Dallas Travel Guide [y]

[y] Dallas Vacation Guide

Over a million people live in Dallas, Texas making it the ninth-largest city in the United States by population. The city occupies five different counties in Texas. It is often linked with the nearby city of Fort Worth creating the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area that is home to more than 3 million people. The formal city of Dallas covers 385 square miles of land. It is located along the Trinity River that flows south from the city towards Houston. A system of levees helps to protect Dallas from any flooding that might occur. The waterfront in the city is undergoing a long reconstruction project that is helping to revitalize the Trinity River while also adding new attractions and public parks. Source: dallastexastourattractions.com

Dallas Fun Guide

Dallas was officially incorporated into Texas as a city in 1856. It is not clear why the city was named Dallas. Some believe the name was chosen to honor a navy commodore or a politician who became vice president. Others claim the name was the result of a contest that was held in 1842. The city started to become a center for commerce and trade in 1873 when the major railroads that crossed the country in each direction all converged on Dallas. The construction of major airports in the area in the 20th century allowed Dallas to remain a center of commerce. It is currently home to a large number of Fortune 500 companies and is a center for technological innovation. It is also a powerful financial center.

Most visitors will be visiting downtown Dallas and some of the surrounding neighborhoods. There are many different things to do within the city. The unique architecture of the area has traditional buildings like the Old Red Courthouse juxtaposed with more modern glass and concrete skyscrapers like the 921-foot tall Bank of America Plaza. The northern downtown area is the home of the Dallas Museum of Art and the Nasher Sculpture Center. The Dallas Zoo and the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Gardens are popular destinations for families who want to spend time outdoors. Another popular tourist attraction in the city is Dealey Plaza where the assassination of President John F. Kennedy occurred. A museum on the sixth floor provides historical information and exhibits about the event.

Visitors who are coming to Dallas will have no problem finding a place to stay because of the large number of hotels that are located within the city limits. The city is also very easy to get around because of the expansive public transportation system and the ready availability of cabs in the downtown area. The weather is almost always comfortable to warm in the city. A light jacket might be required during the winter although it rarely gets very cold. Visitors who are interested in one of the championship sports teams in Dallas might want to call ahead and reserve tickets for a game during the active season.

Dallas Downtown Hotels

In spite of its moniker, the neighborhood of Downtown Dallas is located in the heart of this Texas city. The area has been steadily gaining popularity since the early noughties, and today tourists can enjoy an array of nightlife and shopping spots. Like that of many other American cities, Dallas’s Downtown is an area that hosts some of the city’s best eateries and hotels – including the Dallas Fish Market and the historic Magnolia Hotel, built in the ’20s. It is here that visitors can enjoy some of Dallas’s most extensive high-end retailers and rooftop cocktail lounges.

The Downtown areas of the Arts District, Trinity Rivers, Victory Park, and the Convention Center Corridor have undergone some expensive improvements in recent years, rendering them full of towering hotels, condominiums and the kind of high-rise office buildings that generally populate downtown districts. The reclamation projects that set Downtown Dallas on the path to opening a kind of theater district, including a 2,300-seat opera house. Downtown Hotel Service offers Hotels near Downtown Dallas that are quality hotels at an affordable price. Use our Search box above or click here to see available hotels!

Dallas Weather

Dallas is located in one of the hottest areas of the United States. The city can become very hot and humid in the summer. It can also drop below freezing at night during the short winter. Dallas is located in an area that tends to have a number of unpredictable weather shifts throughout the year. Warm air from the south often pours into the city and moderates temperatures during the winter. Cold air from the north streams into the city and creates sudden frigid temperatures during the fall and winter. Visitors who are coming to Dallas should generally prepare for comfortable to very warm weather every season except for the winter.

Summer

Dallas WeatherThe average daytime temperature in Dallas during the summer months is above 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Hot air and humidity can actually make it feel as hot as 115 degrees Fahrenheit for several days at a time although this is not the actual air temperature. The city experiences regular heatwaves during June, July and August. It usually rains a few days each month during the summer although there have been years where rain is scarce or occurs all at once during a single downpour that floods roadways. Tourists who are coming to the city during the summer will need to dress for hot weather and should pack an umbrella. Sunscreen is also necessary because most days are sunny.

