I studied in Dallas, Texas for two years and worked there for another two years. So Texas is pretty much my second home in the USA. People might call Texas boring but with the right company, there is so much more to it. And I am really glad that I have great friends back in Texas who made my 4 years the best years of my life! So when people ask me what is there to do in Texas, I don’t have a big list but its definitely a list and things that you should try to do if you are in Texas. (Also, I don’t really have great pictures from Texas so I had to go through all the pictures I had on my iPhone and pick some good ones :D)
*** Renting a car in Texas is inevitable. Its huge and public transportation sucks big time! So do not rely on them***
Things to see and places to eat at!
This is the national historic district which portrays the true history of Texa’s livestock industry. Its about 2 hrs drive from Dallas, Texas. You will see daily cattle drive, Pawnee bill’s wild rodeo show, Bars, Restaurant and Historic Stockyards Hotel where you can stay for a night to enjoy historical texas. There’s also an ice skating rink called Panther Island Ice.
- Mudsmith, Buon Giorno coffee are some really good coffee shops to try here.
- Stockyard saloon, The basement bar, Billy Bob’s Texas are some of my favourite bars in stockyards.
Grapevine Historic District
There’s Grapevine Vintage Railroad that it’s famous for. This train runs from Main street station in Grapevine to Fort Worth Stockyards. I would also recommend going to Rockledge park to enjoy a sunny day and outdoor barbeque in front of the lake. It’s about an hour drive away from Dallas.
- This is another small town and I liked going for some delicious Carrot Cake from Eatzi’s market & bakery, Main street bistro n bakery, Zen Zero kitchen n bakery are few of them.
Rockwall waterfront is my favourite among all of the places in Texas I have been to. Since we don’t get to see much water around Texas, it was the easiest getaway for us. This is a small harbour about 1.5 hrs drive away from Dallas. I had been here on a very gloomy day. This waterfront has bars, restaurant, cigar shops, ice cream parlours that you can enjoy while sitting in front of the lake. You will also see a lighthouse here, I have seen lots of marriage photoshoots happening here. You will also see dinner cruises here that you can book online for a nice dinner by the lake.
Take a road trip to Big Bend. Its about 8 hrs drive from Dallas.
Palo Duro Canyon in Amarillo is another weekend getaway spot, where you can camp. There are also many other things you can do in Amarillo. Check out my blog for more!
If you are in the right season which is around April you will get to see bluebonnets which is the state flower near Euless, TX. This place is called Bristol Bluebonnets and is absolute heaven to see them here. Euless is around 40-50 mins drive from Texas.
If you are in Dallas, I would definitely recommend checking out Shops at legacy in Plano for some good food. I got really lucky because Dallas has amazing food. Some of my favourites here are Ra Sushi, Mexican sugar, Henry’s Tavern for good food and drinks. This is a small shopping district in Plano. Plano city has its own downtown which is small beautiful cobbled street and has really good restaurants, coffee shops and has this Hollywood movie set kind of feel to it. My fav’s here are Vickery park, coffeehouse cafe, Urban crust for great pizza.
Dallas, I feel is the most underrated city in Texas. In Dallas, you will experience student life since you have SMU here and on SMU Blvd you will see George Bush Presidential Library. If you are here for Christmas, don’t forget to go check out Christmas lights in SMU. They are precious! You will also find good places to eat here like Digg’s Taco’s, Torchy’s Taco’s, Nodding Donkey.
- If you walk a little ahead you will see Lower Greenville where you will find more bars, restaurants, and coffeeshops Truckyard, Kush, Blind Butchers are my fav’s.
Go Kayaking in Lake Ray Hubbard. Then grab some margaritas at Dodie’s Cajun Restaurant at The Harbor.
Uptown is where the party is on Friday nights. I would suggest Concrete Cowboys, Social House, Den. And when you are hungry for food you have Velvet Tacos, Old Monk on Knox Henderson street for late night food. I would definitely suggest going to cowboys red river in Irving to get a true feeling of dancing amongst cowboys to two-steps or might just ride a bull.
