Dallas is home to more than a million people, with more moving here every day. The ninth largest city in the United States, Dallas is known as the Southwest's leading business and financial center and as the number one visitor destination in Texas. Big business is a big deal in this city, evident in the increasing number of companies that relocate to Dallas each year. With more shopping centers per capita than any other major city nationwide and four times more restaurants per person than New York City, Dallas is the place to be whether you're doing business, shopping, eating or touring the sites.
Since its inception as a small trading post in 1841, Dallas has grown to include a vast array of hotels, shops, restaurants and other businesses, all the while speckled with historic buildings and museums, too. An area at the north end of downtown, deemed the
Formerly a warehouse district, the West End MarketPlace is known today for its entertainment offerings and unique shopping venues, as well as for its street entertainers, outdoor ice-skating rink and vintage street lights. The upscale
Head three blocks east of downtown and you're at the "deep end of Elm Street," where turn-of-the-century African-American life and culture used to thrive with great blues and jazz artists. Today, the district's sassy shops, eclectic restaurants and loft apartments form the cornerstone of a unique experience. Clubs in
Heading north from downtown, you'll find yourself atop the red brick streets of McKinney Avenue, which is lined with fine restaurants and antique shops, many housed in renovated historic homes. Connect to downtown via the volunteer-operated
The region south of Mockingbird Lane is known as Lower
If Texas is known for doing things big, then North Dallas is a prime example, as it is home to big houses, big shopping centers and some of the finest stores, boutiques and restaurants in the area. As Dallas continues to grow, more residents are heading north into the suburbs of Plano, Richardson and Frisco, one of the nation's fastest-growing cities.
With more square footage of shopping than Los Angeles or New York, you're likely to run out of money before you run out of places to shop in Texas. Visit
In Plano, the
Whether you're in town for one day or one week, Irving serves as an excellent location minutes from DFW International Airport, centrally poised between Dallas and Fort Worth. This carefree community, named after American author Washington Irving, offers convenient access to numerous shopping venues, restaurants and theaters—all the best the Dallas Metroplex has to offer. Recreation thrives at The Movie Studios at Las Colinas, home to major motion picture, television and commercial productions. Visit the
From a five-star mansion to rustic rooms with longhorns hanging on the walls, Dallas has something for everyone when it comes to accommodations. Business travelers will appreciate the variety of establishments located within walking distance of the Convention Center, where convenience may outweigh price. Parking can be an issue, so think twice before choosing a hotel very far from your primary destinations within the city. The Dallas/Fort Worth area sprawls in all directions and new areas are constantly under development, offering accommodations in all areas of the city. The main hotel clusters include Downtown Dallas, Market Center, North Dallas, DFW International Airport and the Mid Cities. Keep in mind that while several hotels are grand and luxurious in nature, chain hotels with moderately priced rooms are usually located nearby.
Whether you're seeking a premier location for your next business convention or just staying in town for tomorrow's meeting, downtown Dallas offers the finest accommodations within blocks of the Dallas Convention Center. The largest hotel in Texas, The Adam's Mark, contains 1,844 rooms and 23,000 square feet of superb meeting space, as well as five ballrooms, five restaurants and four lounges. Several other luxury options are downtown such as the Hotel Adolphus, The Fairmont Hotel, Hotel Crescent Court, and Hotel St. Germain. Hyatt Regency Dallas at Reunion adjoins the 50-story Reunion Tower, offering convenience to cultural and shopping venues, as well as the city's business district. The Holiday Inn Aristocrat, built in 1925, was the first hotel owned by entrepreneur Conrad Hilton. If you're looking for a quiet alternative to "hotel row," Dallas also offers several Bed and Breakfasts, perfect for just enjoying a night away from home. Amelia's Place Bed & Breakfast, located on Young Street offers a pleasant escape from the daily routine.
If you need accommodations close to Dallas Market Center, the world's largest wholesale merchandise mart, several choice hotels are available to make your stay in Dallas a memorable one. The Embassy Suites Market Center, Quality Inn Dallas Market Center, Renaissance Hotel Dallas and Best Western Market Center are just a few expensive to moderately-priced hotels available. But if you're looking for the cream of the Market Center crop, the Wyndham Anatole Hotel sprawls over 45 acres in the midst of the Market District, with more than 1,600 rooms and suites, an 82,000-square-foot fitness center and a seven-acre park with a pond, perfect for an escape from the daily routine. Also located in Central Dallas is the Mansion on Turtle Creek, which boasts of prestigious former guests, such as Presidents Clinton, Bush, Carter and Ford, as well as numerous movie stars and top performing artists.
