I did not have high expectations of Dallas but I was immediately won over and blown away by the city's abundance of beauty and the many alluring neighborhoods that it is comprised of. Seriously, I knew this was a special place as soon as we drove towards its skyline. Dallas was an unexpected stop on our itinerary. We were originally heading to New Orleans but found out at 10:00 pm the night before that they were under a hurricane watch. Dallas was our Plan B and I am thrilled that fate connected us! Dallas has one of the most impeccably clean downtowns we have ever visited and the cheerful folks here live up to the state's "friendship state" motto. People care about their community and wear masks, keep social distance guidelines and everywhere we went there was a plenitude of hand sanitizer. Dallas was love at first sight and continued to impress us as we dove deeper into the city.
This neighborhood reminds me of Tribeca in NYC with its vast streets dotted with converted warehouses and trendy corner restaurants. There are historic points throughout this area as well, including the site John F. Kennedy was assassinated and where Oswald found his place to shoot from the sixth floor of the Dallas County Administration Building.
Dallas has developed the nation's largest art district encompassing sixty-eight acres of city streets. From a symphony center and an opera house to a museum of art and a sculpture center, art lovers will get lost in the district's twenty square blocks that are all sparkling clean, well maintained and pedestrian friendly.
There is a lot of construction going on in Dallas. It is obvious that the city is preparing for a growth in population and that there is a demand for new, luxury buildings throughout the downtown area. What I particularly loved is the juxtaposition of old architecture preserved alongside new developments, a building plan that definitely adds to the allure and charm of the city.
Four Seasons, Las Colinas
After exploring the several downtown areas in big cities that we have visited, we decided to choose a hotel outside of the main hub of Dallas since downtowns have proven to be barren or ridden by the homeless populations. The Four Seasons is a twenty minute drive from downtown Dallas and is a stunning resort property with a golf course and all the amenities you could dream of. One of the biggest perks of traveling off season and during the pandemic are the lower than usual rates and very low capacities at many luxury properties. In addition to a great rate, the hotel also upgraded our rooms to their villa suites which are spacious, more secluded, and have large balconies overlooking the golf course. Suite! Oops, I mean sweet! As expected, The Four Seasons offers top notch facilities and service with no detail overlooked. This is a gorgeous property that I highly recommend when visiting the Dallas area.
Toyota Music Factory in Irving
This is a huge entertainment and eating complex in Irving, just a five minute drive from the hotel. We were exhausted after our long drive from Memphis and we opted for a nearby establishment that offered a plethora of restaurant options. We chose Yard House for its' great reviews and outdoor seating availability. When we arrived, I was skeptical since it seemed like a typical sports bar but boy was I wrong. The nachos were one of the best we ever noshed on, my son's vegetarian burger was incredible, my hubby loved his pineapple chicken and my oldest son gobbled up his steak tacos. This is not your typical sports bar menu. Yard House is a perfect spot to watch a game while enjoying great food.
Ellen's Downtown location served us the most incredible breakfast on the cutest patio nestled in the Historic Downtown District. We loved every bite from start to finish.
Just outside the West Village lies a beautiful neighborhood called Highland Park. The roads leading to it are windy, lined with trees and even have some hills making it a unique neighborhood in comparison the mostly flat terrain around Dallas. If we were to move to Dallas, this would be my choice of neighborhood because it is well kept, in close proximity to a couple of charming neighborhoods and also seems to be pretty open-minded politically allowing residents to feel free to post pro- Trump and pro-Biden signs outside their doors without worry of conflict. One thing I am learning about NYC is how narrow minded the city is when it comes to politics; many people are shut down if they do not share the overall liberal point of view expected of them. While NYC strongly encourages diversity of cultures and nationalities, I am quickly learning that it shuns on diversity of political thinking.
This uptown neighborhood spans several blocks of high end retail shops, boutique stores and a bunch of restaurants with outdoor seating. There is a young family vibe here with many parents pushing strollers through the sidewalks. A major perk of living here is not needing a car as the main hub has everything you'd need on a daily basis.
Bishop Arts District
I was "wow'ed" by the character, charm, vibrancy and charm of this neighborhood whose outskirts are clearly gentrifying. There are huge, new developments being built in the area. It is easy to see why people would want to live in this chill, laid back location filled with trendy shops and delicious restaurants. Bishop Arts is approximately a thirty minute drive from Downtown, Dallas making for an easy commute for those who work there but want to live outside of the city's main hub. If we were to move to Dallas, I probably wouldn't live here (only because I would not want to do apartment living again) but I would definitely make this my weekend hang out spot. The streets are filled with art, good vibes and pops of color throughout. This is truly a special place.
Taco Y Vino
We seriously could not stop ordering tacos at this Bishop Art District establishment. We ate the best tacos we have had in a very long time, with great service, and an adorable patio. The funny thing is, the recipes are not so unique or complicated but the ingredients are so fresh and the tortillas are perfection. Taco Y Vino will be a memorable restaurant always!
There are many other areas of Dallas that we were unable to explore. This city takes the lead as number one place we would relocate to, if we ever leave NYC. There is an energy here that is hard to describe. Simply put, it is a thriving city anticipating a big boom around the large business growth it is experiencing, there are an endless list of things to do and see here, people are extremely friendly, the skies are clear and overall it is just aesthetically pleasing all around. Adding to this, Grapevine Lake is just twenty miles outside of the city allowing for a less "landlocked" feel and offers local a huge lake filled with water sports and swimming as a reprieve on hot days. Ya'll, trust me- this place is magic!