Stepping Out: Dallas

As the saying goes, everything is bigger in Texas, and Dallas seems to have made that adage its motto. The city’s business opportunities have grown exponentially over the years—the greater Dallas–Fort Worth metropolitan area has the sixth-largest economy in the United States and in 2013 was the fourth-largest employment center in the nation. Dallas boasts the third-largest concentration of Fortune 500 companies in the country and ranks 14th in GDP worldwide. It is also consistently one of the top convention destinations in the United States. But Dallas is far from all work and no play. It has an abundant entertainment scene that is rich in culture.

In recent years, Dallas has become a hub for the arts. The Dallas Arts District, the nation’s largest urban arts district, covers 19 blocks and 68 acres. Among the newest additions is Klyde Warren Park. As well as being a beautiful place for a stroll, the 5.2-acre park offers an array of outdoor activities, from yoga classes to live music to food trucks. For art enthusiasts, the Dallas Museum of Art boasts a collection of more than 22,000 works, and the Nasher Sculpture Center has one of the finest collections of both modern and contemporary sculpture in the world. The breathtaking Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden, located in nearby Lakewood, spans 66 acres and was named one of the top 10 botanical gardens in the United States by the Travel Channel.

No trip to Texas would be complete without barbecue, so check out Lockhart Smokehouse, popular among locals for its brisket and deviled eggs. For a taste of the Southwest, E Bar Tex Mex offers daily happy hour specials and an upbeat atmosphere. Mariano’s Hacienda Ranch, featuring a Tex-Mex menu, is home of the world’s first frozen-margarita machine. If you’re in the mood for more upscale dining, The French Room is widely considered the best restaurant in Dallas. A dress code is observed, so be sure to look sharp.

If you’re seeking a place to unwind after a long day, the Library Bar inside the Warwick Melrose Hotel is a great spot to meet with colleagues over drinks. It has live piano music and classy decor. Lounge 31 in Highland Park Village and Sunset Lounge in East Dallas are other lively upscale locations for a cocktail.

Fewer things are bigger in Dallas than shopping. Start with NorthPark Center north of downtown. The mall, with its 225 restaurants and department stores and other retailers, was named one of the Seven Retail Wonders of the Modern World by Shopping Centers Today. The Dallas Design District is the fourth-largest concentration of luxury furnishing showrooms and art and antique galleries in the nation. For upscale shopping, visit Highland Park for its high-end boutiques surrounded by some of Dallas’s most beautiful homes and landscaping. It’s no wonder the area is called the Beverly Hills of Texas.

Dallas is a city with a pioneering spirit and a lot of excitement. Be sure to bring a Texas-sized sense of adventure. DW

See

Klyde Warren Park • klydewarrenpark.org

Dallas Museum of Art • dma.org

Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden • dallasarboretum.org

Eat

E Bar Tex Mex • ebartexmex.com

The French Room • hoteladolphus.com/dining/the-french-room

The Library Bar • landmarkrestodallas.com

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