Dallas/Downtown

Travel Guide North America USA Southern United States Texas Dallas Dallas/Downtown

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Introduction

Downtown Dallas is the Central Business District of the city of Dallas. Traditionally defined as the area within the belt of freeways surrounding the centre, it is now deemed to have expanded to an area known as Uptown, north of the Woodall Rodgers Freeway thanks to the new walkable Klyde Warren Park, while in the east the center spills across US-75 into the Deep Ellum neighborhood. Downtown includes most of Dallas' extant historic buildings, its modern skyscrapers, and the majority of its historic institutions. There are no official administrative subdivisions of Dallas, but a local organization, Downtown Dallas Inc., took it upon itself to redefine, develop and advocate the interests of Downtown.

Uptown is the young, affluent area bounded by I-35E to the west, US-75 to the east, Woodall Rodgers (and central Downtown) to the south, and Turtle Creek to the north.

Deep Ellum, named for its place on the far eastern ("Deep") end of Elm Street ("Ellum"), consists of a 5-to-10-block-long stretch along Elm, Main, and Commerce streets east of Central Expressway. It can be reached easily via Commerce or Main Streets, northern parts of Dallas via Central Expressway to Good-Latimer, or eastern parts of Dallas via I-30 to First Ave/Exposition Ave.

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Sights and Activities

Old Red Museum of Dallas County History and Culture, 100 South Houston St, ☏ +1 214 745-1100, fax: +1 469 227-8417. M-Sa 9AM-5PM, Su noon-5PM. Tells the story of the development of Dallas County from pre-historic times to the present day. This museum opened in Mayand the quality of the exhibits and explanations is unusually high. Very much worth a visit if you want to understand the historical context of Dallas. In the restored 1892 Courthouse Building, a few minutes' walk from the Sixth Floor museum. Adults $8.
Dallas Museum of Art, 1717 North Harwood St, ☏ +1 214 922-1200. Tu-Su, 11AM-5PM, Th 11AM-9PM, closed Mondays, New Year's Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day. Great works of art from eastern and western cultures, from all ages. Free to most exhibits.
Nasher Sculpture Center, 2001 Flora St, ☏ +1 214 242-5100. This collection of sculpture provides a fantastic outdoor oasis in the heart of the downtown arts district. The Renzo Piano designed facility pulls in the surrounding light and energy of the district but does not overwhelm. The indoor-outdoor collection of renowned Dallas collector Raymond Nasher is truly astounding. Ask about the combined admission ticket to see the Nasher and the Dallas Museum of Art, directly across Harwood St.
Dallas World Aquarium, 1801 N. Griffin St, ☏ +1 214 720-2224. More than just an aquarium, this unique zoo tour starts at the canopy level of a rain forest. Visitors wind their way down past many types of animals to find the aquarium at the bottom. $15.95 adults and $8.95 children.
Reunion Tower. One of the defining landmarks of the Dallas skyline, has been renovated. There is an observation deck and restaurant at the top of the distinctive ball-shaped tower.
Perot Museum of Nature and Science, 2201 N. Field St. M-Sa 10AM-5PM, Su noon-5PM. The Dallas Natural History Museum relocated to this spectacular building funded by Ross Perot, a former Presidential candidate and local billionaire.
The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza, 411 Elm Street Suite #120, ☏ +1 214 747-6660, toll-free: +1-888-485-4854, fax: +1 214 747-6662. Daily 9AM-6PM. An unfortunate part of Dallas' history is that it is the site of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. The Texas Book Depository is the site where shots were fired by Lee Harvey Oswald, and the museum is on the sixth floor of the same building, with an extra exhibition on the seventh. It is a moving experience with videos, full-wall descriptions and photographs, along with artifacts from the event. The museum's gift shop is in a different building. Adults $13.50.
Dallas Holocaust Museum, 211 North Record St. M-F 9:30AM-5PM, Sa Su 11AM-5PM. The core exhibit covers the Jewish Holocaust during World War II. $10 adults, $8 students/seniors.
Klyde Warren Park. 6AM-11PM. In many ways this park is redefining the city's character. The Klyde Warren Park is a privately-funded public space over the underground section of the Woodall Rodgers Freeway which forms the northern boundary of Downtown. With greenery and performance/event spaces, it is one of the rare places in Downtown which allow outdoor recreation and enhances walkability towards Uptown. It is named after a living person, the son of its primary benefactor, Dallas billionaire Kelcy Warren.
Dallas City Hall. Constructed in the early 1970s, the City Hall of Dallas is a unique architectural monument, shaped by its architect I.M. Pei as an inverted pyramid placed in the centre of a large open plot of land. While constructed of uncovered concrete, the building is not obnoxiously brutalist, as the colour of the concrete was carefully chosen to match the earth tones of the surrounding grounds. Unusual when constructed, it now provides a unique retrofuturistic vibe, which lent it to star, e.g. in Robocop as a dystopian corporate headquarters.
Art Prostitute, 2919-C Commerce St, ☏ +1 214-760-7170. Very popular art gallery relocated from its original location in Denton.

