Things to do in Dallas: Weekend Trip!

I went to Dallas in the beginning of March for a long weekend and the weather was absolutely stunning. It was the perfect time of year to escape the Chicago chill for sunshine and jean jacket weather down south.  We were able to check out many of the different neighborhoods in Dallas and I highly recommend bouncing around to discover the different areas.

Best Places To Stay In Dallas

South Side Dallas

Our first night we stayed at the Nylo Dallas South Side. A friend mentioned they had one of the best rooftop views of the city, and we thought, why not take advantage? Oh they did indeed.  The rooftop SODA bar was a great way to introduce ourselves to the city views. The bar includes an indoor/outdoor patio and a pool that closes at sunset.  The other great part of this boutique hotel was the lofty and industrial feel along with bright artsy inspiration. The staff was more than accommodating and seemed to really enjoy their jobs.

nylo soda bar view

Downtown Dallas

The rest of the weekend we stayed in The Adolphus Hotel downtown. Rated among one of the top hotels in Dallas, this is quite the opposite of where we stayed our first night.  The Adolphus was dreamed up by Anheuser Busch founder Adolphus Busch as a luxury hotel back in the early 1900s and while the lobby maintains the historic feel, the rooms were up-to-date and well designed. I had some major envy for the hotel room mirrors! The hotel also has a great rooftop pool to relax in during the day and apparently a bar, but we didn’t’ get a chance to see it while we were there. Good news is there is a bar right in the lobby area that is hopping during happy hour and late evening.

Things to Do in Downtown Dallas

There are some great things to do in Downtown Dallas within walking distance of the Adolphus Hotel.

Food & Drink

  • Frankies Bar: This fun underground sports bar was right around the corner from the hotel and is great late night hang. The bar plays 90s music videos you can watch late at night when your eating their pizza or chicken wings!
  • Crafty Irishman: We stopped here for a quick snack and drinks. They had good appetizer options – we chose the corn beef and cabbage egg rolls.  The drinks were also really good. The restaurant is known for its Crafty Coffee which is an Irish Coffee with Baileys. My favorite was their Gun Powder which is crafted with Hendrick’s Gin, Elderflower, Lime, and Cucumber. I think this is going to be my new summer drink – refreshing!
  • Flying Horse Cafe: This is located in the Magnolia Hotel, directly next door. They make great lattes, power smoothies and breakfast tacos!

Sites

  • Klyde Park: Every time I passed this beautiful park it was loaded with food trucks, and people dancing, playing games, picnicking or just relaxing!
  • Eye: It’s always watching you!
  • JFK Assassination Tour: While I didn’t get the chance to do this, I heard great things about this historical experience.
  • Reunion Tower: Also on my list – another great way to see the skyline!

Things to Do in Dallas South Side

The South Side is a growing area and has some newer top-rated Dallas restaurants.  Here are some of the hot spots we visited while we stayed at the Nylo hotel.

  • Melted: This was our first stop, and home to some great cocktails and an abundance of cheesy sammies! I ordered The Beach, a chicken, bacon, avocado, cheddar and cream cheese sandwich. *Melted* in my mouth! The bar also opens up to an outdoor picnic area, so everyone’s happy.

Melted-Dallas.JPG

  • Mac’s Southside: A late night win on my part.  This neighborhood bar had a friendly bar staff and even better pizza menu.  I took a risk and ordered a margarita pizza with pepperoni and can’t believe I waited 33 years to try this invention! Delish!
  • Opening Bell Coffee Shop: This cute coffee shop and live music venue has been well received by both locals and Dallas visitors.  We went here for breakfast and got the avocado toast, breakfast tacos and a mocha latte. All food was well presented and yummy!

opening bell avocado toast dallas

Places I want to check out next time I’m in South Side: Industry Alley Bar, Checkered Past Winery, Full Circle Tavern, and Midnight Rambler.

Things to Do in Uptown Dallas

When you have a chance, check out a Dallas Stars or Mavericks game at the American Airlines Center. Otherwise, here are some great outdoor bars and Dallas restaurants to hang out:

  • Happiest Hour: A bit closer to Downtown, this bar is top rated for its large rooftop and patio area. It’s within walking distance to the American Airlines Center, so a perfect pre or post game hotspot! 
  • Nickel & Rye: An outdoor Whiskey bar with other creative cocktails
  • Blackfriar Pub: A casual doubledecker pub perfect for people watching
  • Parliament Dallas: A small cocktail bar with a speakeasy feel

Place I want to check out next time I’m in Uptown: Quarter Bar, The GingerMan.

