Y’all they say things are bigger in Texas, which couldn’t be more true. Dallas is pretty darn big and spreads across a whopping 385.9 square miles of Texas. Just spending 24 hours in Dallas won’t give you time to see the whole city, but you will come pretty darn close with my guide.
So y’all, sure’nuf saddle up and get on that horse. Keep reading to find out the scoop on the best things to do in Dallas for your visit.
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Start Your 24 Hours In Dallas With Coffee
We only have 24 hours in Dallas. We better get it off on the right foot. So grab a cup of Joe at some of my favorite cafes.
In the heart of downtown Dallas tucked inside the Adolphus Hotel is a fabulous cafe, The Otto . The barista’s there know their double espresso very well.
Ascension is another cafe I like to frequent during my visits to Dallas. Several locations are perched around the city, but their Uptown and downtown locations are my favorite. Ascension has unique blends such as The Draft Latte which is a frothy cold brew with hints of lavender. A must-try when spending 24 hours in Dallas.
Royal Blue Grocery
Royal Blue Grocery is an upscale grocer located in Downtown Dallas and Highland Park Village. You can find a nice selection of brews.
Halcyon is a funky coffee joint located off of Lower Greenville. Although it may be a tad farther from downtown they have a great menu to appease any coffee snob’s dream.
Begin Your 24 Hours In Dallas With Breakfast
Rumor has it that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Start your morning off right with these fabulous brunch spots to eat during your quick 24 hours in Dallas trip.
Overeasy is a 24-hour diner located inside the Statler Hotel. It’s not the typical diner you may be thinking in your head right now. The decor is sleek and modern, and the food is simply upscale and scrumptious without the high price.
Skip the coffee, we will get to that later. Don’t worry about looking at the menu, and start by ordering a Mandarine Mimosa. This cocktail is light, bubbly, and very refreshing!
For that true Texan experience order their delicious buttery and flakey biscuits, which literally are the size of your hand. House preserves, honey, and butter are served on the side.
If the biscuits didn’t fill up your tummy, get the breakfast tacos. In case you didn’t know, breakfast tacos are a Texan obsession.
Dream Café is a quaint restaurant that has a couple of locations around Dallas. I do suggest dining at their little nook on Routh Street. Try their Cloud Cakes are divine and are fluffy ricotta pancakes topped with fresh strawberries.
If you prefer to drink your breakfast head to Deep Ellum’s Anvil Pub. They serve the biggest mimosas and bloody Marys that you will ever see in your life. Beverages are topped with hamburger sliders, steak, tater tots, donuts, or even taquitos!
Taco Deli is my all-time favorite casual joint to appease my taco obsession. Your life will be completely changed after eating The Otto which consists of refried black beans, bacon, avocado, and jack cheese.
The Akaushi is another scrumptious taco you need to try. Perfectly seasoned ground beef nestled inside a warm tortilla topped with chopped onions and cilantro.
Things To Do In Dallas In 24 Hours
So, your tummy is full it’s time to get the day started with all the fun things to do in Dallas.
1| Take A Stroll Around Deep Ellum
Deep Ellum is one of the artsiest neighborhoods you will find in Dallas and a great place to take pictures. Multiple venues are here with live music, vintage clothing stores, exceptional wall murals, and eclectic restaurants. Expect to get whiffs of barbecue when cruising this district.
Places To Visit In Deep Ellum:
- Lula B’s Antique Mall– Antique furniture, vintage accessories
- Wall Murals– Walk around the district for colorful art
- Laugh Out Loud Dallas Comedy House– Stand-up comedy routines
- Trees– Iconic staple in Dallas where daily concerts are held
- Truth & Alibi– Speakeasy disguised as a candy shop
Places To Eat In Deep Ellum
Have your sips and bites from Stirr’s rooftop patio- it’s one killer view of the Dallas skyline. Their all-American menu and modern decor create one fabulous ambiance.
If you’re more in the mood for pizza, Cane Rosso is a popular Deep Ellum joint that has delicious wood-fired pies. Their crust topped with that hot gooey cheese will make you say “yeehaw!”
