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Plan Your Trip to Dallas: Best of Dallas Tourism
With its towering skyscrapers and winding highways, Dallas is a big city that delivers on small-town charm. It’s a place where luxury-brand boutiques are neighbors with local bootmakers, and saloons serve filet mignon and craft cocktails. Stroll through trendy Deep Ellum and catch some live music, or spend a day in the Arts District (the biggest one in the U.S.) and go museum-hopping. While the buildings themselves are a draw (check out the Reunion Tower for 360-degree views of the skyline), nature’s everywhere, too. Hit the Katy Trail for a scenic walk through town, or head to the Dallas Arboretum to see the cherry blossoms do their thing in the spring. Yes, barbecue and Tex-Mex are big here (and shouldn’t be missed), but there’s also next-level Ethiopian food thanks to Dallas’s thriving East African community. There’s lots more to do and we’ve got recs, below.
What to do
Iconic places and can’t-miss experiences that define the citySee all
Where to stay
Top spots to rest up—charming to classic to modernSee all
Where to eat
The tried-and-trues, plus local faves and hidden gemsSee all
Where to get outside in Dallas
I love museum hopping in the Arts District or hitting the bars in Deep Ellum as much as the next person, but sometimes you just have to get out in nature. Luckily, Dallas has plenty of ways to connect with the great outdoors, from scenic hiking trails to bird-filled nature preserves. These are my favorite urban escapes, both in and outside the city limits.
Justine Harrington, Austin, TX
- Trinity River Audubon Center53Just 10 minutes south of downtown Dallas, the Great Trinity Forest is the largest urban hardwood forest in the country. My favorite part of the area is the Trinity River Audubon Center, a former illegal dump site turned wildlife haven. Pack a picnic and walk along the four miles of hiking trails that wind through diverse habitats. Don’t forget your binoculars—you could potentially see over 50 bird species in one visit.
- Dallas Arboretum & Botanical Gardens5,879When the air finally turns crisp after another sweltering Texas summer, I love strolling around the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden. It’s impossible not to be in fall mode during Autumn at the Arboretum, an annual festival featuring over 100,000 pumpkins, squash, and gourds, accented by colorful perennial plants. That said, the Arboretum’s 66 acres of greenery are worth exploring any time of year.
- White Rock Lake Park671An obvious-but-necessary pick, White Rock Lake is my go-to when I want to log some miles in nature without straying too far. As much of a Dallas institution as the Cowboys, this 1,015-acre lake is surrounded by nearly 10 miles of paved hiking and biking trails, plus playgrounds, picnic areas, and dog parks. Book a community sailing experience with The Spirit of Dallas if you want to get out on the water.
- Cedar Ridge Preserve managed by Audubon Dallas.64The Cedar Ridge Preserve offers a variety of tree-lined pathways that showcase the native foliage and wildlife—with awesome hill country views to boot. The Cattail Pond Trail is popular for a reason: it’s relatively short and the overlook is gorgeous. It also connects to a few different trails if you want to extend your hike. Just be aware that the preserve is closed on Mondays and the gates lock after sunset.
- Oak Cliff Nature Preserve0 reviewsAn oasis in the middle of the city, Oak Cliff Nature Preserve sits just southwest of the Bishop Arts District. There are eight miles of secluded trails that wind through golden fields and mixed hardwood forest, and birdwatching is a popular activity. Post-hike, I like to get lunch at Paradiso—the menu is diverse (with wood-fired pizza, handmade pasta, sandwiches, and salads), but the spicy eggplant parm sammie has my heart.
- Rowlett Creek Perserve1Hikers, runners, and mountain bikers are in for a treat at the Rowlett Creek Preserve. You’ll find nearly 16 miles of unpaved trails at this beautiful tract of meadows and woods, located in nearby Garland. Keep in mind that bikers should go in a clockwise direction and runners and walkers should go in a counterclockwise direction. I love coming here early in the morning, before the crowds swarm.
- Clymer Meadow Preserve0 reviewsWhen I visited the Clymer Meadow Preserve in mid-April, it was covered in candy-colored wildflowers as far as the eye could see. You have to make an appointment with The Nature Conservancy to access this pristine slice of blackland prairie (said to be one of the most endangered landscapes in North America) and it’s only open on select days, but it’s worth the effort to see land that’s been unchanged for thousands of years.
Explore Dallas by interest
Make a game plan
Watch some football or tour a stadium
If you’re feeling fancy-ish
Go-all-out experiences worth every penny
Stop and smell the roses
Gorgeous gardens, right in town
Take the bull by the horns
Hit the rodeo for roping, riding, and more
For the history buff
Must-see museums and can’t-miss landmarks
For mini cowpokes
Kid-friendly experiences everyone will love
Dallas on a dime
Eats and activities that won’t break the bank
Do it like a local
Off-the-beaten path places and hidden gems
Make a day of it
Easy trips that take you beyond the city
The sound of Dallas
Experiences where music’s the main attraction
Frequently Asked Questions about Dallas
- We recommend checking out these popular tours when looking for something to do in Dallas:
- If you're a more budget-conscious traveler, then you may want to consider traveling to Dallas between March and May, when hotel prices are generally the lowest. Peak hotel prices generally start between September and November.