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Things to do in Dallas

Make like a Texan and go to the rodeo

The Stockyards Championship Rodeo (+1 817 625 1025; http://stockyardsrodeo.com) goes down every Friday and Saturday night in Cowtown Coliseum, a rodeo venue built in 1908. It still feels like a voyage to yesteryear, and if you're looking for to really shoehorn some authentic Texas entertainment into your trip, this is the way.

Set sail on White Rock Lake

White Rock Lake is the place for sailing in Dallas and is 9.7km (6 miles) east of the downtown area. If you're a beginner speak to the aquatic geniuses at White Rock Boat Club (http://whiterockboatclub.com) and they'll set you up on a course. Just don't turn up in a captain's hat.

Study the hands of the rich and famous

Adrian Flatt is a Dallas-based surgeon who has dedicated his life to fixing people's hands. He started making bronze casts of patients, but then did the same with the rich, famous and notorious. At the Baylor University Medical Centre (http://www.baylorhealth.com) you'll find Neil Armstrong, Walt Disney and Andre The Giant's, among others.

Tee off on the world’s first American Football-inspired golf course

Duffers will enjoy what is thought to be world's first golf course inspired by a NFL team. Cowboys Golf Course (tel: +1 817 481 7277; www.cowboysgolfclub.com) covers 159 acres and 18 holes, and is notable for stone markers that proclaim various Dallas Cowboy achievements.

These feet were made for walking…

Dallas Arboretum (tel: +01 214 515 6615; www.dallasarboretum.org) offers a wonderful place for walking. The public botanical garden covers nearly 70 acres on the shores of White Rock Lake, with more gorgeous floral displays than anywhere else in town.

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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.

W Dallas - Victory Hotel

If JR branched out into hotels, the W Dallas Victory would be it. Overlooking the sports venue of Victory Plaza, the hotel offers 252 oversized rooms and suites in categories named Wonderful, Cool Corner, Spectacular, Fabulous, Mega, Fantastic, Marvelous, Wow and Extreme Wow. There's also a great spa and onsite restaurant.

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.