Dallas, the ninth largest city in the United States and the third largest in the state of Texas, is an impressive melting pot of culture and character. Boasting high-end luxury hotels, innumerable fine dining spots, and one of the busiest airports in the world, Dallas maintains an upscale ethos reflected by an affluent population, world-class museums, and a shimmering modern skyline. Its history was marred by the infamous assassination of U.S. President John F. Kennedy, but there is more historic and contemporary heritage to be discovered in the city.
As a center of the oil and cotton industries in the late 1800s and early 1900s, Dallas was a classic American boom town and remains one of the fastest growing cities in the nation. Dallas fell victim to its own success in the automobile era, becoming a prime example of urban sprawl as highways strangled its city center, but has been trying to reinvent itself since the turn of the millennium.
It is virtually impossible to neatly categorize Dallas. It is a wonderful place with an immense and diverse set of attractions, food and people. From the posh, ultra-modern Uptown and Victory developments, to the old-world elegance and upper-crust attitude of Turtle Creek, to the "real life" feel of largely-suburban North Dallas.
Being in the American South, Dallas has a subtropical climate with mild winters, hot summers, and a very wet spring and fall in between. In winter and summer it can also be a very dry place, as it receives warmer, drier weather from the Mojave Desert in the west and the Great Plains in the north.
Winters are generally mild, with average highs in the 50s and 60s (10-20 °C) and average lows around the freezing mark. It often snows in Dallas a couple of times a year, and there is the rare day when temperatures will not get out of the 30s (0-5 °C), but for the most part winter is just drier and cooler. There is, however, the danger of freezing rain and ice storms.
Spring and fall bring very pleasant temperatures, but spring is also known for its storms. Because Dallas lies within Tornado Alley, springtime weather can be quite volatile and severe storms often occur. Summers are hot, with temperatures often surpassing 100 °F (38 °C) and mostly low humidity.
Average rainfall in Dallas is 37.1 inches (942.3 mm) per year, and average snowfall is about 2.5 inches (63.5 mm) per year.
Dallas-Fort Worth International AirportThe sprawling Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport (DFW), located halfway between Dallas and Ft. Worth (equally inconveniently for both), is American Airlines' largest hub and is served by all other major domestic carriers.
Using DART is covered in more detail in the Getting Around section.
Various shared-ride shuttle services are available, with door to door pickup and drop off, costing ~$30 for ~20 miles, which will get you to most places. Like all major airports in the United States, you can easily hail a cab outside of any terminal by following the signs for the taxi stand.
Dallas Love Fieldis Dallas' original airport, and the home base of America's largest low-cost carrier, Southwest Airlines. Alaska Airlines and Delta have some flights here, in addition to Southwest. Together, they operate to most major destinations in the continental US. When DFW Airport opened in the 1970s, the U.S. federal government passed the Wright Amendment, a law that restricted flights to/from Love Field to within Texas and its neighboring states. Scheduled passenger service to Love Field was expected to end. Thanks to Southwest's rapid and sustained growth, however, it never did. The Wright Amendment was gradually repealed from the '90s to 2014, and DAL has grown even faster since then.
Love Field is within the city limits, not far northwest of downtown. Due to the city's strategy of promoting DFW only, a rail link has never been built to DAL, but you can take the Love Link bus (DART route 524) from Love Field to Inwood/Love Field Station, served by the Green and Orange Lines. There are also various shared-ride shuttle services available which offer door-to-door pickup and drop off. They cost ~$30 for ~20 miles, which will get you to most places.
As a major hub for American oil & gas industries, and serving as home to several Fortune 500 headquarters and regional offices, Dallas is a major business jet center. There are hundreds of planes based at private airports in Dallas and surrounding areas, including corporate aircraft and privately owned luxury planes. Many of these planes are available through charter operators and air taxi companies that provide shuttle flights, with the most common routes flown between Houston or Oklahoma City.
Air charter brokers such as Alliance Air Charter and Private Jets Dallas offer access to charter planes in Texas across the country. Aircraft can range from twin-engine propeller planes to luxury Gulfstreams and executive aircraft. There are several Dallas-area airports focused on private and business aviation, including Addison Airport (), Dallas Executive Airport, formerly known as Redbird Airport (), Arlington Municipal (), Mesquite Metro (), Lancaster Regional (), Grand Prairie Municipal (), Terrell Municipal (), and more.
By trainThere are two Amtrak routes which serve Dallas/Fort Worth:
- The Texas Eagle between San Antonio and Chicago
- The Heartland Flyer between Fort Worth and Oklahoma City.
