Life’s too short for business travel that doesn’t include a few extracurricular activities. Fortunately for anyone visiting Dallas, there are practically limitless options for dining, nightlife and culture. And travellers the world over consider Big D to be one of the top shopping destinations on the planet. Take a look at our guide to getting the best out of being on business in Dallas.
Where to stay: For chic and sophisticated accommodations in the heart of downtown, The Joule Hotel is a well-designed oasis of calm away from the hustle and bustle of the city. From its cantilevered pool that juts out over Main Street to two on-site restaurants as well as a spa and fitness studio, there’s plenty to do here without even leaving the property. For more traditional luxury, Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek is a Dallas institution known for impeccable service, style and sophistication. The Mansion Restaurant is legendary for its cuisine and for making celebrities out of its chefs. One of the city’s newest properties is the Omni Dallas Hotel, the only hotel connected to the convention centre. With multiple restaurants from famous Bob’s Steak & Chop House to multiple casual eateries, it’s close enough to enjoy a great meal within reach of your next meeting.
Where to eat: Dallas is a paradise for food enthusiasts, whether you enjoy a prime cut of beef, a simple-but-memorable plate of barbecue or traditional southern comfort foods. Knife is one of the city’s newest and most celebrated steakhouses. Aged on-site, steaks include exotic, 240-day aged rib eye. Trinity Groves is a 15-acre restaurant, brewery, and entertainment district that’s home to more than a dozen eateries in one location. Barbecue lovers should hit up Lockhart Smokehouse in the Bishop Arts District, Pecan Lodge in Deep Ellum or the brand-new 18th & Vine near Dallas Market Centre, the Design District and the World Trade Centre. Tex-Mex is a vital part of the city’s dining heritage and three great examples are Jorge’s Tex-Mex in the Dallas Arts District, any of the area locations of Mi Cocina, or the original near-downtown location of El Fenix, the restaurant often credited with launching Tex-Mex cuisine.
Top Sights: Dallas is home to the largest contiguous arts district in the United States, with 19 blocks spread out over 68 acres. The Dallas Arts District is home to three museums and multiple performance halls, which offer everything from the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and the Dallas Opera to live Broadway productions at the AT&T Performing Arts Centre. The Sixth Floor Museum and surrounding landmarks piece together the final moments of JFK and explore conspiracy theories that have remained for more than 50 years since his death. Fans of the TV show Dallas will want to visit Southfork Ranch, though it’s a bit of a drive from downtown, so it’s good to plan a few hours for that one.
Great gifts: Shopping in Dallas is one of the most popular activities for locals and visitors alike, with multiple world-class venues perfect for picking up gifts for those back home. The original downtown Neiman Marcus is a must-visit, even for those not wanting to put their credit card to use. NorthPark Centre, which just celebrated its 50th anniversary, is home to a multi-level Neiman Marcus, as well as Nordstrom, Dillard’s and more than 235 stores, including high-end designer boutiques and a world-class public art exhibition. Galleria Dallas is another gigantic shopping centre with an indoor ice rink and more than 200 stores, while one of the most upscale of all Dallas experiences can be found in the super-exclusive Highland Park Village.
Going local: When you’re finished with your meetings and want to get out in the fresh air, outdoor enthusiasts should visit the Trinity River Audubon Centre, home to hiking on five miles of wetlands, prairie and forest, as well as the ability to jump in the saddle at nearby Texas Horse Park. Near downtown is The Katy Trail, a landscaped pedestrian and cycling trail that travels from downtown to Uptown, but those looking for even more adventure can take the trail system all the way to White Rock Lake, where kayaking and sailing are also available. Klyde Warren Park is an urban deck park that joins Uptown with downtown and home to dozens of free daily activities, including yoga and fitness classes in the mornings, and a collection of food trucks for spur-of-the-moment picnics.
Where to break curfew: Deep Ellum has a high concentration of live-music venues, making it easy for lovers of everything from blues to rock to find an intimate show. Lower Greenville Avenue is also home to dozens of music venues, pubs and late-night restaurant options. Truck Yard is a popular laid-back outdoor venue with food trucks, beer and cocktails and The Strip on Cedar Springs is home to bars, restaurants and nightclubs for the LGBT community, including the Round-Up Saloon, where watching cowboys two-stepping is a show in and of itself.
Visiting Dallas on business? Our codeshare arrangement with Delta makes it simple for you to travel all over North America.
Have you been on business in Dallas? Where did you go between meetings? Let us know in the comments section below.
Written by Steven Lindsey