Winter

The winter in Dallas can be very inconsistent. The temperatures are generally mild during the day and then very cold at night. It is not uncommon to see a 30 degree or more change in temperature from the daytime to the nighttime. This is partly because the heat dissipates quickly from the ground. It normally snows one or two days during the winter with only minor accumulation. Warm air from the Gulf of Mexico often increases temperatures. Cold air from the north will interact with weather systems and create freezing rain that makes traveling on the roads dangerous. This is most common in January and February. Visitors coming in the winter should dress in layers and should bring a coat.

Spring & Fall

Spring and fall are the two best seasons for visiting Dallas. The temperatures average between 60 degrees and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. There are storms during this time. There are more storms in the spring although the storms in the fall can be much more severe. Tornadoes threaten the city from time to time but pose no real risk to visitors inside of Dallas and often stay away from the downtown area. Spring and fall can be unpredictable with temperatures rising and falling sharply over the course of a few days. Visitors who are coming to Dallas in the spring or fall should pack a light coat along with long pants. It is not a good idea to come to Dallas during these months with only shorts and open sandals.

Dallas Transportation

There are many different ways for visitors to get around the city of Dallas. One of the most popular options is the Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) system. This is an extensive network of buses and trains that stop at nearly every popular destination throughout the city. The DART runs from the Dallas-Fort Worth Airport and Love Field Airport to the heart of the city. It stops at the Dallas Zoo, the Dallas Art District, and the Fair Park. DART service maps are available in most hotels, at any DART station, and at the many visitor centers located around Dallas. Day passes are available that allow anyone to get on and off the trains and buses as many times as necessary within a 24 hour period. The trains and buses are very clean and convenient although they can be crowded during rush hour on weekdays.

Trolleys

Dallas TransportationA very scenic way to get around Dallas is on the McKinney Avenue Streetcar Service. The service operates trolleys that were first constructed in the early 1900s. The renovated trolleys run up and down McKinney Avenue and some surrounding streets on a regular basis. The trolley is a good way to go from certain parts of downtown Dallas into the northern Dallas Arts District that contains museums and theaters. The trolleys run nearly all day and into the night. They arrive every 15 minutes during weekdays and every 30 minutes on weekends. The fares are very reasonable. Some of the trolley stops are actually very close to DART stations so that visitors can transfer between the two systems.

Taxis

Taxis are readily available in downtown Dallas. They are frequently lined up outside of major tourist destinations and hotels. Cabs are not as common on the street. It might be difficult to hail one quickly from a corner. It is best to keep the number of one or more Dallas taxi companies or car services available. Most hotels will have a few numbers available for guests. Calling for a cab usually means that the driver will arrive at a location within 15 minutes or less. Taxis in Dallas are affordable and reliable.

Car Rental

There are a number of car rental companies available in Dallas. Some are freestanding storefronts while others are attached to the larger hotels in the city. Renting a car or van will allow a family to travel privately without worrying about schedules or late arrivals. There are several issues with renting a car in the city. One is that there might not be parking on the street if the car is being kept overnight. Some hotels provide parking although this should be checked in advance. The other issue is that Dallas has a very extensive and fast-paced highway system that links to a massive central interchange that can be confusing. Navigating the highways outside of the downtown area could be frustrating for first-time visitors.

Dallas Attractions

Dallas is a fantastic city to visit or live in with plenty of popular attractions to keep the tourists busy. The choices are endless in Dallas when it comes to what you can do and where you can go. There are some major attractions in Dallas that everyone should have on their list of things to see and do when visiting Dallas.

Dallas World Aquarium

The Dallas World Aquarium is one of those places that everyone enjoys visiting. The aquarium has several exhibits from different continents and countries. They are arranged in an excellent manner and feature plenty of amazing fish, birds, and turtles.

Sixth Floor Museum

Another must-visit place in Dallas is The Sixth Floor Museum which is a special tribute to the late President John F. Kennedy. History buffs really enjoy learning all about that very tragic day in history.

Morton H. Myerson Symphony Center

The Morton H. Myerson Symphony Center is another place to visit in Dallas. There are several free tours available that visitors can take, or they can stay and enjoy one of the many reasonably priced concerts. They will surely add joy to any visit to Dallas.

