I came to Dallas with no expectations, and despite some disparaging tweets and comments from the online peanut gallery, most of my well-traveled readers eagerly guided me through the third largest city in Texas, pointing out where to go and what to see and do.

I was grateful for their advice and how it reinforced my belief that no matter where you land in the world, no matter how familiar and mainstream it might be, there are splendid and exotic moments to be found. Dallas, Texas is such a city and even after just one day of perusal, I grew convinced that I needed a few longer days to truly know what this place was all about.

In the morning I was overwhelmed with tulips and bridal gowns at the Dallas Arboretum, then enjoyed a smokey, meaty brunch at Smoke. Afterwards, I explored more of the downtown and arts district, including the Dallas Museum of Art, the outstanding Crow Collection, and Nasher Sculpture Center and in the late afternoon, I was able to peruse the Highland Park and Preston Hollow neighborhoods, famed for the giant mansions that reflect some of the great wealth attached to this city. I also went for the biggest baddest steak in Texas at Bob’s Chop & Steakhouse and had a cracking foot massage. The next morning, I hung out with some of my Twitter followers at Klyde Warren Park (an urban space-turned nature park with its own Twitter address) and talked about how much I had enjoyed Dallas–really.

As I travel across this state, I find it impossible to fit Texas into any particular box–and you can say the same  about Dallas. Anyone who travels here can find whatever they want, from JFK conspiracy theorists soliciting followers to Vietnamese food trucks and glossy high-rises that reflect the passing clouds in blue and copper windowpanes.

I know I’ll return–Dallas is a city with a long To Do list, including a visit to Cowboy Stadium (next time) but until then, I’ll remember everything I did get to see and do in the Big D.

Comments

  1. chhaya khanal
    March 25, 2013, 5:07 pm

    I am planning a trip to Dallas next month. Are there any good vegetarian restaurants in Dallas? I am looking for some good one except Indian and Chinese.

  2. Lance
    Philadelphia
    March 25, 2013, 9:46 pm

    We go to Dallas frequently and love the Dallas Arboretum. Last year, we they had an amazing Chihuly exhibit. For vegetarian cuisine, I recommend the Cosmic Cafe.

  3. Donna Kramer
    United States
    April 20, 2013, 4:44 pm

    Hey Andrew!

    Just wanted to let you know I was unable to view your photo gallery. Here’s the error message I keep seeing:

    Fatal error: Could not extract a stage height from the CSS. Traced height: 0px

    I love your writings, but am missing your photography!

    :-)

    Sounds like an awesome trip “home”

  4. Memorial Day – Digital Nomad
    May 24, 2013, 9:15 am

    [...] this shocks me. As you know, I just spent a month traveling through Texas and happened to find Dallas pretty awesome and exciting. With all that oil money, the city has one of the most outstanding [...]

  5. Teresa
    Dallas
    June 3, 2013, 2:51 pm

    Dallas has many pockets of coolness: Dallas Arts District (Winspear Opera & Wyly Theatre…eating), Uptown (take the trolley to about anywhere in that area), Downtown, Bishop Arts District (art, shopping & eating), Design Destrict (art galleries, shopping & eating) Greenville area (music & local restaurants), Deep Ellum area (art, music, restaurants), NorthPark Center (shopping & art sculptures inside and outside the mall)….then there are Koreatowns, Chinatowns, South Asian shopping & eating centers, Vietnamese restaurants for authentic cuisines.

    For one of the best vegetarian restaurants, I would recommend Cosmic Cafe, too, but definitely go to http://www.kalachandjis.com/. It’s a hidden cafe tucked inside a Hindu temple. The drive there is sketchy looking but well worth it!

    Enjoy! – teresa

  6. Cary
    Dallas
    June 3, 2013, 11:07 pm

    Andrew, thanks for the photos and nice words about Dallas.

    For vegetarian restaurants, there’s also Spiral Diner, in both Dallas and Fort Worth, which is actually vegan http://www.spiraldiner.com/

  7. edward
    lake highlands, dallas tx
    June 4, 2013, 12:08 pm

    andrew, the next time you visit dallas [or anyone reading this], be sure to visit White Rock Lake! these two spots have really good views of dallas.
    1. the little park on eh SE corner of Peavy Rd and Buckner Rd [Loop 12].
    2. farther SE on Buckner, go south on E. Lake Highlands all the way until you come up a small rise and BAM – there’s all of white rock lake and most of the dallas skyline. best viewed at sunset!!

    plus Lake Cliff Park in Oak Cliff; the Trinity River Audubon Center [off Loop 12, between I-45 and US 175]; the excellent bike/walking paths/trails from far N. Dallas, thru to White Rock Lake and the Katy Trail; Swiss Avenue, and much much more!

    welcome to our fair city!

    [dont forget the State Fair of Texas in October - the LARGEST state fair in the USA!].

    • Andrew Evans
      June 26, 2013, 7:56 am

      All great recommendations–thank you!