From Fort Worth, you can reach Dallas via either Amtrak's Texas Eagle or the Trinity Railway Express (TRE) commuter rail line, which runs from downtown Fort Worth to Dallas with stops in Irving and close to DFW Airport.
Amtrak is a slow and unreliable way to travel. Amtrak trains can be late by hours, and most track is owned by the private railroads, whose freight trains take priority over Amtrak. Arriving from Houston involves a train change of five or more hours in San Antonio. However, Amtrak offers views and legroom that you can't get while flying and a unique laid back experience that you can't get while driving. If you want to meet people, taking the train is one of the best ways to do it. That being said, if you're short on time, flying is a better option.
- Greyhound. The terminal is near the center of downtown at 205 S. Lamar.
- Buses also run to and from Shreveport on the weekends, sponsored by the casinos in that city. These are more geared toward locals seeking to get their gambling fixes, but ask around if you're interested.
- Megabus. Service from Houston, San Antonio, Austin, Memphis, and Little Rock. The bus stops at the DART East Transfer Center at 330 N Olive St. Fares from $1 and up.
- Echo Transportation. Independent bus charter with full-size motor coaches, shuttle vans, luxury sedans and SUV's. Travel within DFW, beyond to other Texas destinations and across North America.
- El Expreso. Mexican trans-border bus line, also serving destinations throughout the southeastern United States. The bus stop is at 1050 N. Westmoreland St. #124 in Dallas.
- Autobus Americanos. Mexican trans-border bus line with service to various points in Mexico. The bus stop is at 627 N Westmoreland St in Dallas.
- Turimex Internacional. Mexican trans-border bus line with service to various points in Mexico. The bus stop is at 501 E. Jefferson Blvd in Dallas.
- Omnibus Mexicanos. Mexican trans-border bus line with service to various points in Mexico. The bus stop is at 201 E. Jefferson Blvd in Dallas.
By carThe car is by far the simplest and most reliable way to get around Dallas. Local rental companies offer better prices, but national chains offer more convenient locations and return policies. As in most cities, the worst traffic is in the direction of the city center during the morning and away from it in the afternoon. The roads where rush hour is the worst, especially in the mornings, are I-35, US-75 (where what would be a 20-minute trip without traffic can become a 1-2-hour traffic with it), and the stretch of I-635 between them.
Dallas' street system is built on three nested grids. The smallest grid, running west-by-southwest to east-by-northeast, covers only the central business district in downtown (west) and the neighborhood of Deep Ellum (east). The next-largest grid runs southeast from Love Field, Dallas' domestic airport, to the Great Trinity River Forest, the largest urban hardwood forest in the nation (7,000 acres). The rest of the city and most of the suburbs roughly adhere to a simple north/south by east/west grid of one-mile square blocks.
About the highways
- US-75 is also called or "Central Expressway," or "Central," and is called I-45 south of Downtown.
- I-635, the highway that runs the north and east perimeter of the city, is also called LBJ, or Lyndon B. Johnson Freeway.
- There are two branches of I-35: I-35E, which runs north-south through Dallas; and I-35W, which runs north-south through Fort Worth. They merge/split at Denton in the north and Hillsboro in the south.
- I-35E is called I-35, Stemmons Freeway, and just "Stemmons," but rarely by its official name.
- TX-114, the highway that runs from I-35E to DFW Airport, is also called John W. Carpenter Freeway, or Airport Freeway.
- The Mixmaster is a hectic and confusing stretch of highway south of Downtown where I-35E and I-30 are briefly combined.
- Woodall Rogers Freeway (TX-366) is the 2.6-mile highway that forms the traditional northern boundary of downtown, connecting I-35E in the west to U.S. 75 in the east.
Public transportationDallas Area Rapid Transit, or DART, runs an extensive light rail network and dozens of bus routes. The light rail system hits many tourist destinations around downtown and connects to many of the suburbs, but generally works best for commuters. Buses will get you almost anywhere from the train stations, but are slow, very infrequent during off-peak hours, and not always reliable. Bus drivers will check tickets upon boarding, but light rail trains operate on the honor system, with infrequent random checks that occur most often during rush hour. This doesn't mean you can ride without a ticket - fines for being caught without one can be quite steep. As the Texas culture and the urban sprawl of the Metroplex strongly encourage the use of cars, locals will generally be unable to help you use public transportation, but you can get an excellent trip plan by visiting the DART website, calling their information phone number (214-979-1111), or using their app, GoPass, from which you can also buy and use mobile tickets. Reloadable contactless fare cards are available at many area convenience stores for a minimum initial deposit of $6, and monthly and annual passes are also available.
