Ditch DFW Airport & Do Your Dallas Trip Like A Local
If there’s one thing that’s certain about travel, it’s its innate ability to mystically transform your thoughts and opinions about people, places, and things almost instantly, if not overnight. Dallas, and the amazing souls in Dallas have the ability to do so. When they say “deep in the heart of Texas,” Dallas is the heart that’s sure to keep Texas pumping.
HOW TO SUM UP DALLAS:
Sorry H-town and ATX, you’re amazing, but Dallas takes the cake as the epicenter and cultural powerhouse of the longhorn state. Within the last 5 years, this already booming metropolis has experienced growth that few cities have ever been able to obtain. This, of course, means an influx of business travelers, and with that, a flooding of leisure activities, culinary delights, nightlife, and entertainment. Most amazingly, as Dallas continues to become a melting pot of cultures and nationalities it sure isn’t losing any of its southern hospitality.
HAVE 2-4 HOURS TO BURN IN DALLAS? GET UPTOWN.
If you’re looking for one of the millennial meccas in Dallas look no further than Uptown. This booming urban landscape has sprouted more coffee shops, restaurants, bars, and boutique shops than most other areas combined. Uptown combines hip city vibes with a hint of sophistication and charm that’s sure to please, no matter where your trip takes you.
Have a drink or two...
Does the word swanky make you excited? If the answer is yes, then Savor Gastropub should be one of the first stops on your list for restaurants to explore Uptown. This sprawling eatery has incredible views of Klyde Warren State Park, not to mention even more incredible culinary options and drink selections. Grab a cocktail and maybe some Lobster puffs and enjoy a layover Dallas-style.
Toller Patio is without a doubt one of the most exciting new spots in Uptown. If you’re an outdoor patio aficionado, this restaurant/bar will without a doubt have you coming back for more. With a vast beer and drink selection, great food options, and a sprawling Austin-like setup with picnic tables and games, if you can’t find a great time at Toller, you can’t find a great time anywhere.
Take a stroll...
Klyde Warren State Park
While making your way through Uptown, if you’re looking for a bit of nature to break up the concrete jungle, do yourself a favor and steer your sails towards Klyde Warren. It’s a great little park with even greater views of the city. Give your trip a moment to catch up with you, grab a coffee, and do some people watching, Klyde Warren style. If you’re visiting at night and looking for an Instagram worthy night shot, make sure you go through Jane’s Lane.
Nestled between Uptown and Highland Park lies one of Dallas’ most diverse and vibrant areas that hosts a slew of bars, restaurants, and nightlife options. If you’re looking for one of the most progressive and open-minded areas in Dallas, it’s Oaklawn.
Grab a bite...
The Grove At Hardwood
Once again, the style and vibe of Austin continues to sneak its way into Dallas, and it couldn’t be any better done than like they have at the Grove. This little oasis nestled near Oaklawn features fantastic food, phenomenal drinks, and a slew of outdoor activities including beach volleyball. So, if you’re looking to kick back and enjoy a drink by yourself, or with a group of strangers-turned-friends, look no further than the Grove.
While trouncing around Oaklawn, if your stomach starts to lead your decisions on what to do and where to go next, make sure you schedule a stop at eatZi’s. This deli is hands-down one of the best that Dallas has to offer. Whether you’re craving a made-to-order salad, cheeses, wines, or even a sandwich that would make you think you’re in NYC, eatZi’s has everything you need for gourmet-on-the-go. Also, if you’re looking to indulge your sweet tooth, check out their pastries, and thank us later.
Blaze a new trail...
Sure, almost every major city has a sprawling park that seems to saturate most of the outdoor activities for the urban inhabitants. But, Dallas has something a little different, they have the Katy Trail. This amazing urban hike/bike trail spans miles throughout the city with incredible food and drink stops along the way, just in case you get a little parched. Strap on some running shoes, bike shoes, even some rollerblades and make the most out of a sunny day in Dallas.
HAVE A 4-8 TO SPARE? DIVE INTO THE WORLD OF DALLAS DESIGN.
Into fashion, art, and everything that has to do with culture? If you’ve answered with the slightest “yes” you have to make your way through the Dallas Design District. This urban-chic paradise used to be the hub for wholesale interior design showrooms. Now, it’s one of Dallas’ most talked about spots, showcasing the best in shops, culinary delights, and of course, design.
Dive headfirst into the world of design…
There are few hidden gems like Lula B’s still left in the world of fashion and art. This amazing shopping center showcases some of Texas’ best vintage furniture, art, and collectibles for even the pickiest of people. So, if you’re looking to add to your home collection while you’re away or if you’re looking to just kill an hour or two before your next meeting or flight, Lula B’s won’t treat you wrong.
White Elephant Antiques
If you haven’t already fulfilled your vintage kick after making your stop at Lula B’s, then you must head right next door to White Elephant Antiques. This massive warehouse holds some of the top selections for any antique collectibles or vintage goods you may be looking for, or didn’t know you were looking for until you found it. Get your picker hat on and spend a little time digging through White Elephant to see what catches your eye.
Grab a quick brew or a bite...
