Dana Damato

Correspondent

  • Los Angeles, CA, USA

Dana Damato is a correspondent who lives in Orlando and Los Angeles. Damato covers the cities of Dallas and Los Angeles for Forbes Travel Guide. She is a freelance travel writer and host for various publications and the editorial director for the travel blog DrivetheNation.com. She is addicted to adventure and indulges in new cultures. She loves to taste new food, drink different wines, visit new destinations and bring those experiences to life through words.

  • On February 28, 2013
    Dana Damato answered the question: Dana Damato

    What restaurants have the best views in Los Angeles?

    There’s no denying that Los Angeles is a beautiful city. From the weather to the mountains, L.A. is picturesque and who wouldn’t want to see all that the city is while out dining?

    Los Angeles has some of the best restaurants in the country, but when you’re looking for the best restaurants with the best views – the search can be a little tricky. Nestled right in Hollywood, Japanese restaurant, Yamashiro, has the best view in all of Los Angeles. When you sit at their bar area, you are able to look out into the twinkling Los Angeles skyline from thousands of miles up. The food is great and the scene is greater.

    Another great restaurant known for its food and great views is Gordon Ramsay at the London West Hollywood. Gordon Ramsay is famous for his famous television show and his remarkable restaurant in West Hollywood. The food and views will make you never want to leave.
  • On February 28, 2013
    Dana Damato answered the question: Dana Damato

    What are the best outdoor activities in Los Angeles?

    When you think of Los Angeles – you’re going to want to do something outdoors because of the gorgeous weather. Some of the most well known attractions for both locals and visitors require nothing more than work out clothes, a bottle of water and a pair of very reliable sneakers. 

    One of the greatest things about Southern California is the perfect weather and the locals take full advantage of being able to enjoy an outdoor workout by hiking at one of the many West Hollywood trails. Runyon Canyon is one of the most scenic and invigorating hiking trails in the world for it’s breathtaking 360 degree views of the Pacific Ocean, downtown Los Angeles, the Hollywood sign and much more. Don’t forget to bring your dog! Runyon Canyon also offers an off-leash dog park.

    If you’re looking for a park that’s little less on the tourist side and more on the quiet side, Griffith Park and Bronson Canyon are two well known connected trails that offer a great work out with beautiful views of the city.
  • On February 28, 2013
    Dana Damato answered the question: Dana Damato

    Should visitors rent a car in Los Angeles?

    To answer this simply – yes, visitors should definitely rent a car when they’re in Los Angeles. Los Angeles is a very spread out and very large city. Unlike New York City or Washington D.C.,  there isn’t much public transportation that’s easily available for visitors.  If you’re planning on staying in Beverly Hills, but have a meeting in Santa Monica, it makes more sense to rent a car as opposed to spending $60 on a cab (one way). Los Angeles is a very big city and very spread out – nothing is really within walking distance and it’s definitely not a “walkable” city like New York City or Chicago.

    There are plenty of car rental places at the Los Angeles airport and shuttles at the airport that can take you right there. For a smooth and stress-free trip to Los Angeles, renting a car is definitely the wise way to go when visiting this beautiful city.
  • On February 28, 2013
    Dana Damato answered the question: Dana Damato

    What is the best time to visit Los Angeles?

    Los Angeles is one of those cities that can be visited any time of the year simply because the weather is beyond excellent all year long ad there is always something going on. With warm sunshine and dry crisp air, Los Angeles is exactly how you’d imagine it to be. If you’re really thinking about when to go, the summertime is always the best choice. Even though Los Angeles is a comfortable 75 degrees all year (as a high) the winters tend to be a little cooler – maybe 50-60 degrees. If you’re looking to go for a hike or lay out by the beach during the day, the summer time is your best bet.

    As for events, there is always something going on in Los Angeles, but awards season takes place in the beginning of the year (January) so if you’re looking to avoid the crowds and craziness, avoid L.A. during that time.
  • On February 27, 2013
    Dana Damato answered the question: Dana Damato

    What are the best adventure outings in Dallas?

    Who says you can’t have a good time outdoors in Dallas? From thrill rides to nature trails, the best of Dallas is offered right here.

    If you’re the athletic type that enjoys a good run outdoors, Katy Trail is just the place to go. Run or bikeride through the historic and woodsy trails in the heart of Dallas at Katy Trail. When you’re run is finishing up, stop by the Katy Trail Ice House to re-fuel at one of Dallas’ most famous restaurants.


    Zero Gravity Thrill Amusement Park Dallas is the only "Thrill Amusement Park" featuring 5 different extreme thrill rides. Guests can enjoyo the Bungee Jump, the Nothin' But Net, Texas Blastoff, the Skycoaster and the Skyscraper. Zero Gravity is the perfect place to have parties and events. Most rides can be done with a friend, so everyone can achieve their adrenaline dreams together. They are also open year round so you can enjoy the thrill anytime!
  • On February 27, 2013
    Dana Damato answered the question: Dana Damato

    What new museum exhibits are in Dallas?