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Events and Festivals

Holidays

  • New Year’s Eve - The US celebrates the outgoing of the old year and incoming of the New Year quite dramatically. Every state boasts its own parties to ring in the New Year, but none is more extravagant than New York’s Time Square, which sees people overflowing into the neighboring restaurants, bars, parks, beaches, and neighborhoods.
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Day (officially Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. and sometimes referred to as MLK Day) is an American federal holiday marking the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr. It is observed on the third Monday of January each year, which is around King's birthday, January 15. The holiday is similar to holidays set under the Uniform Monday Holiday Act. The earliest Monday for this holiday is January 15 and the latest is January 21. King was the chief spokesperson for nonviolent activism in the Civil Rights Movement, which successfully protested racial discrimination in federal and state law.
  • St Patrick’s Day - March 17 celebrates the US’s large Irish population. Many cities around the country boast boisterous parades and Irish-themed parties, especially New York and Chicago, where the river is dyed green. Be wary of the drunkenness that dominates as this is definitely a party-day.
  • Memorial Day - Memorial Day is an important holiday throughout the United States, but not for crazy festivities. Parades commemorating wartime heroes are often held and the day is also the ‘unofficial’ start of summer. Most visitors follow the crowds to parks and beaches, which are capped off with informal BBQs.
  • Independence Day - Also known as the Fourth of July, Independence Day celebrates the US’s break from the British during the 18th century. Barbecues, street parties, beach trips, and weekend getaways are commonplace to appreciate freedom.
  • Labor Day is a public holiday celebrated on the first Monday in September. It honors the American labor movement and the contributions that workers have made to the strength, prosperity, laws, and well-being of the country. It is the Monday of the long weekend known as Labor Day Weekend. It is recognized as a federal holiday. Beginning in the late 19th century, as the trade union and labor movements grew, trade unionists proposed that a day be set aside to celebrate labor.
  • Halloween - Halloween is a fun holiday on October 31 for all generations to dress up in costumes and relive their youth. Children walk around the neighborhood trick-or-treating for candy, while adults attend parties. Other seasonal events include haunted houses, pumpkin farms and carving, and corn mazes.
  • Thanksgiving - On the fourth Thursday in November, Thanksgiving is held in almost every home in the US. Tourists will have a hard time finding anything to do as the country essentially shuts down in observation. A typical Thanksgiving meal consists of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie commemorating the original Pilgrim’s feast at Plymouth Rock.
  • Christmas - On December 25, Christians celebrate Christmas as the pinnacle of their calendar by attending church and opening gifts from Santa Claus. Almost everything shuts down to promote family togetherness. The northern regions hope to experience a “white Christmas,” with trees and festive lights blanketed by snow.