Peticolas Brewing Company
After spending your day antique and collectible hunting, you’re probably in the mood for a little nourishment and hydration. Bop up north a few blocks to Peticolas Brewing Company. It was voted the best brewery in all of Texas and they certainly have the suds selection to be able to stake that claim. Grab a beer, some food, and get your relaxation-on in the massive 3-story space. With an incredible selection of top-tier beers to choose from, you certainly can’t go wrong.
If your idea of drinks involves a little more laid-back setting with an outdoor patio and 100+ craft beers to choose from, then Meddlesome Moth is the spot for you in the Design District. This new, happening-watering-hole is only a few blocks from Peticolas so it’s easy to do both if you’re having a hard time deciding between the two.
Bishop Arts District
The Bishop Arts District is quickly becoming one of the most up-and-coming Dallas hotspots for the artistic Dallas millennials looking for affordable housing and an area they can transform into their own. You’ll find an abundance of boutiques, coffee shops, and trendy bars and cocktail lounges that are sure to please any LA or NYC artist.
Do as the hipsters do...
The Wild Detectives
If your Dallas trip is in need of a little rest and relaxation, then we’d recommend making the Wild Detectives a must-stop on your list. This quaint little bookstore and bar in the Bishop Arts District will not only have the title you’re looking for, but a drink to go along with it. Grab a glass of wine or coffee and sink your nose into that great new read that you’ve been looking for.
After you’ve found the perfect book at Wild Detectives, just hop across the street to Espumoso Caffee if you’re looking for a little sustenance before you plot out the rest of your Dallas day. Espumoso isn’t only a cafe or coffee shop with some Latin flare, they’re serving up some of the best empanadas in town. Either munch it down there or take it with you as you continue to explore the city.
Dallas Grilled Cheese Co.
If you’re looking for a simpler food option that’s only a hop away from the Wild Detectives, then skip over to Dallas Grilled Cheese Co. As the name says, they do grilled cheese, but boy do they do them with a level of sophistication that few have been able to match. They also have a vast selection of beers and ciders if you’re wanting something to wash down the Bacon & Pineapple lollis or a pork grilled cheese, they have it here.
The Texas Theatre
Not only is this boutique theatre a historical landmark, (it’s where Lee Harvey Oswald was arrested) but it holds some of the coolest indie movie showtimes that Dallas has to offer. If you’re an indie movie or a horror movie buff, and are looking for a little movie-time on your Dallas trip, this place is a must-stop. Enjoy some popcorn, a beverage, and a few laughs or shrieks at the Texas Theatre.
THINKING ABOUT EXTENDING YOUR DALLAS TRIP?
Explore Dallas Like A Local
Like most urban metropolis cities, they take time to get to know and explore. And Dallas is definitely one of those. However, if you have ample time to burn before your next travel date, here are some essential and travel tested experiences that Dallas has to offer.
If your visit to Dallas is in need of vibrant street murals, quirky art galleries then Deep Ellum needs to be your first stop. There’s a multitude of brewpubs, cocktail bars and Tex-Mex eateries that will surely draw an adventurous crowd on weekends and make your trip worth talking about, or at least showing your amazing IG pics.
Savor some suds....
Deep Ellum Brew Co.
This quirky craft brewery in the heart of Deep Ellum offers some of the best beer options that all of Texas has to offer. The large outdoor patio features countless tables as well as a stage where they have weekly live music events that much like the beer, don’t disappoint. What are you waiting for, elevate your Dallas trip and mingle with some of the hippest and most artistic people that Dallas has to offer.
If a low-key beer and one of the best burgers sounds like a great time for you, then Dots it is. This industrial-style bar with a massive open-air courtyard is certain to be bustling and full of action no matter if you go during a weekday or on a weekend evening. It’s a great place to catch a game or just some great conversation with Dallas locals or transplants.
Get some music for your soul...
The Bomb Factory
Nestled literally in between Deep Ellum Brew Co and Dots lies one of Dallas’ top music venues, the Bomb Factory. It’s an intimate venue that scales a little larger than most old theater style spaces. With a capacity of a little over 4,000, you’re sure to see some top bookings from local and national touring bands. So, whether you’re into hip-hop, funk, progressive, or house music, the Bomb Factory is sure to have something to meet your tastes on their calendar.
Enjoy Your Travels To Dallas!
The true beauty of life is realized in the moments when we’re unknowing of the future. Where we journey outside our comfort zone and experience the moments that make us, us.
So, the next time you have a layover when traveling for work, don’t sit at the airport bar hacking away on your laptop, head out and explore, meet new people, experience new things.
Next time you’re flying into a new city on a Friday morning, don’t fly out that same night just to get home. Extend your trip to Sunday, and make the most out of it. No matter where you travel or when you travel, take care of your business first, and then focus on collecting some life-changing experiences.
All of us at Speck Travel hope this piece has been helpful in your mission to make the most out of your business travels to Dallas. So, next time you find yourself at DFW, or any city, get out there, make more memories, and take more with you…
If you have any favorite spots in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area that we should be writing about, let us know! We’d love to hear from you. Take your videos, selfies, and pics, and share them with us #TakeMoreWithYouDallas