Visit Dallas for Incredible Barbecue, Cool Neighborhoods, and an Over-the-top State Fair

Sunset view of downtown Dallas and Margaret Hunt Hill bridge with the Ron C. Kirk Pedestrian bridge over the Trinity River.
Photo: Mariah Tyler ©

Lots of things are bigger in Texas. Dallas is one of them. The North Texas city covers nearly 400 square miles and anchors the largest metropolitan area in the Southern U.S.

Dallas is a city that gave birth to Meat Loaf, Morgan Fairchild, and Luke and Owen Wilson. It raised Erykah Badu, Norah Jones, and Jessica and Ashlee Simpson. Mark Cuban, Jerry Jones, Terry Bradshaw, Troy Aikman, George W. and Laura Bush are among those who call the city home.

Dallas is both a sports aficionado's and an art connoissour's paradise. The city is home to the legendary Dallas Cowboys, the NBA champion Dallas Mavericks, and the Dallas Stars, who left the Minnesota cold behind two decades ago. The Texas Rangers baseball team plays in nearby Arlington. The city also houses a number of world-class museums and intimate art galleries.

Prefer to catch a show? You'll find concerts and live performances galore.

Tex-Mex and barbecue are staples, but chances are you can find whatever cuisine you're looking for here in Texas' third-largest city. And if you're looking to shop until you drop, Dallas is going to feel like paradise. And while you'll find both in the Big D, there really is a lot more to Dallas than cowboys and rodeos.

Time Zone

Central Standard Time. (Daylight Savings Time is observed seasonally)

Best Time to Go

Unless you're looking to melt, you'll want to avoid summer, when thermometers push into the 90s and 100s. Late September through late October offer not only cooler temperatures, but also a chance to check out the larger than life Texas State Fair, where you'll find Big Tex, a 55-foot cowboy who's become a Texas icon. March brings a Pinball festival while April and May are studded with arts festivals across the greater Dallas area. Dallas has a thriving LGBTQ community and hosts one of the best Pride celebrations in the South. Dallas Pride is in June, but it's an event that's worth braving the summer heat for.

Things to Know

Dallas is part of a sprawling area known as the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. The Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex covers 13 counties and includes Dallas, Fort Worth, and Arlington. The area is commonly referred to as DFW.

Dallas is criss-crossed by a number of highways, and getting around the city no joke. Dallas is one of the most congested cities in the U.S., and traffic can be fierce with rush hour lasting from 6:30 to 9 a.m. and 4 to 6:3 p.m. on weekdays.

Public transit has improved in recent years, but many people still drive most places.

Dallas can be hot, hot, hot in the summer. Use a windshield cover to cool down your car during the summer and carry a water bottle wherever you go.

How to Get Around

Trains: Dallas Area Rapid Transit, known as DART, operates local buses and trains from 5 a.m. to midnight. Bus fares start at $2.50 per ride. Train fares start at $3.00 per ride.

Taxis: Several taxi companies serve the Dallas area. Dallas Yellow Cab allows for online bookings.

Rideshare: Both Uber and Lyft operate in Dallas. A members only rideshare service, Alto, launched in Dallas in early 2019.

The Joule Hotel exterior in Dallas
Courtesy of The Joule

Best Hotels

Hotel Indigo

Address: 1933 Main St., Dallas, TX 75201
Phone: (214) 741-7700
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If purple is your color, you're going to love this place. Hotel Indigo is a pet-friendly, downtown Dallas hotel that's a registered historic landmark property. Rooms are modern, trendy, and feature historic quotes from the likes of F. Scott Fitzgerald. The boutique hotel offers complimentary shuttle service to Downtown and Uptown Dallas.

The Guild Uptown

Address: 2500 McKinney Ave, Dallas, TX 75201
Phone: (512) 856-6303

The Guild is a boutique hotel that offers giant suites with fully equipped kitchens in Uptown Dallas, a true walkable neighborhood with ample restaurants, bars, and epic people-watching. Grocery delivery is available. Rooms are Texas-themed and the service is about as friendly as it gets. If you're planning to stay a while, this is the place to do it.

