Texas was never on my bucket list. There are so many countries I want to see, so many capitals and acres of wild lands, that the Lone Star State never crossed my mind. Why go to Texas?
Many trips start out that way, with no expectations, and maybe that’s when we have the most room to be so pleasantly surprised. Dallas is absolutely worth the visit if you get a chance to go. I had the benefit of a rental car on my trip, but even if you depend on local transport, you can get around. Their downtown is just like any big city, with restaurants and museums galore to choose from if that’s your thing. I can sincerely recommend the Hampton Inn & Suites located downtown. Get a load of these photos. It feels very classy, yet comfortably in the mid-level, middle hotel range. The customer service was exceptional, and my only regret is that our flight was too early for the continental breakfast.
If you only visit one place, make it the Dallas Arboretum, unless you don’t like stunning gardens. Gardens are at their finest in spring, sometimes summer, but this place astounds even in fall. The grounds blaze in all the stereotypical golds, reds and bright burnt oranges you associate with the season. Meanwhile, the water features and abundance knotty gourds (some which help form a pumpkin village) add interest to the scene. The food was quite good, too, so you really could spend a day here.
Also, if you’re a photographer, be sure to add the touristy, pricey, but totally worth it Reunion Tower to your itinerary. I went up to the observation deck just before sunset and spent a very happy hour taking photos of the sun reflecting off the building as the deepened into an inky blue.
The Pocket Sandwich Theatre, meanwhile, is another gem. Despite underwhelming food, the theater knows how to put on a stellar show. Go for a melodrama, where they can dish up just the right balance of absurd with colorful histrionics. I never thought a cowboy hat in Dracula could be so apt.
See all the ways you can go big in Dallas.
6 Spots to Visit if You Want to Do Dallas Big