Dallas is an entertainment field of dreams. You can start with the 75-acre master-planned development that is Victory Park — packed with trendy shops and restaurants like the House of Blues; The W Hotel; and American Airlines Center, home of the Mavericks and the Stars, as well as a concert venue extraordinaire — and move on to McKinney Avenue, which teems at night with hordes of pretty people going from hot spot to hot spot stretching from The Rattlesnake Bar at The Ritz-Carlton to The Magnolia Theatre in the West Village. For something a little more laid-back (but no less entertaining), hit Greenville Avenue for its funky shops, rooftop bars, and live music at the historic Granada Theater; or bop around Bishop Arts, Oak Cliff’s repository of everything cool and home to some of Dallas’ most sought-after restaurants (Hattie’s, Lockhart Smokehouse, Lucia, Oddfellows, Stock & Barrel — to name just a few) and bars.
Beyond Dallas the suburbs have more than their fair share of things to do, too. Plano’s Shops at Legacy brims with boutique shopping, best-in-class restaurants and bars, and the Angelika Film Center, while Frisco Square has Cinemark Next Gen-XD Theater, Toyota Stadium, and amenities such as the Black Box Theatre at Frisco Discovery Center. The Toyota Music Factory is a 410,000 square feet, 16.7 acre, American entertainment complex located in the Las Colinas neighborhood of Irving, Texas. But we’re only scratching the surface here; there’s so much more to explore.
1. Bishop Arts District: In this mecca of everything artisanal, visitors admire the cacophony of colored homes, enjoy open mic nights, discover antique furniture, snack on custom-baked pies and sip on coffee, or watch a blues band serenade the streets.
2. Trinity Groves: : This recently developed center of living, dining and shopping which lies just over the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge prides itself on its ‘incubation’ concept, as restaurateurs contribute to its always-changing eclectic dining.
3. Design District: The city’s big businesses tower over Downtown Dallas, while smaller cultural spaces hold attractions such as the Dallas Museum of Art or Klyde Warren Park, an urban park with food trucks, rolling grass, and children and adults alike enjoying outdoor fun.
4. Victory Park: Neon skylights shine above when the Mavericks or Stars win a game; nearby, the Perot Museum of Science frequently opens new exhibits, the House of Blues bustles with young Dallasites when it hosts concerts, and trendy restaurants often have winding lines down the block.
5. Downtown Dallas: The city’s big businesses tower over Downtown Dallas, while smaller cultural spaces hold attractions such as the Dallas Museum of Art or Klyde Warren Park, an urban park with food trucks, rolling grass, and children and adults alike enjoying outdoor fun.
6. The West End: This crossroads of history and progress in Downtown Dallas houses shops and eateries where Native Americans once dwelled and trading posts stood, and JFK’s legacy lives on in The Sixth Floor Museum. Today well-established developers and downtown stakeholders are driving the creation of an innovation district and Smart City pilot project.
7. South Side: The country converges here for events at the Dallas Convention Center; local life is also celebrated in shops and retail, including famous Texan bar and venue Gilley’s, full of leather, music and Southern charm.
8. Deep Ellum: One of Dallas’ most beloved historic areas, it once was full of Model T Ford factories and early jazz and blues musicians; its innovative and bright past is reflected in today’s art and music festivals, rowdy nightlife, and colorful wall murals galore.
9. Uptown: Dallas’ playground for younger crowd includes West Village’s independent theater and trendy shops; The Rustic, an outdoor restaurant and music venue hybrid; and the city’s biggest nightlife scene.
10. Oak Lawn: Once known as being Dallas’ counterculture neighborhood, Oak Lawn now houses young professionals and established families alike. The area also retains its spirit of liberalism in its celebrated and large LGBT community.
11. Knox-Henderson: Named for the intersection streets with the same name, this neighborhood boasts luxe home stores and old Dallas landmarks to modern restaurants and trendy boutiques. The Katy Trail, a manmade tree-shaded running path, travels through Knox-Henderson and continues for miles.
12. Highland Park Village: This small outdoor high-end shopping center houses luxe shops, delicious food and a charming old theater.
13. Mockingbird Station: Just steps from a DART stop, this intersection of living and shopping is home to an independent theater, retail, and high-rise lofts.