Dallas also has two commuter rail lines: the Trinity Railway Express (TRE), which links downtown Dallas to downtown Cowtown (Fort Worth), and the A-Train, which runs from the end of DART's Green Line to Denton, a northern exurb of both cities.
Two dockless e-scooter companies operate in Dallas (Lime and Bird) along with the local dockless bike-share company, vBike. Each has a mobile app that can be used to find and rent nearby bikes or scooters. In Dallas, scooter/bike-share is most useful for short trips around downtown and for shortening walks to/from public transit.
DART faresAll passes but the Single Ride are valid for unlimited travel and transfers on DART buses and trains (plus the TRE, up to D/FW Airport) until they expire.
If you want to ride the TRE past the airport or take the A-Train to Denton, you'll need a Regional Day Pass, which is valid on Fort Worth and Denton's transit systems as well as on DART.
|Ticket type||Valid time||Cost|
|Single Ride||One bus ride; no transfers||$2.50|
|AM Pass||3:00 a.m. - noon||$3.00|
|PM Pass||noon - 3:00 a.m.||$3.00|
|Day Pass||3:00 a.m. - 3:00 a.m.||$6.00|
|Midday Pass||9:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.||$2.00|
|Regional Day Pass||3:00 a.m. - 3:00 a.m.||$12.00|
- Dealey Plaza and The Sixth-Floor Museum - site of the infamous assassination of President John F. Kennedy. X's painted in the road mark the positions of the President's limousine for each time he was shot, the Grassy Knoll has been restored to look exactly as it did in 1963, and conspiracy theorists hold talks and hawk DVDs. The accompanying museum, which takes up the first and upper floors of the former Texas Schoolbook Depository, recreates Lee Harvey Oswald's shooting position and maintains a collection of artifacts related to JFK and his assassination, including Oswald's sniper rifle and Jack Ruby's fedora. Museum tickets are $16 for adults, $14 for seniors, $13 for youth, and free for children five or younger. Caution: do not walk into the street to take a picture with the X's. Elm Street is still a busy thoroughfare, and passing cars do not slow down for tourists in their way.
- Dallas County Courthouse, more commonly known as Old Red, is a former municipal courthouse that now serves as Dallas' local history museum. Worth a visit if you are in downtown. $10 for adults, $8 for students, seniors, and the military (all three must show ID), $7 for kids 3-16, and free for kids under 3.
- JFK Memorial Plaza - Brutalism at its best, this is a stark but elegant space for quiet reflection on the President's life. Next to Old Red on Main Street.
- Dallas City Hall - An imposing Brutalist edifice by famous architect I.M. Pei. Recognizable to film buffs as OCP headquarters from the movie Robocop, which was mostly filmed in Dallas.
- Klyde Warren Park - Helping to bridge downtown's moat of highways, this is a trendy park decking Woodall Rogers Freeway for three blocks in the Arts District, and has food trucks, a high-end café, and occasional outdoor performances and readings.
- Dallas Museum of Art (DMA) - World-class art museum downtown befitting Dallas' status as a center of the oil, finance, and technology industries. Exhibits from all historical periods from antiquity to the present day. General admission is free; only temporary exhibits require admission.
- Nasher Sculpture Garden - Large museum and garden adjacent to the DMA with an extensive collection of mostly modern sculpture.
- Trammell Crow Collection of Asian Art - A smaller museum, also adjacent to the DMA, featuring rotating collections of Asian art, at the bottom of the Trammell Crow building. Admission is always free.
Outside of Dallas
Dallas WingsWNBA (women's basketball) team that moved to the Metroplex in 2016. The Wings had been the Tulsa Shock from 2010 to 2015, and the Detroit Shock before that. They play home games at College Park Center on the UT Arlington campus.
- State Fair of Texas - A large part of Dallas' culture and probably its biggest attraction, the State Fair is hosted annually for three weeks around September and October. The Fair really is the Mecca of fair food, most of it deep-fried. Heated competitions held for the best-tasting and most creative of these have seen deep-fried incarnations of practically every food (and drink) imaginable. Concoctions can range from delectable (Fried Peaches and Cream and Fried Jerk Chicken) to bizarre (Fried Jello, Fried Dr. Pepper) to downright disgusting (Fried Butter). The Fair's iconic mascot, Big Tex, is a 55-foot-tall cowboy who smiles, talks, and waves at fair-goers, and the Texas Star Ferris Wheel, the tallest in North America until 1985, is a fairground institution. There is also a huge array of commercial shows and marketplaces, including a large car show, and more traditional attractions include a wide assortment of carnival games and rides, rodeos, pig racing (yes, pig racing), and livestock shows. Fair Park itself is the architectural jewel of the city - its Depression-era buildings were constructed in a stately Texan spin on Art Deco not found anywhere else in the world. Try to avoid the second weekend, when UT and OU play their annual football game, the Red River Showdown. Students from both colleges flood the Fair that weekend and lines and parking are horrible.
