Dallas Travel Guide: The Coolest City You Should Visit
Hey everyone! So this a special travel guide because it not featuring one of my exotic travel locations or a beautiful beach, but it is my town of Dallas! TRUST ME – just because I will be speaking about Dallas does not mean there are not any cool spots to check out for views, hang outs or lounges. Dallas has came along way and there is so much stuff to do that so many times I am telling myself “it does not feel like we are in Dallas”. I will be feature more Dallas/Fort Worth content on the next coming months so be sure you are following me on Instagram and subscribe to my blog to stay updated! So now let’s check out this Dallas Travel Guide and why Dallas is the coolest city that you must visit! ***2022 UPDATE: Dallas has changed so much and for the better and I will be updating this post with more amazing things to see and new hotels! Here are other posts to check out Dallas Luxury Hotel
GETTING TO DALLAS, TEXAS
Since Dallas is a pretty big city, getting here is very easy to do so whether you are traveling within Texas, out of state of overseas. The main international airport is DFW International airport which is in Irving, TX. The airport code is DFW. All airlines pretty much fly in and out of this airport including Spirit. The one airline that does not is Southwest Airlines. Southwest Airlines fly out of Dallas’ other airport closer to downtown Dallas called Love Field Airport. The airport code DAL. Southwest is a great airline to fly with because they always have great flight deals $69 each one and they fly to pretty much all the major destinations in the US including Mexico. If you search for flights using Skycanner it will pull up both airports.
If you already live in the state of Texas or neighboring states, then driving is quite simply. There are always signs to get you to Dallas and it usually pretty much a straight shot from other major cities like Houston or Austin. There is also Megabus you can take that has great deals from Dallas to Houston and other cities in and out of state. If buses are not your thing, then take Amtrak train Union Station is located in Downtown Dallas.
GETTING AROUND DALLAS
Getting around Dallas is just like any other big city. In Downtown Dallas, you can get around by car and there are meter parkings which are free on the weekends after 6PM. In Uptown Dallas, there is the trolley system! Yes, San Francisco is not the only one with a trolley. Trolley rides are free and they come pretty frequently to each stop. It mainly takes you to different parts of the hippest area of Dallas called Uptown Dallas where a lot of bars and restaurants are located. Parking in Downtown Dallas is not free but there are a couple of garages in Uptown that are free where you can park and take the trolley to other parts of Dallas.
If you want to go outside of the trolley line more towards downtown, then take the last stop Klyde Warren Park and rent a bike or scooter. Lime bike rentals have been around the last couple of years and have been extremely popular to rent but the newest craze are the scooters. Ever since the scooters came to Dallas, it makes Dallas look so much more fun and cooler.
There is also the Dart train system which now connects from DFW airport. Dart does not stop at every part of Dallas but has stops in principal areas of the Dallas county area – basially from DFW airport to east of the metroplex towards Dallas. It does not run to Fort Worth. There is a different train system for that.
THE CANOPY BY HILTON DALLAS UPTOWN HOTEL
So if you live in Dallas and want to do a staycation or if you are visiting Dallas and want to stay in the heart of the city, I recommend booking a hotel in Uptown/Downtown Dallas area. One of the hotels that I highly recommend is the brand new hotel Canopy By Hilton Uptown Dallas . This 4 diamond, chic hotel has everything that you need to make you feel like you are away on vacation. We did a staycation here and we did not want to leave! It gave us all the NYC feels with the city views. This hotel is located in the part of Uptown Dallas called West Village right near a trolley stop.
First impressions is that the décor is contemporary but with a warm and welcoming feel. There are floor the ceiling windows in the main area and cute seating areas everywhere for you enjoy a nice cocktail, people watch and read a good book. The bar on the main level is open to the public as well as their rooftop bar on their top level which I will discuss later in this post. I love how the incorporated the trolley wall art. It gives this area of the hotel a lot of character.
The rooms! OMG I did not want to leave our room. We got a corner room on the 6th level which I am a big fan of corner rooms. Corner rooms means that you have windows on each side of the corner of the room. This room gave me so much NYC feels because you got to see the trolley going by and red and white checkered tables of Grimaldis Pizzeria across the street and then you got a nice little view of the top of the Dallas skyline. The rooms were very modern clean and so much light that came in the inside. The bathroom I loved! The mirror has great lighting and a separate closed off area for toilet and shower. I highly recommend a 6th or 7th floor corner room. The 7th floor I am sure you would see more of the Dallas skyline.