Addison, Plano and Richardson also offer several excellent hotels designed especially with the business traveler in mind. The Richardson Hotel offers both convenience and luxury with exceptional business and recreational amenities, including meeting facilities and a multi-lingual staff, as well as a fitness center, heated pool and sauna. Located conveniently near the Galleria shopping mall is Crowne Plaza North Dallas. The Westin Galleria is a premier hotel actually located within the mall, boasting a four-star rating by AAA. A landmark in Addison is Hotel Inter-Continental, with oversized guestrooms featuring sitting areas, desks and elaborate European-style decorations.
DFW International Airport
For business travelers who want accommodation with relaxing amenities, but still need to fulfill their business needs, several hotels are available within one mile of DFW International Airport. The DFW Airport Marriott features a full business center equipped with all the necessities, and when your work is complete, you're free to enjoy the health club, indoor and outdoor pools, or three restaurants located on the premises. The Hilton DFW Lakes Executive Conference Center offers a scenic lakeside setting on 40 acres and boasts a four-diamond AAA rating. The hotel's special amenities and recreational facilities make you feel like you're on vacation, while the business resource center and VIP floor offer ease for business travelers. You can't get any closer to the airport than The Hyatt Regency DFW, located inside the airport grounds, with two tower buildings, one on each side of International Parkway and connected by covered walkways. Noisy planes make it an unfavorable choice for a romantic weekend, but it's ideal for business travelers because of the business communications center and executive conference level, as well as exceptional meeting, banquet and exhibit space.
One of Embassy's greatest facilities in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex is located in Grapevine, near the Grapevine Mills Mall and features a unique plant-filled atrium: the Embassy Suites Outdoor World offers one- and two-bedroom suites, living rooms with sofa beds, modem links and kitchen areas, similar to other suite hotels. In Irving, the Four Seasons Resort and Club sits on 400 acres of immaculately landscaped grounds. The main building of this four-diamond AAA and triple-star Mobil hotel offers 300 rooms and suites and, for those who prefer more private accommodations, 50 villa-style rooms are scattered around the golf course. Other good options in Irving include the Omni Mandalay Hotel at Las Colinas, Wyndham Las Colinas, Courtyard by Marriott Las Colinas, and Residence Inn Las Colinas.
Dallas' diverse population is reflected in more than 10,000 restaurants, four times more per capita than New York City. Dallas is an ethnic melting pot offering authentic dining from around the world—the possibilities here are virtually endless. If variety is the spice of life, then the Dallas restaurant scene is on fire.
Chicken-fried steak is listed on many menus as "CFS"; it's a Texas tradition and practically a food group of its own. Traditionally, this dish is known as a way to prepare a tough cut of beef by beating it to tenderness, batter-coating it, frying it in the same way as chicken and serving it with cream gravy made from pan drippings. Some high-class chefs prefer to make the dish with sirloin (though most of the time it is made with round steak) and everyone has his or her own secret recipe, each claiming it to be the best.
It may be hard to believe that Dallas was never really a cattle-drive kind of city given its plethora of steakhouses. Within the West End's multi-block radius lie The Butcher Shop and Palm (The), both of which serve some of the most superb beef this side of the Mississippi. Numerous chain restaurants also have establishments here, including Hoffbrau and Outback, both offering traditional Texas favorites in a casual atmosphere.
Some of the best upscale steakhouses are located in Addison/North Dallas, including Morton's of Chicago. Chamberlain's Steak and Chop House, located on Belt Line Road in Addison, is named for chef/owner Richard Chamberlain, whose passion for fine cooking has led him to such prestigious culinary positions as Executive Sous Chef at the highly acclaimed Mansion on Turtle Creek in Dallas and the renowned Hotel Bel-Air in Los Angeles. The menu features various steak options as well as veal, chicken, pork and seafood entrees that are equally well prepared.
Deep Ellum offers a range of eclectic dining options. There is something from everyone as the enormous variety of cuisines range from sushi to Tex-Mex and everything in between. Monica Aca y Alla adds a unique twist to Mexican food and salsa dancing, and Deep Sushi is perfect for those with a penchant for raw fish. If you're looking for a relaxed place to eat with those great American creations, The Angry Dog provides burgers, hot dogs and beer in a casual atmosphere, while Baker's Ribs has delectable barbeque, and Daddy Jack's lobster melts in your mouth.
Greenville Avenue also offers an eclectic mix of dining options. Blue Goose Cantina's's margaritas and Mexican food choices draw crowds daily. Snuffer's has world-class cheese fries and burgers and St Martin's Restaurant is cozy and romantic. Terilli's is popular for Italian and jazz. Finally, Cafe Izmir offers a unique dining experience on Greenville Avenue.
