Travel Guide | Dallas

Top 5 Things to do in a Weekend in Dallas!

Dallas may be the shiny metropolitan mecca of Texas, but it holds a treasure trove of uniquely Texan gems that really belong in a state that thinks it’s a country.

As a native Californian, I moved to Dallas for college not quite realizing the unique place it was. As soon as I started my freshman life there, I realized we weren’t in Kansas anymore… or California. Naturally, moving from the West Coast to, er, The South (although most in Texas claim to be their own region), I had miniature culture shock, which really was more of me marveling/making fun of the novelties that are part of normal life in Dallas. The word “y’all” baffled me, men wear cowboy boots casually, and sometimes even hats. Police romp around on horseback. Most of the state is true countryside. Although, granted, all of this is in contrast to a wealthy, metropolitan, fancy city scene of Dallas. The combination of city slickers and country culture makes Dallas a really unique, and ridiculously fun place. If you ever find yourself in Dallas for a weekend, here are 5 things you must do!

1. Country. Dancing.

A lot of people all over the US go line dancing, swing dancing and many other sorts of old-time grooving. But in Texas, there is a special dance called the Texas two-step, which is done in a cowboy bar! In what world to college kids go two-steppin’ every Thursday night?! Strap on your boots, wear a cute sundress, grab a cowboy and dance yer heart out y’all! But really, as semi-frightening and difficult the two-step was for an uncoordinated Californian, I am rather addicted to going dancing. I am still horrible, but the novelty and atmosphere of a cowboy ball never gets old!

2. The JFK Museum

Museums aren’t the spiciest thing to put on a list of fun weekend activities, but this is one of the most fascinating places in Dallas. Built into the building where Lee Harvey Oswald shot JFK from (maybe… dun dun dun), this museum is an an amazing tribute to the life and presidency of JFK, but it also gives an overview of how and possibly why JFK was shot, and it is absolutely fascinating! It doesn’t generate new Kennedy conspiracy believers, but it gives a really solid and fascinating feel of the culture of the time and the crazy political and cultural movements that influenced the shooting and the conspiracies that followed. And there is also something fascinating to be said about being in a place where everything changed and events occurred that altered history.

3. The State Fair

This is only applicable if you visit Dallas in the Fall, but the Texas State Fair is by far the most TEXAS thing I have ever done, and probably will ever do. You will eat endless fried… things (fried sweet tea, fried cookies and cream, fried chicken in a waffle cone, fried butter, fried… anything). You will see the actual countryside of Texas come out for the fair for livestock and farming competitions. You will ride really sketchy and bizarre fair rides. And you will see an ostrich race. The Texas State Fair is just special because it feels like how state fairs should just feel like.

4. Uptown!

What’s a Dallas weekend without Dallas nightlife? If you’re looking for the best possible night out on town in Dallas, head to Uptown. Any Dallasite will know exactly what you’re talking about. This is where you can find the uppity yo-pros of Dallas mingling and having fun. There are all sorts of pubs, themed bars, Texas-y joints complete with a mechanic bull and completely cosmo places with live 80’s cover bands. You get a little bit of everything in Uptown, but most of all the spirit of Dallas. And don’t be afraid to go to any restaurant in the area. Dallas is known for it’s lavish amount of delicious food.

5. Be a Texas Hipster

There are way too many artsy hip Dallas areas to hit up in one weekend, so you’ll have to return. For some reason, Dallas clenches on to its southern, Texan personality while also being a hipster haven. Grab brunch and spend hours hunting around cool book stores in the Bishop Arts District. Head over to Oak Cliff or Deep Ellum at night to stumble into a cool speakeasy or indie concert. Just make sure you replace your cowboy boots with combat boots and ripped tights.

Jenna Peck

Southern Methodist University | 17 stories

Jenna Peck is a senior majoring in History and English at Southern Methodist University from Long Beach, California. She has studied abroad in Italy, England and has recently returned from a voyage around the world on Semester-at-Sea. She loves to travel and really finds it difficult to stay in one place for a long period of time, but when she does she loves to read, explore the world of the internet, blog and find exciting things to do right at home in Dallas, Texas!

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