In case you did not know, brunches in Dallas is thing here! We love brunches and every Saturday or Sunday just know that you would need to make a reservation days in advance to get a table. One of my new favorite spots to brunch at is at The Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek. This little hidden gem is perfect European Villa type spot to experience a wonderful brunch. Click here to read my full review. Another popular spot is Bread Winners in Uptown and Hattie’s in Bishop Arts District.
Before discovering the Rosewood Mansion, our go to spot was brunching in the Harwood District. This is area of Dallas next to Uptown area and Victory Park (AA center). This is one of the best spots for outdoor brunching with live music during nice weather especially the summer. Mercat Bistro & Saint Anns are two restaurants that you want to make reservations for. In the spring, Harwood District puts on DJ brunches where in their outdoor garden-like like area different DJ alternate spots and play music. My favorite DJ is Puerto Rican DJ Souljah! The beats and mixes he does is amazing!
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Have you hard of Dallas Margarita Mile!? Before you know what it is, let me drop a little D-town history for ya. The invention of the frozen Margarita actually began right here in Dallas by Mariano Martinez. Who knew that a ordinary visit at a 7/11 would spark the idea to make frozen margaritas! It was seeing the slurpee machine that sparked this creation that is requested at all bars 365 days out of the year. Though margarita’s is a great summer drink that does not stop Dallasites from drinking it at any time of the year.
Due to this, Visit Dallas created a brand new app in May 2018 called Margarita Mile. This app will navigate you to handpicked bars with the best and most unique margarita’s in town. Download the app and be able to win points and prizes too. A couple of spots you should definitely visit for the ultimate margarita experience is The Rustic and have their Rimy Rita with a sangria popsicle in the center. Then zip down to Trinity Groves and visit Beto & Son for the liquid nitrogen margarita. Not only is the margarita good but it is quite an experience they put on.
DALLAS ROOFTOP BARS
One thing that I love the most when travelling is finding a good rooftop bar to enjoy the skylines. We never go to a new city or country without checking out at least one rooftop bar. Dallas is no different. Rooftop bars have been popping up in the last few years. In case you did not know, Dallas was voted as one of the top 10 best skyline in the world in 2014 by USA Today! What better way to enjoy our view than to see it rooftop.
There are quite of few spots to enjoy the view. ***COMING SOON : Complete Dallas Rooftop Guide! Click this link here and save it for a complete list of the best rooftop bars in Dallas. Some popular favorites is Waterproof at the Statler Hotel, the Happiest Hour in Harwood District and The Gallery Rooftop Lounge in the Canvas Hotel formerly known as The Soda Bar of NYLO Southside Hotel. The food here is great! I highly recommend getting housed smoked salmon and the Dali’s Passion as the drink. These city views never get old and most places in Dallas when it is too cold, they put up clear plastic covers to keep the warmth in.
The Happiest Hour
Another new rooftop bar is Upside West Village which is the rooftop bar at the Canopy Hotel! This bar gives a unique view of the Dallas Skyline because it is a different angle on a different side of Downtown Dallas.
This bar is located in Uptown Dallas near West Village and is open to the public every day at 5pm. Enjoy wine, cocktails and beers as you catch the sunset. There are plenty of tables and lounge chairs including a fireplace.
CIRCO DALLAS – “THE NIKKI BEACH OF DALLAS”
Circo Dallas is a brand new Italian restaurant just opened up Fall 2018 in Uptown ***UPDATE: Circo is unfortunately have closed as of Summer 2019***. They serve the best authentic Italian cuisines in town. Trust me it has received our stamp of approval when it comes to Italian food. For those of you who do not know, I use to live in Italy and my husband is Italian and moved here straight from Italy. There are very few places that make authentic Italian food here in Dallas and this is one of time. Check out my “Taste of Italy in Dallas” blog post here.
Apart from the restaurant feature, Circo Dallas has an ultra chic rooftop lounge upstairs called Circo Beach. I have nicknamed it the Nikki Beach of Dallas. If you have ever seen or been to a Nikki Beach – the famous one being in Miami, then you know what I am talking about. From the music that they play during the day to the beautiful lighting at night, this place gives me all the Miami vibes
Lounge on their chairs, cabanas and even clear chairs inside of their pool that has a glass floor where you can see down to valet. Dallas needed something like this and I just can’t wait for the warmer weather because this is going to be my weekend hangout spot for sure! Enjoy the views of uptown Dallas and while sipping on cocktails and music.
