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Visiting Dallas, Texas
Dallas-The Incredible City
Dallas is a vast place. For Europeans looking to come to Dallas, plan on renting a car. The bus system is strong, but if you are only going to be in Dallas for a few days, don't waste precious time on the public transportation.
Dallas has a vibrant culture. A glance in any of the local free magazines such as the Dallas Observer will show you the latest happenings in movie, theater, arts, music, food, sports, social, crafts, children, or any other well known topic that you can think of.
Do your research before you come to Dallas about food, because Dallas is a paradise for lovers of food. Of course, steak, barbeque and burger places are all over the place. It is Texas, and it is cattleman's paradise, and oil men's living room. Dallas also has wonderful Mexican food. Seafood that was in the ocean a day ago is plated today with enthusiasm and verve. Fusion foods that will make your mouth cry out for more. Dallas is a restaurant capital, and boy, are Dallasites proud of the foodie eats that are available at all budget levels.
Downtown Dallas is Beautiful and Majestic
The architecture in Dallas tells a great story. You can tell when the economy was up or down by when buildings were going up. Don't believe me? Come to Dallas and see some remarkable building designs. Nestled in between the giants are buildings from the 19th and 20th century, standing as stately as they once did, well maintained with creative uses employed now.
Doc Holliday of OK Corral and Tombstone, AZ once held an office in Dallas, TX. That building was long ago moved away for progress, but you can still see some of the other buildings that were in town when he was here still standing.
Thanksgiving Square is a non denominational place of rest and reflection, and the beautiful conch shell shape makes it feel very removed from the hustle and bustle of downtown. Take pictures of the stained glass pieces when you are inside, they are memorable.
Of course, there is the shame filled Grassy Knoll that you can go and see, the 6th floor museum and more, right there in downtown Dallas.
The Sixth Floor Museum is located at 411 Elm Street, Dallas, TX 75202
The Kennedy Tragedy and Museum
Many who come to Dallas want to experience as much as they can of the Kennedy experience. The grassy knoll is still widely used by the public, and you are able to get some photos from there if you want to. Some vendors even sell small postcards and such, generally for a fair price.
The 6th floor Museum is a well done presentation of Kennedy's last moments. Of course, we all know how it happens, but there is a poignancy to it as you are right near the place where President Kennedy was killed. There is a fee to visit, and you will want to make sure that you check the hours before you go down to the museum.
Dallas Museum of Art
I love the Dallas Museum of Art. It is well done, multi-floored and where there is natural lighting, the lighting is done brilliantly.
Each section of the museum was very well planned. You know that you are in a museum, but the presentation of different collections removes that thought from your mind, and you are able to enjoy the art process. Outdoor sculptures from the Nasher Collection are in a calm and quiet area, something to be considered if you are traveling with little ones and need a place for them to run off some extra energy for a moment or two.
The downstairs dining room features a light wall that has stained glass features of a well known artist. All of the meals downstairs are well done and created for the budget conscious and perhaps a better distraction if you have children.
Upstairs, the dining is more subdued and elegant. The prices are also more elegant. Check hours before you go, as they do vary.
The Dallas Zoo
The Dallas Zoo is a charming zoo, small enough to be completed in a day, but large enough to engage your whole group for a day or an afternoon. Prices for admission and hours should be checked ahead of time to ensure that you have enough time to see the zoo. Sometimes, there are special events at the zoo.
All children delight in seeing the larger animals. The elephants, the big cats, and the giraffes are family favorites. The Dallas Zoo also has a nursery section where visitors can sometimes walk by and see baby animals as they are being tended to.
In the hot summer, visits are best scheduled during the early morning hours before it becomes too hot and the animals seek solace and quiet in shadier places. Fall and spring are excellent times for viewing because of temperate climates leading to higher activity levels among the animals.
Food and drink are more reasonably priced here than other public activities, but if budget is a concern, check out the rules for bringing in food items.
I have brought many family and friends to the Dallas Zoo, and many have complemented the park like landscaping and the well thought out terrain.
Infotainment facts can be found in various places throughout the zoo. The petting zoo and children's zoo is a delight, with bright colors and animals that are very used to being around children. There has been a clear focus here made to educate and entertain children, and the zookeepers in this area are very kind, patient, and tolerant of the questions asked by the children.
Sports in Dallas? Got it Covered!
Dallas is a city that loves sports.
Football? The Dallas Cowboys. The stadium alone is something to behold. A creation of smoothness and suave, a visitor should take the time to look up the Cowboys Stadium and see if tours are being given during their time in the city.