Downtown is a pretty much financial district. You will see Companies, Hotels, small businesses here. Serj & Crooked tree are my fav coffee places in downtown Dallas where I would sit and study all day. Margaret hunt hill bridge is one of the places to be at night for a gorgeous view of the skyline and for 4th of July fireworks.
Pioneer Plaza Cattle Drive is another tourist spot located near convention centre district of downtown Dallas where you see the bronze sculpture of cattle and riders!
Take the M-line Vintage trolley on Mckinney Avenue. They operate 24hrs, 365 days and is free of charge. It covers many points of interest like West Village, Magnolia Theatre, Klyde Warren Park, Uptown, American Airlines Center (this is where you’ll see concerts and games) etc.
Bishops arts district is another favourite one for a kick of art and good coffeehouses and places to eat at. I have tried almost all the places here- Wild detectives, Espumoso cafe are my fav coffeehouses.
Addison is known for their hookah lounges – Al Amir and Cairo are my fav’s to hang out on Friday nights. Cairo is a BYOB place and has belly dancers on Fridays and Saturdays. Al- Amir has good music and a dance floor, I don’t like their hookah as such but they are not bad either, their food is amazing. Sanabels Mediterranian is another favourite hookah place in Addison where can have it all- awesome hookah, delicious food and great drinks with good music. Sultan cafe is more of a laid back hookah lounge, where you can come in a big group eat, have hookah, play cards and relax!
Another favourite spot in Addison is Addison Circle Park, which is another good spot for star gazing! You will also find good restaurants and bars here. My favourite here is lion and crown and Londoner.
Deep Ellum in downtown Dallas is my favourite for a laid-back night. This place has a hipster feel to it but great food and music to go with. I would definitely recommend this place to everyone visiting Dallas. Pecan Lodge, Serious pizza, Deep Ellum Brewery are my fav’s here.
Go Rifle shooting in one of the Shooting ranges.
White rock lake was my getaway from frustrating study routine. Even though it’s a man-made lake it somehow managed to be a feel-good place. Near the lake, you will find Goodfriend bar and restaurant which is our favourite place to go to after our long walks by the lake.
Klyde Warren Park is another go-to place if you are in Dallas. They usually have some events like concert, outdoor yoga etc. You can just take some food or get some from the food trucks outside of the park and relax.
I always miss Tacos of Friendlies, El taco loco, and Fuel city. So if you are in Dallas, I would definitely recommend having taco’s here.
If you are in Texas between September- October, you are on time for Texas state fair at historic Fair Park in Dallas.
Founders Plaza is another great spot. This is favourite place among locals near DFW airport from where you can see aircrafts take off and land. It also provides picnic tables, parking etc. So it’s a very family friendly place and you can also get good pictures here.
Definitely, try empanadas in from Empa Mundo in Irving.
San Antonio is another weekend getaway if you are in Texas. I love the boardwalk and downtown area here. Check out Alamo Mission which is a huge fort in downtown. Get some nice dinner/ lunch on the river walk. Natural Bridge Caverns is another tourist attraction where you see underground caves built from limestone. You can spend a day here and drive to Fredericksburg next day which is another hour away from San Antonio. It’s a small German town where you can have a nice stroll along the street, shopping or stop at one of the restaurants on the stretch. Enchanted Rock State Natural Area is another 1.5hrs away from San Antonio where you can camp for a night. This is nation’s second largest granite dome and a perfect place for star gazing.
Houston is 4hrs away from Dallas and we usually go to Galveston when we are here, for some fun on the beach. It reminds me of Goa in India. But I would say Goa is much better than Galveston :p. I like the Airbnb’s here and would definitely recommend staying in Airbnb over hotels. There are a lot of restaurants in front of the beach, so it’s a perfect relaxing getaway.
Check out my Austin blog for more in Austin.
You can also take spring break trip to South Padre or New Orleans 😀 both are 8 hrs drive away from Dallas and flight tickets are cheap as well 🙂
I definitely miss Dallas, student life is always special and you will never get it back. The fun we had back in Texas is something that can never be compared to anything or anywhere in the World!