Until now, the only impression of Dallas I had was courtesy of the Cowboys and the short time I’d spent at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport on my way through to Austin. It’s the ‘Big D’, right? I’d been told that if I heard ‘Everything is bigger in Texas’, it’s Dallas they’re referring to most of the time. And in some ways, it’s true.
If your stop in Dallas is in a bit of a whirlwind fashion, as mine was, there’s still plenty you can fit in to make your journey to the city one you’ll not be forgetting in a hurry. If you’re a keen shopper, foodie or have even a passing interest in the city’s arts, the Bishop Arts District is definitely where you’d want to start.
Existing as its own little hub away from the downtown district of Dallas, Bishop Arts has multiple market outlets, restaurants and boutique shops to satisfy any desire to pick up something a little unique, something you won’t get anywhere else. The majority of stores open around 11am, so you can enjoy a leisurely breakfast or brunch along West 7th before hitting the pavement. I ate at Oddfellows, a restaurant with a decently priced menu full of breakfast and coffee/tea options. Bustling at 10am, as a customer, I still felt completely doted upon.
From there, walk up along N Bishop Avenue, West 7th and 8th and the surrounds to check out the multitude of stores hidden in amongst some great street art and murals. The Artisan’s Collective and the Bishop Street Market host some great materials from local Dallas creatives for decent prices and offer the opportunities for the shopper to pick up something unique from the area. Epiphany and Epiphany for Men offer a boutique clothes shopping experience for both ladies and guys on opposite sides of the street, a genius idea. From gourmet pies to chocolate that will knock your socks off, Bishop Arts is a great way to spend your day – come prepared to drop some cash and walk away with some neat treats, having given back to the community and an insight into the creative industry of the Dallas community.
Now, night time is upon you and you want to get out and play, right? Deep Ellum is the place to be for nightlife and to get your live music fix. Bars are booming with music as I take a walk down through the district, there’s country and blues happening at the Sundown Granada, heavy metal thrashing at DaDa and acoustic stylings happening up at Trees. Enjoy a cocktail at the HG Supply Co, one of the many cool rooftop bars, or if something a bit more exclusive is your style, work your way into Truth & Alibi, a popular bar which operated as an illegal speakeasy back in the Prohibition Era – complete with Candy Company shop front!
The Granada Theatre hosts many big acts and also some cool movie nights, where classics are screened weekly for a small $3 entry fee. A popular venue in the Deep Ellum district, the Granada has got that old-school cool vibe set in a modern and upcoming environment.
For your bigger name concerts and events, the American Airlines Center is smack bang in the middle of downtown and you can see how it draws so many people in. Chris Brown, Tyga and Trey Songz are performing in the venue when I visit and there are radio stations set up on the plaza outside, while the lights from the LCD screens illuminate the immediate area like a mini Times Square.
The House of Blues, another iconic venue in Dallas is also a must purely for a visual treat. A bar and restaurant with multiple live music stages spread throughout, the venue has hosted everyone from 30 Seconds to Mars to Jack White, while the likes of Hozier and Misterwives are just some of the artists on their upcoming calendar. The House of Blues also hosts regular open mic nights and opportunities for local bands to take to the stage, and as you walk through, you feel like the history of the venue is coming out of every wall.
Dallas has a certain charm about it, a young city definitely building upward, there are plenty of opportunities to take in both the older side of the city as well as the modern and contemporary stylings as a result of recent artistic and business influences. Texas may do everything bigger and I think that the creatives in this city definitely think bigger. The ideas and events happening in Dallas encompass the homegrown as well as the outside elements and it’s not hard to see why Dallas is becoming a metro area more and more on the national radar. Stop on by!
Visit TravelTex.com for more information about planning your trip to Texas.
This trip was made possible with the support of the Dallas Convention and Visitors Bureau and Texas Tourism! Visit www.visitdallas.com for more information on where to go in the city!