So credit for this list really goes to my friend Kali. When I visited her last weekend she was armed with knowledge of all the goings on around town, and as a local obviously knew all the interesting areas to visit and places to eat. I have to say being an east coaster I didn’t have very high expectations for Dallas (I was mostly just beyond pumped to be seeing my friend) but Dallas really surprised me!
Nasher Sculpture Center
I had read about this Ann Veronica Janssens installation at the Nasher Sculpture Center. I love light art, so every time I hear of an exhibit I like to check it out. This work, entitled Blue, Red and Yellow, is a free-standing box that you walk into. The room inside is filled with smoke from a smoke machine, so that you can barely see your own hand in front of your face. The room is also filled with light, and as you slowly Marco-Polo your way around, the light gradually shifts in color. It was a very odd feeling, Kali said it was almost like being an a sensory deprivation chamber. Honestly, it was worth the $10 entry fee just to experience it! The rest of the sculptures in the gallery are pretty worthwhile, too–Picasso, David Smith, Richard Serra–the list goes on and on.
White Rock Lake
Later that day we went for a walk around White Rock Lake, a reservoir with a running/biking path and water sports. Way back when it used to be open for swimming, as well. Unfortunately, we got stuck in a pretty crazy rain storm so we didn’t make it as far around as we’d like, but had it been a sunnier day I bet we’d have made it much further.
We thought we saw an alligator in the water…
…it was just a stick.
After escaping the rain, we took a drive around the lake’s perimeter to gawp at the enormous houses in this waterfront neighborhood. (Sorry, no pictures to share, didn’t want to be too much of a creeper.) But we had such a good time creepin’ that we decided to check out a couple more amazing Dallas neighborhoods. I would definitely recommend a drive through Preston Hollow to see some really beautiful examples of modern and contemporary architecture, as well as some truly baller mansions. George W. Bush even has a house there (yes, we tried to see it–yes there was a giant gate at the end of the road so that didn’t pan out.) It’s also worth taking a drive through neighboring University Park for some smaller, yet still gorgeous homes.
Katy Trail and Reverchon Park
Beautiful stairs and a boardwalk in Reverchon Park
Katy Trail is an excellent walking/running/biking path that runs through Uptown Dallas. Like the High Line in New York City, it was built following the path of an old railroad line (except Katy Trail’s been around much longer!) It’s beautifully wooded and serves as a fantastic respite from the city. Reverchon Park runs alongside part of the trail. The part we were in had some really cool stone steps that winded their way uphill, with little sections for sitting and hanging out. We followed a path that looped back around to the trail over boardwalks beside Turtle Creek, which ended up being much less crowded than Katy Trail on a Sunday morning.
Trinity River and Continental Avenue Pedestrian Bridge
These pictures of the awesome new Sylvan Avenue bridge were taken from the newly-converted Continental Avenue Pedestrian Bridge. The converted bridge used to be for driving, but now it’s lined with landscaping and benches for pedestrians and cyclists. It spans the Trinity River (which doesn’t look like much from these pictures, but I was told it had recently flooded to span the entirety of the grassy area you can see!)
Bishop Arts District
The Bishop Arts District is a really cool area of the North Oak Cliff neighborhood that has undergone a revitalization over the past couple of decades. We visited for a pop-up market that featured wares from local(ish) Texan craftspeople, but we also popped into a few of the trendy shops lining the streets. One of those shops was The Wild Detectives, an awesome little bookstore that had a cafe/bar and a lovely outdoor space in the back.
I love a climate where my favorite plants grow year round
I think this is a just a leasing office, but you gotta love the color scheme!
The most incredible piece of Nutty Honey pie from Emporium Pies. A layer of salted honey-nut sauce with peanut butter cream filling, topped with house whipped cream and crushed honey-roasted peanuts in a graham cracker crust. To die for.
Lockhart Smokehouse BBQ
BBBOP Seoul Kitchen
Restaurants at Trinity Grove
Top Pot Donuts (I know this is a Seattle-based place, but I was pretty excited to see one all the way in Texas! Can we get one in NJ pretty pretty please?)