The Westin Galleria Dallas

Address: 13340 Dallas Parkway, Dallas, TX 75240
Phone: (972) 934-9494
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If you're looking to shop until you drop on your Dallas vacation, there's no better place to stay than the Westin Galleria. This award-winning hotel is located inside a shopping mall, making it easy to drop off heavy shopping bags between stores. Private in-room spa treatments are available, fine art is on view at the hotel gallery, and rooms feature Westin Heavenly beds.

The Hilton Anatole Hotel

Address: 2201 N Stemmons Fwy, Dallas, TX 75207
Phone Number: (214) 748-1200
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The Hilton Anatole is an art lover's paradise. It has comfortable rooms, expansive outdoor spaces, and a collection of Asian art that could rival a museum's. It's also home to a chunk of the Berlin Wall. The hotel features an exclusive fireworks show during the summer and a pool with water slides, cabanas, a swim-up bar, and a lazy river for tubing.

Magnolia Hotel

Address: 1401 Commerce St, Dallas, TX 75201
Phone: (214) 915-6500
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The Magnolia Hotel is a luxurious historic hotel in downtown Dallas. It is housed in the former Magnolia Petroleum Company Building, the first U.S. highrise to feature air conditioning and Dallas' first skyscraper. It's one hotel you won't have a problem finding. Pegasus, the flying red horse, still sits atop the 29-story structure.

Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek

Address: 2821 Turtle Creek Blvd, Dallas, TX 75219
Phone: (214) 559-2100
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Rosewood Mansion is a Texas icon tucked into an exclusive oasis in Uptown Dallas. It was once an opulent private residence, but nowadays it's one of Dallas' most luxurious hotels. The property was constructed in the 1920s and its parties have hosted guests including President Franklin D. Roosevelt and author Tennessee Williams. It became a hotel in 1979, but each of its generously sized rooms are sure to feel like home from the second you walk in.


Address: 2121 McKinney Avenue, Dallas, TX 75201
Phone: (214) 922-0200
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The Ritz-Carlton is located in the heart of the action on downtown Dallas' McKinney Avenue. This hotel offers all of the luxury and elegance you expect from a Ritz Carlton property but with a Texas twist. The renovated five-star property may well be the only Dallas hotel where you can sample guacamole with a Guacamologist. It's also home to Texas' celebrity chef Dean Fearing's namesake restaurant.

Joule Hotel

The Joule Hotel exterior in Dallas
Courtesy of The Joule

Address: 1530 Main St, Dallas, TX 75201
Phone: (214) 748-1300
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If you like your hotels quirky and luxurious, head straight to the Joule Hotel. The hotel is located in a 1920s neo-Gothic landmark building in the heart of Dallas' Central Business District. It's close to both the Dallas Arts District and the flagship Neiman Marcus location. It's also where you'll find the Eye, a giant 30-foot fiberglass eyeball sculpture. The hotel includes 160 rooms, each with the most creative minibars in Dallas.

Deep Ellum - Pecan Lodge BBQ tray of ribs and Mac and cheese
Courtesy of VisitDallas

Best Restaurants

Pappas Bros. Steakhouse

Address: 10477 Lombardy Ln, Dallas, TX 75220
Phone: (214) 366-2000

Pappas Bros. is a family-run steakhouse that's been serving up some of Texas' best steaks since 1976. This is where to go for that perfect, mouth-watering Texas steak. The restaurant employs more full-time chefs than the average steakhouse and is a perfectionist when it comes to food. The restaurant only uses corn-fed beef and USDA Prime graded cuts. Meat is dry aged in-house. Several sommeliers also wander the restaurant, ensuring perfect pairings whatever your meal.

Fearing's Restaurant

Address: 2121 McKinney Ave, Dallas, TX 75201
Phone: (214) 922-4848

Fearing's is the brainchild of celebrity chef, country singer, and cookbook author Dean Fearing. Located inside the Ritz Carlton hotel, the restaurant's specialty is finding the perfect mix of sweet and savory. It's known for its tortilla soup, Southwestern barbecue shrimp, and ice-cole margaritas. Don't miss the Rattlesnake Bar, whose menu items include East Texas smoked rattlesnake and corn fritters with venom sauce.


