Dallas, sometimes referred to as “The Big D,” is a dynamic and vibrant city with a Texas-sized repertoire of landmarks, attractions and sites of interest. Boasting an impressive skyline, a unique culture and world class museums, parks and theaters, Dallas welcomes millions of visitors throughout the world with open arms. It is, however, important to understand Dallas better before making your visit.
Situated on the plains of north Texas, Dallas is the third largest city in that state and the anchor of the sprawling Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, one of the largest urban areas in the United States. Dallas has a subtropical, temperate climate punctuated by mild winters and hot summers. Extreme weather can be a concern in Dallas, as the city is prone to natural disasters such as tornadoes and thunderstorms. Thus it is important to plan ahead and be aware of emergency plans in case of dangerous weather events.
Transportation to and inside of Dallas is provided by Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport and Love Field for air travel, Amtrak for train and Greyhound bus. Major highways in the region include I-35 and I-45. Public transportation within Dallas is provided by Dallas Area Rapid Transit, better known as DART. DART is a network of buses and light rail that serves as a reliable way to see Dallas.
Downtown is the economic, cultural and civic heart of Dallas. Here visitors will find many of the city’s attractions and landmarks. Sites to see in this area include the Dallas Museum of Art, the Sixth Floor Museum and Dealey Plaza, the Dallas World Aquarium, the Nasher Sculpture Center and the Old Red Museum of Dallas County History and Culture.
The iconic Reunion Tower offers stunning views of the Dallas skyline and surrounding region. The West End Historic District offers a wide array of restaurants and shops as well as museums and cultural centers, while the Farmers Market District is home to the Dallas Farmers Market and its plethora of shopping options. Other must see attractions in Downtown Dallas include the John F. Kennedy Memorial, the AT&T Performing Arts Center, the Arts District, the Reunion District, the Main Street District and Dallas City Hall.
Artsy and eclectic East Dallas offers many unique restaurants, shops and boutiques to choose from. Many blocks are packed with bars, coffee shops, taverns and antique shops. This area contains the neighborhood of Deep Ellum, which is filled to the brim with art galleries, live music venues, eclectic bars, tattoo parlors and many restaurants.
South Dallas plays host to a number of civic and cultural sites. The area contains Fair Park, the Dallas Aquarium at Fair Park, the Dallas Zoo, Exposition Park and the Texas State Fair Grounds. The fair grounds are home to the gigantic Texas State Fair. Held every September and October, this huge state fair offers visitors a plethora of food, shopping, cultural, entertainment and music options. South Dallas itself also is home to a number of bars, restaurants and clubs.
Uptown is filled with high end shops, boutiques and restaurants while Oak Lawn is a mixed-use district with many parks, shops, restaurants and a lively GLBT community. The Bishop Arts District is home to an eclectic and wide variety of shops and restaurants, including authentic cuisine from all around the world.
Outside of Dallas but within the metropolitan region, there are many other sites of interest and attractions. Nearby Fort Worth holds the myriad shops and restaurants of Sundance Square, the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, the Kimbell Art Museum, the Fort Worth Stockyards, the Fort Worth Zoo and the Fort Worth Botanic Gardens. Arlington is home to a number of attractions including Six Flags Over Texas, Six Flags Hurricane Harbor, the University of Texas at Arlington Planetarium and the sports venues of Cowboys Stadium and the Texas Rangers Ballpark. Grand Prairie and Irving are two key cities with many great shops, restaurants, museums and cultural centers.
With so many museums, theaters, parks and special events to choose from, visiting Dallas can be overwhelming. But with a proper itinerary and knowledge of the city, a visit to The Big D will surely leave with you many memories and a smile the size of Texas on your face before you leave.