Planning a weekend in Dallas, Texas? This guide will share everything you need for the perfect weekend trip to Dallas, from what to do to where to stay.
Several years ago ago I thought it would be fun to drive 16 hours from Florida to Texas and spend a few weeks with my best friend, Jessi. So I did! I really took advnatage of the trip, getting to know the Dallas metro area in my free time. I really fell in love with the city and I’m excited to share my tips for making the most of a weekend in Dallas with you!
Is 2 Days in Dallas Enough?
If you’ve got time to spend a weekend in Dallas, Texas – you’re in for a treat! 2 days in Dallas – or 3 if you have a long weekend – is the perfect amount of time for an introduction to the city. Since many of the main attractions are centrally located, you’ll be able to walk from one to the other. Exploring on foot is also one of my favorite ways to get to know a city – you see so much you’d miss in a taxi or public transportation.
With this guide to a weekend in Dallas, we’ll be focusing on a few areas in the Dallas metro area – specifically downtown and the Bishop Arts District. I’ve included some recommendations for centrally-located hotels that will really help you make the most of your itinerary as well.
If you have a bit more time, check out best day trips from Dallas.
How to Spend a Weekend in Dallas
The following is how I spent my weekend in Dallas, hanging out with my best friend. We aimed for both tourist activities as well as more local activities, like visiting the farmer’s market. And almost everything was in walking distance, so we didn’t need to splurge on transportation.
Visit the Dallas Farmer’s Market
The Dallas Farmers Market is one of the best things to do in Dallas on the weekend – or any day. It’s HUGE and there’s a little something for everyone.
There are hundreds of stands with all sorts of food, plants, fresh vegetables, soaps, Dallas-themed T-shirts – you name it! Of course it’s free to walk around, but I couldn’t resist buying a few things here and there.
Jessi’s favorite part was the fried pudding section – YUM.
They have lots of festivals scheduled throughout the year. Check their website to see what’s happening, you might be around for the Margarita or Tamale festival.
I saw about 11 dogs while we were there – so 10/10 recommend a trip here. For those of you just joining this adventure, I have an obsession with dogs. Welcome!
Earn your green thumb at Ruibal’s
Next door to the farmer’s market is Ruibal’s Plants of Texas. You guys, I’ve never been big on plants, but I think I might start!
With their very own flower bar, they can help you start planting. I might need this, since I don’t know much about planting and succulents are super “in” right now. Ruibal’s owns their own plant nursery, almost 130 greenhouses all inside Dallas, so they have tons of plant species to checkout – tropical, shrubbs, trees, floral and vegetable.
Get birds-eye views from the Reunion Tower
Get a panoramic view of Dallas from the top of the Reunion Tower! Not only can you see all of Dallas, but you can also enjoy dining and cocktails from the observation deck. (2023 update: Reunion Tower is closed for renovations. Anticipated reopening is spring 2023.)
Relax at Klyde Warren Park
Located in the heart of the city is Klyde Warren Park. This 5.2 acre park serves as a gathering space for Dallas and all its visitors. The “urban green space” always has something going on, so it’s a great place to check out during your weekend trip to Dallas. Visitors can check out free activities like yoga, lecture series, outdoor concerts, and films.
If I lived in Dallas, I have a feeling I would spend a lot of my time here. Find me during Food Truck Monday and Zumba on Thursdays – ha!
It’s like a mini central park. The park is surrounded by towering buildings and has walking trails, a dog park, food trucks, children’s play area and a games area. Be sure to check out the events in Dallas while you’re visiting.
Check out the art museums in Dallas
There are 4 museums within walking distance of Klyde Warren Park. So Jessi and I stopped in the Crow Collection of Asian Art Museum. It was a nice break from the Texas sun (you’d think growing up in Florida I would be used to the heat – NOPE).
Within walking distance of Klyde Park, you can visit these museums:
The Crow Museum is always free, but they so accept donations.