    The Dallas Museum of Art will present the exhibition Cindy Sherman from March 17–June 9, 2013. The exhibit will display a retrospective survey tracing the groundbreaking artist’s career from the mid-1970s to the present
    Sherman is known as one of the most important contemporary artists of the last forty years. The exhibition will showcase Sherman’s greatest achievements to date through the extraordinary range and evolution of her work, from her early experiments as a student in Buffalo in the 1970s to her recent large-scale photographic murals. The exhibition focuses on some of the dominant themes prevalent throughout Sherman’s work, such as artifice and fiction, cinema and performance, horror and the grotesque, myth and fairy tale, and gender and class identity. A selection of ambitious and celebrated works will be highlighted, including works from major series such as fairy tales/mythology (1985), history portraits (1988–90), sex pictures (1992), headshots (2000), clowns (2002–04), fashion (1983–84, 1993–94, 2007–08), and society portraits (2008).
  • On February 27, 2013
    Dana Damato answered the question: Dana Damato

    What new museum exhibits are in Dallas?

    The Dallas Museum of Art will present the exhibition Cindy Sherman from March 17–June 9, 2013. The exhibit will display a retrospective survey tracing the groundbreaking artist’s career from the mid-1970s to the present
    Sherman is widely recognized as one of the most important contemporary artists of the last forty years, and is arguably the most influential artist working exclusively with photography. The exhibition showcases Sherman’s greatest achievements to date through the extraordinary range and evolution of her work, from her early experiments as a student in Buffalo in the 1970s to her recent large-scale photographic murals. The exhibition focuses on some of the dominant themes prevalent throughout Sherman’s work, such as artifice and fiction, cinema and performance, horror and the grotesque, myth and fairy tale, and gender and class identity. A selection of ambitious and celebrated works will be highlighted, including works from major series such as fairy tales/mythology (1985), history portraits (1988–90), sex pictures (1992), headshots (2000), clowns (2002–04), fashion (1983–84, 1993–94, 2007–08), and society portraits (2008).
  • On February 27, 2013
    Dana Damato answered the question: Dana Damato

    What are the best hotels in Dallas?

    Dallas is thriving with business, sports and entertainment. Whether you’re traveling to Dallas on business or pleasure and looking to stay at the best hotel, look no further to the best places to rest your head.
 
The Ritz Carlton Dallas is located along the historic McKinney Avenue Trolley Line in the exquisite Uptown area. There are plenty of places to eat, drink and shop in uptown and there is no doubt that the Ritz will add that extra bit of luxury to your stay. The Four Seasons Dallas is nestled on 400 acres of rolling hills. This property is convenient to every attraction from museums, shopping and theatre. The Omni Mandalay Hotel is patterned after the exotic charm of a Burmese city. Guests can enjoy a home away from home in this unique, upscale and luxury oasis. A personal favorite of mine is the W Hotel Dallas. Located right in the heart of downtown and directly across from the American Airlines Arena, the W is posh, luxurious and welcoming to all guests.
  • On February 27, 2013
    Dana Damato answered the question: Dana Damato

    What are the best clothing boutiques in Dallas?

    Dallas is a much more fashionable city than you may think. Don’t let the southern style fool you – the Dallas fashionistas know what they’re doing when it comes to clothes and trends. When you’re looking for the best of the best boutiques and stores, the crème de le crème, Dallas has several different options to choose from in different areas with all the best and latest trends.

    Highland Park Village, an affluent area in Dallas, also has a great selection of designer stores and boutiques to choose from to get your hands on some of the latest fashion trends. Enjoy stores such as Jimmy Choo, Chanel, Christian Louboutin, Dior and Diane von Furstenberg among many others. Highland Park is also home to some of the best boutiques you’ll find in Dallas. Each boutique offers personal service to make sure you leave with everything you went in for! You won’t leave empty handed.
  • On February 27, 2013
    Dana Damato answered the question: Dana Damato

    What are the best day trips near Dallas?

    Dallas has an endless amount of activities to do whether you’re a visitor or a local. Dallas can easily attract to a variety of individuals depending on what that person enjoys for a day trip. If you like to work out, enjoy nature; love the nightlife and/or sporting events.There are so many activities for a day trip, here are a few.

    
If you’re the athletic type that enjoys a good run outdoors, Katy Trail is just the place to go. Run through the historic and woodsy trails in the heart of Dallas at Katy Trail. When you’re run is finishing up, stop by the Katy Trail Ice House to re-fuel at one of Dallas’ most famous restaurants.

    If you’re looking to throw on a jersey and root on a team with an ice-cold beer, try catching on of Dallas’ many sports events. Home to the Dallas Mavericks, Dallas Cowboys, Texas Rangers and Dallas Stars, you can be sure to catch one of these pro sports games while you’re in town.


    Love to try local food? The Dallas Farmer’s Market is a huge hit in the area. Open seven days a week, 362 days a year, the Dallas Farmer’s Market sells fresh produce right on site. You can find the best and freshest foods and goods at the market.
  • On February 27, 2013
    Dana Damato answered the question: Dana Damato

    What are the best fine-dining restaurants in Dallas?

    When you’re looking for a restaurant the offers 5-star service and cuisine, Dallas is full of them. When it comes down to picking where to go, here are a few of the best.

