You may have heard that “everything is bigger in Texas,” and this certainly holds true of Dallas and all the other major cities in the Lone Star State. But don’t mistake size as a substitute for substance. Restaurants, sports teams, attractions and museums here all reach beyond Texas and are global in their appeal. Below, you’ll find top things to do in Dallas during your next short-term stay in the Big D. Elsewhere on this site, discover the best of Texas’ other major cities: Austin, Houston and San Antonio.
Top Restaurants in Dallas
Tastes from Texas, California and Japan
Located on North Henderson Avenue and a quick drive from downtown Dallas, Gemma is owned and operated by a husband and wife who are Napa Valley ex-pats. The chef (the husband part of the team) cut his teeth by staying on at the Culinary Institute of America following graduation. Stephen Rogers worked as an apprentice in the CIA’s famed restaurant before heading to Napa Valley. His dedication to haute cuisine and classical technique shows through in Gemma’s California-inspired menu. 2323 N. Henderson Ave., #109.
Neighborhood Services is a bar and restaurant located on Lovers Lane (seriously) just a few miles north of downtown, off the Dallas North Tollway near the Dallas Love Field Airport. With a menu that ranges from delectably upscale versions of standard American bar fare to dry-aged steaks and well-prepared coastal seafood, it’s not hard to see why Neighborhood Services is a Dallas favorite. In fact, this place is so good that it now has a second location in nearby Addison. 5027 W. Lovers Lane.
Uchi is a great example of what can be accomplished when a world of tradition encounters a creative mind. You’ll find a contemporary Japanese dining experience that features sushi alongside reimagined Japanese home cooking. This being Texas, you’ll, of course, find meat on the tasting menu. Look for short ribs, pork belly and wagyu beef. Uchi never fails to stun, surprise and tantalize. 2817 Maple Ave.
Dallas’ FT33 is a great local expression of the national farm-to-table movement. The menu evolves constantly depending on the availability of fresh local ingredients. Expect meats, vegetables and fruits sourced from around North Texas, along with seafood from the Gulf of Mexico. FT33 calls it hyper-seasonality; patrons call it delicious. 1617 Hi Line Drive, Suite 250.
Major Dallas Attractions
Art, history, animals and the outdoors
Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza
The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza is unlike any museum you’ve ever been to. It houses a permanent educational and historic exhibit that illuminates the life, accomplishments, assassination and legacy of President John F. Kennedy. The museum uses a combination of photographs, artifacts, interpretive exhibits and historic films to document Kennedy’s life and untimely death at a site overlooking where the president was shot and killed in 1963. 411 Elm St.
Dallas Museum of Art
The Dallas Museum of Art boasts a permanent collection of 23,000 works. Departments highlight art from America, Europe, Africa, Latin America, Asia and the Pacific Islands. Temporary exhibitions put the spotlight on fashion, architecture – even cocktail shakers. If you’re here in 2017, look for a special exhibition of Islamic art, and don’t miss “México 1900–1950: Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo, José Clemente Orozco, and the Avant-Garde,” which is making its only stop in the U.S. in Dallas from March 12 through July 16. General museum admission is free; special exhibits may have a fee. 1717 North Harwood St.
The Dallas World Aquarium
Housed in converted warehouses dating from 1924 and 1929, the Dallas World Aquarium features simulations of freshwater and saltwater ecosystems. And despite its name, this aquarium is more than just fish. You’ll also find birds, monkeys, snakes – even jaguars – in exhibitions representing Borneo, South Africa, South America, the Yucatan Peninsula, and the Indian and Pacific oceans. 1801 N. Griffin St.
Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden
The Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden, like many other botanical gardens around the country, began its life as a private residence. In the years since it was donated to the city, it has grown to encompass more than 66 acres of land, featuring thousands of plant species, views of the Dallas skyline, a myriad of fountains, and a concert venue. 8525 Garland Road.
The Big Four and one more
Dallas Cowboys, NFL
Love them or hate them, the Dallas Cowboys are one of the most winning football franchises in the history of the game. They’ve made it to the Super Bowl eight times and have taken home Super Bowl rings five of those times: in 1972, 1978, 1993, 1994 and again in 1996. The Cowboys play at AT&T Stadium, where you can also catch rodeos and major touring acts like U2. One AT&T Way, Arlington, TX.
Dallas Mavericks, NBA
When it comes to packing the stands with legions of cheering fans, the Dallas Mavericks are on a roll, boasting the longest active sellout streak in pro sports. The Mavericks’ inaugural season took place in 1980. In the decades since, the team has hit its share of rough spots, but the mid-90s saw the Mavs step into their own as one of the top teams in the NBA. If you want to try to get a ticket, here you go. American Airlines Center. 2500 Victory Ave.
Texas Rangers, MLB
The Texas Rangers have been a Lone Star State tradition since way back in 1972, when the Washington Senators relocated to Arlington Stadium. The team has had its ups and downs over the years, with many seasons never quite hitting the high mark of its winning years in the late 1970s and the Western Division Championship-winning team of the late 1990s. But baseball is a pastime beloved in Dallas as much as in any American city, and a day with the Rangers is a day well spent. Globe Life Park, 1000 Ballpark Way, Arlington, TX.
Dallas Stars, NHL
The Dallas Stars hockey organization started its life as an expansion team for the Minnesota North Stars way back in 1967 but relocated to Dallas in 1993. Since striking out on their own, the Stars have had their share of success. In fact, they’ve taken home seven division titles, two President’s Trophies, two Western Conference Championships, and the 1999 Stanley Cup Championship. American Airlines Center. 2500 Victory Ave.
FC Dallas, MLS
Dallas has long been a stronghold of American football fandom, but plenty of locals are going crazy for the other kind of football. The FC Dallas soccer team has a loyal following of devoted and enthusiastic fans. Fan groups such as the Dallas Football Elite, the Dallas Beer Guardians, and the Red Shamrock gather every home game to show their love for the team. Toyota Stadium, 9200 World Cup Way, Frisco, TX.
Where to Stay in Dallas Short-Term
Texas City Guides
Things to Do in Dallas on an Extended Stay | Dallas metro corporate housing