate’s original artwork and European antiques, or experience former Mansion chef—and James Beard Award–winner—Dean Fearing’s critically acclaimed Fearing's at the Ritz-Carlton (start with a signature margarita at the Rattlesnake Bar). Wolfgang Puck’s Five Sixty at the top of Reunion Tower is a standout for the rotating bar, two dining areas (one casual, the other fine dining), and an extensive sake menu—all backed by killer views of the city. While The Grape’s approachable menus have made it a Lakewood neighborhood favorite with all types of diners, its acclaimed, well-curated wine list and cozy, old-world atmosphere also put it high on the “most romantic” list. The same goes for St. Martin's, an elegant bistro serving excellent French cuisine to the sounds of a live piano.
    Photo courtesy of The Mansion/Rosewood Hotels & Resorts
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    The Shining Skyline
    The Shining Skyline
    Dallas may not have mountains or oceans to provide scenic backdrops, but luckily, it’s got a downtown skyline that’s more than photoworthy—and plenty of rooftop bars and lounges from which to soak it in. At the retro-industrial-styled Soda Bar at the NYLO Hotel, the city views are accented by an infinity pool, fire pits, foosball tables, and a great cocktail list, while the rooftop at Terilli’s is a picturesque spot to enjoy drinks and plates of Italchos, the restaurant’s signature (and now trademarked) Italian-flavored nachos. An extensive wine list, upscale steakhouse menu, and killer views from atop the Hilton Anatole hotel make SĒR a favorite for special occasions and fine-dining splurges. For a view not just of the skyline but from within it, head to Wolfgang Puck’s Five Sixty at the top of the iconic, globe-shaped Reunion Tower; there are a few different spaces to choose from, but the rotating bar provides the most diverse panoramas. STIRR’s scenic second-floor patio draws crowds downtown for its New American–flavored brunches and dinners, while a stroll across Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge brings you to the newly revitalized Trinity Groves neighborhood, where numerous restaurants and bars afford skyline views.
    Photo by Jose Fuste Raga/age fotostock
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    A Neighborhood Stroll
    A Neighborhood Stroll
    Located just outside of downtown Dallas, a short drive across the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge, the Bishop Arts District is a National Historic Landmark where the original brick warehouses and bungalow homes now house over 60 independent shops, restaurants, bars, cafés, and galleries—making it an excellent area for some hand-in-hand strolling. Grab a glass of wine and browse the shelves at the Wild Detectives bookstore, do some gallery hopping, sample gourmet chocolate at Dude, Sweet Chocolate or artisan ciders at Bishop Cider Co., and indulge in homemade desserts at Emporium Pies. Check the neighborhood’s website for details on upcoming festivals or one of the regular wine-, art-, or jazz-themed evenings.
    Photo courtesy of Dallas Convention & Visitors Bureau
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    After-Dinner Drinks
    After-Dinner Drinks
    Keep the romance going after dinner with a drink at one of the city’s many nightlife spots. Beer fans will find plenty to choose from at casual places like the Ginger Man brew garden Uptown (which also features pub grub and live music) and Dot’s Hop House and Cocktail Courtyard in Deep Ellum, which has a supersize terrace on which to enjoy the balmy nights. Discover Texas wines on the back patio at Times Ten Cellars, a stylish vino bar set in a converted Lakewood post office, or go global at Boulevardier, a charming French bistro in the Bishop Arts neighborhood. If cocktails are your thing, sip on something handcrafted at the swank Midnight Rambler, tucked away in the basement of The Joule hotel, or at Lounge Here, a design-focused East Dallas favorite founded by musicians Julie Doyle (singer/manager of the Polyphonic Spree and the owner of local record stores) and Tony Barsotti (former drummer of Hagfish and now a noted maker of furnishings).
    Photo courtesy of Manny Rodriguez/Boulevardier
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    A Day at the Spa
    A Day at the Spa
    Savor some QT with a loved one during a relaxing day at the spa. Dallas has many high-end sanctuaries from which to choose, including several spacious hotel spas that serve both in-house guests and day visitors. One of the newer arrivals on the scene, the chic spa at the recently overhauled Adolphus hotel features individual changing suites (instead of communal locker rooms) and the chance to create your own oil blend for use in a massage; afterward, chill out in a cabana by the pool. The Ritz-Carlton Dallas’s extensive spa facilities include two VIP couple’s suites in which you can indulge in side-by-side massages or one of the signature Dean’s Margarita body scrub/massage combos (before heading to the saltwater pool for a real margarita), while the 22,000-square-foot Spa at the Crescent offers a 90-minute Romance Getaway package that includes a dual 80-minute massage, two glasses of bubbly, and access to the rooftop pool. To make a mini day trip of it, drive out to the Four Seasons Dallas in Irving, an urban resort where the Well & Being Spa pampers with wet and dry saunas, hot and cold plunge pools, an adults-only pool deck, and a private spa suite for couple’s treatments.
    Photo by Steven Visneau
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    Picnic in the Sun
    Picnic in the Sun
    Dallas is a lot greener than many expect and offers several peaceful parks just made for lazy afternoons sprawled in the grass, the remains of a picnic scattered around you. Fill up your picnic basket with goodies from the Dallas Farmers Market, one of Central Market's outposts, or Eatzi’s (a European-style market and bakery), then head out to a grassy spot to soak up the sun. Just five miles north of downtown, the 1,015-acre White Rock Lake reservoir is surrounded by rolling hills and water-view picnic areas; before or after lunch, try your hand at kayaking or enjoy a scenic trail hike. Bridging the downtown and Uptown neighborhoods, the “deck-style,” 5.2-acre Klyde Warren Park features the central Ginsburg Family Great Lawn for picnics (or a snooze in the sun), as well as areas for a game of pétanque or ping-pong, a putting green, and spots for food trucks. Set along Turtle Creek (a tributary of the Trinity River), the 46-acre Reverchon Park features several shaded spots with picnic tables, as well as direct access to the Katy Trail, if you want to take a walk afterward.
    Photo courtesy of Dallas Convention & Visitors Bureau
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    Pool Party
    Pool Party
    If there is one thing that cannot be argued about Dallas, it's that the temperatures can get steamy in the summer—which is why a pool is a coveted perk. Many area hotels offer shimmering pools in which to cool off; some are backed by city views, while others host DJ-led parties or other lively poolside events. Designed by hotel interiors guru Adam D. Tihany, the much-photographed heated glass pool at The Joule hotel cantilevers eight feet off the side of the building, affording swimmers views of Main Street down below (note that this pool is open to hotel guests only). Set on the 16th floor, the W Dallas Victory’s Wet Deck features an infinity pool, loungers, and food and beverage service, all surrounded by views of the downtown skyline. Open year-round, the heated infinity pool at The Omni also looks out over downtown, and has a Jacuzzi, cushy cabanas, and access to the Uptown Terrace bar, where you can sip drinks around the fire pits once the sun goes down. For sheer size, you can’t beat the junior Olympic rooftop pool at downtown’s Fairmont Dallas, which is open daily until 11 p.m.; families love the Dive In movie nights held in and around the pool, while adults come for cocktails and live DJs on summer Saturdays. Continue the party at Hotel ZaZa, where, after 10 p.m., the pool deck turns into a popular nightlife hub all year long (with cabanas in the summer and a tented cover in the winter).
    Photo courtesy of W Hotels Worldwide