Sport

  • Super Bowl Sunday - the world’s most watched sporting event and one of the highest grossing TV days of the year, Superbowl Sunday is a spectacular extravaganza. Held the first Sunday in February, the Superbowl is the final playoff game between the NFL’s top two teams. The venue rotates every year around America, yet the local parties seem to remain. Pubs, bars and restaurants are great places to enjoy the Superbowl or locals throw their own parties with different variations of betting.
  • The World Series is the annual championship series of Major League Baseball (MLB) in North America, contested since 1903 between the American League (AL) champion team and the National League (NL) champion team. The winner of the World Series championship is determined through a best-of-seven playoff, and the winning team is awarded the Commissioner's Trophy. As the series is played during the fall season in North America, it is sometimes referred to as the Fall Classic.

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Getting There and Around

By Train

DART serves Downtown Dallas with several light-rail and commuters lines running through downtown with lines running in all directions. The furthest commuter lines run to Denton and Fort Worth (with a stop just south of Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. Other lines go to Plano, Richardson, Garland, and south Dallas.
To get to Deep Ellum on DART, take the Green Line to Deep Ellum or Baylor Stations.
Street parking in Deep Ellum is free during weekday business hours, but the meters are active on nights and weekends, and there are several pay lots in the area.
The free-to-ride M-Line Trolley (streetcar) runs from the northern part of Downtown straight through the middle of Uptown, where it connects to DART's Uptown Station (Blue and Red Lines.)
Amtrak has a station on the west side of downtown and shares a station with DART's commuter rail lines and 2 of the light-rail lines.

By Car

Several expressways meet in downtown Dallas, forming a loop around the neighborhood. I-35E (going south to north) and I-30 (going east to west cross I-45 (from Houston), US-75 (to Sherman and Tulsa), and Woodall Rodgers (connecting I-35E to US-75.)

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Eat

There are tons of restaurants, or a couple dozen anyway, including TGI Friday's, Dick's Last Resort, The Palm, Hooters, and the original Spaghetti Warehouse. There are several popular local establishments as well. This area does not make the list of must-see places in Dallas but is a convenient place for dinner or a drink if you are already in the area.

Central Downtown/West End

The area around West End (North Market Street) and further east along Main Street are the best places to start looking. On Sundays check out the food vans parked long the road by Klyde Warren Park.

RJ Mexican Cuisine, 1701 N. Market St Suite 102, ☏ +1 214 744-1420. Kind of classy Mexican food in the West End. Try the quail.
Spaghetti Warehouse, 1815 N. Market St, ☏ +1 214 651-8475. The original Spaghetti Warehouse and flagship location of the chain. It was the first restaurant in the area, opening in 1972, and started what the West End is today.
Dallas Chop House, 1717 Main St. Excellent aged steaks.
Y.O. Steakhouse, 702 Ross Ave.
Hofbrau Steaks, 311 North Market St.

Uptown/McKinney

It must be said that a bona fide "foodie" would be remiss to skip the fabulous restaurants that line McKinney Avenue and environs -- if there's one arena in which Dallas merits its own pretentions to "world-class" status, it's in its varied, creative restaurants, where quasi-celebrity chefs hold forth with true flair. Just to the north of McKinney is the Knox-Henderson area. It is similar but more laid-back. The west side of highway is Knox Street. This is just on the edge of Highland Park, and it features a plethora of home-decorating boutiques as well as eateries and watering holes. Cross the freeway and Knox becomes Henderson -- bastion of hip but laid-back eateries, check out Hibiscus, Cuba Libre, and Fireside Pies.