- White Rock Lake. Escape the city bustle for a stroll at this large park in East Dallas. This is really a beautiful getaway, but locals would tell you to avoid driving around here at night — ghosts haunt the waters.
- Golf - There are a lot of wonderful courses in the Dallas area. The city boasts five municipal courses with reasonable greens fees. Of these, Tenison Highlands in East Dallas and Cedar Crest in South Dallas offer the best test of golf, and can be the most crowded, especially on weekends. There are any number of terrific daily-fee public courses in the D/FW area as well,
- Irving, Grapevine, Lewisville, and The Colony
- Popular shopping malls include the Galleria and NorthPark Mall in North Dallas and the West Village in Uptown, among others. A bit further afield is Grapevine Mills in nearby Grapevine. Amazing malls can also be found in Plano, Frisco, and other suburbs.
Half-Price BooksUsed bookstore chain headquartered in Dallas, offering secondhand books, music and video, with offerings varying by location. The flagship store is in East Dallas, with one other Dallas store and nine more in the Metroplex area.
- Neiman Marcus was founded in Dallas, supplying dresses and diamonds to debutantes and family scions. The downtown flagship store remains a popular destination for visitors and locals alike, and the NorthPark Mall location is the chain's most successful.
Areas with high concentrations of restaurants include the following:
- Beltline Road through Addison and North Dallas, just north of I-635, has perhaps the most restaurants per-capita in the U.S. If there is a type of food you like then you can probably find it there.
- Greenville Avenue running north to south in East Dallas, has many restaurants along its length, particularly in Lower Greenville.
- Knox and Henderson streets (the "Knox/Henderson" neighborhood), off US-75 Uptown have many laid-back, stylish restaurants.
- McKinney Avenue is the heart of Uptown, with a wide variety of quality establishments.
- The West End in the northwest part of Downtown has a good mix of original local restaurants and successful chain establishments.
Dallas has a good number of its own chain restaurants which have become quite successful in the area, offering unique local flavors.
Spring Creek BarbequeSpring Creek Barbeque has 15 Texas style restaurants across the North Texas area. The menu is very simple. Beef, ham sausage, turkey, chicken, and ribs are available for entrees (you can have combinations also). Side items available are corn, beans, potato salad, cole slaw, and baked potatoes. In addition, fresh homemade bread rolls are served with each dish and more are delivered to your table during each meal. Even with large servings, the most expensive menu is only about $10 so all of the dishes are available at a reasonable price.
Cristina'sSeveral DFW locations. Lunch specials are very reasonably priced. Service across all of the family owned and operated locations is blindingly fast no matter the location. The chips and salsa are arguably some of the freshest and best in the Metroplex. A unique signature menu item is the "Queso Flameado" where the server melts cheese by fire tableside and then wraps the gooey cheesey goodness in several freshly made tortillas.
Main Street in Downtown has seen major improvements over the last few months, with plenty of places to eat and to play. Highly Recommended. Don't forget to stop by the City Tavern for a longneck or two.
- West End - This is an attractive enough historic neighborhood with buildings in a turn-of-the-century redbrick vernacular—the notorious Book Depository is one of them—in the northwest quadrant of downtown. The area is mostly popular with suburbanites and tourists out for dinner and a quick stroll around the neighborhood but has a number of bars as well.
- Deep Ellum is a district of bars, dance clubs, music venues and tattoo shops east of downtown on Main, Elm and Commerce streets. It is a hipster haven for young people and a weekend destination for music lovers of all ages, and is named for being on the far ("Deep") end of Elm Street ("Ellum.")
- Uptown and McKinney Ave - This is where Dallas' beautiful people go to see and be seen. Trendy to the n th degree, this neighborhood contains very upscale, fashionable clubs.
- Lower Greenville has many older drinking establishments.
- Downtown is home to a burgeoning nightlife district and upscale restaurants.
- Addison has some famous drinking spots tucked in amongst its many restaurants, notably The Flying Saucer.
