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Big Love From the Big D: A City Guide to Dallas, Texas

Words by Hannah Freeman.

Even though Dallas/DFW Metroplex is known for being one of the fastest growing cities in the U.S., there’s something admirable about how we manage to hold on to pieces of our city and its history. You can ask anyone who grew up in inner-city Dallas, and chances are, they’ve got a random ‘did-you-know’ fact about D-town, up their sleeve. Nine times out of ten, they’re pretty fascinating! Maybe it’s the way everyone knows the ‘best’ restaurant in Dallas or how deep our neighborhood pride runs (East Dallas, baby!) but somehow everyone in Dallas is on the same page- there’s no other city they’d rather be in. 

 

If You Didn’t Go on a Food Tour in Dallas, Did You Really Even Visit?

No matter what part of Dallas you’re visiting or staying in, make sure you come hungry. Food is a BIG deal and one of the many things that brings Dallasites together. We love good food! While everyone’s got their favs, here are a few fan favorites among my crew and I: 

This goldmine of a list includes everything from Italian subs to a good hangover breakfast and everything in between – all incredible options for takeout. *Pro tip: make sure to wear your stretchy pants. 

Caffeine Crazed

Aside from eating, we take our caffeine consumption VERY seriously. While Dallas is a pretty large city, it’s also very spread out. Meaning, every pocket or neighborhood has a place to find your daily fix. 1 neighborhood = multiple coffee shops to visit. 

(This list may have seemed a little excessive but we weren’t kidding- we REALLY like our coffee.)

Weekending in the Big D: the Dallas Farmers Market + Outdoor Activities

Depending on what kind of mood you’re in while visiting, there are numerous ways to spend your time in the Big D. If you’re into exploring but also wanting to spend some time outdoors, we’ve got you covered.

Try the Dallas Farmers Market, located in the heart of Downtown Dallas. This gem not only includes your typical farmer’s market vibe with tons of local goods and produce, but also includes a large dining hall shed with a variety of different cuisines. From Indian food to seafood, there is something for everyone’s taste buds!  An afternoon spent at the Farmer’s Market is sure to bring you lush produce, aromatic, homemade apothecary and a full stomach. Sounds like a win win to us!

If you’re wanting something a tad bit more outdoorsy, White Rock Lake is the place for you! This is a weekly spot of mine for jogging, biking, kayaking or even just a nice afternoon picnic. Located in the East Dallas area, this is easily a local’s favorite spot for some peace and tranquility. Other notable outdoors spots include the Katy Trail, Reverchon Park, and if you’re really in the mood for a nice hike, Cedar Ridge Preserve, located about 25 minutes outside of Dallas. 

Did Someone Say Shopping?

You can’t come to Dallas and not shop. It just wouldn’t be right! There may be  shopping areas and malls in every direction but NorthPark Mall takes the cake. Having been a shopping staple in the Dallas area for quite some time, it’s also become a shopping destination in the North Texas Area. From Neiman Marcus to Urban Outfitters, quite literally there isn’t anything you can’t find at NorthPark. (Sidenote: the original Neiman Marcus is located in Downtown, Dallas if you’re looking for a shopping experience as equally upscale but with a skyscraper view.) Other notable areas for shopping include the many boutiques located in Bishop Arts District, Snider Plaza, and the Rodeo Drive of Dallas — Highland Park Village — *cue the exotic sports cars.* This is the perfect place to grab a coffee, people watch, window shop. 

Dallas City Guide - Better Booch

Better Booch Dallas City Guide

Toto, I Don’t Think We’re in Dallas Anymore: Hotels & Staycations

Dallas could easily be deemed as the staycation capital of the Lone Star State as there are a handful of extra special hotels (centrally located in Downtown), each crafted with their own bar and restaurant du jour. Guaranteed- each dreamy hotel will have you wondering if you’re still in Dallas. The Statler is always a good time with its rooftop pool & club, Waterproof. If you’re looking for something a little swankier, try the Adolphus on Commerce Street. It’s got that vintage Dallas charm and the martinis at the French Room truly can’t be beat. Next up there’s the Joule, located on Main Street, front and center to the iconic Dallas Eyeball. We’re not sure what’s more fun to explore- the Eyeball or the Joule and it’s many places to wine + dine! From Weekend Coffee Shop to Midnight Rambler, staying at the Joule means never having to leave the hotel. Other notable hotels for accommodations and staycations include the Lorenzo, Hotel Zaza, the Omni & the W. File these under 3-day weekend getaway!

The Dallas Museum District

Luckily, most of the museums are located within walking distance of each other in the heart of Downtown. Dallas’ finest, the DMA (Dallas Museum of Art), is home to a variety of different pieces ranging in eras, and routinely hosts different exhibits from all over the country. From the likes of original Frida Kahlo pieces, to a full vintage runway of Dior original garments, this museum truly has something for every art goer. Best part? It’s free on Thursdays! 

Next door to the DMA is the ever-inspiring Nasher Sculpture Center. With one of the largest modern and contemporary sculptures collections in the world, the Nasher hosts varying sculptures from both private collections and pieces from Dallas-natives and founders, the Nasher family.

However, my all time favorite museum and hidden gem would have to be the Crow Museum of Asian Art. Dedicated to Asian culture and heritage, this museum is across the street from both the Nasher + DMA, and is the perfect way to spend your Sunday afternoon. It’s peaceful, quiet and definitely one of the smaller museums in Dallas. 

 

Where to find Better Booch in Dallas?

That’s easy! Better Booch is available at Central Market, Whole Foods, Sprouts Farmers Market, and Merit Coffee. Find the nearest spot to stock up in Dallas.

Whatever your reason for visiting Dallas, one thing is for sure- you’ll never be bored! From food tours to weekend strolls in the Downtown, the Big D has got a little piece of something for all ages and walks of life. While the eats and attractions are great, it’s really the community & people that make the city what it is.

While words can only do Dallas so much justice, I hope this Dallas city guide brought a bit of insight to life in the Big D and why us Dallasites are so proud to call it home.

 

About Hannah Freeman

With a degree in public relations, Hannah Freeman works as a social media manager for BREDA Watch, a Dallas based watch brand, while also creating content for brands that align with her values of sustainable living. Throughout her life in Dallas, Hannah has touched every corner, making her a reliable source for all things food, art and entertainment in the Big D. Connect with her on Instagram @thehannahestelle

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