14. Greenville Avenue: Dallas’ destination for hip young adults is always busy with its unique mix of rooftop bars, bohemian shops, and natural food stores.
15. North Park / The Shops at Park Lane: North Park Center, full of upscale stores and chains alike, is one of Dallas’ biggest shopping destinations. Across the highway are The Shops at Park Lane, featuring outlet stores, specialty restaurants, a modern bowling alley, and high-rise apartments.
16. Galleria: North Dallas’ massive mall includes dozens of specialty, chain, and department stores, and is topped with an expansive glass ceiling. Aside from shopping, it’s a popular hangout, too — favorites include its ice rink and its large food court.
17. Firewheel Town Center: Garland’s multi-age outdoor shopping center features rows of brick shops and restaurants circling a fountain area.
18. The Harbor at Rockwall and Rockwall Commons: On the East side of Lake Ray Hubbard, this waterfront property houses numerous shops that face vast waters and often hosts festivals and events.
19. Cedar Hill Uptown Village: Cedar Hill’s main shopping area is an open-air town-style shopping center, with in-ground fountains, and sculptures posed throughout.
20. Arlington Highlands / The Parks: Arlington’s main shopping area is Arlington Highlands, where visitors meander through roads and brightly colored shops for a true shopping stroll. At the nearby shopping center The Parks, visitors can enjoy an ice rink and mall classics.
21. Downtown Arlington: The city’s epicenter is marked by a sense of culture — find musicians, festivals, independently owned bars and restaurants, and more as you walk through a mix of antiquated and modern architecture.
22. Arlington Entertainment District: From Cowboys Stadium to Six Flags amusement park, families flock here for innumerable ways to have Texas-sized fun.
23. Sundance Square: Located in the heart of downtown Fort Worth, adults can enjoy the sunny space’s concerts, tiny shops, and dining, while children cool down in the spray of its famed fountains.
24. Fort Worth Cultural District: Art museums stand proud Fort Worth’s cultural district, which also boasts opera festivals, community Shakespeare productions, and street artists galore..
25. West Seventh Street District: This Fort Worth favorite has grown tenfold in recent years, with both local and big-name stores taking root as well as a vivacious dining scene with ever-changing hot spots.
26. Historic Stockyards: The Stockyards in Fort Worth are a tidbit of the Wild West, where pioneers once stopped for their last bit of fuel for a cross-country journey. Today, visitors can go to a rodeo, shop for Southwestern blankets, or take in a country concert at Billy Bob’s, a true Texan line-dancing, mechanical-bull-riding venue.
27. Historic Downtown Grapevine: Walk down Main Street where history, from popular wine-tasting rooms to a vintage railroad, is preserved for culturally savvy adults to enjoy.
28. Flower Mound Parker Square: Flower Mound’s small specialty shopping area is packed with restaurants and stores you won’t find anywhere else.
29. Historic Downtown Denton: University of North Texas students flock here where the decades-old City Courthouse sits among old-fashioned ice cream parlors, modern art galleries, and live music.
30. Frisco Square: Families can enjoy a farmers’ market or live music in this constantly developing neighborhood that offers a small-town feel in an urban area.
31. Stonebriar Centre: Frisco’s biggest mall holds standard stores and features an ice rink at its center.
32. Legacy Town Center: Also known as The Shops at Legacy, this fan favorite contains both chain stores and unique shops as well as The Angelika, an independent theater.
33. Watters Creek: Allen’s outdoor mall is loved for its namesake creek that runs throughout the shopping center that is home to a vast selection of stores that echo the multi-age feel of the mall; children splash on the creek’s edge, while older crowds enjoy dining waterfront.
34. Addison Circle/Beltline Road: Named for its round traffic circle, this Addison destination provides convenient shopping options; nearby Beltline Road is home to Village on the Parkway, which has more stores and a bustling restaurant and bar and pub scene.
35. Old Downtown Carrollton: Pedestrians enjoy the charming antiquity of its old buildings containing small jewelers and boutiques, and ancient railroad tracks.
36. Southlake Town Square: This popular locale is a merging of an upscale shopping district and a family-friendly community area; its old brick buildings housing retailers surround a tree-filled park where festivals such as Oktoberfest are held.