Bread Winner's. Amazing Cinnamon Bread, to die for. Great customer service.
Gloria's, 3223 Lemmon Ave.. Probably the best and most well known El Salvadoran/Tex-Mex in Dallas with locations in UpTown, Addison, & Bishop Arts District. Great food & Margaritas. Definitely try a Meltdown. Very cheap.
Mi Cocina, 3699 McKinney Ave. Excellent Tex-Mex. Without question the best frozen margarita. The flagship restaurant is Highland Park Village. Mi Cocina has other locations throughout Dallas, including Preston at Forest and in West Village.
Nick & Sam's Steak and Fish House, 2305 Cedar Springs Rd, Suite 405, ☏ +1 214 871-7444. A great steakhouse with very good service, be sure not to miss the bone-in filet. Dark, romantic atmosphere. Dress code enforced. It also has a great bar scene for anyone over thirty that wants something a little more sophisticated.
Nobu, 400 Crescent Ct, ☏ +1 214 252-7000. Excellent sushi.
Old Warsaw, 2610 Maple Ave, ☏ +1 214 528-0037. 5-star French dining with a distinctly old-fashioned feel. A Dallas institution since 1948. edit
State & Allen, 2400 Allen St., ☏ +1 214 239-1990. A place for a quick cocktail, or impeccably prepared food accompanied by a selection from an impressive wine list.

Deep Ellum

Cane Rosso, 2612 Commerce St (just east of the 75, almost downtown), ☏ +1 214 741-1188. Excellent pizzas for main course and desert.
Café Brazil, 2815 Elm St. The Deep Ellum location of the Dallas favorite.
Pepe and Mito's, 2935 Elm St, ☏ +1 214 741-1901. This restaurant truly has some of the best Tex-Mex in Dallas. Try the tacos norteños, the fried taquitos, or the shrimp enchiladas verdes. You can't go wrong; there's not a bad choice on the menu. Everything is homemade, even the chips & sauce.

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Drink

Dick's Last Resort, 2211 North Lamar St., ☏ +1 214 747-0001. The Dallas outlet of the USA-wide restaurant chain known for obnoxious staff and sloppy service, the entertainment value of which is an intentional feature the brand was built around.
Draft Media Sports Bar and Lounge, 400 N Olive St, (at the Sheraton), ☏ +1 214 777-6524.
Gator's, 1714 North Market St, ☏ +1 214 748-0243.
Hard Rock Cafe, 2211 North Houston St.
The Nodding Donkey, 2900 Thomas Ave, ☏ +1 214 922-8898. A casual place to drink beer and eat some good southern style food with your friends. edit
The Ginger Man (McKinney Avenue Area), 2718 Boll St, ☏ +1 214 754-8771. American Pub with more than 75 beers on tap and another 100 selections by the bottle. Wines, Ales, and Ciders also available. Two story house with beer garden and upstairs lounge/library.
Concrete Cowboy (McKinney Avenue Area), 2512 Cedar Springs Rd. Dallas's newest party bar. Unbelievably crowded on the weekends and extremely popular. Typical 20s-30s crowd.
Urban Oasis at Hotel ZaZa, 2332 Leonard St, ☏ +1 214-550-9500. In Uptown Dallas, Urban Oasis is a trendy bar and lounge that attracts an eclectic mix of Hollywood celebrities and world travelers. Open year round, the lounge offers a chic, poolside retreat.
Club Dada, 2720 Elm St. Shows W-Su. One of the oldest live music venues in Deep Ellum. They have a nice patio in back.
Curtain Club, 2800 Main St. Live music venue which hosts local and national acts.
Lizard Lounge, 2424 Swiss. Pass under the bridge on Good Latimer to find this spacious 2-story dance club. On Sunday nights they have popular gothic/industrial events known as The Church.
Sons of Hermann Hall, 3414 Elm. On the far east edge of Deep Ellum. This venue hosts live music of all types from local and national acts.