    Abacus is one of "Iron Chef" Kent Rathbun's famous restaurants. Enjoy sushi and shashimi, soups and salads, or Crispy Bacon-Roasted Quail with Cornbread-Chorizo Stuffing. Prime steaks, fresh seafood, desserts and Artisan cheese are also favorites. 

    Dakota's Steakhouse is a Dallas favorite. Don’t leave this city without taking an elevator down to the restaurant. The simple elegance of their dining room makes Dakota's perfect for entertaining clients or a fancy date night.

    The French Room received the highest rating ever of any restaurant in the United States in the Zagat Survey. It’s also been named "Most Romantic," "Best French," and one of the top restaurants in America. So expect exceptional service and culinary perfection. Dress Code: Jackets required for men; ties optional. No denim or sneakers.

    The Grill on the Alley offers steak, seafood, and pasta to make up signature dishes at this deliciously American restaurant. Extensive wine list is available for the wine lovers.
  • On February 27, 2013
    Dana Damato answered the question: Dana Damato

    What are the best wine bars in Dallas?

    Dallas has several attractions for the daytime, but once the evening rolls around your options for entertainment can get overwhelming. For all the wine lovers, Dallas has several great wine bars – but broken down, here are the best.

    If you're celebrating a special occasion or just looking to go out, you'll like the chic St. Martin's Wine Bistro. The intimate space will remind you of a Parisian cafe, with dark wood set against white tablecloths, all washed in golden light.

    Bodega Wine Bar is another Dallas favorite, made to bring guests back to 18th Century Europe. With leather couches, water fountains, and a scenic courtyard patio, you'll feel transported both in time and location. Attached to Bodega Wine Bar is Chateau Wine Market, where you can buy the wines you can enjoy at the bar.

    Cork Wine Bar was created by wine lovers who’s goal was to create a comfortable, tasteful place to enjoy a glass of wine -- and so much more. Their large wine list features wines from around the world, from Adelaide, Australia to Anjou, France, to the Texas Hill Country.
  • On February 26, 2013
    Dana Damato answered the question: Dana Damato

    What are the best Mexican restaurants in Dallas?

    It’s normal – if you come to Dallas, you’re going to want some real authentic Mexican food! How can you tell what’s the real deal or an upscale Taco Bell? Allow me to guide you in the right direction.

    Cuquita’s Restaurant is a Dallas favorite with a true Mexican ambiance. The staff are friendly and wear traditional Mexican blouses and skirts, take good care of diners, and the kitchen turns out reliably delicious, home-style Mexican dishes at very affordable prices.

    If you’re looking for a loud mariachi band and margaritas flowing like water, then El Ranchito is your spot. Try some of their authentic meats wrapped in a homemade corn tortilla with a dab of their chunky guacamole. Indulge yourself in their Norteño dish, Asado de Puerco and tender chunks of pork in Ancho Chile sauce. You’ll leave satisfied. 

    If you’re a fan of Posole, you must try this North Dallas restaurant, Meso Maya. Enjoy fine, classic ceviche of fish and perfectly cook and seasoned shrimp. Meso Maya serves tender cochinita pibíl and perfect seasoned carne Oaxaca — a tender steak served with a little tamale wrapped in hoja santa leaf and filled with black-bean purée. Whether you’re a fan of Mexican food or not, there’s definitely something for everyone to enjoy at Meso Maya – they can satisfy any palette.
  • On February 24, 2013
    Dana Damato answered the question: Dana Damato

    Where is the best nightlife in Dallas?

    Dallas is a real thriving city – so don’t let their southern style fool you! You may find yourself having a honkytonk good time at one of there party locations. The best part is that this city is mixed with a variety of different age groups. Dallas’ nightlife is spread into three different “party” areas with their own vibe: Greenville, Uptown and Main Street. Each location has a different atmosphere and different crowd, however you may find yourself being more adapt to one particular spot more than others.

    Greenville: Greenville is mainly a young, dive bar scene. There you will find a lot of college students that tend to get a bit rowdy from time to time. Main St/Downtown: Downtown is where the most expensive clubs are at. There's about 5-6 high-end, "ultra-lounge" type clubs. Uptown: If you put Greenville and Main St together, you would get Uptown. Everyone still really dresses up at these "upscale casual bars”.
  • On February 23, 2013
    Dana Damato answered the question: Dana Damato

    What are the best stores for designer clothes in Dallas?

    When you’re looking to get your shop on in Dallas, there is only one way to do it – designer style! So when you’re looking for the best of the best, the crème de le crème, Dallas has several different options to choose from in different areas.

    One of the best places to go to get everything in one place is the Galleria Mall. Here you’ll find the best selection of stores that have all the latest trends. Splurge in store such as Michael Kors, Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Dooney and Burke and much more. At the Galleria Mall, you’ll see a fine mix of luxury brands with designers so you can go home with everything you went out shopping for. Highland Park Village, an affluent area in Dallas, also has a great selection of designer stores such as Jimmy Choo, Chanel, Christian Louboutin, Dior and Diane von Furstenberg among many others.