Dallas, along with neighboring Fort Worth (30 miles to the west), is part of a sprawling North Texas urban area locals call “DFW” and the “Metroplex.” Though the cities are linked, each retains a distinct character. Dallas pays homage to its cowboy heritage with downtown Pioneer Park's larger-than-life bronze sculpture commemorating cattle drives. But the “Big D” is also a city of skyscrapers, big business, and luxury shopping, including the original Neiman-Marcus department store. Cowboy boots are common work attire at the many Fortune 500 companies headquartered here. From the symphony and dance companies of the Arts District, to the the famed honky tonk at Gilley’s, to the six professional sports teams that call this city home, Dallas offers entertainment for urban cowboys and city slickers alike and of course, plenty of Dallas Country Inns & Suites hotels to choose from.
The Grassy Knoll: President John F. Kennedy’s motorcade was passing through Dealey Plaza in downtown Dallas when Lee Harvey Oswald shot him from the sixth floor of the Texas School Book Depository. Today the Sixth Floor Museum features exhibits about Kennedy's life and death, including some scenes recreated from crime scene photos.
Arts Galore: The Dallas Arts District packs a city's worth of museums and culture into 20 blocks. The Dallas Museum of Art’s collection spans more than 5,000 years of human history, with a strong concentration in ancient American art. Next door, Nasher Sculpture Center displays an indoor/outdoor collection of modern and contemporary works. The Crow Collection of Asian Art features works from China, Japan, India, Korea and Southeast Asia. The symphony and opera both have homes in the arts district, as do Anita Martinez Ballet Folkorico and the Dallas Black Dance Theatre.
Play Ball: Whatever your sport, there's a team to root for. Dallas has professional teams playing baseball, football, basketball (men’s and women’s), soccer and hockey. Tours at AT&T Stadium, home to the five-time Super Bowl champion Dallas Cowboys, get you closer than even the best seats and offer excursions onto the field and inside the locker room.
Shop like a Ewing: Dallas's oil-rich families still shop at the original Neiman-Marcus in downtown Dallas, but that isn't the only high-end shopping in town for Dallas hotel guests. At Northpark Center, take a break from gazing at the store windows to admire the art displayed throughout the mall, with works from such artists as Andy Warhol and Frank Stella. Or skip the malls and head to the Knox-Henderson neighborhood for unique vintage shops and boutiques.
Things to do in Dallas with Kids
Check out the dinosaurs at the Perot Museum of Nature and Science. Walk the caterpillar-shaped topiary maze at the Dallas Arboretum’s Rory Meyers Children's Adventure Garden. The Dallas Zoo’s “Wilds of Africa” showcases six African ecosystems across 25 acres, and an elevated monorail provides a bird's-eye view. You can also visit one of several amusement parks for thrills: Six Flags Over Texas, SpeedZone, and Zero Gravity.
When to Visit Dallas
Summer temperatures climb to triple digits, so cool off at the ice rink in the Galleria or under the greenery and in the fountains of downtown Dallas parks and plazas. Weather is mild the rest of the year; in spring you’ll see wildflowers along the highways. Time your visit to coincide with the Texas State Fair, which starts at the end of September and runs through October. It features college football, rides, an auto show, performances and deep-fried foods.
Dallas Travel Tip
The Dallas Arts District packs a lot of attractions into a walkable neighborhood. For attractions further afield, ride the free D-link or the vintage M-line trolley.