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Sleep

Sheraton Dallas Hotel, 400 North Olive St (Financial district), toll-free: +1-866-716-8134. Spacious rooms, quality furnishing. Reasonably sound proofed and quiet air conditioning (for USA). Connected to Convention Center.
SpringHill Suites Dallas Downtown/West End, 1907 North Lamar St, ☏ +1 214 999-0500.
La Quinta Inn & Suites Dallas Downtown (formerly Lawrence Hotel), 302 South Houston St, toll-free: +1-877-396-0334. An historic boutique hotel in the West End, which has been renovated. Across from the George Allen Courthouse and the closest hotel to Dealey Plaza and the Kennedy Sixth Floor Museum.
Dallas Marriott City Center, 650 North Pearl St, ☏ +1 214-979-9000.
Hotel Crescent Court, 400 Crescent Ct, ☏ +1 214 871-3272. Offers European-style rooms, a day spa, business center, meeting space and wedding facilities, and a private club.
Magnolia Hotel, 1401 Commerce St, ☏ +1 214 915-6500, toll-free: +1-888-915-1110, fax: +1 214 253-0053. Re-opened in 1999 and is in the oldest high-rise building in downtown Dallas. Adorning the top of the building is a red lighted Pegasus, which is a permanent fixture in the Dallas skyline. The hotel offers great features, location and amenities, such as: complimentary beer, wine, soft drinks, breakfast and cookies and milk at bedtime.
Le Méridien Dallas, The Stoneleigh, 2927 Maple Ave, ☏ +1 214 871-7111, ✉ veronica.quevedo@lemeridiendallasstoneleigh.com. This renovated luxury boutique hotel is an historic property that is a staple of the neighborhood. This unique property features a skyline penthouse, Bolla Modern Italian restaurant, a full-service spa and top-of-the-line accommodations.
The W Hotel, 2440 Victory Park Ln, ☏ +1 214 397-4100, fax: +1 214 397-4105. Very nice and has a modern feel. Check out Ghost Bar if you stay there. edit
Hotel ZaZa Dallas, 2332 Leonard St (Uptown), ☏ +1 214 468-8399, toll-free: +1-800-597-8399. This boutique hotel features a variety of concept suites, meeting and wedding facilities, luxury day spa, and dining and nightlife spaces.

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Keep Connected

Internet

There is a very small internet bar/cafe culture in the USA. Even then most of the internet bars/cafes tend be located in major urban centers. Accessible WiFi networks, however, are common. The most generally useful WiFi spots are in coffee shops, fast-food chains, and bookshops, but also restaurants and hotels more and more have a network to connect on. Some of them might require you to buy something and you might need a password too, especially in hotels.

Phone

See also International Telephone Calls

The general emergency phone number is 911. The USA has a great landline phone system that is easy to use. The country code for the U.S. is +1. The rest of the telephone number consists of 10 digits: a 3-digit area code, and a 7-digit number. Any small grocery store or pharmacy has pre paid domestic or international phone cards. These phone cards are very cheap and offer good rates. The once ubiquitous pay phone is now much harder to find. Likely locations include in or near stores and restaurants, and near bus stops. The cellphone network in the states is slowly getting better but is still not as good when compared to other western countries. Cell phones tend to operate using different frequencies (850 MHz and 1900 MHz) from those used elsewhere in the world (2100 MHz). This used to prevent most foreign phones from working in America. Phones must be tri- or quad-band to work in the U.S. Fortunately, technology has meant that most phones should now be able to pick up one of the U.S. networks. Prepaid phones and top-up cards can be purchased at mobile phone boutiques and at many discount, electronics, office supply and convenience stores. A very basic handset with some credit can be had for under $40.

Post

The US Postal Service is a very good and well priced mail system. There are post offices in every small and large town for sending packages internationally or domestically. Although some might keep longer hours, most are open at least between 9:00am and 5:00pm. If wanting to send a letter or postcard it is best just to leave it in a blue mail box with the proper postage. First-class international airmail postcards and letters (up 28.5 grams) cost $1.10. There are also private postal services like FedEx, UPS, TNT and DHL, which might be better value sometimes and are generally very quick and reliable too.

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This is version 4. Last edited at 11:42 on Sep 30, 19 by Utrecht. 1 article links to this page.

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