A few months ago I made my first trip to the great big state of Texas with my fiancé for his birthday. We spent a long weekend in Dallas and our only plan was to see a concert that was in town. Through the time that we had to explore the city and its surrounding areas, we learned a few dos and don'ts for a trip to "Big D."
Your research // When you're planning your trip and looking into hotels, be sure to get a solid understanding of where they are located, exactly. There are a lot of different neighborhoods and areas surrounding the city, so look for a hotel based on your interests, and do a little research to make sure it's in a convenient location - especially if you're not planning on renting a car. We stayed at The Highland, which is right across from SMU's campus. It was convenient for us to walk across the street and catch the DART or get an Uber.
The touristy things // I always encourage breaking away from the norm, but there are some major things in Dallas that you really should see. Visit the JFK memorial site, even if you don't go into the museum. Walk through the plazas and parks. Go to an art museum or gallery, or just stand and admire the sculptures and street art that consumes the city. I never knew about how full of art and culture Dallas is, and I was so pleasantly surprised by it!
Expect the stereotype // Cowboy boots. Football. Conservative. Southern accent. - These are some of the things that are stereotypes of people living in Texas. These are, however, not at all the norm and in no way represent Texas or Dallas. I found that the majority of people we interacted with in Dallas had no distinct accent at all. They were friendly, trusting, and open-minded. We met so many interesting and unique people, not one of them the same and not one of them reinforcing what so many people believe to be true about them.
No matter where you go, never let a stereotype dictate the way you see the world. Every person is an individual. Every place is a collective of the individual passions and personalities of the people who call it home.
Stay in one place // As with its people, the areas around Dallas are so diverse - from calm and cute Belmont to artsy and edgy Deep Ellum to classy Uptown - and there's so much to see and do. Don't miss the opportunity to explore and get a sense of Dallas as a whole by getting to know each neighborhood and district. If you're not sure where to start, look up events that are happening in Dallas and map out your day based on things to do and easy access to transportation.
So there you have it - some quick tips for a visit to Dallas, Texas. Have you visited a place that you knew very little about? I like to strike a balance of doing my research for the planning phase but also saving room for fun surprises and things to learn whenever I get there.
We will never fully understand our world until we get out there and explore it! Where will you go next?