Old Red Courthouse

A destination that is always fun to visit is the Old Red Courthouse which is restored and remodeled for the visitor’s pleasure. Someone visiting can get all the information they want about Dallas here, while they enjoy the stunning piece of architecture the building maintains.

Dallas Arboretum

The Dallas Arboretum is 66 acres full of beautifully manicured lawns and amazing flowers. It is a lovely place to spend a relaxing day, but don’t forget the camera!

Frontiers of Flight Museum

The Frontiers of Flight Museum offers a fun time for the entire family. Here you will find all types of artifacts, exhibits, displays and many full-sized aircraft of various types and specifications, including some spacecraft vehicles.

Shopping at the Galleria

Shopping at the Galleria is a must when visiting Dallas! Plenty of famous stars all over the country take trips to shop at the Galleria which holds some fantastic shops and stores. Whether you want to just hang out and wait to see if one of those famous stars pops by, or look for some new clothes or gadgets, the Galleria offers a fun-filled day of enjoyment.

Dallas Dining

Travelers to Dallas will want to try dining out at the city’s most iconic restaurants, both classic and modern. As one of America’s largest cities, there are numerous options for dining in Dallas, from high-end and refined to casual.

Monica’s Nueva Cocina

Dallas DiningMonica’s Nueva Cocina is an interesting blend of Mexican and Tex-Mex cuisine paired with a sushi bar. The restaurant is open for both lunch and dinner and features Mexican classics such as guacamole and tacos with slow-roasted pork. The sushi bar features raw seafood with a southwest flair and incorporates jicama and jalapeno into its offerings, and the Tex-Mex menu offers a creative take on southwest dining, including dishes like Mexican lasagna and vegan fajitas. They also have a beer and wine menu offering Mexican tequila and domestic and imported beers.

Off the Bone Barbeque

Those visitors looking for quality Texas barbecue might consider heading to the South Dallas area to dine at Off the Bone Barbeque. The menu is simple but authentic. This restaurant features classic pork brisket, pulled pork, and baby back ribs barbecued using pecan tree wood. Patrons can order combinations of meats and sides including potato salad, coleslaw, and baked beans. Off the Bone, Barbeque is found on South Lamar Street.

Dallas Fish Market

Those who desire upscale dining might try Dallas Fish Market on Main Street in the downtown area of the city. The menu is a combination of Japanese and Gulf Coast-influenced seafood dishes. Offerings include sushi, sashimi, oysters, fresh salads, and unique starters such as fried green tomatoes with a garlic-buttermilk sauce. Customers can order delicate scallops with risotto and pair it with such diverse sides as tempura or stir-fried vegetables or a hearty dish of macaroni and cheese with bacon.

Dakota’s Steakhouse

Also located downtown on Akard Street is Dakota’s Steakhouse. This restaurant allows diners to choose from a variety of steaks, including ribeye, porterhouse, and filet mignon, or they could also try the veal, lamb, or pork chops, or a Southwest-style grilled chicken with salsa. Seafood is available as well, as are various baked, roasted, or steamed vegetable accompaniments.

Dallas Events

When visiting Dallas, it is good to know that Dallas has a humid subtropical type of climate. In the summer months, it is one of the hottest locations in the United States, and temperatures can go up over 100 degrees. The winter months in Dallas are overall mild, with normal highs between 55 and 70 degrees during the daytime. Spring is a beautiful time to visit Dallas with the temperatures being moderate, and the natural beauty being at its best.

State Fair of Texas

The State Fair of Texas is the largest event that takes place in Dallas. It has been held annually for over 125 years. The fair takes place over a three-week period. It attracts tens of thousands of people from all over the country. The fair contains a number rides including a Ferris wheel and roller coasters. There are traditional food stands and games. Stages allow for live musical performances during the day and at night. There is an auto show during the fair showcasing new cars for the next year. Another attraction is the Cotton Bowl football rivalry between local Texas colleges that compete during the fair. Visitors who are attending the fair should plan to visit for more than one day. Tickets and lodging should be secured in advance since availability becomes unpredictable after the fair has started.

