Headed to Dallas and wondering about the best things to do in Dallas? Then read on and find out about what to do (and also, how a perfect 3-day itinerary could look like).
Dallas is famous for a lot of things – Tex-Mex and football are the first to come to mind. But this city is known for a lot more than that. Located in the northeast corner of the state of Texas, Dallas is a cultural and commercial hub in the southern part of the US.
Many companies are headquartered here, making it a place with lots of income – which means there are lots and lots of entertainment options which makes it one of the best cities to visit in the US.
This post was written by Rebecca (find out more about her below).
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links which means I might earn a small commission when you buy a product/service via my link (at no extra cost to you). More about it here.
BEST TRAVEL TIPS FOR YOUR DALLAS TRIP
- 1 BEST TRAVEL TIPS FOR YOUR DALLAS TRIP
- 2 MORE TIPS
- 3 BEST THINGS TO DO IN DALLAS IN 3 DAYS
- 3.1 White Rock Lake Park
- 3.2 George W. Bush Presidential Center
- 3.3 Highland Park Village
- 3.4 Klyde Warren Park
- 3.5 Dallas Museum of Art
- 3.6 Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge
- 3.7 The Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden
- 3.8 Swiss Avenue
- 3.9 Texas Discovery Gardens
- 3.10 Old City Park / Heritage Village
- 3.11 Deep Ellum
- 3.12 Dallas County Courthouse / Old Red Museum
- 3.13 Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza
- 3.14 Reunion Tower
- 3.15 AT&T Stadium
- 3.16 Sundance Square
So, if you are looking to plan a your Dallas itinerary and are wondering what to do during that time, then this post will help. I’ll offer some of the best things to do in Dallas in 3 days, as well as some helpful travel tips for getting around the city and making the most of your time here.
How to Get to Dallas
If you’re flying into Dallas, you will be arriving at one of two airports: the Dallas-Fort Worth Airport (DFW) or the Dallas Love Field Airport (DAL). From there, you can either take public transportation to your hotel or rent a car.
Another more economical option is taking the train. Amtrak has stations in Dallas, making it easy to get here by train ride. Cross-country buses are even cheaper, if a little less comfortable.
If you are driving from the north or south, take Route 35 into the city, and from the west and east, you can travel along Route 20.
Weather in Dallas
The weather in Dallas can be beautiful, but some seasons are more comfortable than others. Dallas is the perfect fall and spring destination in the US.
Summer temperatures range from 77ºF to 96ºF, and with humidity, it can feel very hot and muggy.
Winters are between 36ºF and 56ºF, and spring and fall are more temperate, though sudden thunderstorms are not uncommon.
What to Pack
Because of the heat and humidity, pack light clothes and sunscreen if you are visiting in summer. Also, Dallas locals put a lot of pride into dressing fashionably, so keep that in mind if you’re looking forward to some nights out on the town.
Where to Stay
There are a lot of hotels located in the downtown area, as well as near the airports. But here are a few suggestions based on your budget:
- For a luxury accommodation, you can stay at the Hotel Crescent Court, which is very modern, has on-site restaurants, and a private balcony off of each guest room. Great for couples and solo travelers.
- The Omni Dallas Hotel is a good mid-range option with great views and a heated infinity pool that’s especially nice in the cooler months.
How to Get Around
Dallas is a very spread-out city, so for convenience, renting a car would be my suggestion. You will have to deal with parking and traffic though, so there is a trade-off for being able to drive yourself.
Even though a car is the easiest mode of transportation, it’s not the only way to get around. Dallas has a really good public transportation system known as DART, which includes bus routes as well as a train system. It’s also constantly expanding to offer more coverage to the busy areas of the city and suburbs. You can buy single-fare tickets or day passes.
Texas is hot in the summer, and Dallas is no exception. Heat stroke is a very common malady for first-time visitors, so make sure you stay hydrated. The tap water in the city is well-filtered and safe to drink, so keep a bottle with you at all times and fill up often.
