How to Spend 48 Hours in Dallas
If you are only staying a couple if days in Big D, you have a chance to experience some of the best Texas has to offer. From fantastic food, great art, fabulous shopping, and cowboys of all shapes and sizes.
The Dallas Skyline has been voted the best International Skyline, where Downtown Dallas glows with its neon and LED lights at night. But the Skyline is even more magnificent during the day, as the glass and iron towering office buildings form an orderly line around historical early 20th century buildings.
There are some must sees like Dealey Plaza and the Sixth Floor Museum, Cowboy’s Stadium…and local favorites like Trinity Groves, Lower Greenville and glitzy Highland Park.
Let’s get some of the preliminary things done and some cool pics in your Facebook photo album, and then…get a little local.
Breakfast with History and Potential Conspiracies
Head down to historical Deep Ellum, and take your seat like a local at the All Good Café. Everything is good, trust me, but start with the buttermilk pancakes. Add some eggs, and bacon, with a side of grits like local and transplanted Dallasites. Or get the South Austin Migas, a Tex-Mex morning staple in these parts.
After you have your fill of “goodness,” head east from Deep Ellum on Main St., and park around Main and Market St. There, you can start the real JFK tour, at the Memorial Plaza, then walk south to Dealey Plaza to see the familiar intersection, the Grassy Knoll, and the old Texas School Book Depository, now known as The Sixth Floor Museum.
For lunch and an early afternoon stroll, the Bishop’s Art District is just right. This charming area of Oak Cliff has seen a renaissance in the past 10 years, hosting great restaurants, boutiques, art galleries, jewelry stores and home furnishings. Get some great threads at Indigo 1745, get a trim at the Brass Tacks Barber Shop, and enjoy a bite at Hattie’s if you want something Southern…or Lockhart Smokehouse for some magnificent smoked meat.
Get your boots and jeans on, and let’s head down for a trail ride. The closest and best place to take a ride is at the Texas Horse Park in the Trinity River Forrest. Call ahead and set up a ride with one of the two non-profits that provide trail rides, lessons, and special events. Proceeds go to help the local community. You’ll feel like you are in the middle of the Texas plains, just 10 minutes from Downtown.
Don’t own a pair of cowboy boots? Pink’s Western Wear on Stemmons Freeway has a great variety of boots, jeans (yes, you need boot-cut jeans if you are going to look “normal” in cowboy boots), hats and everything else that can turn you into an Urban Cowboy.
After you’ve dusted off your new boots, head down to the Lower Greenville area. If you are in the mood for some live local music, great beer and local food trucks, hit the Truck Yard. In the mood for something a bit more romantic and elegant? St. Martin’s Wine Bistro offers a great French fare in a lightly light setting. For the farm-to-table crowd, HG Supply is it.
Spend the rest of the night strolling Lower Greenville, or head down to the Know-Henderson area for some fun at Barcadia, the lovechild of an old school arcade and a local hole-in-the-wall bar.
The Best Panoramic View of Dallas
The Dallas Skyline is the quintessential US panorama. If you’re feeling inspired to get a bit of FOMO on your social reach, drive up to The Trinity River Park, right next to the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge. Park by Trinity Groves and snap away.
A German Breakfast and a Posh Drive
After your well-deserved rest, you’ll need to fuel-up at Kuby’s – a German deli/restaurant that is not for the faint of heart. After some sausage and eggs, drive around Highland Park and check out where the rich-and-famous of Dallas live. Cruise down Lakeside Dr. to Beverly Dr. Wilbur David Cook, who designed Beverly Hills, was asked to do the same in Highland Park, so you may see some similarities. You can stop at Southern Methodist University and stroll through the campus. If you like Spanish and Renaissance art, visit the Meadows Museum.
Shopping, Shopping, Shopping.
Highland Park Village offers you some of the top boutiques in town – from Balenciaga to Tom Ford. If you want something a bit more moderate, North Park Mall just minutes away is one of the nicest in the country.
Time for a Beer.
In the past decade, the Dallas area has become home to more than 20 local breweries thanks to a new state legislation that has opened the door for some local craft. One of the originals is Lakewood Brewing Co. Deep Ellum Brewing’s Dallas Blonde has become a household brand locally, and Four Corners Brewery is a fun place to not just sample the hops, but to spend a couple of hours chatting with locals and visitors.
A Honkytonk end to your visit.
Dust off the boots you bought yesterday, iron a crease on those jeans and let’s channel your inner Urban Cowboy (again). Cowboys Red River Saloon is one of Dallas oldest, and still one of the best places 2-step the night away. The house band is great, the beer is cold, and the mechanical bulls run wild.
In two days, you can enjoy a taste of the what Dallas has to offer. Remember, you will need to rent a car, so make sure you add a rental reservation to your itinerary.
Now, if your return flight gets delayed or you just can’t part ways, here are a few other places to visit.
- AT&T Stadium, Home of the Dallas Cowboys. Daily tours, events and, of course, America’s Team.
- Fort Worth Stockyards
- Dallas Arboretum
- Art Museums: Dallas Museum of Art, Perot Museum of Natural History, Nasher Sculpture Garden, and the Frontiers of Flight Museum.
- Family Fun: Six Flags Over Texas, Great Wolf Lodge, and Legoland Discovery Center.
Great Places to Stay.
Great hotels in Downtown and Uptown include, Hotel Indigo, Fairmount Hotel, The Adolphus Hotel, The Joule, The Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek and the Stoneleigh Hotel.