Meanwhile, dining in Uptown runs from ultra-classy to down-home and casual. Old Warsaw (The), built in 1948, and Hotel St. Germain offer old-world dining elegance. Avanti Ristorante offers tantalizing Italian food plus a moonlight breakfast with live jazz from midnight to 4a Th-Sa. Bread Winners Bakery and Cafe is another great choice for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Rounding out the Uptown area's highlights is the Dream Cafe, a place dedicated to delicious, wholesome and organic dishes.
While in the Knox/Henderson area, choose from the Highland Park Pharmacy's lunch counter for grilled cheese, Sipango for dancing and dining, and Cafe Madrid for tapas.
Irving also has a lot of variety to offer, both to business travelers and families. Ruen Thai's original recipes are mouth-watering good. Café Cipriani serves fine Italian cuisine in an elegant setting; Jinbeh allows you to choose between Japanese Hibachi cooking and sushi; and Via Real provides upscale Tex-Mex cuisine. Finally, Cool River Cafe draws crowds as much for its people-watching as it does for its steak and seafood.
Various tours, both guided and unguided, are in place for you to explore the architecture, historic sites, nature and other unique areas of interest in and around Dallas. The tours below will give you a sampling of what Dallas has to offer.
John F. Kennedy Memorial
Commemorating the most infamous event in Dallas' history, the John F. Kennedy Memorial marks the spot of the beloved President's assassination in Dealey Plaza. Don't miss the Sixth Floor Museum, located in the Texas School Book Depository, where Lee Harvey Oswald allegedly shot and killed President Kennedy. There are several dining options nearby as well, such as The Green Room and Brent Place, a great lunch option.
Dallas Museum of Art
The main attraction in the Dallas Arts District, the Dallas Museum of Art contains an exemplary permanent collection featuring works by Monet, Picasso, and Matisse, among others. The temporary exhibitions are world class as well. The museum also features Seventeen Seventeen, the delightful atrium restaurant, and in summers, enjoy Jazz Under the Stars, a free concert put on by the museum. Nearby the museum in the Arts District are the The Meyerson, home to the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, as well as the Nasher sculpture center, complete with works by Rodin and Calder. Also nearby is the popular Local eatery where you won't miss out on your history lesson as it is housed in a historical building constructed in 1908.
Old Red Courthouse
For a glimpse at turn-of-the-century Dallas history, visit the nearby Old Red Courthouse built from red pecos sandstone and Arkansas blue granite. But that's not all there is to do in bustling downtown Dallas. Visit the Reunion Tower and its observation level for great views of the city. Dallas Visual Art Center is another closeby attraction where you can check out what contemporary art is going on or even take a class. In fall, you can't miss the Texas State Fair and pay a visit to Big Tex, a Dallas institution since 1952. The Dallas Farmers Market has been around since the 1800's, and never fails to please with fresh meats, produce and even cooking lessons. If all this touring gets you feeling a little peckish, there are numerous restaurants to satisfy your hunger, such as Lola, The Restaurant, Morton's Steakhouse, or Luqa.
There are lots of fun and interesting things to do just a little ways outside the city as well. The Palace of Wax / Ripley's Believe It or Not is a fun outing for the whole family, featuring such wonders as the mirror maze, or the Last Supper made entirely of postage stamps, not to mention the Wax Museum where you can see lifesize replicas of all the presidents along side Britney Spears. At the Interurban Railway Museum, you can learn all about the history of the rails in Texas. When the summer gets too hot to handle, head to Water Works, where you can enjoy floating downt the 600 foot long river, or speeding down one of their 4 water slides. Dallas is full of history and fun, to really get the most out of it, try one of the numerous types of tours, from the traditonal bus tour the the slightly more unconventional, Dallas offers tours to suit all types of personalities.
Bus Tours Grayline Tours (+1 800 256 4723/http://www.grayline.com) All in One Tour Services +1 214 698 0332/http://www.allinonetourservices.com) Dallas Historical Society (+1 214 421 4500/http://www.dallashistory.org/activities/tours.htm)
Segway Tours Dallas Segway Tours (+1 972 821 9054/http://www.dallassegway.com)
Walking Tours Preservation Dallas (+1 214 821 3290/http://www.preservationdallas.com)
Aerial Tours Classic Aviation Inc. (+1 972 661 8086/http://www.classicav.com)
Shopping Tours Shopping Chauffer (+1 214 774 2308/http://www.shopping-chauffer.com)
Boat Tours Big D Tours (+1 800 208 4421/http://www.bigdtours.com)