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Plan Your Trip to Dallas: Best of Dallas Tourism

Dallas, Texas

With its towering skyscrapers and winding highways, Dallas is a big city that delivers on small-town charm. It’s a place where luxury-brand boutiques are neighbours with local bootmakers, and saloons serve filet mignon and craft cocktails. Stroll through trendy Deep Ellum and catch some live music, or spend a day in the Arts District (the biggest one in the U.S.) and go museum-hopping. While the buildings themselves are a draw (check out the Reunion Tower for 360-degree views of the skyline), nature’s everywhere, too. Hit the Katy Trail for a scenic walk through town, or head to the Dallas Arboretum to see the cherry blossoms do their thing in the spring. Yes, barbecue and Tex-Mex are big here (and shouldn’t be missed), but there’s also next-level Ethiopian food thanks to Dallas’s thriving East African community. There’s lots more to do and we’ve got recs, below.
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One day in Dallas

Restaurants, green space, and all the shopping you could ever want
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Where to get outside in Dallas

I love museum hopping in the Arts District or hitting the bars in Deep Ellum as much as the next person, but sometimes you just have to get out in nature. Luckily, Dallas has plenty of ways to connect with the great outdoors, from scenic hiking trails to bird-filled nature preserves. These are my favourite urban escapes, both in and outside the city limits.
Justine Harrington, Austin, TX
  • Trinity River Audubon Center
    Just 10 minutes south of downtown Dallas, the Great Trinity Forest is the largest urban hardwood forest in the country. My favourite part of the area is the Trinity River Audubon Centre, a former illegal dump site turned wildlife haven. Pack a picnic and walk along the four miles of hiking trails that wind through diverse habitats. Don’t forget your binoculars—you could potentially see over 50 bird species in one visit.
  • Dallas Arboretum & Botanical Gardens
    When the air finally turns crisp after another sweltering Texas summer, I love strolling around the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden. It’s impossible not to be in fall mode during Autumn at the Arboretum, an annual festival featuring over 100,000 pumpkins, squash, and gourds, accented by colourful perennial plants. That said, the Arboretum’s 66 acres of greenery are worth exploring any time of year.
  • White Rock Lake Park
    An obvious-but-necessary pick, White Rock Lake is my go-to when I want to log some miles in nature without straying too far. As much of a Dallas institution as the Cowboys, this 1,015-acre lake is surrounded by nearly 10 miles of paved hiking and biking trails, plus playgrounds, picnic areas, and dog parks. Book a community sailing experience with The Spirit of Dallas if you want to get out on the water.
  • Cedar Ridge Preserve managed by Audubon Dallas.
    The Cedar Ridge Preserve offers a variety of tree-lined pathways that showcase the native foliage and wildlife—with awesome hill country views to boot. The Cattail Pond Trail is popular for a reason: it’s relatively short and the overlook is gorgeous. It also connects to a few different trails if you want to extend your hike. Just be aware that the preserve is closed on Mondays and the gates lock after sunset.
  • Oak Cliff Nature Preserve
    An oasis in the middle of the city, Oak Cliff Nature Preserve sits just southwest of the Bishop Arts District. There are eight miles of secluded trails that wind through golden fields and mixed hardwood forest, and birdwatching is a popular activity. Post-hike, I like to get lunch at Paradiso—the menu is diverse (with wood-fired pizza, handmade pasta, sandwiches, and salads), but the spicy aubergine parm sammie has my heart.
  • Rowlett Creek Preserve
    Hikers, runners, and mountain bikers are in for a treat at the Rowlett Creek Preserve. You’ll find nearly 16 miles of unpaved trails at this beautiful tract of meadows and woods, located in nearby Garland. Keep in mind that bikers should go in a clockwise direction and runners and walkers should go in a counterclockwise direction. I love coming here early in the morning, before the crowds swarm.
  • Clymer Meadow Preserve
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    When I visited the Clymer Meadow Preserve in mid-April, it was covered in candy-coloured wildflowers as far as the eye could see. You have to make an appointment with The Nature Conservancy to access this pristine slice of blackland prairie (said to be one of the most endangered landscapes in North America) and it’s only open on select days, but it’s worth the effort to see land that’s been unchanged for thousands of years.