Hockey fans will love going to a Dallas Stars game. Fans all scream and cheer wildly, and the rendition of the National Anthem is like none you have ever heard before. (Really. It is cool.) The American Airlines Center is host to the Dallas Stars, and many other events are held there as well. It is a beautiful facility.
Basketball fans will come to Dallas to see the Dallas Mavericks play, and get to witness one of the most animated characters in Basketball. The well known Mark Cuban is alone worth the price of admission. His frenzied drive always tells the fans exactly what he is thinking, and he is a lot of fun to watch. Insightful, gutsy and driven, Mark Cuban is a fan favorite.
Baseball fans will want to catch a game if in season with the Texas Rangers. The ball field is wonderful and well done, and the view no matter where you are is wonderful. Although I am not a baseball fan, I have gone, and I completely enjoyed myself during the time I spent at the park.
Conventions are a big deal in Dallas. Dallas does it very well. Hotel conventions, site conventions, conferences, they are done so well that for the most part, they run smooth as silk.
If you are attending some sort of event in Dallas, do a little homework. If you want to see Dallas, plan on spending an extra day or two in the city. You won't have the time to do it during your event. Events here in Dallas, unless noted, tend to run long hours. The food is good, the entertainment is great, and the memories will last a lifetime. I know people who have told me that they could not believe the amount of fun that they had when they were in a business convention in Dallas.
Musical Events in Dallas
Dallas adores live music. Blessed with a very vibrant music sector, Dallas puts out live music all over the Metroplex. Big acts are in town all the time. For natives, they can become jaded, but don't let them get in the way of enjoying your music. Big names come to Dallas, they put on a great show, and they do it again and again.
Check out events and concerts while you are in town. If you are going to be here over a weekend, then most likely, someone big will be in town while you are in Dallas. During a weekday, not as many big names, but there is always live music being played somewhere.
Shopping! Dallas Shops Very Well!
There is a joke among people from Dallas that basically says "If you can't find it in Dallas, it does not exist". Of course, there will be things that cannot be found in Dallas. However, Dallas is a shoppers haven, with malls, discount malls and shopping plazas all over the place. A favorite of the high expense budget list is Northpark mall. Featuring most of the high end shops, Northpark was even featured in the movie "Dr. T and the Women."
The Galleria Mall is another beautiful mall, with a feature being an indoor ice skating rink and beautiful natural lighting brought about by a clear glass ceiling. This mall is attached to a hotel as well, so if you are lucky enough to have a stay there, you can do a little shopping during your stay.
Other malls are spread all over the city as well as surrounding cities, and many of the malls and shopping centers feature events within them.
Dallas is now also home to an H+M location, a Trader Joe's, and Aldi Supermarkets. Whole Foods Markets are plentiful, as are Sprouts and other organic markets. Farmers' Markets are plentiful, but it would be wise to check the days and hours on these before you make a trip.
Half Price Books is headquartered in Dallas. A chain bookstore, all of their newer releases are sold for roughly half the cover price. Also sold is music, magazines and computer software. Half Price Books can be the place that you easily lose a few hours of your time.
Dallas Fabric Shopping -Worthy of a Separate Mention
The secret everyone and no one wants to share. Perth Street. Need upholstery fabric, fine fabrics and silks? Head over to Perth Street. Prices are good, you will have to hunt and search, and the shops all close promptly at 5 pm.
Best find? A yard of butter silk for about $7.00 per yard. I had seen it at a well priced retailer for over $75.00 per yard. Or was it the embroidered upholstery fabric that I had seen at a major retailer for $350.00 per yard here at a shop on Perth street for $9.00 per yard? I don't recall. There are so many good deals! Every trip to Perth street results in me having new fabric at fractions of the price. A big warning:Don't second guess, buy short and think you can come back for more. That fabric may be there, and it may not. Buy what you think you will need now, or you will be sad later.
Reason for Coming to Dallas
What is the Purpose of Your Visit to Dallas?
Dallas is Fun
Dallas is a fun city. The people are laid back and eager to help, and there are activities for most things. Parks here are beautiful, and the city is going through reinventing itself most of the time. Because of the dynamic nature of the city, I will be updating this page on a regular basis.
Map It Out in Dallas
Take the time when you are planning your trip to Dallas to get a good and sturdy map. My smartest friends ever got a laminated map and used a dry erase marker to plan events for each day that they were in town. Even when using GPS for driving, that does not always help when you are trying to get your bearings.
Another great point of having a map is to actually see how far apart things are from one another. A pal of mine thought that she would be able to drive from one side of the city to the other in order to make a meeting in less than 20 minutes. Although people like to drive fast in Dallas, there is no way that she would have made it.
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