It’s hard to believe that Andrew and I have been living in Houston for almost two years now. It feels like yesterday we were making the move half way across the country and settling into a new city. While we are looking forward to moving again and escaping the weather, we are still trying to make the best out of our time here! With that being said, we have a Texas “bucket list” and Dallas was next on our list!
After work on Friday, we headed to Dallas to spend the weekend. Although going to the State Fair was top on our to-do list, it definitely wasn’t our favorite thing about Dallas! We actually decided to take hop-on and hop-off tour around the city and we really fell in love with Dallas. We got to Dallas pretty late on Friday so we decided to start adventuring first thing Saturday morning. We only had two days to make the best out of our weekend!
Oak Lawn Coffee
For those of you who read my blog regularly, you know that I’m a huge coffee lover. So it’s no surprise that I was determined to find a great coffee shop in Dallas. The coffee shop itself was absolutely adorable and I really love the little mural they had out front! Regardless of the looks of the shop, the coffee was solid! It’s totally average price too so I have nothing to complain about! There was plenty of specialty drinks and a few sweet treats too! I tried the frozen pumpkin spice latte with almond milk and it was the bomb!
Dallas Arboretum & Botanical Gardens
Everyone who lives in Texas, pretty much knows that Dallas Arboretum & Botanical Gardens is a must-do in the fall. The gardens are so festive with pumpkins, mums, and gourds! They even have a Wizard of Oz themed pumpkin area for kids and adult kids (like me) to enjoy! Since Andrew and I lived in North Carolina are entire lives, it’s hard to enjoy fall in Texas. The leaves don’t change colors, there is no crisp cold wind, and it’s too hot for scarves or coats.
But while we were strolling through the gardens, I truly got that feeling of fall that I had been searching for all season. The Dallas Arboretum & Botanical Gardens has a restaurant, gift shop, and restrooms. It is wheel chair and stroller friendly. There is ample parking, but because it is so busy, you might find be looking for a space for a while.
I suggest you get the city pass if you want to see more than one attraction in Dallas. Do keep in mind that the city pass does not cover parking at any of the sites.
But the cost of the gardens itself was pretty pricey although truly worth it, I think we would have saved money if we got the city pass!
Glazed Donut Works
All of the walking at the gardens got us hungry so we stopped by Glazed Donut Works to stuff our faces. I love the pink donut shop located in Deep Ellum!
The donut flavors are so creative and topped with just about everything you can think of it! We grabbed a pink box full of donuts and headed out font to enjoy them. The weather was actually really nice out and the donuts were just so good.
Dallas Trolley Tour Hop-on & Hop-off
One of the things we have learned as “wannabe travelers” is that city tours save you so much time and hassle. We don’t have to stress out about parking or driving in a unfamiliar city and we really just to hear about the history of the city.
Since we were in Deep Ellum enjoying our donuts, we decided to hop-on the Dallas Trolley Tour. The tour stops at all the popular sights and local favorites that Dallas has to offer during our fully narrated 80-minute tour aboard an authentic, climate-controlled trolley with brass rails, bells and all! Hands down worth every penny!
The Sixth Floor Museum
You know those boring documentaries you watched in your high school history class? Yeah, Andrew likes to watch those for FUN! Crazy, I know but the man loves his history. While we were driving to Dallas, he mentioned that he would love to see the Sixth Floor Museum if we had time. It was the first stop on the Trolley Tour so we bought our tickets and stop in line for a couple of hours! It was by far the busiest museum that I have ever seen in my life. The museum is located on the sixth floor of the Dallas County Administration Building (formerly the Texas School Book Depository) from which Oswald fired those infamous shots, this historic exhibition chronicles the life, times, assassination and legacy of President John F. Kennedy. I loved the fact that the audio tour was free because it was an absolutely must! The museum takes you back to that era in time and immerses you in the happenings - taking you from President Kennedy's run for office through to his death. And then show you the exact spot where Lee Harvey Oswald stood and aimed his gun.
Andrew LOVED the museum and I must say that I did too… We both enjoy learning the history of a city when we visit, but this has to be one of the most memorable museum's for us. As for the Sixth Floor Museum, it is a great historical experience. Just being able to be in the exact room that has such historical significance is amazing; it is sad and eerie, but amazing.
John F. Kennedy Memorial Plaza
Andrew really enjoyed this monument but I must say that I really didn’t understand the concept. It’s a simple monument to the assassinated president that was built on a plaza adjacent to the Texas School Book Depository building.
