As the third largest city in Texas, Dallas lives up to the expectation that everything really is bigger in the Lone Star State. Situated in North Texas, roughly 70 miles from the Oklahoma border, Dallas is one of the largest cities in the region. The best way to explore it is to divide your time between Dallas’s unique districts and neighborhoods, so you can get a sense of the distinct sub-cultures represented in each. The locals tend to give a warm welcome to visitors and are happy to share their personal favorites in the city.

An M-Line trolly moving down the middle of a tree-lined road in Dallas, Texas

Gabriel Tovar / Unsplash


Can’t miss things to do in Dallas

The Arts District links together Downtown and Uptown Dallas and is a must-see if you want to understand the city better. The depth and range of the museums and venues in this area makes for a perfect day of educating yourself on the cultural epicenter of the city. Experience a vast array of artwork at the Dallas Museum of Art, Nasher Sculpture Center, and the Crow Collection of Asian Art. Watch a performance by the Dallas Symphony Orchestra at the Meyerson Symphony Center, or a theater production at the AT&T Performing Arts Center, which was added to the district in 2009. Klyde Warren Park and The Perot Museum of Nature and Science (named after the family of the politician) opened in 2012, signifying the completion of this district.

Food and drink to try in Dallas

The dining culture in Dallas is ever-evolving, energetic, and comprehensive. As expected in Texas, one of the highlights on every menu is an excellent steak, and Dallas has the top-tier steakhouses to prove it. Tillman’s Roadhouse, Nick & Sam’s in Uptown, and Al Biernat’s in Highland Park all fit the bill for a proper steakhouse experience. Dallas is also known for its Tex-Mex, Mexican food, and barbecue, among other Southern-inspired cuisines. Food trucks are becoming more popular (largely thanks to their prevalence in Austin), and don’t even think about leaving Dallas without trying one of the margaritas.

Culture in Dallas

As a visitor, it’s important to understand just how seriously Dallas natives take their state culture. As the second largest U.S. state, Texan pride runs deep, and visitors may notice the local infatuation with the state flag, the bluebonnet flower, and the longhorn bull. Dallas is also home to the State Fair of Texas, where another state symbol is located: Standing 55 feet tall, the Big Tex cowboy is a cultural icon of Dallas that welcomes everyone to the fairgrounds every autumn. Visitors are always encouraged to do as Big Tex does, and embrace the local culture by dressing in their best denim and cowboy boots.


One of Dallas’s biggest draws for visitors and locals alike is its shopping scene, with major designer brands and boutique labels. If you’re looking for large malls and shopping centers to peruse some of the biggest names in fashion, NorthPark Center and Galleria Dallas have you covered with every store imaginable. If you seek a more boutique shopping experience to pick up cowboy boots, custom home decor, or art, roam neighborhoods like the Bishop Arts District, Knox-Henderson, and West Village, or explore Highland Park Village plaza for shops and finds that are unique to Dallas.

Practical Information

The easiest way to get to Dallas is by flying to the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, which is a 30-minute car ride from the city center. Flights are available to Dallas from almost all major domestic and international cities. The weather in Dallas can be quite temperamental. Although the summer months are consistently very hot, the rest of the year varies greatly, so be prepared for an array of weather conditions if you are visiting in the non-summer months. Although Dallas does have the DART transportation system, the city is best explored via car, so be prepared to rent one.

Guide Editor

Read Before You Go
DFW has 19 airport lounges and lounge alternatives. Here’s the scoop on how to allocate your time at the best—plus how to access them.
Resources to help plan your trip
With a vibrant arts and cultural scene, a wealth of fine dining, and a nightlife among the best in Texas, Dallas is a destination where you’ll never stop discovering new reasons to return.
Dallas residents take shopping very seriously. Most of the world’s luxury brands have set up shop in high-end malls including the Galleria Dallas, and shopping districts from downtown Dallas to West Village. The flagship Neiman Marcus store is worth a trip all on its won. And the Northpark Center even has an art collection to keep you busy between shops. But those in search of quirky fun independent shops and boutiques will find plenty to shop for in Dallas neighborhoods like Deep Ellum.
Some history at the Sixth Floor Museum, a little culture at the Dallas Art Museum, and plenty of big flavor (including, of course, some Tex Mex)--that’s the way to spend one perfect day in Dallas, Texas.
If everything is bigger in Texas, then the hotel scene in Dallas definitely follows suit. Mostly massive, accommodations here come with equally outsized amenities, from 18-hole golf courses to museum-worthy art collections. Find your favorite among properties ranging from the historic and intimate to the luxurious and over-the-top.
Nature, history, art, culture. Dallas offers them all up in, of course, a big way. Some of the city’s top museums include The Perot Museum of Nature and Science, The Dallas Museum of Art, and the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza, which focuses on the assasination of President John F. Kennedy. Or if you just want to saunter and explore a neighborhood or two, head to the Bishop Arts District, downtown Dallas, or the Dallas Arts District. Want to soak up some sun? Klyde Warren Park is your go-to.
A weekend in Dallas offers the perfect city basecamp to explore the Dallas Forth Worth area. Once your bags are dropped off at your hotel of choice, head off to visit a selection of Dallas neighborhoods--don’t miss Deep Ellum or the Bishop Arts District. As you wind your way around the city, take in the Dallas Arboretum, the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Square, and all the shopping you can handle. Keep your energy up by stopping for some Tex-Mex, a barbecue meal or two, and some of the city’s fine dining spots.
Texas flavors are as big as the state--and its chefs bring monster-size ingenuity to the Dallas scene, summoning flavors from around the world as well as places closer to home. If you’re in the mood for barbecue, craving fare from an excellent Mexican restaurants, or want to try one of the state’s best Italian restaurants, Dallas is ready for you.
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