I’ve had more layovers in the Dallas Airport than I can count, but have never actually visited the city. So when I had the chance to extend my layover in Dallas for an extra day, I decided to jump at the opportunity so that I could see what Dallas is all about. After grabbing my luggage, I rented a car and hopped on HotelTonight’s app to book a last-minute hotel in Dallas. In just a few minutes, I had a hotel room booked in a centrally-located Dallas neighborhood, and I hopped into my car to explore this beloved Texas destination.
My first pit stop on my tour of Dallas was downtown. This bustling business center has something for everybody, and I could have easily spent an entire day exploring every nook and cranny in downtown Dallas, particularly because I love the arts. For lovers of the fine and performing arts, downtown Dallas is sure to be one of your favorite neighborhoods in the city, as it’s home to the Dallas Museum of Art, the Meyerson Symphony Center and the Nasher Sculpture Center. Due to the fact that it’s primarily a business hub, downtown is pretty busy during the day. However, some locals told me that it quiets down significantly at night, so it may not be the best spot to visit for dinner or for nightlife, if you’re only in town for a day or two.
After I felt that I had seen enough of downtown, I hopped back into my rental car and drove northeast to “Uptown,” which I quickly realized is one of the hottest spots in Dallas. The neighborhood is trendy and upscale, with plenty of luxury hotels, higher-end boutiques and chic restaurants. After wandering the streets of Uptown, I popped into a hip gastropub for lunch. My waitress told me that if I wanted to experience great nightlife in Dallas, I should check out Uptown’s West Village neighborhood, as it’s one of locals’ most beloved nightlife-spots.
I wanted to see what the high-life in Dallas really entailed, so I made my way to Park Cities, where the elite of the city are known to live and play. I checked out Highland Park, one of the country’s most expensive neighborhoods, as well as University Park, the area surrounding the college. If you want to see a more residential side of Dallas, Highland Park is a great area to explore.
Close to downtown Dallas, I discovered one of the coolest parts of the city, a neighborhood called Deep Ellum. This laidback area has a funky flare and a rich, distinct culture, and I found that it’s one of the best spots for live entertainment in the city. In the 1920s, Deep Ellum was a hotspot for jazz and blues musicians. Now, it’s a hotspot for great nightlife, live music of all genres and comedy shows. I was able to catch a short comedy show in the early evening at the Dallas Comedy House, where I spent an hour laughing non-stop. You may not normally think of comedy when you think of Dallas, but let me tell you, there are some pretty hilarious comedians in this city.
As soon as I arrived in the Bishops Arts District, I could tell that this buzz-filled neighborhood is definitely one of the most coveted areas for young, hip residents. While it’s a relatively small area, the Bishop Arts District packs a big punch in terms of energy and entertainment. There are great bars, restaurants and shops on every street, and you’ll find an eclectic mix of cuisines in this four-block area. Since it is an arts district, you can naturally find plenty of great art and entertainment in the area. After grabbing a bite to eat at a charming Italian eatery, I stopped by the Kessler Theater and caught a great country music concert. I’ve never been much of a country music fan, but think Dallas might have converted me.
After jamming out to some live country music, I was pretty exhausted. Since I had to be up early the next morning to catch my flight, I made my way back to my hotel and packed up my things. I’ll be honest – I didn’t know exactly what to expect from Dallas, but must say I really loved this city. If I have the chance to stop by Dallas in the future, I’ll be sure to book a hotel room with HotelTonight so that I can see what else this metropolitan Texas city has to offer.