Keep an eye on weather reports when you’re visiting Dallas. From hail storms to tornadoes, extreme weather has been known to hit the region. So, just give a look at the forecast before you head out each morning.
There are a lot of free things to do in Dallas, but a lot of attractions have entry fees. So, to save money, consider getting a City Pass, which will discount prices for popular stops, like the Sixth Floor Museum.
Dallas is a pretty safe city for tourists, so just use common sense precautions when visiting. Keep an eye on your belongings, park in lit areas, and be careful of train platforms and side streets when traveling alone at night.
I mentioned that Dallas is a city with a lot of disposable income, so going out is as popular with the locals as it is the visitors. Expect longer than usual wait times at popular eateries and night spots.
BEST THINGS TO DO IN DALLAS IN 3 DAYS
Here are fun things to do and see in Dallas in 3 days.
Day 1 in Dallas
Of course, you can play around and start with “day 2” – this is up to you, but here is how a great start in Dallas could look like.
White Rock Lake Park
This huge park just northeast of downtown is perfect for anyone who loves nature and the outdoors. There are biking and hiking trails, kayaking, and also a museum and a cultural center, which I suggest you stop at. This is a good place to let the kids get their wiggles out if you’re traveling as a family.
There’s also a picnic area, so bring your breakfast and enjoy the fresh air while you eat. After an hour or two, you can head to the next destination.
George W. Bush Presidential Center
What makes the George W. Bush Presidential Center interesting isn’t so much the president himself, but just the things that you can see at a presidential center.
Each president gets one, and this particular one has cool artifacts from Bush’s presidency, including through 9/11, as well as 43,000 gifts he was given while in office. And if you never get to see the Oval Office in the White House in person, here you’ll find an exact replica. This takes about 2 hours to tour.
Highland Park Village
With a lovely Mediterranean Spanish-style architecture, Highland Park Village was the first shopping center in the US, build in 1931.
It’s full of luxury stores, restaurants, and outdoor spaces. Even if you’re not coming to shop, it’s a great stop for nice architecture and something to eat. It was made a National Historic Landmark in 2000. So, grab a coffee/lunch and a bench and just people-watch for a little while before checking out the next stop.
Klyde Warren Park
This urban park is situated over the Klyde Warren Freeway and bridges uptown and downtown.
It has tons of free activities, a playground for kids, and food trucks that are there to provide a variety of local cuisines. It’s a fun environment and very popular among locals and tourists alike. It’s also very close to the next stop on this itinerary.
Dallas Museum of Art
The Dallas Museum of Art is one of the largest museums in the country and has over 22,000 pieces of art to see.
It’s a really diverse place and has exhibits that cover ancient Mediterranean art to 20th century America, to Asia and Africa, and beyond. There are even pop culture exhibits about famous musicians, cultural trends, and touchable exhibits. This is a really fun museum to stop at while visiting Dallas’ Art District, whether with kids, as a couple, or solo.
Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge
Our last stop is best seen at night. The Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge was designed by world-renowned engineer Santiago Calatrava.
It’s beautifully dramatic and can be seen for miles. Illuminated at night, this white arch soars to 400 feet at its center as it straddles the Trinity River. The architecture is really stunning and I highly suggest making this the last stop of your night. And if you get hungry, there are a number of restaurants nearby after you’ve gotten some great pictures.
Day 2 in Dallas
The Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden
Day 2 will start at the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden.
This 66-acre garden is full of bright floral displays for every season and walkways hugged by lines of trees. There are exhibits and events held here throughout the year and it’s a great place for a picnic. So, take your coffee and breakfast to go and spend a couple of hours strolling through the beautiful natural scenery.
The Swiss Avenue Historic District is a residential neighborhood that you can walk through and see examples of century-old architecture.
The houses were built in the early 1900s and were done in the styles of Colonial Revival, and 19th and 20th Century Revival. The houses are even opened up to the public to walk through on occasion. Even if you are not a huge architecture buff though, these buildings are stately and lovely to look at, plus it’s a nice area for a walk.
