It may sound cliché, but many things really are bigger in Texas. And that’s particularly true for the Dallas Arts District, the largest contiguous urban arts district in the United States, spanning 68 acres and 19 contiguous blocks. Featuring high-culture venues for performing and visual arts, historic sites, a deck park for recreational activities, a world-renowned Booker T Washington High School for the Visual and Performing Arts and a multi-use restaurant, business and residential complex, days can be spent here without repeating a thing.
A home for art and science
There are several venues for art lovers in the Dallas Arts District, but the largest is the 370,000-square-foot Edward Larrabee-designed Dallas Museum of Art, with a global collection of more than 22,000 works of art spanning 5,000 years of global human history including European and American painting, sculpture and decorative arts. Nearby, visitors can browse varied works at the Crow Collection of Asian Art and the Nasher Sculpture Center; the 55,000-square-foot-building designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Renzo Piano and the adjoining 1.4-acre sculpture garden by landscape architect Peter Walker. Architecture fans will enjoy visiting three historic venues, including Belo Mansion (also used as an events space), Cathedral Shrine of the Virgin of Guadalupe, and St. Paul United Methodist Church. The latest attraction, The Perot Museum of Nature and Science is so popular that it’s a good idea to book tickets in advance.
The AT&T Performing Arts Center encompasses 10 acres and includes The Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House, the Dee and Charles Wyly Theatre, and Dallas City Performance Hall. The AT&T PAC presents a variety of year-round indoor and outdoor programming, including the Lexus Broadway Series, Brinker International Forum, JAZZ ROOTS and, in association with TITAS, contemporary dance and music. The Center also provides performance space for local arts organizations, including The Dallas Opera, Dallas Theater Center, Dallas Black Dance Theatre and Anita N. Martinez Ballet Folklorico. The Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center, designed by architect I.M. Pei and acoustician Russell Johnson, is home to the Dallas Symphony Orchestra.
The great outdoors
Adjacent to the Dallas Arts District is recent addition Klyde Warren Park, a central gathering space. The 5.2-acre deck park is an urban green space built over the recessed Woodall Rodgers Freeway and home to daily free programmes, from yoga and ping pong to outdoor concerts and an enclosed dog park. Food trucks line the park each day and on-site restaurant Savor offers inside and patio dining while next-door Relish offers take-away food for an impromptu picnic.
In addition to the free events at Klyde Warren Park, AT&T Performing Arts Center’s Annette Strauss Square and Elaine D. and Charles A. Sammons Park also host outdoor film and concert series, many of which are free to the public.
Wining, dining and sitting on the patio
One Arts Plaza is a multi-function building consisting of 61 luxury residences, corporate offices for 7-Eleven convenience stores (including an on-site retail location), and four restaurants: Jorge’s, serving Tex-Mex favourites; Yolk, offering breakfast and lunch; Proof + Pantry, for progressive American cuisine and craft cocktails; and Tei-An, a Japanese soba noodle house. Nearby, Stephan Pyles is great for fine dining, and Pan-Latin San Salvaje by Stephan Pyles is a top choice, as well.
Header image: A bird’s eye view of the Dallas Arts District © The Dallas Arts District
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Have you visited the Dallas Arts District? Where do you go to get the most out of the area? Let us know in the comments section below.
Written by Steven Lindsey