A Local’s Guide to the Perfect Weekend Trip to Dallas, TX

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Article written by: Rebecca
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Planning a weekend trip to Dallas? I lived in Dallas for more than two years, and this Dallas itinerary covers my must-visit spots!

BBQ. Big hair. The eponymous TV show. Cowboys (the football team and men on horses). Oil. Is that what comes to mind when you first think of Dallas?

Well, if you’re planning a weekend trip to Dallas, prepare to be surprised – it’s so much more than this.

Yes, some of the Texan stereotypes apply, but the United States’ 9th largest city is brimming with culture (yes, really), fabulous restaurants and friendly people (that Southern charm is for real, y’all).

I lived in Dallas for more than two years, so I’ve spent a lot of time exploring its sights and tasting its food. Here, I’ve pulled together an itinerary for the perfect 48 hours in Dallas. It’s not often you explore the place you live through the eyes of a visitor, so it was fun to put together this guide to the best things to do in Dallas – it’s exactly what I would always tell people to do when they visited Dallas to see me!

The Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge in Dallas with its distinctive arch spanning the Trinity River at sunset, with the Dallas skyline in the background and the Texas flag in the foreground.

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Map of Dallas

You can see everything I’ve listed in this blog post on this map.

48 hours in Dallas

Friday night

Drop your bags at your hotel and head straight to ultra-hip Deep Ellum. Deep Ellum is a bit gritty but also very trendy, and it’s one of my favourite neighbourhoods in Dallas. If you’re only in Dallas for a weekend, this is a must-visit area.

Check out the dozens of murals that grace the walls of buildings in the neighbourhood.

There are plenty of options for dinner and drinks in Deep Ellum.

No weekend getaway in Dallas is complete without some Texan BBQ. Pecan Lodge (2702 Main St) is a BBQ joint that regularly tops the list of the best restaurants in Dallas. The lines are long but move quickly.

At Stirr (2803 Main St) you’ll be among the trendy people; grab a table on the rooftop for great Dallas views. Niwa Japanese Barbecue (2939 Main St) is a yakiniku restaurant where you cook your own food at your table – a great option for groups. If Tex Mex is what you’re in the mood for, Pepe’s and Mito’s is an unpretentious spot with traditional dishes (2911 Elm St).

One of my favourite things to do in Dallas at night is explore Deep Ellum. For some honky tonk, dance the night away at Adair’s Saloon (2624 Commerce St). There’s always live music here on a weekend.

There are also plenty of bars throughout the Deep Ellum area. The cocktails at High and Tight Barbershop (2701 Main St), a “secret” bar behind – you guessed it – a barbershop, are killer. Depending on when you go, there could even be some live music or a DJ. I also love Ruins (2653 Commerce St) and Armoury D.E. (2714 Elm St), both of which serve great cocktails.

Saturday morning

Start your Dallas weekend the way every respectable Dallasite does – with brunch. Dallas knows how to do brunch better than any U.S. city I’ve ever visited, and the options are plentiful and ever-evolving.

Overeasy (1914 Commerce St), located in the stylish Statler Hotel, is a retro-cool diner-style restaurant in the heart of downtown Dallas. The pancakes are a must – I don’t think I’ve ever eaten fluffier flapjacks in my life.

I’ve curated more of my favourite Dallas brunch options if Overeasy doesn’t take your fancy or isn’t close to your hotel.

A breakfast spread with golden-brown pancakes, whipped hot chocolate, and crispy fried potato cakes on white ceramic dishes.
Brunch at Overeasy Dallas

It’s now time explore the culture of Dallas. You might be surprised to learn that Dallas has the largest contiguous urban arts district in the country, making it one of the best places to visit in Texas for art. The Dallas Arts District spans 19 blocks and is filled with museums.

Visit one or two of the museums in Dallas, including the Dallas Museum of Art (1717 N Harwood St) or, if you have kids (or are young at heart), the Perot Museum of Nature and Science (2201 N Field St).

My favourite is the Nasher Sculpture Center (2001 Flora St), which takes some of its art outside in the sculpture garden.

