11 Cool Things to Do in Dallas Texas for the best trip ever

Dallas Skyline

Looking for unique & cool things to do in Dallas, Texas? Here you have my Dallas Travel Guide with the best travel tips to enjoy the Big D of Texas.

Even though it’s the 9th largest city in the United States – and growing rapidly – Dallas doesn’t always hit the radar of travelers.

But if you haven’t been here before, what you may not know is that this Texan city is filled with great food and nightlife, a surprisingly large number of world-class museums, and plenty of sports, shopping and history. Dallas is home of cowboys and one of the best foodie destinations in the US!

It’s a city where everyone will find something to entertain them on a weekend in Dallas. Children and adults alike won’t run out of fun things to do in Dallas!

Dallas Travel Guide

When to Visit Dallas

It’s Texas, so the weather in Dallas can be extreme. The best time to visit Dallas is spring or fall, when temperatures are far more manageable.

dallas skyline at night

Summer is officially from June to August, but the scorching heat often seems to start in April and May. Prepare to have sweat dripping down the back of your neck for most of your visit. Luckily, there’s plenty of air-conditioning throughout the whole city!

The famous Texas State Fair is held in Dallas every September and – despite the heat! – is a great reason to visit Dallas and one of the best outdoor things to do in Dallas!

How to Get Around Dallas

Like many large U.S. cities, public transport isn’t fantastic in Dallas, so your best bet for getting around Dallas is by car.

Rent a car at the airport or rely on Uber or Lyft. If you do rent a car, there’s valet parking conveniently at most restaurants, bars and shopping centers.

If you’re sticking to one neighborhood, it’s easy to find scooters on most corners to rent – Lyft, Bird and Lime scooters are all throughout Dallas.

dallas Trolley

If you’re looking for an authentic way to get around center Dallas, hop aboard the McKinney Avenue Trolley, better known as the M-Line Trolley, that it will take you from downtown Dallas to Uptown’s McKinney Avenue several miles north.

Where to Stay in Dallas

If it’s your first time visiting Dallas, the best area to stay in is downtown Dallas, where you’ll find most of the city’s hotels.

You’ll also be close to all the main Dallas attractions listed in this article, so it’s a convenient neighborhood to base yourself.

  • In downtown, check in to the recently renovated Statler Hotel for a classy weekend (it’s also home to some fantastic restaurants and bars).
  • If you’re traveling to Dallas with kids or just want a way to escape the heat, book a room at the Hilton Anatole, which has its own on-site lazy river.

Best hotels in Dallas TX

For those looking for an area with a bit more nightlife and where the locals hang out, Deep Ellum is the best neighborhood to stay.

There aren’t many hotels here, but for those on a budget, the Deep Ellum Hostel is a good option. Otherwise, Hampton Inn & Suites Dallas Downtown is just on the edge of Deep Ellum.

Check Rates for other Hotels in Dallas on Booking.com.

Cool Things To Do in Dallas

Cool Things to do in Dallas Texas

Here you have the best things to do in Dallas, including the highlights of the city, museums, markets, food and so much more to enjoy your trip to the fullest.

Tip: Start your visit with the 75-Minute Small-Group City Highlights Tour.

Learn some history at the Sixth Floor Museum

Dallas is tragically associated with JFK – this is the city where, after all, he was assassinated in 1963.

Spending some time learning about this terrible event is one of the essential things to do in Dallas.

Sixth floor museum dallas

The Sixth Floor Museum is located in the former Texas School Book Depository, from which Lee Harvey Oswald shot the president (or did he…? Chat to some of the conspiracy theorists outside!). You can stand in the very spot where Oswald took the fatal shot.

Outside the museum you’ll see a white cross on the road, which marks the spot where JFK was assassinated.

>> Skip the line visiting the Dealey Plaza and the Sixth Floor Museum with this 3.5-hour guided tour (with free cancellation & mobile ticketing) <<

Pro tip: The museum entrance + Audio Guide are included in the Dallas CityPASS, with which you will save up to 40% at Dallas top attractions.

Explore Bishop Arts District

If you love cute neighborhoods, then you have to visit the Bishop Arts District in Dallas. This rapidly changing area is home to a ton of delicious restaurants and eclectic shops.

bishop arts district dallas

Some highlights are Wild Detectives for books, Society for amazing handmade candles, and We are 1976 for quirky prints. One of the top places to visit in Dallas!

You also can’t leave Bishop Arts without trying a piece of pie from Emporium Pies, trust me!

Brunch your way through the city

If you’re spending a weekend in Dallas, then you won’t be able to avoid brunch. Brunch in Dallas is an artform, and you’ll have difficulty limiting yourself to just one or two brunch restaurants.

Try the fluffy pancakes at Over Easy, something healthy-ish at Mud Hen Meat and Greens, or the family-style sharing brunch buffet at The Rustic.

You’re guaranteed to leave Dallas with a few extra pounds!

Be amazed at AT&T Stadium

While AT&T Stadium isn’t technically in Dallas city proper, if you’re a sports-lover you’re going to want to head here.

