Dallas has been my home now for the last 8 years and I have so much to love about this beautiful city! It seems like there are constantly new places to discover (especially now that I have kids!) but I wanted to share my tried-and-true favorites for where to shop, eat, and play. These picks are also perfect for those with families so be sure to bring the whole crew!
tulips at Dallas Arboretum
- Dallas Arboretum
This park is absolutely gorgeous year-round and is a wonderful retreat from the bustling city. Not only will flower lovers love the beautiful scenery, but there are events happening year round that are always fun. From concerts in the summer, to pumpkin patch festivities in the fall, and even an entertaining 12-days of Christmas winterscape over the holidays, there is something for everyone to enjoy! If you do have little ones, be sure to check out the Rory Meyer’s Children’s Adventure Garden with over 150 kid-friendly activities!
- Klyde Warren Park
This is Dallas’ version of Central Park and I just love the fact that we have a 5.2-acre public park that sits on top of a major freeway. In the summertime, the kids love coming here for the splash park and we make a whole day out of it with food from the local food trucks that always line the side of the park. There are outdoor chess settings, board games, and performers – you can even drop in on a game of ultimate Frisbee that happen on the reg here!
- Perot Museum of Nature and Science
This museum isn’t your typical boring museum. Instead, it encourages you to interact and immerse yourself in science with earthquake simulations, wind tunnels, sand pits, and multiple hands-on activities. We have a family membership and come here almost on a weekly basis! From the dinosaur exhibit to the 3D animation lab, I look forward to coming here as much as my kids.
shopping at the gorgeous Highland Park Village
- Northpark Center
Dallas is spoiled with some of the best shopping. Northpark Center is my go-to spot for just about everything. My favorite stores such as Nordstrom, J.Crew, Banana Republic, LOFT, and H&M are all here but the selling aspect for me is the experience. It almost never seems to get overly crowded and there is always an escape to the open CenterPark greenspace where I can let my kids run around and let off some steam.
- Highland Park Village
There’s nothing like the luxury shopping at Highland Park Village. Here, you’ll find some of the most prestigious stores such as Hermes, Christian Louboutin, and Dior all located within feet of each other. It’s an open-air shopping center lined with trees and even if you’re just window-shopping, it’s worth a visit!
- Bishop Arts District
I just love the unique, small-town feel of Bishop Arts and it’s one of my favorite places to shop whenever I’m searching for a hidden gem. The neighborhood is filled with independent boutiques, restaurants, and coffee shops, and even just walking through the area you can’t help but fall in love with its charm!
can’t get away from the Tex-Mex
- Pecan Lodge
You can’t come to Texas without having some BBQ! Pecan Lodge is Dallas’ most award-winning BBQ and even as someone who personally isn’t a huge fan of eating lots of meat, I will admit that this place is amazing! I’ve literally never had brisket that tasted so good with meat that literally fell off the bones. Get here early though as lines do get long – they serve until they’re sold out and you’d be shocked at how early that can be!
- HG Sply Co.
This spot is still fairly new to the Dallas scene but they’ve definitely made their mark! Their meals are paleo-inspired but you certainly wouldn’t know it with how amazing their food tastes. Their steamed mussels and zucchini noodles are my favorites and you can’t leave without ordering their famous chocolate kettlebell dessert! Don’t leave without checking out their rooftop patio, especially beautiful at sunset!
Ah, Tex-Mex. Who doesn’t love chips, guac, and an ice-cold margarita? Chuy’s has been a favorite in our family (Adrian and I went there the day after our wedding!) and I personally always order their steak fajitas as they are the best I’ve had. You can watch them make their tortillas on-site (Dylan always loves this!) and I just love the fun atmosphere too.
I love showing off my city and it’s no secret that Texans have a lot of pride. We love our food, our football, and even our trucks. It’s true when they say that everything is bigger here in Texas! Ozarka understands this strong sense of local pride, which is why they’re launching a #FromHereForHere campaign to help showcase everything that we love about our state. Ozarka Brand Natural Spring Water is sourced from three Texas springs and it’s been a brand that I always have on hand – especially for the Texas summer heat!
One of my new favorite local Texas products include Snow’s BBQ Sauce – it even was named the best in Texas by Texas Monthly Magazine! I love making ribs at home and have been using this sauce as both a marinade and a dip as it has the perfect mix of rich flavor with subtle smokiness. If you like it spicy, Yellowbird Sauces makes an amazing habanero sauce that goes great on tacos, burgers, wings, even pasta and sushi!
New-to-me is adding mustard seeds on BBQ sandwiches and hot dogs and the Sweet & Spicy Mustard Seeds from Taste Elevated are my favorite! These little pearls are just tender enough to burst in your mouth and add a sweet flavor mixed with just enough heat to have you coming back for more.
The Jelly Queens is an award-winning Dallas and Austin-based artisan food company and they have the most amazing gourmet jams, jellies, spices, and sauces. Each product is handmade in small batches and use organic ingredients whenever possible! I have their black garlic rosemary BBQ sauce and love offering it whenever people are looking to change up their BBQ!
When it comes to good queso, Cookwell & Company makes a Queso con Salsa Escabeche that has an incredible blend of cheddar and blue cheese along with fire-roasted tomatoes, onions, diced jalapenos, and fresh-squeezed lime juice that is about as authentic as you can get!
Last but not least, tortilla chips (aka my weakness!). Paqui offers a “better-for-you” tortilla chips that are crafted with unbleached, untreated flour and combine only high-quality ingredients. I especially love that Paqui is an Aztec word that means “to be happy”, because who isn’t happy when they’re snacking on tortilla chips?
I hope you get a chance to stop by Dallas and enjoy some of the best that Texas has to offer!
What do you love about your city?
If you’re in Dallas or even Texas, let me know if I need to add anything to my list!
This post is sponsored by Ozarka Natural Spring Water. Thank you for supporting the brands that support this blog!