When I first moved to Dallas 15 years ago, my most vivid memories were that of flatlands and open plains, but now, as I drive on I-35E towards downtown, there is hardly any vacant land. High rises, lofts, several new museums, and a multi-million dollar performing arts center now grace the much improved Dallas skyline. Most people do not think of Dallas as a premier destination when traveling to the United States. My own best friend has not even been here to visit; yet we have met elsewhere around the country…on several occasions!
The reason is partly because of the city’s inaccessibility. Public transport is available, but driving is still the best way to get around town. This is rapidly changing, however, and improvements in urban planning, as well as the influx of big business are just some of the reasons pinning Dallas on the US tourism map. From hosting major sporting events (Super Bowl, NBA All-Star, Final Four Championships) to unbelievably good-looking cowboys and cowgirls, here are the (other) top five reasons, in no particular order, why you should add destination Dallas to your travel list.
Many will be thoroughly surprised by this, but music has always been a part of this city. And no, I don’t mean just country. In fact, the variety that destination Dallas offers is staggering. We have two outstanding venues that host our world-class symphony and opera group. We also have plenty of new and upcoming local artists, and our city is a major tour stop for pop artists and rock bands. Yo-Yo Ma, The Dixie Chicks, and U2…they all have made a pit stop here.
There is a saying that everything is bigger in Texas and in this case, it is certainly true. The new home of the beloved Dallas Cowboys is the 21st century equivalent of The Roman Coliseum. It is the largest column free structure in the world and costs a reported $1.3 billion! It can accommodate as many as 105,000 people inside and it also has one of the largest high definition television screens in the world. Now if that does not intrigue you one bit, I do not know what will.
When I was living in Europe, nothing made me miss Dallas more than steak—more specifically, eating it. Texas in itself is legendary for having some of the best steakhouses in the country and Dallas is home to several of them. Pappa’s Bros, a destination Dallas, Texas original, has one of its locations here (and my personal favorite). For over 25 years, they have been serving some of the best dry roasted and perfectly cooked steaks in the country. In addition to their emphasis on food quality, they train their servers for up to a month before allowing them to wait on guests to ensure that each and every single customer receives the best dining experience. That is Southern hospitality at its finest.
Destination Dallas for Shopping
Are you itching for some retail therapy? Look no further because Dallas and its surrounding cities will readily take care of that. Someone told me once that she loved coming up to Dallas because of the malls; and why not? Because whether it is high-end retail or outlet bargains, the city has it all. Downtown on Main St is where the original Neiman Marcus still stands. It is the first department store to offer designer brand name clothing and accessories. Though if you are like me and prefer bargain shopping, head out to one of the many outlet shopping malls located within a 20-mile radius of the city. They are massive; often having more than 50 brand name stores in each location.
The State Fair
Did I mention that everything is bigger in Texas? Every fall, destination Dallas hosts the biggest state fair in the United States. The Texas Star is the tallest Ferris wheel in North America at 212 ft. On a clear day or night, up in the carousel is where one can see the best views of Dallas. Big Tex is the tallest cowboy statue in the world and a cultural icon. When he caught fire in 2012, it made the headlines and people actually gave him a funeral! He was resurrected in 2013, spiffier than before, and most definitely, fireproof.