Not all of my travels land me on mountain tops, deep into canyons or underwater. Some of my more domestic travel bring me to new cities which can be equally as exciting – without needing a packing list (or icy hot).
I frequent Dallas Love Field airport multiple times a year – and I’m no stranger to Dallas Forth Worth International Airport either… But earlier this year I stayed an extra night in the Big D long enough to see some sights, hear some sounds and get a taste (literally) of Dallas!
For most people (especially out here on the West Coast), you associate the state of Texas with cowboys, boots and being rich in southern tradition. So you can imagine our pleasant surprise to find such a diverse, booming and energetic night crowd (no boots or cowboy hats in site).
There are parts of Dallas that are packed with personality, culture and a progressive vibe that can even make a few Californians (like me and my friends) feel at home.
Now don’t get me wrong – I love Texas and I’m not trying to say Dallas is the only good thing the state has going for itself, I’m just sharing my experience from exploring downtown Dallas – I welcome other suggestions and recommendations of things to do and see in the Lonestar State!We found ourselves in Deep Ellum! This “entertainment district” is east of Downtown Dallas as is MUST for anyone looking for great food, live music and an artistic vibe you catch the moment you drive onto Main or Elm Street!I confidently refer to the spray painted art (that is pretty much everywhere) as murals and unique landscapes – because you can tell everything was carefully thought out and tastefully executed!I’m a sucker for street art – I loved the large scale free expression! You don’t always have to understand what you are looking at to appreciate it! I could have spent the entire evening walking the streets and taking photos of (and with) the art that decorated the brick facades of each and every building. There was a very Venice-vibe to the neighborhood as art and expression set the scene for a very creative atmosphere. Deep Ellum is the kinda place you can confidently rock that unique hat or accessory you doubt wearing all the time – but know it just belongs in a neighborhood that could appreciate it. We loved seeing all of the shops, restaurants, bars, rooftops and patios that all shared the same pulse and energy! The music varied from country, punk, pop and hip-hop and the crowds were even more diverse than the music! Being in such a diverse and blended environment was a beautiful reminder of how we CAN co-exist regardless of what we read in the daily news (and especially on social media).
After a fun filled night of taking in the sights, sounds and tastes (that require a state issued ID) we spent the next morning at the Dallas Farmers Market in Downtown Dallas!I didn’t realize “brunch” was such a big deal in Dallas – I Googled, Yelped and Trip Advior’ed what felt like hundreds of brunch and breakfast places till I came across Mudhen Meat and Greens! The food was exceeded expectations (even with numerous 5 star reviews) and as a self proclaimed Eggs Benedict expert – I’d put their Pesto Eggs Benedict in my top 3 Eggs O’benny of all time! Around the corner from Mudhens is the Dallas Farmers Market and “The Shed” which is an awesome open marketplace with enough small goods to make any HGTV addict lose their mind (and empty their wallet)! If I wasn’t headed to the airport from here I would have spent the entire day sampling the pies, juices, fresh fruit and talked the ears off of the leathersmiths, succulent genius’ and jewelers! The help desk at the market (yes, there was a help desk – and yes, I always have to speak to the help desk) suggested we stop by the nursery next to the market and I’m so glad that we did! Again – if I were a local (or not limited by my luggage size) I could have spent a small fortune on floral wall art, creative pottery and beautiful plants local to Texas! And I, in true “tourist” form, I had to take my picture on the tractor – I was the only person who got a kick out of there being a tractor – which means the locals all knew I wasn’t one of them…
I know I’ll be back in Dallas again soon – and I welcome local recommendations and all of the sites and sounds one needs to experience in the “Big D.” Loved Deep Ellum and the Farmers Market – but open to more of a country vibe on our next go around!
The Bullzerk Trailer Shop is a must visit as well for some awesome Texas merch! We all stocked up T’s, Hats and unique socks to bring some “Cool Dallas SH**T” back to Cali with us!
And I can’t forget to shout out to the Deep Ellum Brewing Company! Great food, awesome live music, plenty of games and entertainment on the patio – and must visit brewery!
If you know of any other awesome things to see or places to eat in Dallas – or any other cities for that matter – send the recommendation my way! Cheers to adventuring and seeing more of this great big, diverse and amazing world we all share!