Dallas is known for its sunny weather, encompasses more than 350 parks, is home to seven professional sports teams, has a vibrant brewery and bar scene, and serves up a whole lot of tacos. Sound familiar?
Coloradans are sure to feel right at home in the bustling Texas city. Thanks to daily, nonstop flights between Denver International Airport and Dallas Fort Worth International Airport or Dallas Love Field Airport, reaching Dallas is easy. (Seriously: The journey takes only two hours.) The difficulty comes with narrowing down your game plan. There’s something for everyone here, whether they want to spend time outside, amble through museums, or fill up on margaritas.
Get a taste of Dallas with this three-day weekend itinerary that covers the best cultural, gastronomic, and classic adventures across the city. We promise: You’ll want to come back for more.
DAY 1: Explore Downtown and Deep Ellum
Downtown Dallas isn’t all about business. The neighborhood also encompasses a stellar arts scene, trendy happy hour spots, and many of the city’s top attractions.
Drop your bags at centrally located Thompson Dallas, then head to the GeO-Deck at Reunion Tower to get your bearings. The 470-foot-tall, indoor/outdoor observation deck affords 360-degree views over the city, and its interactive exhibits provide the backstory on many of Dallas’ landmarks.
History buffs should make time for a visit to the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza, which chronicles the life, legacy, and assassination of President John F. Kennedy. If the weather is cooperating—which it usually is—stroll through Pioneer Plaza afterward; the 4.2-acre green space marks where the trails brought the city’s settlers and is known for its bronze longhorn sculptures.
Built up an appetite? The Dallas Farmers Market operates out of the Shed every weekend. Good news: The surrounding artisan shops and eateries are open to peruse seven days a week.
Indulge your creative side in the adjacent Arts District, a 19-block neighborhood considered to be the largest urban arts district in the U.S. (On your way, pause for a photo-op in front of the 30-foot Giant Eyeball sculpture.) The Perot Museum of Nature and Science, Nasher Sculpture Center, and Crow Museum of Asian Art are all located in the quarter; if you’re visiting on a Saturday, register for a 90-minute architecture walking tour ($10) to really get to know the area’s history. Sloane’s Corner and the Artisan are delectable spots when the inevitable stomach grumbles start.
After freshening up, set out for the Deep Ellum neighborhood—Dallas’ nightlife epicenter, where murals color the streets and live music venues provide the soundtrack to a night on the town. For dinner, Pecan Lodge has some of the best BBQ in the city (and that’s saying something in Texas), Oni Ramen is known for its craft cocktails and impressive ramen options, and Revolver Taco Lounge is a favorite among locals. Just seeking a nightcap? Stirr’s rooftop bar affords fabulous skyline views, or check out Trick Pony or Deep Ellum Brewing Company. Cap off a great day with music and dancing at Adair’s Saloon, Trees, or Club Dada.
Travel Tip: The Dallas CityPass ($54 for adults, $36 for kids age three to 12) gets you discounted admission to the GeO-Deck, Perot Museum, and two other attractions of your choosing.
DAY 2: Engage with the Community in Bishop Arts District and Oak Lawn
The Bishop Arts District is as popular with locals as it is visitors. Home to dozens of one-of-a-kind boutiques, art galleries, and restaurants, it’s the ideal place to while away the hours. Start with brunch at Tejas. Its “sexy Tex-Mex” is just what you need to kick off a day of exploring.
You’ll want a full stomach so you can shop, but not drop. Spinster Records is a fantastic vinyl store; Indigo 1745 sells distinctive clothing; and the Wild Detectives is sure to have the book you’re seeking. Looking for locally made gifts or tchotchkes to bring back to Colorado? Bishop Street Market, We Are 1976, and Zsa Zsa’s Unique Boutique have you covered.
Treat yourself to Melt’s creative, house-made ice creams or Emporium Pies’ perfect slices before putting your feet up back at the hotel.
Tonight’s going to be a busy one. Make your way to Oak Lawn, better known as Dallas’ Gayborhood. Open to all, but a haven for the LGBTQ+ community, the area really comes alive at night as the bars and clubs on Cedar Springs get going (though drag brunch is also an excellent way to kick off a vacation day). Launch the evening with dinner at Roy G’s, which serves pub grub in a relaxed atmosphere, or top-notch tacos at Campuzano.
Time to transition into party mode: Sue Ellen’s is one of the only lesbian clubs in the country. Woody’s has some form of entertainment every night. And you can, once again, boogie the night away at Station 4 or the Round-Up Saloon, the city’s most famous dance club.
Travel Tip: If you want to visit when you know the city will be rocking, consider timing your vacation to coincide with Dallas Arts Month (April), Dallas Pride (June), or the State Fair of Texas (October).
DAY 3: Shopping? Gallery Hopping? Take Your Pick.
It’s your last day (insert sad face emoji), so time to choose your own adventure.
If you’re feeling good—and in the middle of training for your next race—opt for a morning run along the 3.5-mile Katy Trail that links downtown and Uptown along a former railroad line route. Refuel with brunch on the patio at Katy Trail Ice House or French-influenced Toulouse Cafe and Bar. Then continue north to Highland Park Village, a chic, open-air mall. It’s not just about shopping for designer brands, though: The Mediterranean Spanish–style venue was built in 1931 and endures as the country’s first shopping center.
Option two: Caffeinate at Ascension Coffee (don’t overlook the menu of “brekky sammies”) before exploring the plentiful art galleries, interior design showrooms, and antique stores that comprise the Dallas Design District. Dallas Contemporary, Samuel Lynne Galleries, CINQ Gallery, Lula B’s Antique Mall, and Neighborhood are all favorite stops. For grub, try Pie Tap Pizza Workshop & Bar or Meddlesome Moth. Or expend a little pre-travel energy with the 140-plus arcade games—plus ciders—at Cidercade.
Wherever your feet lead you, make sure your day’s agenda includes a margarita. Because it’s your last chance to make a dent in your Margarita Mile passport. The frozen margarita machine was invented in Dallas, and the city is leaning into its claim to fame with this self-guided tour of two dozen margarita purveyors. (It goes without saying: Don’t visit all 24 in one day. Please.) Of course, there are plenty of recommended food stops along the way to help soak up some of that tequila before it’s time to head to the airport.