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Downtown Dallas

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Downtown Dallas is the Central Business District of the city of Dallas. Traditionally defined as the area within the belt of freeways surrounding the centre, it is now deemed to have expanded to an area known as Uptown, north of the Woodall Rodgers Freeway thanks to the new walkable Klyde Warren Park, while in the east the Deep Ellum neighbourhood is another part where the centre spills over to.

Downtown includes most of Dallas' extant historic buildings, its modern skyscrapers and the majority of its historic institutions. There are no official administrative subdivisions of Dallas, but a local organization, Downtown Dallas Inc., took it upon itself to redefine, develop and advocate the interests of Downtown.

Map of Dallas/Downtown

Understand[edit]

Deep Ellum consists of a 5 to 10-block-long stretch along Elm, Main, and Commerce streets east of Central Expressway. It can be reached easily via Commerce or Main Streets, northern parts of Dallas via Central Expressway to Good-Latimer, or eastern parts of Dallas via I-30 to First Ave/Exposition Ave. Deep Ellum may also be reached by DART's Deep Ellum and Baylor light rail stations. Street parking is free during weekday business hours, but the meters are active nights and weekends. There are several pay lots in the area.

Get in[edit]

By train[edit]

  • DART serves Downtown Dallas with several light-rail and commuters lines running through downtown with lines running in all directions. The furthest commuter lines run to Denton and Fort Worth (with a stop just south of Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. Other lines go to Plano, Richardson, Garland, and south Dallas.
  • Amtrak has a station on the west side of downtown and shares a station with DART's commuter rail lines and 2 of the light-rail lines.

By car[edit]

Several expressways meet in downtown Dallas, forming a loop around the neighborhood. I-35E (going south to north) and I-30 (going east to west cross I-45 (from Houston), US-75 (to Sherman and Tulsa), and Woodall Rodgers (connecting Deep Ellum to West Dallas.

Old Red Museum

See[edit]

  • 1 Old Red Museum of Dallas County History and Culture100 South Houston St +1 214 745-1100fax: +1 469 227-8417. Open Mo-Sa 9AM-5PM, Su noon-5PM. Tells the story of the development of Dallas County from pre-historic times to the present day. This museum opened in Mayand the quality of the exhibits and explanations is unusually high. Very much worth a visit if you want to understand the historical context of Dallas. Located in the restored 1892 Courthouse Building, a few minutes' walk from the Sixth Floor museum. Adults $8.
Dallas Museum of Art
  • 2 Dallas Museum of Art1717 North Harwood St +1 214 922-1200. Open Tu-Su, 11AM-5PM, Th 11AM-9PM, Closed Mondays, New Year's Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day. Great works of art from eastern and western cultures, from all ages. Free to most exhibits.
Inside the Nasher Sculpture Center
  • 3 Nasher Sculpture Center2001 Flora St +1 214 242-5100. This collection of sculpture provides a fantastic outdoor oasis in the heart of the downtown arts district. The Renzo Piano designed facility pulls in the surrounding light and energy of the district but does not overwhelm. The indoor-outdoor collection of renowned Dallas collector Raymond Nasher is truly astounding. Ask about the combined admission ticket to see the Nasher and the Dallas Museum of Art, located directly across Harwood St.
Dallas World Aquarium
  • 4 [dead link]Dallas World Aquarium1801 N. Griffin St +1 214 720-2224. More than just an aquarium, this unique zoo tour starts at the canopy level of a rain forest. Visitors wind their way down past many types of animals to find the aquarium at the bottom. Admission $15.95 Adults and $8.95 Children.
Reunion Tower at dusk
  • 5 Reunion Tower. One of the defining landmarks of the Dallas skyline, was recently renovated. There is an observation deck and restaurant at the top of the distinctive ball shaped tower.
Perot Museum
  • 6 Perot Museum of Nature and Science2201 N. Field St. 10AM-5PM M-Sa 12PM-5PM Su. The Dallas Natural History Museum relocated to this spectacular new building funded by Ross Perot, a former Presidential candidate and local billionaire.
The former Texas School Book Repository at Dealey Plaza, now housing the Sixth Floor Museum
  • 7 The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza411 Elm Street Suite #120 +1 214 747-6660, toll-free: +1-888-485-4854fax: +1 214 747-6662. Open daily from 9AM - 6PM. An unfortunate part of Dallas' history is that it is the site of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. The Texas Book Depository is the site where shots were fired by Lee Harvey Oswald, and the museum is on the sixth floor of the same building, with an extra exhibition on the seventh. It is a moving experience with videos, full-wall descriptions and photographs, along with artifacts from the event. The museum's gift shop is located in a different building. Adults $13.50.
  • 8 Dallas Holocaust Museum211 North Record St. M-F 9:30-5, Sa-Su 11-5. The core exhibit covers the Jewish Holocaust during World War 2. $10 Adults, $8 Students/seniors.
Klyde Warren Park
  • 9 Klyde Warren Park. 6AM-11PM. A recent enhancement to Downtown Dallas and in many ways redefining the city's character, the Klyde Warren Park is a privately-funded public space over the underground section of the Woodall Rodgers Freeway which forms the northern boundary of Downtown. With greenery and performance/event spaces, it is one of the rare places in Downtown which allow outdoor recreation and enhances walkability towards Uptown. It is named after a living person, the son of its primary benefactor, Dallas billionaire Kelcy Warren.
  • 10 Dallas City Hall. Constructed in the early 1970s, the City Hall of Dallas is a unique architectural monument, shaped by its architect I.M. Pei as an inverted pyramid placed in the centre of a large open plot of land. While constructed of uncovered concrete, the building is not obnoxiously brutalist, as the colour of the concrete was carefully chosen to match the earth tones of the surrounding grounds. Unusual when constructed, it now provides a unique retrofuturistic vibe, which lent it to star e.g. in Robocop as a dystopian corporate headquarters.