Address: 2323 N Henderson Ave #109, Dallas, TX 75206
Phone: (214) 370-9426

Gemma is a chic oasis owned by the husband-and-wife team Stephen Rogers and Allison Yoder. Rogers, a Dallas native, is the restaurant's chef. The pair moved to Dallas after spending several years running a restaurant in Napa Valley. The menu is small and the dishes straightforward. Fried Texas Quail, braised rabbit pappardelle, and a pork chop with jalapeno peach relish are a sampling of what you'll find on Gemma's dinner menu. Gemma is closed on Mondays.

Smokey John's Bar-B-Que and home Cooking

Address: 1820 W Mockingbird Ln, Dallas, TX 75235
Phone: (214) 352-2752

Smokey John's has been serving up barbecue in Dallas since 1976. It used to be called Big John's until the smell of its hickory smoke became so ubiquitous in the neighborhood that customer's nicknamed owner John Reaves Smokey John. Many menu items are under $10. A 1/2 pound rib sandwich will set you back $8.50. Don't forget to order a side of mac & cheese or collard greens.

Mia's Tex-Mex

Address: 4322 Lemmon Ave, Dallas, TX 75219
Phone: (214) 526-1020

Mia's is a cozy Tex-Mex spot that's been serving local celebrities, athletes, and a whole lot of other hungry Texans since 1981. The restaurant's menu is based on the founder's family recipes. Mia's specialties include grilled chicken quesadillas, ribeye steaks, homemade rellenos, and brisket tacos. Don't miss out on the Big Red-rita, a margarita unlike anything you've ever sipped.

Lockhart Smokehouse

Address: 400 West Davis St, Dallas, TX 75208
Phone: (214) 944-5521

Just because you can't make it to small town Texas on a trip doesn't mean you can't experience some of the best small town barbecue in Texas. Lockhart Smokehouse aims to bring central Texas barbecue north to the big city of Dallas with three area locations. Lockhart smokes its brisket, sausage, ribs, and other meats over Texas post oak, serving them up with classic southern sides like smoked baked beans, potato salad, and mac and cheese.

Pecan Lodge

Deep Ellum - Pecan Lodge BBQ tray of ribs and Mac and cheese
Courtesy of VisitDallas

Address: 2702 Main St, Dallas, TX 75226
Phone: (214) 748-8900

Pecan Lodge got its start as a stall in the Dallas Farmers Market and has since become one of Dallas' most popular barbecue spots. Its BBQ pit burns 24 hours a day, and anything that can be made from scratch is made from scratch. Come for the brisket, but don't leave without trying the Hot Mess, a jumbo sea salt-crusted sweet potato topped with South Texas barbacoa, chipotle cream, cheese, butter & green onions.

Torchy's Tacos

Address: Multiple locations

Torchy's is a Texas establishment with outposts across the state. It's a casual spot where you can get breakfast tacos all day and sample excellent versions of a couple of Texas staples: guacamole and queso. Torchy's has a variety of vegetarian tacos in addition to several meat-filled options. Do try the fried avocado tacos or one of the rotating tacos of the month.

Revolver Taco Lounge

An octopus taco from Revolver Taco Lounge in Dallas
Courtesy of Revolver Taco Lounge

Address: 2701 Main St #120, Dallas, TX 75226
Phone: (214) 272-7163

If you're looking for a truly unique taco, look here. Revolver Taco Lounge stuffs its corn tortillas with fillings like wagyu beef, aged pork, and goat birria. Feeling a bit more adventurous? Try the lengua (beef tongue) or the langosta (lobster with pineapple pico).

Things to Do

Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza

Address: 411 Elm St, Dallas, TX 75202
Phone: (214) 747-6660

This is where Lee Harvey Oswald fired the shot that killed President John F. Kennedy. Back then, it was the Texas School Book Depository. It's since been turned into a museum exploring the impact of Kennedy's assassination on the world. An open-air memorial to Kennedy with an eternal flame is a short walk away.

Reunion Tower

View of Downtown Dallas from Reunion Tower
Getty Images

Address: 300 Reunion Blvd E, Dallas, TX 75207
Phone: (214) 712-7040

If you want a bird's eye view of this sprawling city, Reunion Tower is the place to get it. The revolving restaurant is an icon of the city's skyline. At 561 feet tall, the tower defines the Dallas skyline and is among its tallest buildings. The tower has been home to a number of fine dining establishments over the years and has made appearances in the CBS series Dallas as well as in the 1987 movie "Robocop."

