|Welcome to Dallas in Texas, home of the Cowboys (actually Irving), the Rangers (actually Arlington), the Dallas Stars (they're in Dallas), the Dallas Mavericks, the Dallas Burn (now in Frisco) and the Dallas Desperados and six million other more important people. Dallas is a convention city. There's very little cool interesting tourist stuff, unless you count special events, like the state fair, holiday items, chili cook offs, taste of Dallas, the Ewing Ranch, important places in US history, the Aquarium, etc. Basically all you can do is people watch and drink. Beer works at this altitude as well as anywhere. But don't expect to see many cowboys. Unless you go to one of the huge country dance places, which is highly recommended if you're from far away. |
There's a lot of adult entertainment for men. There are some huge churches. Once you're in Dallas, you're reasonably close to Fort Worth where you can go visit Sundance Square or the stockyards. You won't see much in the way of cowboys at those places either. Dallas is more cosmopolitan. Land is cheap in Texas, and Dallas has no natural boundaries to stop its growth, so new development tends to happen wherever land is cheapest. This leads to somewhat of a boom-bust cycle as people enter, leave, and move on from the different areas. This is simultaneously one of the best things and the worst things about Dallas. There is a lot to do here like any big city, but unlike New York, there is nothing to force these things (attractions) to be close together, making it difficult to find a serious "concentration of coolness". Plan on making friends or renting a car.
The best way to get around Dallas is in a car. There is public transportation in the form of buses and trains (light rail), but again, these best serve the local needs (commuting to work, etc), and are very difficult to get good timings if you are trying to get anywhere exotic. The transportation system is called DART, and they do an excellent job of catering to special events (Cowboys games, State Fair), or special places (Dallas Zoo, West End, Arboretum) and will instantly give you a trip plan if you call them up (214-979-1111) . You will usually want to get a day pass, since it will probably take you a lot of buses to get where you need to go. The bus system, not unlike in many large cities, can be quite confusing. Because mass transit is still far behind in popularity than that of other countries, foreigners may be surprised that Dallasites will be unable to help direct them very well. The train system is easiest to understand, and connects to several suburban areas. Therefore, if it is at all possible, try to get an automobile. Prices are relatively cheap, especially for train travel. On DART, bus drivers check tickets at the door, but on the trains, there is almost no checking of tickets. Use caution when riding in some areas of downtown
Night Life - See:
• Downtown - mostly dead after hours. http://www.dallascvb.com/visitors/ , http://www.downtowndallas.com/
• West End - the Disneyland of the Over-21 set. See West End Marketplace. The West End is slowly becoming less popular, with UpTown, McKinney Avenue and even Knox/Henderson attracting the crowds for hipper entertainment.
• Deep Ellum ... slightly shady. Lots of police patrols, but watch yourself. Generally good music. See Trees. Parking is expensive and difficult to find.
• Lower Greenville ... also slightly shady, but less-so than Deep Ellum. Generally caters to a slightly older crowd.
• Mockingbird Station ...features one of Dallas's best arthouse/independent cinema theaters: the Angelika, some nice shopping (Victoria's Secret, Virgin Megastore, etc.) and restaurants (Dublin Pub, Noodles Kitchen, etc.), all just off the train tracks.
• First Saturday ...a must for geeks. Hint, it begins at midnight. Be prepared to find more FleaMarket-style garbage than actual computer equipment.
• Addison ... most restaurants per-capita in the U.S. (I think official statistic). Check Flying Saucer & Duke's Roadhouse for pubs.
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• Get In
• Southern Methodist University (Dallas).
• University of Texas at Dallas.
• University of Dallas.
• University of Texas at Arlington.
• Texas Christian University (Fort Worth).
Rule number one is "Don't be Stupid". If you are downtown after dark, try not to be alone. There is a fair amount of homelessness in the Downtown area, but in general I've very rarely felt "unsafe" in most parts of Downtown. South Side is generally a little bit more rough around the edges than the north sides. No visible drug or gang problems, but then again, I don't live directly in the city.
• Dallas Convention and Visitors Bureau
• Dallas Metropolis Urban Forum