Go under the sea at the Dallas Aquarium
Pot-bellied seahorse, Zebra angelfish, Madagascar big-headed turtles and more! The Dallas Aquarium is a can’t-miss stop when visiting Texas. Learn all about the different species by attending the Feeding and Talks talk. It’s an easy walk from anywhere Downtown.
More Things To Do In Dallas
Not a fan of museums or farmer’s markets? No worries. Dallas has so much more to offer! While I couldn’t fit all of these activities into my weekend trip to Dallas, they’re definitely a reason to come back.
Visit the Texas State Fair
This isn’t something you can do just any time but if your weekend trip to Dallas aligns with the Texas State Fair, it’s definitely something you’ll want to check out. The dates vary but it’s usually held in September or October and it’s the largest state fair in the country. In 2023, it’s scheduled from September 29 to October 22.
Take A Pic Of The Giant Eyeball
One of the most famous spots in Dallas is the giant eyeball sculpture. It was created in 2007 by Tony Tasset out of fiberglass and has been in downtown Dallas since 2013. There’s no big story behind “The Eye” and it’s kept on private property so you can’t go too close but it’s an iconic part of Dallas worth checking out.
Visit White Rock Lake
If you need to escape the hustle and bustle of the city for a bit of nature, head to White Rock Lake. It’s just 5 miles outside of downtown Dallas and offers trails for hiking and biking. You can also rent a kayak or paddleboard to get out on the water or have a picnic in one of the picnic areas if you prefer.
Head to The Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden
If you want more time in nature or are a lover of trees and flowers, don’t miss the Dallas Arboretum, which has earned the title of “one of the best botanical gardens in the world”. The beautiful blooms are spread over 66 acres, so it’s a great place to spend a few hours wandering through nature.
Explore the Bishop Art District
If you’re looking for the hip, artsy side of Dallas, you’ll find it in the Bishop Art District. With galleries, museums, shops, cafes, and restaurants, it’s a fun area to just get lost in for a few hours. There are so many fun places to choose from that you can just wander and explore but one noteworthy business is The Wild Detectives, a fun bookstore bar. You can also take a walking food tour of the area.
Learn About US History On A Walking Tour
One of the most infamous events to happen in Dallas was the assassination of JFK. While you can visit the exact spot on your own or visit the John F. Kennedy Memorial Plaza on your own, you can also opt to take a short walking tour which will give more details and context to the event (yes, including conspiracy theories).
Catch a Show At The Texas Theatre
Sticking with the theme, you can also visit the Texas Theatre where Lee Harvey Oswald was eventually arrested. It’s actually still operational today, showing movies and hosting comedians so you can still watch a show at this historical theater.
Check Out The Special Events Happening
There’s always something happening in Dallas on the weekend. Whether it’s live music, a show, or a special yoga class, you’re pretty much guaranteed to find something fun and unique to do on your Dallas weekend trip. This calendar is one resource to find out about what’s going on, that you may not hear about otherwise.
The Best Time to Visit Dallas
The best time to visit Dallas, Texas is fall, winter, or early spring. Jessi and I spent the weekend walking around downtown in the middle of summer and I would NOT RECOMMEND it. The temperature is between 90 – 100 degrees and being surrounded by buildings, it feels a lot hotter. April, May, September, and October have the best weather, with mild temperatures and lots of sunshine.
How to Get Around Dallas
For my weekend in Dallas, we mostly explored on foot. You’ll notice that most of the attractions above are all within walking distance of each other. But – Dallas is a big city and, especially if you’re visiting in the summer, walking can be HOT. So if you’re trying to go from one neighborhood to another or it’s just a particularly hot day, you’re probably going to want another option.
Here are the easiest ways to get around Dallas:
- Uber/Lyft. Skip the taxis and opt for Uber or Lyft. Taxis in Dallas are uber expensive and both Uber and Lyft are very active in the city, so you should almost never have any issue ordering a ride. You’ll find designated pick-up locations throughout the city.