OUTDOOR HANGOUT SPOTS
Dallas has so many cool hangout spots that are outdoors. One spot that is not very well known is The Sandbar Cantina. Who knew Dallas had a spot where you can play beach volleyball under palm trees. This bar known as “Beach Ellum” is located in Deep Ellum and has a California type vibe. On a pretty warm day, the volleyball courts are full of people playing volleyball while sipping on beers and cocktails. I really liked the vibe here and will be hanging out here more often during warm weather. If playing volleyball is not your thing, you can always watch from the outdoor bar or hangout in the inside as well.
For something more family friendly, Klyde Warren Park is a very popular spot to hangout, read, walk around and enjoy the eats from local food trucks. This park was built on top of a highway and is what separates Uptown from Downtown Dallas. There is an area to play chess, ping pong, croquet, you name it. There is also a children’s park area for kids to play. There is alot for kids to doing including story time. During the summer there are so many events to attend and sometimes they are free like movie nights. Check out the events calendar here.
Then there is Deep Ellum. This is Dallas’ spot for local music and entertainment. There is a wide range of bars and restaurants to choose from in this area from great BBQ like the Pecan Lounge to bars with rooftop views such as Stirr. Deep Ellum is also known for its street art. What use to be sketchy area of Dallas has changed over the years. There is no longer graffiti that makes you feel unsafe but beautiful murals that represents true art.
SHOPPING & RESTAURANT DISTRICTS
Dallas has plenty of places for shopping. There are two malls that are popular which are Northpark Center and Galleria Dallas which is a bit further out by Addison. These two malls have mix between affordable fashion such a H&M, Express, Zara and Nordstroms to designer stores as well. Galleria Dallas has an Ice Skating rink as part of the food court that can be seen at all levels of the mall.
Outdoor shopping centers are also another popular way to shop. Highland Park Village (shown below) is located in a very upscale, affluent part of Dallas where you find the finest designer brands. This is the area where former President George Bush lives. There are both shops and restaurants to check out in this area with beautiful outdoor decor. Shops at Park Lane is across the street from Northpark Center which has mix of restaurants and retail stores such is Forever 21 and Bloomingdales. West Village Dallas in Uptown has mix between local boutiques and common stores such as The Loft and Sephora (Spring 2019).
Bishop Arts District and Trinity Groves are two newer areas of Dallas that are low key but you definitely have to check it out. Bishop Arts District is currently expanding but it is one of our favorite spots to walking around and enjoy homemade pies. There are cool murals in this area as well as well as bars where there are always locals performing original sounds and covers on the street corners. There are also cool boutiques to shop at as well!
Trinity Groves area is great area for eating. Near the Trinity River this restaurant district has different bars and restaurants to check out. Beto & Son’s is located here as well as Saint Rocco’s which also as a nice rooftop lounge. There are also event spaces here and wonderful dessert shop like the popular Cake Bar. Also next to Trinity Groves is the Trinity Bridge. You can walk along this bridge enjoy the Dallas skyline views. Sometimes people will hold yoga classes or events on the bridge as well.
One thing about Dallas that you cannot overlook is the Dallas skyline but in particular the Reunion Tower. This iconic tower is what makes the Dallas skyline unique. It is the tower that looks like a microphone. What many people do not know that there are a few things that you can do inside the actual ball. One is the observatory deck called the GeO-Deck. Hang out outside of the tower and check out the amazing skyline during the day, at sunset and at night. I recommend visiting right at sunset because watching the skyline and downtown come alive with the lights is so beautiful. In the inside, there are interactive screens to learn more about Dallas History with short videos on the JFK assassination.
If you do not want to be outdoors, then you can still enjoy the views from the inside or at Cloud Nine Cafe. This chic bar one level above the GeO Deck is enclosed but you can order cocktails and enjoy the views. If you are really hungry then be sure to make reservations at Wolf Gang Puck’s restaurant Five Sixty! This restaurant located 560 feet in the area will give you a unique dining experience because it is slowly spinning. In about 45 minutes you would have made a 360 and seen the Dallas skyline while slowly moving. Cloud Nine Café also spins as well.
So are you convinced that Dallas is the coolest city that you must visit? I hope you are and there are still sooo many areas of Dallas to talk about but I will be covering those areas and topics in upcoming posts so stay tuned. If you need any suggestions, feel free to leave me a comment, email me or send me a DM on instagram!
*Sponsored posts/Product reviews- I have received products/compensation/services for blog posts, but the thoughts, feelings and opinions written in each post are absolutely 100% my own with no outside influences!