Deep Ellum[edit]

Do[edit]

AT&T Performing Arts Center[edit]

Traditional performing arts in Dallas are housed in a complex of purpose-built objects next to the Klyde Warren Park. Construction was financed by private donations over the 2000s, and design attracted architects of international fame, with every building an architectural point of interest in itself. The major performing arts companies moved to the new buildings, each bearing a name of its principal sponsor, while also leaving space for guest performances, which provides for busy and varied schedules.

  • 1 Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center. Home of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and Choir, features a busy schedule of classical music performances Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center on Wikipedia
  • 2 Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House. Home of the Dallas Opera company and Texas Ballet Theater, both with wide repertoires, and also welcoming guest performances by acclaimed artists from all over the globe.
  • 3 Dee and Charles Wyly Theatre. Unorthodox in its design, the Wyly Theatre has its functions "stacked" one upon another, creating a relatively tall twelve-storey block, covered with anodized aluminium rods on the outside, with main stage seating for up to 600 spectators. The home company is the Dallas Theater Center. Dee and Charles Wyly Theatre on Wikipedia

Apart from the above, the square between the opera and symphony hall is sometimes used for outdoor performances and named Annette Strauss Square for the former mayor of Dallas who championed the arts.

American Airlines center, with fans celebrating the Mavericks NBA victory in 2011

American Airlines Center[edit]

The outside of the American Airlines center

The American Airlines Center is a large arena that can seat more than 20,000 people, depending on the arrangement and event. It is most known as the home field for Dallas' basketball and hockey teams.

  • 4 American Airlines Center (Victory Park DART Station). Home to both the Dallas Stars Hockey Club of the NHL and Dallas Mavericks of the NBA. The brick retro arena is located just north of Dallas/Downtown. The Mavericks won the 2011 NBA Championship.
  • Dallas Mavericks2500 Victory Ave. Dallas' professional basketball team, plays at the American Airlines Cente. You can come to the games by your own car, by Dallas Area Rapid Transit (Dart), or by Trinity Railway Express (TRE). The ticket prices vary from $10 up to $240 for a seat very close to the action. In the 2005-06 season the team went to the NBA finals.
  • Dallas Stars. Dallas' professional hockey team, also plays at the American Airlines Center.