Dallas Museum of Art

Address: 1717 N Harwood St, Dallas, TX 75201
Phone: (214) 922-1200

The Dallas Museum of Art is among the 10 largest art museums in the U.S. It includes more than 24,000 pieces spanning 5,000 years of history. The museum's nearly 160,000 square feet of exhibition space showcases pieces from around the world that date back to the third century B.C. The museum is part of the Dallas Arts District.

Perot Museum of Nature and Science

Address: 2201 N Field St, Dallas, TX 75201
Phone: (214) 428-5555

The Perot Museum, as it's commonly known, is a natural history and science museum. The museum is split between two properties with the bulk of its exhibits being housed in Dallas' Victory Park neighborhood. The museum's Victory Park campus includes 180,000 square feet, five floors of publicly accessible exhibitions, and a half dozen learning labs. It's collection includes an interactive video exhibit that allows visitors to race a Dallas Cowboys football player.

Nasher Sculpture Center

Address: 2001 Flora St, Dallas, TX 75201
Phone: (214) 242-5100

The Nasher Sculpture Center offers a collection of modern and contemporary sculpture in the heart of downtown Dallas. The museum opened in 2003 and its grounds span 2.4 acres of indoor and outdoor galleries.

Southfork Ranch

Address: 3700 Hogge Dr, Parker, TX 75002
Phone: (972) 442-7800

Southfork Ranch provided the setting for the TV show Dallas. Nowadays, it's a special events venue that also offers tours. Visitors can see the gun that shot J.R., eat at Miss Ellie's Deli, and relax on the grounds of the ranch that housed the fictional Ewing family.

AT&T Stadium

Address: 1 AT&T Way, Arlington, TX 76011
Phone: (817) 892-4000

Located just outside of Dallas in Irving, AT&T Stadium is the home of the Dallas Cowboys, but you don't have to pony up for a game day ticket to take a peek inside. AT&T Stadium offers tours allowing visitors the chance to stand inside the world's largest domed structure, check out a variety of art, and pay homage to "America's Team." Just be sure to book in advance.

Globe Life Field in Arlington

Address: 734 Stadium Drive, Arlington, TX 76011

If you're a baseball fan, this stadium is for you. Globe Life Field is the new home of the Texas Rangers baseball team. Can't catch a game? No problem. Stadium tours are available.

Frontiers of Flight Museum

Address: 6911 Lemmon Ave, Dallas, TX 75209
Phone: (214) 350-3600

This museum is an aviation geek's paradise. It's original location was inside a terminal at Dallas Love Field, but the museum has since moved to its own 100,000 square foot space on airport grounds. The museum is a Smithsonian affiliate and houses a collection of aviation history artifacts, including the Apollo 7 Command Module, artifacts from the German airship Hindenburg, and more than 200 World War II aircraft models.

The Eye

The Eye sculpture in Dallas
Courtesy of The Joule

Address: 1530 Main St, Dallas, TX 75201

Many cities have public art, but only Dallas is home to a 30-foot tall fiberglass sculpture of a human eyeball. The giant eyeball is part of the Joule Hotel, a chain known for its art collection. It was created by a Chicago artist who used a photo of his own eyeball as his inspiration. The eyeball had been collecting dust in storage before the hotel bought it. Do stop for a photo, but don't be surprised if you feel like the eyeball is staring at you.

Best Shopping

Galleria Dallas

13350 Dallas Parkway, Dallas, TX 75420
Phone: (972) 702-7100

The Galleria Dallas is home to more than 200 stores and restaurants, a hotel, and an ice rink. The building is modeled after Milan's Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. During the holidays, the country's largest indoor tree takes its place in the center of the mall's ice rink. The four-story tree towers 95 feet above the rink.

Neiman Marcus

1618 Main St, Dallas, TX 75201
Phone: (214) 741-6911

The upscale department store Neiman Marcus got its start in Dallas in 1907. Nowadays, Its flagship store is the last original department store still operating in downtown Dallas. Neiman Marcus is known for its high-end designer clothing and accessories, personal shopping services and unusual and extravagant holiday gifts. The flagship location is decked out in lights and Christmas cheer during the holidays that shouldn't be missed on a winter trip to Dallas.

Highland Park Village

Fendi store exterior at Highland Park Village in Dallas
Rick Kern/Getty Images for FENDI

47 Highland Park Village
Phone: (214) 443-9898

If there's a Rodeo Drive of Texas, Highland Park Village is it. HIghland Park Village is a collection of walkable upscale shops that create an idyllic little shopping village in one of Dallas' ritziest neighborhoods. This is where you'll find retailers Christian Louboutin, Hermes, Harry Winston, Alexander McQueen, and more.

Allen Premium Outlets

Address: 820 W Stacy Rd, Allen, TX 75013
Phone: (972) 678-7000

If you're looking for high-end shopping at outlet prices, make the 30-mile drive north to Allen, Texas. This is where you'll find the BCBG Max Azria, and Brooks Brothers factory stores, the Movado Company Store, and a 7 for All Mankind outlet.

Wild Bill's Western Store

311 N Market St #101, Dallas, TX 75202
Phone: (214) 954-1050

You can't come to Dallas and not shop for cowboy boots, jeans, and snap shirts. There's no better place to outfit yourself for Texas than Wild Bill's Western Store in the West End Historic District. Wild Bill's has been around for more than 50 years. It outfitted the cast of Dallas and sells some of the top brands in western wear, including Justin and Luccese. The best part of shopping at Wild Bill's? You can sip on free beer while you shop.

Forty Five Ten

Address: 1615 Main St, Dallas, TX 75201

Forty Five Ten is a Dallas boutique with an international reputation. The store aims to merge art and fashion to create a shopping experience that's unconventional, eclectic, and inspired. Forty Five Ten's flagship store opened in downtown Dallas in 2016. It includes 37,000 square feet of upscale shopping for men and women looking for clothing and stylish accessories.

NorthPark Center

North Park Center mall exterior in Dallas
Justin Clemons

Address: 8687 N Central Expy, Dallas, TX 75225

Sometimes, there's no better place to shop than a mall, and Dallas' NorthPark Center is one of America's best. NorthPark Center is home to 235 stores and restaurants and is among the country's 20 largest shopping malls. Stores include BVLGARI, Louis Vuitton, Gucci and Neiman Marcus. There's also an Eataly.

Neighborhoods to Know

Dallas Arts District: The Dallas Arts District is a Texas-sized area dedicated to the arts. It covers 68-square miles and 19 city blocks. It's home to the Dallas Museum of Art, the Perot Museum of Nature and Science, and the Nasher Sculpture Center. It's also where Booker T. Washington Performing Arts High School, where Erykah Badu and Norah Jones studied, is located.

Bishop Arts District: This intimate shopping and entertainment district is located in the northern section of the Oak Cliff neighborhood, just southwest of downtown Dallas. This was a warehouse district in the 1920s, home of Dallas busiest trolley stop in the 1930s, and struggled from the 1960s to the 1980s before it was transformed into the independent artists haven it is today.

Deep Ellum: This eclectic neighborhood was a hotspot for jazz and blues in the 1920s. It's an area that's since reinvented itself multiple times. Today you can find live music, good feer, and plenty of local beer.

Uptown: Uptown is a hip neighborhood known for its bars, restaurants, and high-end shops. A free vintage trolly runs up and down McKinney Avenue, the center of Uptown's action. This upscale neighborhood is among Texas' most walkable areas.


Summers can be hot and sticky, but winters are mild and snow is rare. Below are average temperatures in farenheit for each month.

January: 30 to 57
February: 35 to 61
March: 42 to 69
April: 51 to 77
May: 60 to 84
June: 67 to 91
July: 71 to 95
August: 71 to 96
September: 64 to 89
October: 52 to 80
November: 43 to 68
December: 32 to 58

Apps to Download

DART GoPass: Public transit ticketing and ride-planning
iOs | Android

Waze: Real-time traffic information
iOs | Android

DFW Airport App: Everything you need to know about this behemoth airport
iOs | Android

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