More well-known as the Dallas Cowboys Stadium or Jerry World, this stadium is the largest dome structure in the world.

dallas cowboys stadium

You can take a tour of the stadium and sneak a peek inside the players’ and the cheerleaders’ locker rooms. On some tours you’re even allowed to get right down on to the field to throw a few passes. This is one of the best family activities in Dallas!

Check out art at the Nasher Sculpture Center

You may be surprised to learn that Dallas is home to the largest contiguous urban arts district in the United States. The Dallas Arts District covers 19 blocks and is packed with museums.

One of the more unique museums to visit in Dallas (and my personal favorite) is the Nasher Sculpture Center. Here you’ll find much of the art is actually outside, with sculptures dotting the lovely gardens that surround the museum.

Places to see in Dallas

If you time your visit to Dallas right, you may even be able to make it to ‘til Midnight at the Nasher. This great event is held once a month on a Friday evening, and you can relax in the gardens listening to a live band followed by a movie.

Relax at Klyde Warren Park

Across the road from the Nasher Sculpture Center is Klyde Warren Park, a 5.2-acre public park that is built directly over a freeway.

If you’re looking for outdoor activities in Dallas, this lovely green space in the heart of the city is a great place to grab lunch on the weekend, when food trucks line park. Take your pick of Vietnamese, barbecue or Southern cuisine or something else delicious – food trucks rotate regularly.

Fun activities in Dallas

Even if you’re not hungry, one of the free things to do in Dallas is to simply take a rest break here and watch families and groups of friends enjoying the afternoon.

Grab some local produce at the Dallas Farmers Market

The Dallas Farmers Market is a great place to spend a Saturday or Sunday morning.

Places to eat in dallas

Stroll around The Shed, where you’ll find fresh fruit, vegetables, meat and cheese sold by local producers, or head inside to The Market for souvenir shopping and more great food options.

Photograph street art in Deep Ellum

One of the hippest neighborhoods in Dallas is Deep Ellum.

This area has been gentrified recently, but still retains some of its grit. It’s also where you’ll find plenty of cool street art, enough to keep you busy for an afternoon exploring and snapping photos.

Eating barbecue is a must in Dallas

Did you even go to Dallas if you didn’t eat BBQ? One of the unique things to do in Dallas is to check out the best barbecue joints around the city.

Pecan Lodge is the perennial favorite, regularly topping the list of the best barbecue in Dallas – and has the queues to prove it.

Other barbecue restaurants to add to your Dallas must-eat list are Lockhart Smokehouse, Cattleack (only open Thursdays and Fridays and some Saturdays – it’s worth planning ahead!) and The Slow Bone.

Go shopping in Dallas

Dallas is a shopaholic’s paradise – this city does, after all, have the most shopping centers per capita in the United States!

Best shopping in dallas

From huge malls like NorthPark, the Galleria Dallas or the Highland Park Village, to hip shopping areas like Bishops Arts District, to West Village where you’ll find all your favorites in one place, to bust-your-credit-card shopping at Forty Five Ten, you’ll find everything you need (or want) in Dallas.

Hit up a honky tonk Bar

As well as its street art, the Deep Ellum neighborhood is known for its nightlife.

While you can sip a cocktail at a hidden bar or catch a band at one of Dallas’s great music venues, why not spend the night learning how to two-step with some locals?

Best bars in Dallas

One of the fun things to do in Dallas at night is to dance until the wee hours of the morning. Check out Mama Tried (with snooker tables and cornhole, plus a live band on weekends) or Adair’s Saloon – they’re both really fun places.

More fun things to do in Dallas

There are so many fun stuff to do in Dallas that the list could be endless, but if you want more activities in Dallas to include in your bucket list, here are some more that you’ll love:

  • Dealey Plaza, one of Dallas National Historic Landmarks.
  • Fair Park
  • Dallas Museum of Art, one of the best free museums in Dallas.
  • Perot Museum of Nature and Science, included in the Dallas CityPASS (General Admission, plus a 3D Film).
  • Dallas Arboretum
  • White Rock Lake Park, just 15 minutes by car from Downtown Dallas.
  • Reunion Tower, included in the Dallas CityPASS.
  • John F. Kennedy Memorial Plaza
  • Meadows Museum
  • Dallas World Aquarium
  • Meyerson Symphony Center
  • Crow Museum of Asian Art
  • African American Museum
  • George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum
  • Six Flags Over Texas, about halfway between Dallas and Fort Worth, it’s one of the cool things to do in Dallas with kids.

There’s tons of fun, unique and cool things to do in Dallas Texas. 

If you find yourself visiting Dallas, you’re in for a treat. It’s truly a vibrant and artsy city that suits people of all ages.

Thinking of Road Tripping Texas? Check out these posts:

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Authored by , Rebecca Arnold from Rebecca and the World

By day, Rebecca Arnold works for a Fortune 50 company. By night (and weekends and every spare minute available) she’s blogging at Rebecca and the World, a travel blog dedicated to helping people travel more. She’s an Australian travel junkie and serial expat who’s just returned home to Melbourne after 8 years living in the United States (in Dallas), Papua New Guinea and Argentina.

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