Gentlemen's ClubsIf you are so inclined, Dallas has an overabundance of "gentlemen's clubs." Most of these places are nice and safe, and usually off the Highway 35 and Northwest Highway area. Bring cash along or go to an ATM beforehand—if using a credit card, you have to sign the tabs in triplicate with a photocopy of your ID. One can have a good time for $100–$200 at all the clubs, but if you want to spend more, the ladies will certainly help you do so. Here is a list of some of the clubs starting with the nicest ones.
- The Lodge - Has a safari motif inside and actually has good food too.
- The Men's Club - A nice club with pretty girls. The best night is Thursday.
- Silver City - Good club.
- Baby Doll's - An enormous club that sells more alcohol than any other bar in Texas. Has pretty decent priced drinks for a gentlemen's club.
- Million Dollar Saloon - A lot of history behind this place. Really the first of its kind in Dallas or all of Texas.
- The Clubhouse - Owned and operated by surviving members of Pantera; Frequented by all walks of life in Dallas; BYOB; Full frontal
Beer/Wine/Liquor StoresIf you're looking to fill a mini-fridge or cooler with your own beverages a bit of planning might be required. Alcohol is only sold in certain parts of the city and in certain suburbs so getting to a liquor store can involve some travel. Also, Texas' liquor laws specify that any store that sells liquor cannot open on Sunday nor stay open after 9PM any other day. Stores that sell beer and wine cannot sell either from 12AM to 12PM on Sunday. A smartphone app that locates liquor stores (and shows their hours) is very useful as many of those stores in the Dallas area tend to be well inside neighborhoods as opposed to along highways, and hotel desk staff can tell you if you're in a 'wet' or 'dry' area of Dallas. Liquor stores can become quite crowded after 8PM (especially on Saturday) and remember to be extra-alert after dark. In 'wet' areas beer and wine is easily and safely available at grocery stores.
Additional ResourcesFor useful information on Dallas' nightlife, food, and music-scene offerings, pick up a free copy of the Dallas Observer, the local alternative weekly, at many places around town (particularly in Downtown) or check out GuideLive (an offshoot of the Dallas Morning News) online.
The heaviest concentrations of hotels can be found in North Dallas along I-635 and North Central Expressway and in Northwest Dallas along I-35E, while Downtown offers more high-end accommodations.
Some travelers may find it more convenient to stay in Irving closer to DFW airport, in Arlington near the amusement parks, or in one of the northern suburbs such as Lewisville, Carrollton, Plano, or Richardson.
Also, avoid driving on the highways after 2 A.M. on weekends, when all the bars have just closed and many tipsy drivers are in a hurry to get home.
In the event that you fall victim to identity theft while visiting Dallas, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) operates a major field office in Dallas.
phone: +1 214-670-1400address: 1515 Young St
- Kadampa Meditation Center Texas , Tel: 817-303-2700, . Offers relaxation meditations and meditation classes to increase inner peace at 4 locations in Dallas.
Belgium (Honorary)phone: +1 817 229-4259address: 1308 Dandury Dr, Mansfield
- phone: +1 214 922-9806address: 500 N Akard St Ste 2900
- phone: +1 214 752-3684address: 325 N Saint Paul St Ste 2300
- phone: +1 214 368-4113address: 6255 W Northwest Hwy
Mexicophone: +1 214 252-9250address: 8855 Stemmons Fwy
- Royal Danish Consulate, 2100 McKinney Ave, Ste 700, Tel: +1 214-661-8399. Fax. +1 214-661-8036.
- Royal Norwegian Consulate, 4605 Live Oak St, Tel: +1 214-826-5231.
- phone: +1 214 965-1025address: 2651 N Harwood St
- Head to Arlington for a day of fun at Six Flags Over Texas or Six Flags Hurricane Harbor, the best waterpark in the area. Don't forget the sunblock.
- Denton, half an hour north on I-35E, has a charming historic town square, and an off-the-cuff nightlife scene driven by the city's disproportionately large number of musicians.
- Joe Pool Lake lies to the southwest of the city, 4 miles past Grand Prairie. There are two popular parks to camp at along the shoreline, including Cedar Hill State Park and Loyd Park. The most popular day use park on Joe Pool Lake is Lynn Creek Park.
- Lake Texoma is a popular spot an hour's drive north on US-75, on the border with Oklahoma.
phone: +1 972-442-7800address: 3700 Hogge RdParker. The ranch made famous by the TV series "Dallas". An easy day trip from Dallas. Tours run 364 days a year (except 25 Dec).
- Waco, an hour south on I-35, has a number of attractions including the Dr. Pepper Museum and the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame.