What are the best things to do in Dallas?

Answers from Our Experts (3)

Hayley Bosch

We know you’re thinking that Dallas is filled with 10-gallon hats, cowboy boots with spurs and big hair. Well, the outskirts still are a bit like that; but the city of Dallas is actually quite far from the way the famous TV show made it out to be. With a thriving arts community, a few top tier universities, several professional sports teams and a lot of history, the Big D has so many awesome attractions. Here’s our list of the five best things to see and do in Dallas:

1. Catch a Mavs game. As the 2011 NBA Champions, seats at the American Airlines Center are pretty tough to come by these days; but watching Dirk Nowitzki hit three pointers like nobody’s business is absolutely worth it. Surrounded by Dallas Mavericks fans, it’s hard to avoid the inevitable wave that flows through the arena.

2. X marks the spot. Dallas may be known for the ridiculous Old West sitcom, but it is even better known for being the city where JFK was assassinated. Venture to the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza to discover what really happened on that fateful November day, or at least what the world thinks happened. Visit the exhibition that recreates the social and political context of the early 60s all on the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository, where plenty of evidence of a sniper was found.

3. Hit the trail. One of the best parts about Dallas is its fabulous walking trail. The Katy Trail begins downtown at the American Airlines Center and, with restaurants along the way, stretches 3.5 miles through the yuppie neighborhood of Uptown and into the ritzy neighborhood of Highland Park. It is quite the popular jogging route in this part of town, so keep your eyes peeled for those on a mission to make it to the end.

4. Get lost in the art. Dallas’ thriving art scene continues to grow each and every year. As the dream of Raymond and Patsy Nasher, the Nasher Sculpture Center marked the beginning of the realization of the Arts District in Dallas. The modern art museum features several key artists in depth, such as Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Raymond Duchamp-Villon and Alberto Giacometti. Explore this 55,000-square-foot collection of masterpieces that sits at the center of the Big D’s art community.

5. Trot to a Cowboys game. Sure, the Dallas Cowboys aren’t the best team in the NFL; but it may be the most legendary. After the Cowboys Cheerleaders, of course. After moving to the new Cowboys Stadium in 2009, going to a game is more like taking a walk through an impeccable lobby with fabulous artwork scattered throughout. And on the days that quarterback Tony Romo actually performs, a Cowboys game can really be quite kicking.

The new park we have is pretty awesome, the Klyde Warren. You’ve got to go to Cowboys Stadium and watch some kind of game. Plus, you’ve got to go do the shopping rounds. I can’t say enough that Highland Park Village is the bomb. The shopping is pretty significant here — NorthPark Center, Highland Park Village, West Village. We’ve got some good malls and shops. NorthPark is pretty phenomenal. Highland Park has some pretty exclusive stores. After you get your shop on, the food scene is good here. We’ve got plenty of restaurants to choose from. When you ask what to do in Dallas, the first two things people say are eat and shop.

But there are more things than that. The Arts District downtown is pretty good, but I wish there was more art that wasn’t behind closed doors. My daughter and I walk down there; I live in the One Arts Plaza area right there. It’s a pretty area, the opera house is great and all that; but there are so many other cities where you can walk and see the art that’s already on the street. In Dallas, you’ve got to pay a fee.

That new museum is supposed to be pretty awesome, it’s called the Perot. I haven’t gone or taken my daughter to see it yet, but I’ve heard people say you’ve got to by tickets days in advance because they’re selling out. I talked to several people who also said that in one day, they only got one floor covered — and the place is like five floors. I’m waiting for it to cool down before I go because it’s a zoo right now. That museum has definitely kicked it up a notch. It’s right by the park. Dallas is trying to build up that downtown area, so it has a bit more denser day traffic and denser places that tourists can visit.

We all go the Sixth Floor [Museum] down on Dealey Plaza. For me, we’d go eat barbecue. We’d go to Sonny Bryan’s, the original store on Inwood. Everybody who has ever visited me from out of town — from Julia Child to Charlie Trotter to Emeril to Charlie Palmer to you name any chef who has wandered through Dallas — I’ve probably taken them to Sonny Bryan’s.

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