Dallas: Big, brash and a feast of fun for the adventurous
Buddy Price is from Sweetwater, Texas, where they hold the biggest rattlesnake roundup in the state every spring. He shares his tips for an unforgettable trip to Dallas.
Ask a Dallasite what the city is known for and more than likely you’ll get “the Dallas Cowboys.” And yes sports are huge here. But the fact is Dallas means business. Combing the two gives you a vibrant city that works hard and plays harder. After all, Dallas is home to the invention of the frozen margarita machine and the integrated circuit computer chip, both of which spawned revolutions.
So welcome and let’s get moving. You have a lot to see.
Take a plunge into Texas
You’re in Dallas. When else are you ever going to get to see a rodeo? If you visit from June to August, the Mesquite Championship Rodeo is going strong as cowboys and cowgirls compete for cash and bragging rights. The rodeo is only a 15–20 minute ride north to the Dallas suburb of Mesquite. Several vendors are on hand to outfit you with cowboy hats and western boots if you’re looking for genuine attire to wear home.
Suprise, we love the arts
For a city that adores cowboys, it may be hard to believe we’re also dedicated arts enthusiasts. At the northeast corner of downtown, the largest contiguous urban arts district in the U.S. awaits your visit. The Dallas Arts District spans 118 acres and has more buildings designed by Pritzker award-winning architects than any location in the world. The Dallas Museum of Art is among the 10 largest art museums in the country. The Museum’s global collection encompasses more than 24,000 works and spans 5,000 years of history.
Next door, the Nasher Sculpture Center is considered one of the foremost collections of sculpture in the world. The center features more than 300 modern sculptures from artists like Gormley, Matisse, Miró, Picasso and Rodin.
Across the street, the Crow Museum of Asian Art is one of only a handful of museums in the country dedicated solely to the arts and cultures of Japan, China, India and Southeast Asia. During your visit, you will see jade ornaments from China, delicate Japanese scrolls, and a rarely seen 2-by-28-foot sandstone façade of an 18th-century Indian residence.
After viewing the collections, head to Klyde Warren Park, a 5-acre green space built above a freeway. Grab lunch or a snack at one of a host of food trucks, attend a yoga class, play lawn games or check out a book or a game from the lending library.
In the evening, check out what’s playing at the Winspear Opera House, home to the Dallas Opera and Texas Ballet Theater. The horseshoe-shaped performance hall was specifically designed for opera and musical performances. The opera house is part of the AT&T Performing Arts Center, a four-venue arts center with comedy performances, Opera, dance, musical theatre, classical theatre, live readings, music and more.
Let's get trendy
If you’re up to see the latest in design trends, head two miles northwest of downtown to the Dallas Design District. Up until the mid-2000s, this was the center for wholesale interior design showrooms. Today, the district is one of Dallas's trendiest enclaves boasting fabulous interior design shops, celebrated eateries and the city's largest concentration of art galleries.
Slocum Street is internationally renowned for its antique shops and nearby Howell Street is home to some of the coolest vintage and thrift shops in the city. The District is also known for its breweries, several of which offer tasting tours.
Want to go upscale?
The first self-contained shopping center in the U.S. is located at Mockingbird Lane and Preston Road, north of downtown about four miles. Highland Park Village, a very upscale shopping plaza, is worth the visit for an afternoon of window shopping and dining. Highland Park Village was declared a National Historic Landmark in 2000. Strolling the area you will find stores by Christian Dior, Chanel, Hermes, Valentino, Harry Winston and Cartier among a host of others.
Back to nature
Unlike Finland, there are no rights of civil access in Texas so one can’t go hiking across ranchland and farms without getting permission first. However, the Dallas area boasts several public areas that offer great hiking opportunities. Here are three.
The Trinity River Audubon Center, 10 miles south of downtown Dallas, is your gateway to explore the amazing resources of the 6,000-acre Great Trinity Forest, the largest urban hardwood forest in the U.S. that contains a unique mixture of bottomland hardwoods, wetlands and grasslands. The center's 120 acres were reclaimed from an illegal dumpsite and offer five miles of trails through hardwood forest, pond, wetland, and prairie ecosystems, and along the Trinity River.
For a more challenging hike, the 603-acre Cedar Ridge Preserve on Mountain Creek Parkway in southwest Dallas County hosts a wide variety of trees, plants, birds and wildlife, and features nine miles of walking trails.
Located on the western border of Plano, a suburb just north of Dallas, Arbor Hills Nature Preserve is a 200-acre park featuring vast areas of natural beauty. Arbor Hills offers three miles of natural unpaved trails for pedestrians and three miles of paved recreational trails. A three-mile designated off-road cycling trail also is offered.
Enjoy your visit and if you’re wondering what to eat, the options are wide open. Dallas has more restaurants per capita than New York City.
Finnair flies to Dallas four times a week starting from 6 February 2022.