This article originally appeared in the March 2018 issue of So Scottsdale! magazine.
The Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area (the DFW Metroplex as locals call it) is a diverse place with more than 7 million residents. It offers everything from downhome hospitality to chic galleries and funky neighborhoods. With more than a dozen nonstop flights each day from Phoenix, there’s no reason not to head south.
Exploring Downtown Dallas
The DFW Metroplex is massive, covering an area bigger than the states of Rhode Island and Connecticut combined. You’ll want to be strategic about what you plan to visit, and Downtown Dallas must be on the list.
Downtown, stop by the Perot Museum of Nature and Science. The modern cube-shaped building is famed for its glass-encased escalator on the outside of the structure. Inside, the museum is filled with interactive exhibits, including an earthquake simulator and a Texas Instruments Engineering and Innovation Hall with an assortment of digital electronics.
For sky-high views, head 470 feet above ground to the GeO-Deck at the top of Reunion Tower. There are telescopes that let you view the streetscape, and if you return at night, dine at Wolfgang Puck’s Five Sixty, which is even higher, at 560 feet. This elegant restaurant has floor-to-ceiling windows all around, offering 360-degree city views as the room revolves.
Another downtown must-see is The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza. It was from here, in the former Texas School Book Depository, where significant evidence of a sniper was found following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
For a respite from the bustling city, the 66-acre Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden in East Dallas, on the shores of White Rock Lake, is especially lovely in spring. Each day, enjoy tastings of recipes made with vegetables harvested from the local gardens. Find out more at www.visitdallas.com.
Dallas is filled with a variety of neighborhoods, many of which offer an eclectic, artsy look at the city. Deep Ellum is an entertainment district filled with street murals, quirky art galleries, and indie concert venues. In the 1920s, this was the place to go for jazz and blues, and you can still find great music here, including April’s annual Deep Ellum Arts Festival.
The Bishop Arts District is a hip area with more than 60 boutiques, restaurants, bars, coffee shops, theaters and art galleries. Pegged as “Dallas’ most independent neighborhood,” you won’t find chain restaurants or big-box stores in this indie district.
Though more of a micro-neighborhood near downtown, Trinity Groves is a popular entertainment destination filled with start-up restaurants, shops and galleries. In fact, it’s a “restaurant concept incubator program” that encourages chefs and restaurateurs to open unique ventures in an area once filled with industrial warehouses. In addition to being a foodie haven, there are galleries, a brewery and ongoing events.
Head north of downtown to Highland Park to explore the upscale shopping at Highland Park Village. HP Village opened in 1931 as the country’s first shopping center and became a National Historic Landmark in 2000. The center has a variety of high-end retailers including Hermès, Valentino and Dior as well as restaurants and Texas’ first luxury theater, Village Theatre.
Exploring Nearby Cities
When you fly into Dallas, you will either fly into Dallas Love Field on Southwest Airlines or DFW Airport on American Airlines. DFW Airport is located near the town of Grapevine, which has a historic downtown area filled with art galleries and boutiques.
Grapevine’s Urban Wine Trail also makes it a fun destination for wine tasting. There are several options throughout town, but don’t miss Messina Hof Grapevine Winery with its cozy Victorian setting or the Sloan & Williams Winery where you can pair drinking wine with wine ice cream. If you head to Wine Fusion Winery, you can blend your own wine.
For music lovers, nearby Irving is home to the Dallas area’s newest music and entertainment scene. The Toyota Music Factory recently opened with three venues in one—two theaters and a large amphitheater. In addition to live entertainment, there are 25 restaurants either open now or opening throughout 2018.
Where to Stay
Dallas has a variety of accommodations, and one of the most convenient luxury hotels is the Grand Hyatt DFW. Located inside DFW Airport’s International Terminal D, it offers sumptuous accommodations, and, as a guest, you can access the shopping inside security. Simply ask the concierge and they will escort you through the TSA checkpoint, even without a boarding pass. The guestrooms offer fun runway views without any airport noise, and the rooftop pool is a welcome oasis.
Dining at Grand Met is a treat, which is unexpected for an airport location.
If you prefer to soak up neighborhood flavor, head to the trendy Uptown area’s Hotel ZaZa Dallas. This upscale boutique hotel captures the quirky side of the city with themed rooms and suites, easy walking to restaurants, and pampering at ZaSpa.
With so many great things to experience in Dallas – and a short 2.5-hour flight from Phoenix – you’ll be pulling on your boots for the Lone Star State.