Known for the Cowboys, the TV series of the same name and, of course, shopping malls, Dallas frequently receives no more than a quick glance from travelers. As the rest of the pack heads for Austin or Houston, those who choose to hop on flights to Dallas will find the city boasts unique museums, a roaring nightlife, and plenty of shopping opportunities. Whether you are in town on business or just looking to get a taste of Dallas in two days, we’ve come up with a 48-hour itinerary that is sure to keep you busy in the city comprised of skyscrapers rising up from the flat Texas prairie.
Day 1 in Dallas
Since you are in Dallas, you’ll need a breakfast the size of the state to accomplish all of the day’s activities. Begin at Norma’s Café, a hometown institution for Texas home cooking since 1956. The Proud server of “eNORMAus” breakfasts, the Country Breakfast is just that: two eggs with chicken, fried steak and creamy gravy. These large, rib-sticking breakfasts will tide you over for touring until dinner.
History buffs shouldn’t miss the chance to then head to the Sixth Floor Museum and Dealey Plaza. This plaza marks the spot where President John F. Kennedy was shot in November of 1963. For an insider’s look at the JFK assassination, you can head to the neighboring museum. The museum details what happened through eyewitness photographs, video, and audio clips. You can even delve into the many conspiracy theories surrounding the events of that day (if you haven’t already). The Sixth Floor Museum occupies the former Texas School Book Depository, where Oswald reportedly took his shot.
Even if you haven’t quite worked up an appetite yet, you’ll want to make room for Rafa’s Cafe. The authentic Tex-Mex eatery on West Lover’s Lane provides a fine lunch spot to grab a taco, tamale or enchilada.
If your stomach is bursting from Dallas-sized breakfasts and lunches, you can work it off a bit by roaming the Dallas Arts District for the afternoon. Known as the biggest art district in the United States, the area spans 68 acres, offering up the city’s best art, entertainment and culture scene. Travelers won’t want to miss stopping in the noteworthy Dallas Museum of Art or combing through the modern art installations at the Nasher Sculpture Center.
To keep up your eating spree, spend dinner just north of downtown at Sissy’s Southern Kitchen and Bar. With a focus on traditional Mississippi Delta cuisine, you can load up on southern classics like chicken and waffles.
No need to feel guilty post dinner – you can work it off the Texas way by line dancing at Gilley’s Dallas. The legendary honky-tonk establishment provides a fine place to hear country music, dance and grab a beer. Just south of Dallas, Gilley’s was founded in 1971 by country singer Mickey Gilley. It boasts a 90,000 square foot dance floor too to get your boots tapping.
Day 2 in Dallas
If you’re still full from yesterday’s extravagance, you can start day two off on the right foot at the Dallas Farmers Market. Open Monday through Sunday, the spanning food hall and market offers something for everyone for breakfast, from bakery options to brunch spots. You can find plenty of local specialty food, produce and artisanal food vendors within the multi-stall market.
Even if you aren’t a shopper, this city might have you changing your ways. Spend the morning doing as many locals do: shopping. Start your retail journey at Neiman Marcus, the company’s flagship store set up in the downtown district. Next, you can head to Wild Bill’s Western Store. Located on North Market Street, the shop remains one of the best places to pick up cowboy boots while in town. In fact, many celebrities have stopped in Wild Bill’s for boots while passing through.
Now that you’ve worked up an appetite, head over to Dream Café. The healthy organic diner features a whole slew of sandwiches, salads and gluten-free options for lunch.
If you need to escape the noise of Dallas, you’ll find a beautiful retreat at the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden. Across 66 acres, you can explore gardens and lawns at White Rock Lake Park. Be sure to look at the event calendar as well, The Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden frequently hosts seasonal festivals and events.
For your last night in Dallas, you’ll want to dine out at Tillman’s Roadhouse. With its easygoing atmosphere, the menu hones in on regional specialties like Texas Redfish Tacos along with roadhouse classics like chicken fried steak and shrimp n’grits. After dinner, end your time in Dallas in the Deep Ellum neighborhood. This corner of East Dallas is known for music, with roots in jazz and blues beginning in the 1920s. Throughout the neighborhood, you can find bars and venues blasting out some of Dallas’ best live music.
48 hours in Dallas isn’t nearly enough time to fit in all there is to see, do and eat in town. However, this two-day stint in Dallas might have whetted your appetite for more of this large Texas city. Or maybe just the food.
Have you been to Dallas? Where do you recommend heading while in town?