Texas Discovery Gardens
This public park is great for kids because it’s not just a pretty outdoor area, but one that tries to educate the public on ecology and nature.
There’s a very cool 2-story butterfly house and a snake exhibit here, as well as many events. Explore the gardens and exhibits for an hour or two before checking out the next stop.
Old City Park / Heritage Village
This destination is actually now called Dallas Heritage Village but it’s still an amazing example of what the city used to look like.
Restored buildings and furnished homes from the 19th and early 20th centuries create a space here that’s devoted to the cultural and historic heritage of North Texas. Stroll the tree-lined streets and explore the general store. Enjoy a historical reenactment or mock gun fight. This is especially fun for families, but I’d recommend it to any Dallas visitor.
Our last stop of the night is Deep Ellum. This quirky and lively art and music district is located in East Dallas.
Full of experimental theaters, live music shows, and Tex-Mex restaurants, it’s a fun place to hang out. Jazz and blues are big here, but all music varieties are represented.
Check out art installations and grab drinks at one of the lounges. Weekends are especially boisterous in this part of the city. Finish out your night here, enjoying the artsy vibe of Dallas.
Day 3 in Dallas
For your last day in Dallas, you can visit following places.
Dallas County Courthouse / Old Red Museum
It’s the last day and our first stop is the Old Red Museum / Dallas County Courthouse.
This red municipal building was built in 1892 and still has beautiful architecture. Done in red sandstone with marble accents, it’s really pretty.
And you can go inside and learn even more about the building and the city. In 2007, it became the Old Red Museum and you should check out its exhibits for an hour or two before heading to the next stop.
Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza
The Sixth Floor Museum is located in the former Texas School Book Depository in Dealey Plaza.
It gained fame as being the place where the man who assassinated President John F. Kennedy was when he fired on the presidential motorcade. The museum is really interesting, especially because this particular tragedy is shrouded in conspiracy theories.
Take the audio tour, which is included in the price of admission, and learn more about it. This stop should take about two hours. (Parents should use caution if their children are younger.)
There are also several JFK Assassination Tours that you can book.
It just wouldn’t be right to visit a beautiful city like Dallas and not take in the view from above.
Reunion Tower is definitely one of those places where you have to go in Dallas in 3 days. Check out the city with panoramic views. The 360-degree observation deck is amazing, and you can also eat here and get souvenirs if you like. But most of all, enjoy the skyline and scenery.
There’s nothing bigger in Texas than football. And the Dallas Cowboys are the hometown heroes.
AT&T Stadium was built in 2009 and is one of the most impressive sports stadiums in the country. With a retractable roof and 160 foot jumbotron, there’s a lot to admire. Take a self-guided tour that lets you see the entire stadium and turf. Even if you’re not a football fan, you have to admire the technology and grandeur of the place.
And for sports-loving kids and adults, this is a fun stop. It’s located just outside of Dallas, in Arlington.
The last stop will be Sundance Square.
This is the only destination that’s located in neighboring Fort Worth, but it’s worth the extra travel time (pun intended). This downtown district is the perfect place to end our visit, with restaurants, theaters, shops, and pubs lining the streets. Stroll through and see what catches your eye.
Enjoy dinner and drinks. Watch a drama or musical performance. Or check out the pools and waterfalls at the nearby Fort Worth Water Gardens. There’s so much to do in this little area, and it’s great for solo travelers and couples, as well as families.
CONCLUSION: BEST THINGS TO DO AND SEE IN DALLAS IN 3 DAYS
I hope this Dallas itinerary has answered the question about the best things to do in Dallas in 3 days and given you some guidance for your own visit.
This is a huge city with lots to enjoy, so 3 days hardly seems like enough. But this list gives you the best stops to make and I hope you have a great time exploring this unique city.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
This post was written by Rebecca, who runs her own blog at The Journey at Home – where she writes about her life as a mother of 5 with everything that comes along with it. She lived in New York for a long time before she moved to Las Vegas. She also works as a freelancer for Arzo Travels.