Top tip: Want to save money when you visit Dallas? Buy a Dallas CityPASS, which includes access to the Perot Museum.

Sculpture installation of numerous dark figures with no heads, standing in rows on a lawn, with greenery and a high-rise building in the background. The Nasher Sculpture Center is one of the best museums in Dallas.
Outdoor sculptures at the Nasher Sculpture Center

Saturday afternoon

Wander across to the food trucks at Klyde Warren Park, a 5.2-acre public park built over a freeway, for lunch.

Every day the park is lined with food trucks serving Vietnamese food, BBQ, Cajun bites and even lobster rolls.

Klyde Warren Park is a lovely grassy spot to chill out for a while and perfect for a short break from this busy Dallas itinerary.

People queued at 'The Butcher's Son' food truck, ordering gourmet food on a sunny day with trees and a high-rise building nearby. Klyde Warren Park is one of the best things to do in Dallas, and a must for your itinerary.

Next, head over to Elm Street where one of the most shocking moments in U.S. history took place. The Sixth Floor Museum is all about the assassination of John F. Kennedy.

In the former Texas School Book Depository building, take a self-guided wander through the exhibits that explain the Kennedys’ visit to Texas, the lead up to JFK’s assassination and what followed. You’ll need around 90 minutes to fully experience the site.

Outside in Dealey Plaza, a white cross on the road marks the exact spot where he was killed.

This is one of the most popular Dallas attractions, and you’ll always see plenty of people milling about here (including a few people sharing their conspiracy theories!).

Want even more insight? Book this JFK Assassination and Museum Tour, which includes a visit to the Lee Harvey Oswald Rooming House.

The red-brick, multi-story former Texas School Book Depository building in Dealey Plaza, with a clear blue sky above. This museum is one of the most popular Dallas attractions and something to add to your Dallas itinerary if you're into history.

Saturday evening

Head over to Bishop Arts District, a neighbourhood that is rapidly changing and growing but has a great neighbourhood feel about it.

There are so many cute shops to explore around here. Wild Detectives (314 W Eighth St) has a great selection of books (as well as coffee and cocktails), Society by Jackson Vaughn (403 N Bishop Ave) sells divine-smelling candles and We Are 1976 (313 N Bishop Ave) has beautiful stationery, homewares and prints.

The front of shops and eateries with 'Bishop Arts District' signage, under an overcast sky with pedestrians and parked cars.

This area is home to the famous Lockhart Smokehouse (400 W Davis St) fo a taste of Texas BBQ.

An alternative option for dinner is Oddfellows (316 W 7th St), a diner-style restaurant with a menu that’s anything but diner. Think shrimp ceviche and seared scallops – but of course there are fried chicken and waffles.

If you’ve managed to plan well ahead and nabbed a reservation, Lucia (287 North Bishop Ave) is one of the best restaurants in Dallas (and one of the best Dallas date night restaurants). This tiny little Italian restaurant feels like you’re in the family dining room. But book ahead!

The entrance to 'Lockhart Smoke House' with a Texas flag beside it. There's so much good food to enjoy on a weekend trip to Dallas.

Whichever you choose, make sure to save room for a slice of pie from Emporium Pies (314 N Bishop Ave) for dessert. There’s only ever a handful of flavours of pie – but you’ll still have trouble deciding.

A slice of pie on a white plate with a blue rim, a fork, and a menu on a marbled table. You must try Emporium Pies on your weekend in Dallas.

Bishop Arts Cider Company (509 N Bishop Ave) is a great place to try a flight of the locally made ciders. Want some live music? Revelers Hall (412 North Bishop Ave) is the place to go.

Sunday morning

Start the day with a caffeine hit from LDU (2650 N Fitzhugh Ave). This Australian-run place makes the best coffee in Dallas. They also have divine toasted banana bread and amazing grilled sandwiches. They’ve got five stores in total, so pick whichever is closest to you.

Jump in the car because you’re now heading west to the the largest dome structure in the world: AT&T Stadium, more commonly known as the Dallas Cowboys Stadium.

Don’t have a car? Book this Dallas Cowboys Stadium Tour with Transport.

You can do a self-guided Dallas Cowboys Stadium tour, but I recommend choosing the VIP tour.

