When I transferred to Dallas from North Carolina six years ago, I thought I’d be stepping into a scene from “Urban Cowboy” -- a countryfied city with a shimmering skyline, lots of big hair, thick drawls, and real cowpokes in boots and spurs, tipping their 10-gallon hats to me on every street corner. Yee-haw!
Although admittedly I was a bit deflated when I found out that my screen-inspired fantasies were mostly wrong (firstly, “Urban Cowboy” takes place in Houston, not Dallas), I settled into an apartment in Deep Ellum with a decent view of downtown. Before I knew it, I fell in love with the real Dallas, and my transformation from newbie to native began. I discovered that there’s something here for everyone if you know where to look!
To get started on your own love affair with Dallas, take a walk with me - no, seriously! The DFW Metroplex is vast, but the city of Dallas and its distinct neighborhoods are actually very walkable, with lots of shops, restaurants and good people watching everywhere. Walking is how I fell in love with Dallas: it’s the simplest way to explore the city and take in all of its stories, quirks and hidden gems -- and it’s good for you, too!
You’re in the heart of Dallas’ live music scene, home of the top music venues, bars and restaurants, which also means it’s a prime spot for people watching. There's just so much to see, hear and experience in this neighborhood! Take a stroll down any of the main streets: Main, Commerce, Canton, Elm. While you’re at it, check out the famous Pecan Lodge, which boasts some of the best barbeque in the whole state of Texas. Get the brisket -- trust me on this!
Lower + Lowest Greenville
An entertainment district featuring many of Dallas’ best bars and restaurants, Lower Greenville is a close-knit community of residents. You’ll find young families, college students, hipsters and empty-nesters alike walking the streets and enjoying food and craft cocktails on one of the many patios and rooftops in the neighborhood.
Klyde Warren Park
Who builds a 5-acre park on top of an active freeway? Dallas, of course! And we sure can pack a lot into those five acres: food trucks, concerts, fitness and dance classes, community events, music and story time for the kids, and much more! Visit Klyde Warren Park's website for a list of activities and scheduled events.
Uptown + Katy Trail
In this live-work-play community, uptown girls and boys don’t have to venture far to find trendsetting bars, hot restaurants, new apartments, and some of the best shopping in town. Don’t miss the Katy Trail, transformed from a railroad line into a 3.5-mile paved trail which spans from SMU to Victory Park downtown, enjoyed by runners, cyclists and anyone wanting a breath of fresh air. And be sure to visit the Katy Trail Icehouse, an iconic Austin-style beer garden and restaurant smack-dab in the center of uptown Dallas, boasting a 50-foot bar and an award-winning patio (Dallas is all about the patios, y’all!).
Welcome to the Big D! The best part is -- we’re just getting started, y’all!