Things to Do In Dallas – Deep Ellum

One of our favorite places in the city was Deep Ellum and artsy area chock-full of fun bars, restaurants, murals and sculptures!

deep ellum texas sculpture

  • The Backyard: An extremely large bar full of games and dog art!
  • Pecan Lodge: This Dallas restaurant is known for its lines that wrap around the corner. We got in around 4:30 with no wait on a weekend for this Texas BBQ joint. The brisket was fantastic!

pecan lodge texas bbq

  • Stirr: Another great rooftop bar with amazing sunset views of the city. Their drink specials were on point – $5 for your choice of a handful of their craft cocktails.

Stirr-Sunset-Dallas

  • Anvil Pub: We hit this place up for a few drinks and had the best time talking to the bartender. Apparently it’s a must for bloody’s and brunch on the weekend! Next time!
  • IdleRye: A hip restaurant with Polish and Louisiana roots.

We heard great things about Idle Rye, Brick & Bones, Frank, Hide Cocktails, and Truck Yard, which we will be sure to visit during our summer trip.

If you are going to try to drive around the outskirts of Dallas, my number one recommendation is to go into Highland Park.  The most beautiful mansions are built here and fun to cruise through! Who knows, you may run across a celebrity!

Would I go back to Dallas?

Of course I would. The weather was perfect, people were friendly, and bars and restaurants were all a great experience. I’m just getting started!

Looking for more things to do in Texas? Check out my post on Austin!

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Bachelorette Party in Austin, Texas

I love Austin, Texas! I headed down south to host a Bachelorette party for one of my best friends this past August.  The weather was hot, but bright and sunny – perfect for our plans the short weekend.  I was there only Friday-Sunday so I have plenty more to see, but I also have plenty to share already about my amazing time.

Hotels in Austin Texas

We stayed at the Hilton Austin and I would definitely stay there if I went back again.  The staff was fantastic – they welcomed the party with open arms, made sure that we had cold water in our refrigerator each day, and did what they could to suit our needs.  In addition to the rooms being comfortable, they have a great spa which includes a rooftop pool and tiki bar overlooking the skyline that we got to relax and enjoy during the day on Friday.

Hilton Austin Skyline Views

Austin’s Rainey Street

My favorite place to go when I was in Austin was Rainey Street. This is a stringlight filled street lined with Bungalow House bars.  Every ‘house bar’ is close together so you can easily walk up and down the street trying out new places.  The bars are usually open to enjoy the weather and lead out to a backyard for continued libations.  There are also plenty of places on this strip that have live bands.  While I failed to take some photos of this awesome and innovative bar design, I wanted to make sure I shared some fun stops.

Container Bar Rainey Street

Austin Bar Scene

Other than Rainey Street, the place to be is around 6th street to experience amazing outdoor and rooftop bars, food, and live music.  I did a quick round of bar hopping here and got to check out a handful of fun places and some amazing music. If you are tired of walking around, make sure to try their Pedi Cabs to get from one street to the next.

Austin Food

Austin is another popular place for Food Trucks! We got to enjoy a fun dinner by Boca, which is located right next to Container Bar. I ordered the Chips & Queso, Ground Beef taco and Berkshire Bacon taco.

Our nice dinner out was at Emmer & Rye which is right off of Rainey Street. We had a pre fixe menu set up for us since we were such a large group and the food was incredible.  I would definitely go back there.

Lake Travis

While I didn’t get to take in as much of downtown and the foodie scene I wanted (next time), I spent almost a full day on Lake Travis while I was there. It was well worth it and absolutely fantastic.  We rented a boat with a slide (and a Captain to drive I might add) and did a Saturday Funday out on the lake.  What I didn’t expect was about 30 boats tying themselves up next to each other and the most fabulous day party of my life.  If you are going to Austin for a Bachelorette party, do not miss taking advantage of a day party out on Lake Travis.

Lake TravisLake Travis Boat Rental

If I went back to Austin

I will definitely be back in Austin, Texas, and there is way too much that I still have to see and do. I’d check out a few of their hot restaurants, including checking out their best pizza. I’d also continue to take advantage of the live music capital of the world and try to hit up Austin City Limits.

Additional Bachelorette Party Travel Ideas

I’ve been to quite a few bachelorette parties that have included travel! Here are some additional posts you may be interested in checking out: