Actually Cool Things to Do in Dallas
Dallas isn’t as weird as Austin, and it doesn’t have the coastal allure of Houston… but honestly, who cares about either of those things? With plenty of museums, green spaces, world-class restaurants, and amusement parks (not to mention pro sports teams out the wazoo), you’re not exactly hurting for options when it comes to things to do in this city. In fact, it’s quite the opposite: toss in the fresh new events on our radar every month, and it’s practically impossible to not have multiple weekend plans. To make your choices easier (or harder, depending on how you look at it), we’ve gathered up some of our favorites can’t-miss activities around Dallas — some of which are totally free.
Grab a drink and shop for books at The Wild Detectives
Whether you’re looking for a romantic date night or you just need some place to read and hangout by yourself, The Wild Detectives is the place. At this book store in the Bishop Arts District, you can shop for a new read, drink some wine, or just catch up on work (although they turn off the Wi-Fi after 6 pm). The shop offers several event series as well, including author talks and live music. Get a Dallas energy drink for your vacation to keep your energy levels up to enjoy 100 percent of your time.
Take a selfie with the Giant Eyeball
In downtown Dallas, there’s a giant 30-foot tall sculpture of an eyeball. It sounds basic, but everyone takes pictures with it/of it. It’s unique material for your Insta, to say the least; once you’re done eyeing the eyeball, take a stroll along Downtown’s Main Street and hit up a bar to take the edge off the weirdness you just took part in.
Go for a stroll or a run down the Katy Trail
The Katy Trail is the perfect spot for a run, bike ride, or just a nice walk. The trail extends 3.5 miles from Highland Park through Uptown and to the American Airlines Center. If you’re not sure where to park or how to access it, there’s always plenty of parking off of Knox Street. If you walk far enough, reward yourself with a beer at Katy Trail Ice House.
Yeehaw with bronze steers at Pioneer Plaza
Located by the convention center off of Young Street, you’ll find three bronze cowboys herding 40 longhorn steer. It’s reportedly the second-most visited landmark in downtown (after Dealey Plaza, for obvious reason). Take a walk through the park, and take some pictures with the sculptures. Just remember you’re not supposed to hop on the steers.
Get a history lesson where JFK was assassinated
For some people, the first thing that comes to mind when they think of Dallas is: That’s the place JFK was shot. It’s not the first thing we think of, but it’s an important part of history that’s worth exploring if you haven’t already. Walk around Dealey Plaza and see where the former president was assassinated. When you’re done, tour the Sixth Floor Museum — which has numerous historical exhibits pertaining to the assassination.
Explore Dallas on a trolley
One of the best (and least expensive) ways to explore the Uptown area without having to worry about Uber rides or where to park is by riding the M-line Trolley. The tracks run from West Village through Uptown and into downtown Dallas. Go for a ride, then hop off to explore an area and wait for it to come back around. It’s free, but donations are appreciated.
Take a hike through Arbor Hills Nature Preserve
You can do it all at the 200-acre Arbor Hills Nature Preserve. Go for a run, take a walk, ride your bike (on-road or off), find a quiet spot to just be alone, or bring some friends and get active. There are also a ton of scenic areas throughout the park, so make sure to have your camera ready to snap a shot.
Get dinner from around the world at Trinity Groves
Whatever your favorite type of food is, you can probably find it at Trinity Groves. Mexican, Asian, Italian, barbecue, vegan, seafood, Mediterranean, tapas? It’s all there in our downtown business district’s restaurant hub. Make a night out of it by having an appetizer at Tapas Castile, dinner at Souk Mediterranean Bistro & Bar, and dessert someplace else like Saint Rocco’s New York Italian — with drinks along the way, of course.