So, I get this question emailed to me at least once every.single.solitary.day…
I’m coming to visit Dallas for the first time. What should I do?
So, it’s about darn time that I blogged about it, right?!
Okay, let’s start from the beginning. I consider myself a Dallas girl and not really a Fort Worth girl. I grew up in Irving, TX which is a very urban city that bleeds right into Dallas and now, we live in McKinney, TX a suburb about 20 minutes north of Dallas…so for me, all roads lead to Dallas.
Speaking of McKinney, if you missed this post…
…click HERE to read it.
If you are interested in Fort Worth, here are my thoughts: the zoo is fantastic, Bass Performance Hall is not only beautiful but they produce brilliant shows/plays/musicals, you MUST eat at Joe T. Garcia’s, the Stockyards are everything in Fort Worth, and the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History is worth the stop. I love Fort Worth…but it’s further away from where I live, so I don’t get over there that much. One last thing about Fort Worth, I have said 8 billion times on this site that my very favorite food is German food and well, Fort Worth is home to my favorite local German restaurant (it’s very authentic with live music and everything!)…Edelweiss.
Now, here are some of our favorite things to do and places to visit in good old Dallas, TX.
The Dallas World Aquarium. This is a good spot especially in the summer because it’s indoors and cool. It’s not huge, so it won’t take you all day to explore, but it’s definitely a good thing to do for a couple of hours.
North Park Mall. In the DFW area, this is THE mall. This place holds all the best stores, some fantastic restaurants (hello Maggiano’s!) and their famous ducks and turtles. If you are in town to do some mall-like shopping, you must visit North Park.
Now, not too far from North Park is Highland Park. This little hamlet right inside of Dallas is home to some lovely (and quite large) estates (I’m talking Jerry Jones lives here kind of houses) and a very cute little “village” area where we like to eat and shop…especially during the holidays. I absolutely dare you to find better Christmas lights wrapped in trees than in Highland Park. It’s spectacular! If you book in advance (like end of August/early September), you can even schedule a horse drawn-carriage ride through Highland Park in December. Mi Cocina for Mexican food is very yummy, but there are several other restaurants in there too.
If you still want to shop…the Dallas Galleria has among other things…The American Girl Doll Store. So, that is worth a trip over if you have a young daughter.
We visit the Galleria every year to sit in Santa’s lap. The Galleria is famous for the huge ice skating rink in the center of the mall. You can skate there year around, but the best time of year to skate is at Christmas when they have their gigantic tree in the center.
If you’re looking for a zoo, The Dallas Zoo is one of our favorite things to do in the city. Over the years, Dallas has really made some major improvements on their zoo and we just love it. You can spend an entire day here at the zoo.
Looking for a food truck? Oh man, oh man! Klyde Warren Park is where it is at for food trucks. Daily, trucks line up to serve unique, delicious, creative and unbelievable goodness from within. They have every kind of food imaginable and people line up from all over to grab a bite. This is such a fun thing to do for lunch in Dallas. And bonus, it’s right next door to this…
…The Perot Museum. We heart this museum. Buy your tickets online in advance because they only let a certain number of people in at a time (this way, it’s never too crowded). There is a great kids area on the first floor for younger kids to get interactive (sand, water tables, play area, building blocks…for babies through preschool kids). And then the four main floors of the museum are fantastic. This place is so interactive and kid friendly, but as an adult, I would recommend it to other grownups too. You can spend all day here. Love, love, love this place!
But I think my favorite part about Dallas is that once a year (for about a month), they host the world’s best fair. The State Fair of Texas is legendary. You can read all about my love for the Fair HERE. If you come to Dallas in October, you MUST visit the Fair. It’s required :).
Okay, here are a few other places we like that might interest you too:
1: People are always visiting Dealey Plaza in Dallas. I used to work right next to it and it amazed me that every single day, there were masses of people checking it out. (Dealey Plaza is where Kennedy was shot.)
2: Bishop Arts District is such a fun (and super trendy) place to eat and shop. The city has recently revitalized this area and it’s a must if you’re looking for a something a little funky and cool.
3: I love to eat and shop along Knox Street. There are great stores (Weirs, Restoration Hardware, Pottery Barn and other eclectic stores) and some seriously good food (Chuy’s!).
4: The George Bush Presidential Library is new and a great place to go on a hot day (when you need A/C to escape the heat!).
Speaking of weather, Dallas is a pretty great city to visit year around. It gets hot here in July and August…but there is enough to do inside to keep you busy. It snows/freezes over on occasion, but for the most part, the weather is not an issue in the winter. For food…you just cannot go wrong with Mexican or BBQ in Dallas. We love both…equally.
Whew! That’s my take on Dallas. Please comment and share if you’re a resident and want to offer other ideas and suggestions! We heart Big D!