I came to Dallas with no expectations, and despite some disparaging tweets and comments from the online peanut gallery, most of my well-traveled readers eagerly guided me through the third largest city in Texas, pointing out where to go and what to see and do.
I was grateful for their advice and how it reinforced my belief that no matter where you land in the world, no matter how familiar and mainstream it might be, there are splendid and exotic moments to be found. Dallas, Texas is such a city and even after just one day of perusal, I grew convinced that I needed a few longer days to truly know what this place was all about.
In the morning I was overwhelmed with tulips and bridal gowns at the Dallas Arboretum, then enjoyed a smokey, meaty brunch at Smoke. Afterwards, I explored more of the downtown and arts district, including the Dallas Museum of Art, the outstanding Crow Collection, and Nasher Sculpture Center and in the late afternoon, I was able to peruse the Highland Park and Preston Hollow neighborhoods, famed for the giant mansions that reflect some of the great wealth attached to this city. I also went for the biggest baddest steak in Texas at Bob’s Chop & Steakhouse and had a cracking foot massage. The next morning, I hung out with some of my Twitter followers at Klyde Warren Park (an urban space-turned nature park with its own Twitter address) and talked about how much I had enjoyed Dallas–really.
As I travel across this state, I find it impossible to fit Texas into any particular box–and you can say the same about Dallas. Anyone who travels here can find whatever they want, from JFK conspiracy theorists soliciting followers to Vietnamese food trucks and glossy high-rises that reflect the passing clouds in blue and copper windowpanes.
I know I’ll return–Dallas is a city with a long To Do list, including a visit to Cowboy Stadium (next time) but until then, I’ll remember everything I did get to see and do in the Big D.
- Nat Geo Expeditions