This two-hour tour takes you all over the stadium – and I mean all over. You’ll be checking yourself out in the mirror in the Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders’ locker room and posing in front of Dak Prescott’s locker before you head out on the field itself.

Interior view of the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, near Dallas, showing the expansive football field and a giant screen displaying a game.

Sunday afternoon

After soaking up the impressive size and spirit of AT&T Stadium, it’s time to venture further west to explore Fort Worth. This city, while part of the larger DFW metroplex, has a distinct identity that’s steeped in the American West.

Your first stop in Fort Worth should be the Stockyards National Historic District. Here, you can step back in time to the days when cowboys and cattle drives were the norms.

The Stockyards are home to the world’s only twice-daily cattle drive (11.30am and 4pm), where you can watch cowhands in action.

There are also plenty of shops, restaurants and live music venues that line the streets around the historic district.

For an authentic cowboy experience, pop into Billy Bob’s Texas, the world’s largest honky-tonk. The fun here really begins at night, but during the day you can grab a meal, play some pool or take a photo on the photo bull.

A traditional cattle drive with cowboys on horseback herding longhorn cattle through the historic Fort Worth Stockyards, near Dallas.

Sunday evening

Head back to Dallas and end your weekend trip in Lower Greenville – my old ‘hood! Restaurants and bars line Greenville Ave and there’s always a fun vibe here on the weekends.

For a drink before dinner, try the Truck Yard (5624 Sears St) where you’ll meet plenty of people on the long communal tables plonked down among the eclectic items decorating the outdoor area. If you’re after something a little classier, Leela’s Wine Bar (1914 Greenville Ave) is a gorgeous wine bar (that also serves up a mean charcuterie plate – but save room for dinner!).

An outdoor bar setting with colorful stools in front of a vintage airstream trailer, under the glow of a neon 'BAR' sign at dusk.
The Truck Yard

For dinner, grab a table on the rooftop of HG Sply Co (2008 Greenville Ave) for bar snacks or try the healthy proteins downstairs. This is the first place I ever visited in Dallas and the reason why we wanted to move to this neighbourhood.

A sunset view over the rooftops of the Lower Greenville neighborhood in Dallas, with the city skyline silhouetted against a vibrant sky.
Sunset from the rooftop of HG Sply Co

You can’t end the night without trying the gelato at Botolino Gelato Artigianale (2116 Greenville Ave). Their flavours include olive oil, dulce de leche, and mascarpone and figs.

This is just a sample of things to do on a weekend trip to Dallas – I guarantee you’ll want to come back to explore more!

Dallas travel guide

How to get to Dallas

One of the best things about planning a weekend trip to Dallas is that it’s so easy to get to. Dallas has two airports serviced by all the major airlines.

Dallas Love Field (DAL) is my favourite airport to fly in and out of. It’s small and it’s always quick to get through security. Southwest Airlines, Delta Airlines and Alaska Airlines fly in and out of here. It’s also the closest airport to the downtown area.

The larger Dallas-Fort Worth airport (DFW) is smack bang between the cities of Dallas and Fort Worth. This is American Airlines’ hub, and Delta, Spirit, United and JetBlue, among others, also fly into here.

It’s also where all international flights land (including Qantas, my home country’s airline!). From here, it’s a 35 to 45-minute taxi ride to downtown Dallas, depending on traffic.


The best time to visit Dallas

The best time to visit Dallas is between March and May and September and November when the weather has (hopefully) cooled down a little. The Texas State Fair is in September and is worth booking your trip around.

Summer is H-O-T, and from May to September the city swelters. But at least there’s no humidity like there is in Houston.

Dallas winters can be bitterly cold and it has been known to snow (well, a little), but there much more mild compared to other US cities.

How to get around Dallas

Dallas is quite spread out so you’ll need to rent a car for your weekend in Dallas or rely on Uber. Renting a car is easy from either of the two airports, and there’s plenty of parking around the city. Most large restaurants have valet service.

The DART (Dallas Area Rapid Transit) is Dallas’s public transport system. This light rail network goes to many parts of the city, including connections to both airports. A day pass will set you back a mere $6.

