Dallas is the third largest city in Texas and prides itself on not being too Texan. The city is divided into more than half a dozen districts, each with their own feel. Take a minute to orient yourself with the different areas within Dallas to better plan your visit to one of Texas' largest and most unique cities.
Dallas is the third largest city in Texas and like most Texas cities, it sprawls. However, unlike its neighbor, Fort Worth, or San Antonio and Houston (the only Texas cities bigger), Dallas prides itself on not being too Texan. Dallas's districts are diverse, from the glitter of Downtown to the high-class malls of North Dallas to the murals of Oak Cliffs, but the city can't entirely escape its Westernness. It is home to the Texas State Fair, after all.
This is Dallas's skyline. The buildings themselves are attractions of a sort, often designed by prestigious architects, and downtown encompasses several inner districts, each with a different purpose. You'll find everything from farm produce to concert halls in the downtown area. Click here for more.East Dallas
East Dallas is a pleasant, tree-lined residential area of varied, often historical, sometimes odd architecture. It's also home to the Dallas Arboretum, White Rock Lake, and the Lakewood Theater. Some nice restaurants and party spots are here as well, but blues-birthplace Deep Ellum is the really fascinating part of East Dallas.
North DallasNorth Dallas is the home of Dallas's wealthy and the upscale and massive mall, the Galleria Dallas (as well as the likewise massive NorthPark Center). Less upscale, but equally interesting, Koreatown is the business center of Dallas's Korean population. Look out for the Sam Moon shopping center and lots of Korean restaurants and karaoke bars.
7-Eleven originated here, Bonnie and Clyde met here, but don't expect shootouts in the streets, and 7-Eleven is hardly the nicest eatery. The restaurants are eclectic, from Spanish Tapas and Aztec, to Thai and American. Many of them are in the Bishop Arts District (also home to many murals).
Dallas's Fair Park is here, a National Historic Landmark home to the State Fair of Texas (largest state fair in the nation), the Cotton Bowl, and nine museums. Wheatley Place, also in South Dallas, is a historic residential district with significance in the Civil Rights Movement.
Pleasant Grove, Oak Lawn, Lake Highlands, and West Dallas are primarily residential neighborhoods, although Oak Lawn does have a lot of hip bars and clubs and excellent restaurants. Old East Dallas and Kessler are historic residential districts, but you will need to limit yourself to viewing the architecture from the road.
Other Things to Know
Dallas can be accessed by air through the Dallas / Fort Worth airport or the Love Field. By highway, I-45 will take you there if you're driving north, I-35 will take you there if you're coming south (it well split into two branches just before you hit the metroplex; take the east branch). If you're coming east, either I-20 or I-30 will take you there.
The city is best explored by car, but do take note that Dallas drivers are very aggressive and traffic is often intense. The bus and light rail systems will take you across the city, but can be hard to navigate.