Other activities[edit]

  • 5 Undermain Theatre3200 Main St +1 214-747-5515. Located under Main St in Historic Deep Ellum, the Undermain Theatre completed its 25th season in May 2010. Undermain produces exciting, original plays and acclaimed international works. Undermain stirs emotions and inspires the imagination. For Tickets and more informations call 214-747-5515 or visit Undermain.org
  • Deep Ellum Arts Festival. In early April.
  • Mozzerella Company2944 Elm St., toll-free: +1-800-798-2954. Offers short hands-on courses in cheese-making and cheese pairing.

Buy[edit]

There are some good antique stores in the Knox-Henderson area.

  • 1 West Village3699 McKinney Ave +1 469 547-9650. Trendy shopping mall for the 20/30-somethings.
  • 2 Dallas Farmers Market920 South Harwood. 10AM-6PM, Mo-So. An actually functioning, if not bustling, farmers' market in a convenient downtown location

Eat[edit]

There are tons of restaurants, or a couple dozen anyway, including TGI Friday's, Dick's Last Resort, The Palm, Hooters, and the original Spaghetti Warehouse. There are several popular local establishments as well. This area does not make the list of must-see places in Dallas but is a convenient place for dinner or a drink if you are already in the area.

Central Downtown / West End[edit]

The area around West End (North Market Street) and further east along Main Street are the best places to start looking. On Sundays check out the food vans parked long the road by Klyde Warren Park.

  • 2 Spaghetti Warehouse1815 N. Market St +1 214 651-8475. The original Spaghetti Warehouse and flagship location of the chain. Was the first restaurant in the area, opening in 1972, and basically started what the West End is today.
  • 3 Dallas Chop House1717 Main St. Excellent aged steaks.
  • 4 Y.O. Steakhouse702 Ross Ave.
  • 5 Hofbrau Steaks311 North Market St.
The Crescent in Uptown Dallas

Uptown / McKinney[edit]

It must be said that a bona fide "foodie" would be remiss to skip the fabulous restaurants that line McKinney Avenue and environs -- if there's one arena in which Dallas merits its own pretentions to "world-class" status, it's in its varied, creative restaurants, where quasi-celebrity chefs hold forth with true flair. Just to the north of McKinney is the Knox-Henderson area. It is similar but more laid-back. The west side of highway is Knox Street. This is just on the edge of Highland Park, and it features a plethora of home-decorating boutiques as well as eateries and watering holes. Cross the freeway and Knox becomes Henderson -- bastion of hip but laid-back eateries, check out Hibiscus, Cuba Libre, and Fireside Pies.

  • 6 Bread Winner's. Amazing Cinnamon Bread, to die for. Great customer service.
  • 7 Gloria's3223 Lemmon Ave.. Probably the best and most well known El Salvadoran/Tex-Mex in Dallas with locations in UpTown, Addison, & Bishop Arts District. Great food & Margaritas. Definitely try a Meltdown. Very cheap.
  • 8 Mi Cocina3699 McKinney Ave. Arguably the best Tex-Mex in Dallas. Without question the best frozen margarita. The flagship restaurant is Highland Park Village. Mi Cocina has other locations throughout Dallas, including Preston at Forest and in West Village.
  • 9 Nick & Sam's Steak and Fish House2305 Cedar Springs Rd, Suite 405 +1 214 871-7444. A great steakhouse with very good service, be sure not to miss the bone-in filet. Dark, romantic atmosphere. Dress code enforced. It also has a great bar scene for anyone over thirty that wants something a little more sophisticated.
  • 11 Old Warsaw2610 Maple Ave +1 214 528-0037. 5-star French dining with a distinctly old-fashioned feel. A Dallas institution since 1948.
  • 12 Primos!1400 Hi Line Drive, #116 +1 214 390-7671. Another of the best tex-mex spots in Dallas, off McKinney. Delicious and good for people-watching on the patio.
  • 13 State & Allen2400 Allen St. +1 214 239-1990. A place for a quick cocktail, or impeccably prepared food accompanied by a selection from an impressive wine list.
One of the many wacky storefronts of Deep Ellum

Deep Ellum[edit]

  • 14 Cane Rosso2612 Commerce St (Just east of the 75, almost downtown.),  +1 214 741-1188. Excellent Pizzas for main course and desert.
  • 15 Café Brazil2815 Elm St. The Deep Ellum location of the Dallas favorite.
  • 16 Pepe and Mito's2935 Elm St +1 214 741-1901. This Deep Ellum Tex-Mex restaurant truly has some of the best Tex-Mex in Dallas. Try the tacos norteños, the fried taquitos, or the shrimp enchiladas verdes. You can't go wrong; there's not a bad choice on the menu. Everything is homemade, even the chips & sauce.