Where to stay in Dallas

There are plenty of Dallas hotels to suit all budgets. Here are my top choices.

Hampton Inn & Suites Dallas Downtown | Another great value hotel in a good location. Guests particularly love the complimentary breakfast! Check prices and make your booking online here with Booking.com or Expedia

Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott Dallas Downtown | Within walking distance of the JFK Museum, Fairfield Inn & Suites is in a great location. Guests love the big rooms. Check prices and make your booking online here with Booking.com or Expedia

Hyatt Regency Dallas | This huge hotel is located at the base of Reunion Tower, which offers amazing views of Dallas from the revolving restaurant or observatory. Check prices and make your booking online here with Booking.com or Expedia

Hilton Anatole | A hotel with a lazy river? And one of the world’s largest Asian art collections? That’s worth a stay. Check prices and make your booking online here with Booking.com or Expedia

The Joule | As soon as you step into this luxury hotel you’ll be amazed by the artwork filling the lobby. The rooftop pool is glass-fronted so that you can see the city street below. It’s one of the most romantic hotels in Dallas if you’re visiting with your other half. Check prices and make your booking online here with Booking.com or Expedia

I hope this weekend in Dallas guide has given you an idea of what to do in Dallas and help you plan your own trip!

Did you find this article helpful? Consider buying me a coffee as a way to say thanks!

Did you find this article helpful? Consider buying me a coffee as a way to say thanks!

Have you taken a weekend trip to Dallas? What are your favourite things to do in Dallas? Leave your tips in the comments below.

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  • Book flights to and around the USA online with Skyscanner. I like this site because it shows me which dates are cheaper.
  • Find a great hotel in the USA. Check prices on Booking.com and Expedia online.
  • Check out the huge range of day tours throughout the USA on GetYourGuide or Viator. There’s something for everyone.
  • A copy of the Lonely Planet guide to the USA will be handy.
  • One thing I always purchase is travel insurance! Travel Insurance Master allows you to compare across multiple policy providers, while SafetyWing is great for long-term travellers and digital nomads.


  • Book flights to and around the USA online with Skyscanner. I like this site because it shows me which dates are cheaper.
  • Find a great hotel in the USA. Check prices on Booking.com and Expedia online.
  • Check out the huge range of day tours throughout the USA on GetYourGuide or Viator. There’s something for everyone.
  • A copy of the Lonely Planet guide to the USA will be handy.
  • One thing I always purchase is travel insurance! Travel Insurance Master allows you to compare across multiple policy providers, while SafetyWing is great for long-term travellers and digital nomads.


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I'm a travel junkie who started dreaming about seeing the world from a very young age. I've visited more than 40 countries and have a Master of International Sustainable Tourism Management. A former expat, I've lived in Australia, Papua New Guinea, Argentina and the United States. I share travel resources, tips and stories based on my personal experiences, and my goal is to make travel planning just that bit easier.

12 thoughts on “A Local’s Guide to the Perfect Weekend Trip to Dallas, TX”

  1. I grew up in Dallas but haven’t spent a lot of time there for awhile. I am going to have to try some of your brunch recommendations, they sound delicious.

  2. I’ve been to the Nasher and Deep Ellum. There are so many great parts of Dallas to explore and all the restaurants you recommend sound amazing!

    • So you’ve done some of the cool stuff already! And yes, so many good restaurants – you probably noticed the weekend plan is centred around eating and drinking 🙂

  3. This sounds like my kinda weekend! I could definitely go for bbq, brunch and farmer’s markets anytime — I’ll have to make my way over to Dallas soonish!

  4. My knowledge of US history is so poor, I didn’t even know JFK was assassinated in Texas! For some reason I assumed Washington? I imagine the Sixth Floor Museum would be a super interesting visit, but quite sad at the same time.
    I’ve never visited Dallas, but did have the opportunity of a layover there a few years ago on my way home from Mexico. I chose to go via Miami instead, but having read this I’m feeling like I may have made the wrong decision..

    • Miami would have been cool though! I haven’t been there yet. Yes, the museum is interesting, but very sad. I hope you get here sometime!


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