- Bus. If you’re willing to take local public transportation, look into getting a DART day pass, which gives you unlimited bus rides until 3am the following morning for just $6.
- Car rental. Depending on your plans, sometimes it can be just as cheap to rent a car as it would be to pay for Ubers around the city. And it’s nice to have the freedom of being able to drive wherever you want in the city! Though keep in mind that you’ll need to pay for parking in most places.
Where to Stay in Dallas
Your accommodation is key to making the most out of your weekend in Dallas, as you’ll want to stay somewhere centrally located to your activities. Here are my recommendations for the best hotels for a weekend trip to Dallas.
Hotel Indigo Dallas Downtown
I love Hotel Indigo. Angie and I have stayed in a few over the years in Waco, Savannah and London. It’s a brand I know I can trust for clean, safe, consistent accommodations, no matter where we go. So, naturally, Hotel Indigo Dallas Downtown was one of my top choices.
It’s not the same hotel in 60+ locations like most hotels. Each property feels like a one-off boutique with its own look, feel, scents, food and ambiance. No two are alike, so while it’s always a consistent service experience, each property reflects its neighborhood in a unique way!
Price: Between $100 – $200 a night
Address: 1933 Main St, Dallas, TX 75201-5207
Pet friendly: YES!
Click here for prices and more details about Hotel Indigo Dallas.
Omni Dallas Hotel
The GORGEOUS Omni Hotel is located in the heart of Downtown Dallas right across the street from the Dallas Convention Center. Depending on your room, you may get some epic views of downtown as well. If you want to be right in the center of everything, close to the airport, and feel a little luxe, this is a great option for your weekend trip to Dallas.
Price: Starting around $300
Address: 555 S Lamar Dallas, Texas 75202
Pet friendly: YES!
Click here for prices and more details about Omni Dallas Hotel.
Hyatt Regency Dallas
Get gorgeous views of the iconic Dallas landmark Reunion Tower when you stay at the Hyatt Regency Dallas. Even better, it’s within walking distance of most of the attractions mentioned above, so it’s a great option if you plan on walking everywhere.
Price: Starting at $250-300
Address: 300 Reunion Boulevard, Dallas, Texas, United States, 75207
Pet friendly: YES!
Click here for prices and more details about Hyatt Regency Dallas.
If you have a larger group or would prefer to have a kitchen and more space to spread out, check out these Airbnbs and vacation rentals in Dallas.
Now that you’ve fully planned your weekend in Dallas, let me share my backstory on how I came to this town!
12 years ago I met Jessi in middle school and we immediately became best friends. She dyed my hair green, introduced me to Chinese food and to this day is the biggest Jonas Brothers fan.
Throwback to 2007 – We were the coolest.
Her family moved to Texas our first year of high school. I obviously thought my life was over because my best friend was moving halfway across the country. I would have to go through the scariest years of life alone and I’d never see her again (the mind of a 15 year old).
BUT, because airplanes and cars exist, we stayed in touch and visit each other at least once a year. YAY!
Talk about a glow-up.
Fun fact: my best friend, Angie’s best friend AND our mom’s best friend all live in Dallas.
Jessi flew to Orlando, we spent a couple of days at Universal, then started our 16 hour trek to Texas. And because she’s here, I get to share my tips and tricks to spending a weekend in Dallas. I hope this guide has helped you plan your next trip to Texas!
Have you been to Dallas? What did I miss? Tell me in the comments and I’ll be sure to check it out next time!
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2 thoughts on “Ultimate Guide to A Weekend in Dallas, Texas”
Such an informative post.Thanks for sharing.
If anyone is planning to visit India, you must definitely visit Kerala. Its such a beautiful place and everyone would love it.
The Dallas Farmers Market has come a long way from how it started. Its such a fun and delicious destination now.