The memorial is behind the Old Red Museum. Jackie Kennedy picked on the artist of the monument herself and was very hands on throughout the process of building the monument.
Old Red Museum
Since we spent almost our entire day at The Sixth Floor Museum, we were in a time crunch. We stopped at the Old Red Museum to grab some snacks to hold us over till dinner and I really fell in love with the building. The museum covers the history of Dallas! We would have loved to enjoy the museum and the history of Dallas but we just didn’t have the time! Regardless, we took pictures of it and just enjoyed the beautiful building .
Dealey Plaza National Historic Landmark District
This is another one of Andrew’s favorite spots in Dallas! The site includes the former Texas School Book Depository and Dealey Plaza, two of the sights forever associated with the assassination of John F. Kennedy.
I can’t really remember what I learned in school about him but this museum and historic landmark surrounded me in the Kennedy era and brought me to the moments of the shooting. There are green x’s marked on the road where the car was when the shots him Kenned. I felt empowered to see such a huge part of history right in front of me.
Dallas Cattle Drive Sculptures
As we hopped back on the Trolley Tour, we passed by the Dallas Cattle Drive Sculptures. As much as I complain about the heat in Texas, I really do have a piece of Texas in my heart! The bronze statues of cowboys on horseback heading cattle is absolutely impressive. We tried to count the cattle but lost count. My guess there had to be about 40-50! Everything is bigger in Texas right?
If we had more time and energy, we should have made a visit to the Reunion Tower! You can see the tower from almost anywhere while downtown. Locals say that the Reunion Tower experience isn't just about seeing what's below from hundreds of feet in the air, it's also about what's below the surface. Get a glimpse into the history, events and people that made Dallas what it is and what it will be. Ultimately, it’s a great view over and against the city skyline of Dallas!
Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge
Did I mention how much we enjoyed our Trolley Tour?! We drove across the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge and the tour guide gave us the history behind the beautiful bridge connecting two parts of the city. Before long Dallas will start to be known for their architectural bridges. If you appreciate design and build you will love this bridge. Originally it seemed everyone was against the bridge due to the price tag but it has now become an iconic part of Dallas. The Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge is a beautiful addition to the Dallas skyline.
Twisted Root Burger Co.
The Trolley Tour took us back to our car in Deep Ellum so we decided to try the Twisted Root Burger Co. This is a gourmet burger joint serving burgers made from angus beef to kangaroo in just about every combination possible. After you place your order, you're given a card with a name and that is how your order is called. Andrew and I both got the Western burger. The burger featured angus beef topped with bacon, pepper jack cheese, onion straws, and jalapeños. It was hands down one of the best burgers that I've eaten and it was definitely spicy! This is a really cool joint in a diverse area and is definitely worth checking out!
The State Fair of Texas
After eating those great burgers, we headed to the State Fair of Texas! Whether you enjoy fried food, shopping, music, or any of the other many activities around the park, everybody can have a great time at the State Fair. Andrew and I were so overwhelmed with just the size of the state fair. I mean… everything is bigger in Texas but the State Fair of Texas is HUGE! It’s so easy to get lost in all of the fun. I wanted to share with you our 8 favorite things about the State Fair of Texas. Click HERE to read our experience at the State Fair of Texas!
We woke up starving on Sunday so we headed to Oddfellows for brunch. The weather couldn’t have been more perfect so we grabbed seats outside at the bar. The coffee was delicious and the atmosphere itself was just really cool. Andrew ordered the chicken and waffles but I chose a more traditional meal. Both of our meals were great and the wait staff was really nice! It was the perfect Sunday brunch in Dallas!
Dallas Farmers Market
We couldn’t leave Dallas without stopping the Dallas Farmers Market. For six decades, the Dallas Farmers Market has been a fixture in downtown Dallas. Recently, the Dallas Farmers Market was renovated to serve farmers/ranchers/producers as a prime market to direct sale to the public. This is an ideal farmers market to meet the producer of your food! Dallas Farmers Market has a 26,000 sq ft artisanal food hall with restaurants and shops that is open daily. Here you will find all your local farmers and venders selling their fresh goods. From vegetables to locally raised meats and fruits to freshly made salsas, there are quite a variety of produce and products to discover here. Take your time to browse each stall because you won't want to miss any of the hidden treasures! The Market is open daily and houses a variety of restaurants and shops!
Have you ever been to Dallas? What’s your favorite thing to do?