Best brunch. Hattie’s Dallas, in the hip Bishop Arts District, mixes classic American dishes with low-country Southern fare to create such culinary delights as cornmeal griddlecakes. Order the bloody mary, which comes topped with a cayenne- and sugar-shellacked bacon strip.
Art deco immersion. You could spend an entire day in Fair Park, with eight museums, a coliseum, a music hall, an IMAX Theater, a planetarium and the Dallas Aquarium. Or go to simply admire the architecture: Fair Park, built in 1936 for the World’s Fair and the Texas Centennial Exposition, is the world’s largest collection of art deco buildings, art and sculptures.
Historic district. Stroll the red brick sidewalks of the West End, Dallas’ historic district, to take in the brilliantly renovated buildings, like the Old Red Courthouse, built in 1892, now the Old Red Museum. Be sure to browse Wild Bill’s Western Store.
Presidential tribute. In the West End, visit the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza, formerly the Texas School Book Depository, the location of the sniper who assassinated President John F. Kennedy in 1963. Follow it up with a stop at the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum on the campus of Southern Methodist University, and have your presidential photo taken in the full-sized Oval Office.
Foodie paradise. Trinity Groves is Dallas’ restaurant incubator, featuring the city’s up-and-coming chefs and restaurateurs. Choose from more than a dozen eateries ranging from barbecue to vegan, and don’t skip dessert: Kate Weiser Chocolate has an open kitchen to watch the action, and Cake Bar’s huge selection of made-from-scratch cakes and confections is dizzying.
Get the shot. Trinity Groves boasts one of the best cityscape photo opportunities. Position yourself to capture the stunning Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge, with its 40-story center-support arch, set against the downtown skyline.
Nature fix. Visit White Rock Lake, a particularly scenic reservoir only 5 miles from downtown, to get a sampling of Dallas’ 406 parks and 17 lakes. Rent a kayak, play a round of disc golf or get out on the 9-mile hiking and biking trail.
Happy hour. One of Dallas’ most beloved contributions to American cuisine is the frozen margarita. Try chef Dean Fearing’s version every evening at 6 inside The Ritz-Carlton lobby, where it’s served alongside fresh-made guacamole and chips presented by the hotel’s resident Guacamologist.
Dinner and music. The Rustic dishes up home-style, farm-to-table cuisine alongside craft beers and spirits in a relaxed, casual atmosphere. The backyard patio is legendary, with picnic tables, towering oak trees, fire pits and some of the city’s best live music.