Drink[edit]

In the West End

Central Downtown[edit]

Please note that the West End Marketplace recently closed and the crowds are going elsewhere, especially in the evening.

Uptown[edit]

  • 5 The Nodding Donkey2900 Thomas Ave +1 214 922-8898. A casual place to drink beer and eat some good southern style food with your friends.
  • 6 The Ginger Man (McKinney Avenue Area), 2718 Boll St +1 214 754-8771. American Pub with 75+ beers on tap and another 100 selections by the bottle. Wines, Ales, and Ciders also available. Two story house with beer garden and upstairs lounge/library.
  • 7 Concrete Cowboy (McKinney Avenue Area), 2512 Cedar Springs Rd. Dallas's newest party bar. Unbelievably crowded on the weekends and extremely popular. Typical 20s-30s crowd.
  • 8 Urban Oasis at Hotel ZaZa2332 Leonard St +1 214-550-9500. Located in Uptown Dallas, Urban Oasis is a trendy bar and lounge that attracts an eclectic mix of Hollywood celebrities and world travelers. Open year round, the lounge offers a chic, poolside retreat.
Traveling Man sculpture at the Deep Ellum DART station

Deep Ellum[edit]

  • 9 Blind Lemon2805 Main St. Despite apparently being named for blues legend "Blind Lemon" Jefferson, this place plays mostly 70's and 80's music. Part of the Club Clearview complex.
  • 10 Club Dada2720 Elm St. Shows W-Su. One of the oldest live music venues in Deep Ellum. They have a nice patio in back.
  • 11 Curtain Club2800 Main St. Live music venue which hosts both local and national acts.
  • 12 Lizard Lounge2424 Swiss. Pass under the bridge on Good Latimer to find this spacious 2-story dance club. On Thursday and Sunday nights they have popular gothic/industrial events known as The Church.
  • 13 Sons of Hermann Hall3414 Elm. On the far east edge of Deep Ellum. This venue hosts live music of all types from both local and national acts.
Downtown Dallas seen from the Reunion Tower

Sleep[edit]

Mid-range[edit]

  • 3 La Quinta Inn & Suites Dallas Downtown (formerly Lawrence Hotel), 302 South Houston St, toll-free: +1-877-396-0334. An historic boutique hotel in the West End, which was recently renovated. Across from the George Allen Courthouse and the closest hotel to Dealey Plaza and the Kennedy Sixth Floor Museum.
Dallas skyscrapers viewed from a hotel pool

Splurge[edit]

  • 5 Hotel Crescent Court400 Crescent Ct +1 214 871-3272. Offers European-style rooms, a day spa, business center, meeting space and wedding facilities, and a private club.
  • 6 Magnolia Hotel1401 Commerce St +1 214 915-6500, toll-free: +1-888-915-1110fax: +1 214 253-0053. Re-opened in 1999 and is in the oldest high-rise building in downtown Dallas. Adorning the top of the building is a red lighted Pegasus, which is a permanent fixture in the Dallas skyline. The hotel offers great features, location and amenities, such as: complimentary beer, wine, soft drinks, breakfast and cookies and milk at bedtime.
  • 7 The Mansion on Turtle Creek2821 Turtle Creek Blvd +1 214 559-2100. This five star luxury hotel offers guest room and suite accommodations, fine private dining, meeting space and wedding facilities, and complimentary Lexus luxury sedan service.
  • 9 The W Hotel2440 Victory Park Ln +1 214 397-4100fax: +1 214 397-4105. Recently opened, very nice and has a modern feel. Check out Ghost Bar if you stay there.
  • 10 Hotel ZaZa Dallas2332 Leonard St (Uptown),  +1 214 468-8399, toll-free: +1-800-597-8399. This boutique hotel features a variety of concept suites, meeting and wedding facilities, luxury day spa, and dining and nightlife spaces.

Connect[edit]

This district travel guide to Downtown is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.
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