Dallas Guide: If You Have Only One Artful Day in Dallas
If you've only got a day to spend in Dallas, what would you do? Do you visit an art museum and then check into a neighboring nightspot? Would you rather head out for some shopping and then book a table at a neighborhood restaurant in downtown Dallas? Does the idea of visiting a kids' museum or signing up for a day pass at either Zero Gravity Thrill Amusement Park or Adventure Landing Dallas excite you instead? It's really a toss of the coin.
Well, if you're with your best buddies, drinking till the wee hours of the morning or shopping till you can hear imaginary objections from your credit card could be your cup of tea. You could also organize a charter bus trip to an attraction like the Sixth Floor Museum to buffer against a full-blown pig-out session at one of the bars or lounges in Upper Greenville, or the 'corridor of meats', more commonly known as Oak Lawn.
We've summed up some Dallas regular haunts below and invite you to come up with your own workable itinerary based on what you like to do with your limited time in the Big D. Being on the clock isn't ideal but it doesn't have to mean a 'rushed and stressed out' day-out in Dallas. Here's how to work with, and not against, the clock.
Opening The Floodgates to Dallas' World of Art
1. The Sixth Floor Museum
411 Elm St, Dallas, TX 75202
The life and death (and everything else in between) of one of the most important men in American history, John F. Kennedy, is depicted in the form of sculptures, pictures, and documents in this stunning museum. Packed with information, you'll come away with a very clear understanding of the historical event and what followed thereafter. There is a self-guided tour filled with historical information and it holds sway as a place to spend a few languid hours perusing through historical artifacts. And if you're new to Dallas, what better way to get a quick intro than one at The Sixth Floor Museum?
2. Nasher Sculpture Center
2001 Flora St, Dallas, TX 75201, USA
The magnitude of what it is today humbly began as a small vision to collect, restore and exhibit the Patsy and Raymond Nasher collection of modern and contemporary sculptures in the 1950s. After undergoing a massive restructure and renovation in 1997 (which includes annexing a piece of land on which the museum is now built on), it now has both indoor and outdoor exhibit space. It is a calming space where everyone's on the same page, admiring the oeuvre of famous artists like Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Willem de Kooning and Auguste Rodin, just to name a few. It holds regular monthly events like Target First Saturday for children and their families, Til Midnight with the help of Al Fresco dining, movie nights and twilight strolls.
3. Dallas Museum of Art
1717 N Harwood St, Dallas, TX 75201
It touches the heart, boggles the mind and fires up all your senses - that's what the exhibits do to people who make time for the Dallas Museum of Art, or as it is fondly known as, the DMA. With exhibits like Paris at the Turn of the Century, Young Masters 2018, Yayoi Kusama: All the Eternal Love I Have for the Pumpkins, and Hopi Visions: Journey of the Human Spirit, it continues to pursue its main mission of imparting knowledge and helping visitors understand the importance of art in everyone's lives. It creates dialogues, increases public participation, and promotes works of art from all corners of the world. Located along Woodall Rodgers Freeway near downtown Dallas between Harwood Street and St. Paul, it is a stone's throw away from many other art-centric locations in Dallas. On top of hosting tours for tourists, children and young adults, there are also Late Night programs held every Friday where the museum holds its doors open till midnight where they run readings, film screenings, family programs, concerts and live performances.
4. Perot Museum of Nature and Science
2201 N Field St, Dallas, TX 75201
The newly minted Perot Museum never fails to wow crowds; featuring more than 180,000 square feet of event and exhibit space, six floors, 11 permanent exhibit halls and 6 learning labs, there is really no equal to this museum anywhere within its vicinity. The current museum is the result of a merger between Dallas Museum of Natural History, the Science Place and the Dallas Children's Museum in 2006 and they've certainly risen in ranks as one of the top must-visit places in Dallas, Tx. Be warned: wear your walking shoes and get ready to leg it. Rummage through hands-on exhibits like science experiments, soak in the info about the Maya people and their ancient civilization, or take your kids/students through the immersive exhibits on the human body, space, robotics, and dinosaurs.
Fueling Up with Great Eats around the Museums
All that excitement, and not to mention walking, is sure to get your tummy rumbling. Worry not, there is tons of food to be found all around the art and science museums mentioned above. They are either a short walk away (if you're interested in popping into downtown retail outlets or stop by for an ice-cream on a hot day), or the Dallas charter bus can easily get you to any restaurant, diner, fast food joint, eatery or bar of your choice.
Eating out in downtown Dallas is always a gastronomical affair. There are delicious freshly-squeezed juices and yummy sandwiches at the Dallas Museum of Art's on-site restaurant, which is called the DMA Cafe, superb mushroom swiss cheeseburger, hickory cheeseburger, Hunky's Club or Tuna Salad Sandwich at Hunky's Hamburger, and an all-American and Continental buffet at Pyramid Restaurant. The latter boasts of scrumptious signature breakfast sets, artisan bread, fresh juice, freshly-brewed coffee and smoked salmon to suit even picky palates. If you're not tight for time, pop by the Nasher Cafe by Wolfgang Puck which is a casual but chic lunch-ing spot in the midst of one of the world's classiest sculpture centers.
To walk off the calories, bring the rented charter bus to Klyde Warren Park which has a 5.2-acre public space over Woodall Rodgers Freeway. It is open till late, approximately 11pm. In fact, to kill two birds with one stone, be on the lookout for a large number of food trucks lining up adjacent to the park. It's when 'eat-and-go' gets really real.
- DMA Cafe
1717 N Harwood St, Dallas, TX 75201
- Hunky's Hamburger
321 N Bishop Ave, Dallas, TX 75208
10 minutes from Dallas Museum of Art
- Pyramid Restaurant
1717 N Akard St, Dallas, TX 75201
Around the corner from Dallas Museum of Art
- Nasher Cafe by Wolfgang Puck
2001 Flora St, Dallas, TX 75201
- Klyde Warren Park
2012 Woodall Rodgers Fwy, Dallas, TX 75201
Dallas Has an Art Scene that's Placed it Firmly on the World Map
To the surprise of many, Dallas is an established art district and is deserving of the many accolades that it has won in the past. The large number of world-renowned museums, top-notch exhibition venues, and classy theaters you can find in downtown Dallas will definitely make your jaw drop. All you need to do is to know where to find them and I, for one, hope you will have the time of your life in the Big D.
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