As someone who was born in Dallas, Texas, I feel like I can say from experience: Dallas is a city that's truly unlike any other. Its culture is a unique amalgamation of Southwestern, Southern, and big-city sophisticated.
Dallas locals are charming and hospitable, but they're also very hardworking– the city is home to some of the most successful businesses and people in the country. It's a hub of innovation, home to headquarters for huge brands like American Airlines and Exxon Mobile. In short, the next time you visit Dallas, you'll find yourself in a very cool and diverse city.
Whether you're planning to visit Dallas for a vacation or you're considering moving there, you may want to learn a bit more about it before your stay. Take a look at this city guide:
Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport is the main hub of transportation in and out of North Texas. It's also consistently considered one of the busiest airports in the U.S. and even in the world, so don't be surprised if you find yourself in the middle of a flurry activity after stepping into the building.
The great news is that, despite transporting millions of people in and out of the city each year, DFW is actually also considered by many to be one of the best airports in the country. Its circular design makes it pretty easy to navigate.
When a lot of people hear the word "Texas," they tend to envision cowboys riding horses and slow-talking Southerners. What you'll find when you get to Dallas is that some of the most recognizable Cowboys around are actually the city's amazing NFL team; and the slow-talking locals– though they may drawl a bit– are smart and friendly.
Let your preconceived notions go before you visit Dallas– its urban and hip vibe may surprise you.
It really can't be said enough– Dallas locals are some of the friendliest people you'll ever meet. Unlike some other big cities, where people tend to keep to themselves, when you're out in Dallas, you'll be greeted, chatted with, smiled at, and talked to many times over.
Put on a smile and prepare to soak in the hospitality.
Like most big cities, Dallas is home to some incredible cuisine from every corner of the country and world, but it's the local cuisine you won't want to miss during your time there. Tex-Mex eateries abound, which means no matter where you are in the city you'll never be far from some of the best tacos and margaritas you'll ever eat.
Texas barbecue is another local favorite, as is area fast food restaurant Whataburger. Into something a little more healthy? Check out Dallas Farmers Market, a huge market that's been around for decades.
Although Dallas has a light rail system and buses, by far the best way to get around the city is via car.
Just be prepared to sit in some traffic– Dallas rush hour can be brutal, so give yourself extra time when you're heading somewhere important.
The best time of year to visit Dallas is in the fall. Why? Tourists flock to the city during the summer months, but July and August are also extremely hot and humid. Temps often go above 100 degrees Fahrenheit in the height of summer, with heat indexes making it feel even hotter.
Opt for a visit during September, October, or November to get the best hotel and car rental rates and miss that heat.
Dallas is home to one of Texas' most popular tourist attractions: the State Fair of Texas. The fair takes place between September and October (yet another reason to visit Dallas during the fall), and it can trace its roots back to the first exposition in 1886.
The fair is absolutely huge and has everything from live music to livestock showings to rides and more. Plus, you'll find a great deal of deep-fried foods– the fair has a new fried offering each year, and no food is safe. Past fried fare has included sweet tea, lattes, sriracha balls, and even butter.
Dallas is a sprawling metropolis full of a variety of different neighborhoods and areas, each with its own unique style. If you're staying downtown when you visit Dallas, try to do some exploring in other neighborhoods.
Check out the Bishop Arts District, which is a central neighborhood full of tons of independent shops, boutiques, cafes, galleries, and more, all within walking distance. Or, if you're looking to get out of the city center, head north to Uptown, which is another local favorite. It's a walkable area with cafes, bars, and stores, along with tons of cute apartment complexes and townhomes.
No matter where you go in Dallas, you can't go wrong– every part of the city has something to offer!
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