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Dallas Travel Guide

About Dallas

Dallas. It's the city that gave the world Dynasty, Owen Wilson, LeAnn Rimes, the Super Bowl and the corndog – but all the same, there's more to Texas' most famous city than meets the eye. It might be synonymous with all things brash and bling but Big D, as the locals know it, has an unexpected erudite streak. It's the place where the microchip was invented, the home of left-field R&B star Erykah Badu and is the birthplace of chili. No surprise then, that it has a pulsating art scene to rival that of Los Angeles, complete with enormous glow-in-the-dark frogs, and a surprisingly quirky selection of boutique bars.

Of course that's not all. The city is dripping with petrodollars just as Dynasty portrayed it – and so, the shopping is high-end and will leave a sizeable dent in your wallet. Sport is still king, with the Dallas Cowboys NFL team drawing huge crowds each weekend, as do the Texas Rangers during the MLB baseball season.

Nonetheless, you don't have to be a sports fan – or have a penchant for supersized servings of BBQ ribs – to love the US' ninth largest city. Spanning 28 hectares (68 acres) and 19 blocks, encompassed within the city limits is the Nasher Sculpture Center, complete with Miró and Matisse creations, the Winspear Opera House and the Texas-sized Museum of Art. Affluent Highland Park is the place to go for a Sue Ellen-style shopping trip, and along with big name brands such as Ralph Lauren, there are also boutiques showcasing the work of local designers such as Johnny Was and Sydney Evan to name but a few. Don't miss Wild Bill's Western Store – its custom made cowboy boots are not to be missed.

Music fans should head to Deep Ellum, a gentrified former commercial area to the east of Downtown which is now the best place in Dallas to hear jazz and blues. Further afield is Fort Worth, Dallas' sister city – and the place to go for all things Western. There's even a bar, Billy Bob's, with a rodeo set up inside.

Key facts

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Featured Hotels


The Joule

Set in a lovely 1920s art deco skyscraper, The Joule is Dallas at its most patrician and boasts a lobby crammed with art – all themed around local moneyspinners, oil and gas. Rooms are slickly decorated and come with enormous ensuite bathrooms, and there's an enormous, well-appointed gym.

Hotel ZaZa

As you'd expect from a hotel named for movie icon Zsa-Zsa Gabor, Hotel ZaZa specializes in luxury details – think Frette bed linen, rainforest showers and enormous swagged curtains in every suite. The building itself is an old-fashioned colonial-style affair and comes complete with a chic bar and an expensive restaurant.

Hotel Lumen

Unusually minimalist by Dallas standards, Hotel Lumen is an oasis of soothing colors and ergonomic furniture. The hotel also has a heated outdoor pool, a hosted wine reception every evening and an on-site fitness centre. Off the lobby, the Front Room is a casual-chic restaurant serving three meals daily.

The Highland Dallas

Ultra-modern and possessed of a lobby decked out with gold seating and blinging chandeliers, The Highland does Dynasty chic reworked for the 21st Century. Rooms are large and the beds supremely comfortable, while bathrooms come stocked with Diptyque toiletries.

Hyatt House Uptown

On the northern edge of downtown, the Hyatt House Uptown sits amidst a bustling business district very close to Cedar Springs and Maple, an area dense in art galleries and antiques stores, as well as dozens of good restaurants. Rooms are a businesslike affair but there is a complimentary breakfast.

Hilton Garden Inn Downtown Dallas

Just around the corner from City Hall, the Hilton Garden Inn Downtown couldn't be more central. A stone's throw from city center attractions, rooms are comfortable and clean, if fairly uninspiring. No matter – there's a pool onsite, guest parking and you get a free buffet breakfast in the morning.