Taste of Dallas

Dallas EventsThe Taste of Dallas is a festival that celebrates the local cuisine, cooks, and restaurants in the city. It is held over the course of a single week in the middle of July. The event contains a number of outdoor booths that offer visitors different types of foods or samples from local restaurants. There is also a 150,000 square foot indoor space at Fair Park that is home to other attractions. Chefs provide demonstrations of tool use and common cooking techniques. There are live musical performances. Part of the indoor space is also home to an art gallery that includes the work of local artists. Visitors should plan to arrive at Fair Park on the Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) trains in order to avoid the complications of parking at the venue.

Cinco de Mayo

More than 20,000 people attend the annual Cinco de Mayo event in Dallas. The event is actually a Mexican celebration. It is held to commemorate the victory over the French at Puebla although it has become a larger celebration of Mexican and Spanish culture. Visitors can enjoy traditional Mexican and Spanish food from a variety of vendors and restaurants. There is live music and dancing. The celebration ends with a massive parade. The parade includes floats, marching bands and dancing groups dressed in traditional Spanish clothing. Visitors do not need to plan ahead and there is no admission cost. It is a good idea to arrive in Dallas at least one day before Cinco de Mayo.

Dallas Blooms festival

The Dallas Blooms festival is held every year at the Dallas Arboretum. It lasts for one month. This festival celebrates the blooming of over 500,000 bulbs on the 66-acre property. It is the largest flower festival in the region. Visitors are able to walk the grounds each day and experience the diverse range of colors, fragrances, and shapes that are emerging. The arboretum also has a live concert schedule. Visitors do not need to purchase tickets to see the flowers ahead of time although concert tickets should be purchased in advance. It is best to arrive in the middle of the festival to see the largest number of flowers in bloom at once.

Family Fun near Downtown Dallas

Adventure Landing

Adventure Landing is a kid-friendly theme park with a fun atmosphere and plenty of activities for the entire family. The featured attractions are Miniature Golf, Laser Tag, Batting Cages, Arcade, Adventure Speedway Go-Karts, Bumper Boats, and Teddy Bear Factory. Families can play miniature golf on three 18-hole golf courses. Laser Tag is an indoor battle arena filled with sound, lighting, mazes, and attack zones. In the batting cages arena, there are 9 cages for practicing softball and baseball. The arcade has over 80 interactive games. Adventure Speedway Go-Karts offers live racing on a quarter-mile go-kart track. Get wet, bump, dodge and splash family members with built-in squirt guns at Bumper Boats. Children of all ages can create their own stuffed animal at the Teddy Bear Factory.

Zero Gravity Thrill Park

Zero Gravity Thrill Park, located 10 minutes north of downtown Dallas on I-35 E, is a theme park where adventure seekers can experience the extreme thrill. This amusement park features 5 high-intensity attractions: Skyscraper, Bungee Jumping, Texas Blastoff, Nothin’ but Net and Skycoaster. Boasted to be the king of Dallas attractions, Zero Gravity Thrill Park is a popular location for loads of family fun. The Skyscraper whips riders 165 feet into the air at speeds as high as 60 mph. To get an ultimate adrenaline rush, thrill-seekers can bungee from a 7-story tower. Texas Blastoff rockets the riders 150 feet into the air like a giant slingshot, and they free-fall back down at a rush. Nothin’ but Net offers a 130-drop experience from a 16-story building into a safety net below. Skycoaster lifts guests 110 feet up then they soar through the air at 60 mph.

Speed Zone

Speed Zone is located across the street from Zero Gravity Thrill Park on I-35 E at the Walnut Hill Road exit. Participants can experience 4 types of high-performance racing, including a 300-horsepower dragster. In addition to racing, there is mini bowling, race-themed miniature golf, and a state-of-the-art game room with a variety of virtual reality games and over 100 video games. It’s 100 percent guaranteed that no one will leave Speed Zone bored.

State Fair of Texas

The State Fair of Texas is filled with family entertainment and attractions in a 277-acre city park. With plenty of food, music, rides, live performances, car shows, concerts, livestock competitions, displays/exhibitions and contests, a great time will be had by all. The State Fair of Texas is located in Fair Park Station, toward Downtown Dallas, off Exit 48 B.

Bahama Beach Water Park

Bahama Beach Water Park, located ten minutes south of downtown Dallas, is the ideal place to cool off during the summertime. There are several rides and attractions such as Coconut Cove, Bermuda Triangle, Riptide Slide and Bahama Bullet, Tortugas Express, and many more. The park features 45-foot tall slides and an interactive water playground equipped with a 1000 gallon dumping bucket.

Shopping near Downtown Dallas

Department Stores

Neiman Marcus
Shoppers in Dallas will not want to miss the opportunity to browse through the internationally known Neiman Marcus designer store. Here, shoppers can find upscale apparel for men, women, and children as well as the Neiman Marcus name brand handbags, jewelry, shoes, and beauty items as well as home and office decor.

Dallas ShoppingHighland Park Village
Regarded as America’s first shopping center, Highland Park Village is today listed as a National Historic Landmark. A shopper’s delight, this high-end shopping plaza features a great number of luxury stores such as Chanel, Diane von Fürstenberg, Prada, Carolina Herrera, Calvin Klein, Loro Piana, Harry Winston, Christian Louboutin, Escada and many more.

Markets

Dallas Farmer’s Market
Stretching over 12 acres, the Dallas Farmer’s Market is one of the largest open-air farmer’s markets in America. Here, shoppers will find a huge variety of fresh produce, organic beef, dairy products, honey, jellies, baked goods, flowers, plants and even locally made souvenirs. The Dallas Farmer’s Market is open daily seven days a week.

White Rock Local Market
Opened every 2nd and 4th Saturday of each month, the White Rock Local Market is another market where shoppers can find the likes of fresh bread, jellies, honey, cheese, organic produce and handicrafts.

Dallas Malls

NorthPark Center
Average shoppers who want to shop in a traditional mall that offers a mix of both luxury and affordable stores will want to check out NorthPark Center. With more than 160 stores that include Tiffany’s, Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom, shoppers can find a little of everything from fashion to books, jewelry, electronics, toys and home decor.

Dallas Galleria
A one-stop for shopping, dining, accommodation and entertainment, the Dallas Galleria is a large mall featuring premier stores like Saks Fifth Avenue, Macy’s, Hugo Boss, Versace, Louis Vuitton, Nordstrom and Sephora. Additionally, the Galleria offers a hotel, an ice rink and a wide range of dining options from cheap eateries to fine restaurants.

Outlets

Allen Premium Outlets
Boasting more than 100 name-brand outlet stores, Allen Premium Outlets is the place to find great bargains. Here, shoppers can buy designer products for affordable prices at stores like Nautica, Polo Ralph Lauren, Guess, Liz Claiborne, Banana Republic, Neiman Marcus, Ann Taylor, Tommy Hilfiger, Nike and more.

Forestwood Antique Mall
Antique lovers don’t want to miss the Forestwood Antique Mall. Featuring more than 200 dealers, this wonderful mall offers a wide array of collectibles and antiques from all over the world, including fine English and French furniture.

DFW M’Antinques
DFW M’Antinques is a special antique store that sells antiques for men. This store is perfect for the man searching for items to add to his favorite collection or the woman looking for a special gift for the man in her life. Shoppers will discover the likes of tobacco pipes, barware, razors, old train sets, pocket watches, war artifacts and military items just to name a few.

Map of Hotels in Dallas

  1. Fort Worth International Airport – Find hotels near Euless & Grapevine.
  2. Dallas Downtown – Find hotels near Fair Park & Victory Park.
  3. Dallas Baptist University – Find hotels near Mountain Creek Lake & Duncanville.
  4. Dallas Zoo – Find hotels near Marsalis Park & Lake Cliff Park.
  5. White Rock Lake Park– Find hotels near Tokalon Park & Nor buck Park.
  6. Sixth Floor Museum – Find hotels near Victory Park & Historic District.
  7. Dallas World Aquarium – Find hotels near Avanti Fountain Place & Historic District.
  8. Dallas Fair Park – Find hotels near Cedars & South Dallas.
  9. Dallas Arboretum – Find hotels near Forest Hills & White Rock Lake.
  10. Mountain Creek Lake – Find hotels near Grand Prairie & Duncanville.