For a true Texan meal during your 24 hours in Dallas eat at Pecan Lodge. It’s the best barbecue in Dallas in my opinion. Arrive early because the line quickly wraps around the building and you can expect to wait a minimum of one hour.
2| Get Lost In Downtown Dallas
Downtown Dallas is my one of favorite neighborhoods to see when I visit my folks. Everything from spectacular restaurants, parks, and shopping is all located within a few feet of one another.
There are many things to do in Downtown Dallas that you must see during your one-day visit.
Bring Out Your Inner Child At Klyde Warren Park
Visiting Klyde Warren Park is one of the free things to do in Dallas that is totally fun. You could easily say it’s the Central Park of Dallas! This 5.2-acre park sits above the Woodall Rogers Freeway and is surrounded by skyscrapers.
This isn’t an ordinary park by no means. Food trucks, free yoga and Zumba classes, and a game cart for ping pong are some of the enjoyable activities to do there.
Get Cultured At The Museums During Your One Day In Dallas
Downtown Dallas has an overabundance of spectacular museums for both adults and families. Dallas’ museums are some of the best things you can do in Dallas for free! Listed below are the most popular museums and personally my favorite to visit in the Big D!
|MUSEUM||ADMISSION FEE||OPENING HOURS||ADDRESS|
|Dallas Museum Of Art||Free||Tuesday-Sunday 11:00 am to 5:00 pm. Mondays closed.||1717 N Harwood St, Dallas, TX 75201|
|Nasher Sculpture Center||$10 Adult||Tuesday-Sunday 11:00 am to 5:00 pm. Mondays closed.||2001 Flora St, Dallas, TX 75201|
|The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza||$18 Adult||Monday 12pm-6pm|
|411 Elm St, Dallas, TX 75202|
|Dallas World Aquarium||$20.95+tax Adult||Everyday 10am-5pm||1801 N Griffin St, Dallas, TX 75202|
|Crow Collection of Asian Art||Free||Tuesday-Sunday 11:00 am to 5:00 pm. Mondays closed.||2010 Flora St, Dallas, TX 75201|
|Perot Museum of Nature and Science||$20 Adult||Monday-Saturday 10am-5pm|
|2201 N Field St, Dallas, TX 75201|
Catch A Bird’s Eye View Of Dallas From Reunion Tower
Catch a glimpse of Dallas at 561 feet above the Reunion Tower observation deck. It’s a beautiful glowing ball and one of Dallas’ most recognizable structures.
Shop Local At The Dallas Farmer’s Market
You can find good ole Southern charm at the Dallas Farmer’s Market. Fresh cheeses, fish, deli meats, organic soaps and lotions a just a few at the gems located at the market. If your tummy is getting a tad bit hungry it is the perfect spot to grab a bite to eat.
Visit The Giant Eyeball
Dallas has a giant eyeball right in the heart of Downtown Dallas off of Main Street. The eyeball is gated, but it is massive like the state of Texas so you’re able to get a great photo with this odd structure.
Places To Eat In Downtown Dallas
Americano serves up exquisite bowls of freshly made pasta if you get hungry wandering downtown. My favorite dish to order when there is their Bolognese Pappardelle which consists of pecorino, focaccia, and Calabrian chili.
Zenna on Akard Street will appease your craving for flavorful Thai and Japanese cuisine. If you’re spending your 24 hours in Dallas on the weekend expect a long wait to be seated.
For an appetizing European-style menu try Commissary and order their Roast Beef and Cheddar. Finish your meal with a scoop or two of the deliciously creamy gelato!
3| Spend Some Cash At Bishop Arts District
The Bishop Arts District is a fun place to visit during your one day in Dallas. This charming neighborhood is brimming with gems such as adorable antique shops, funky souvenir stores, and trendy boutiques.
Places To Visit in Bishop Arts District:
- Neighborhood Store + Gallery– Trendy pieces from locals
- The Laughing Willow- Boutique with unique vintage pieces
- Fete-ish– Funky and quirky gift shop
- AJ Vagabonds– Shop with outdoor gifts and gear
Where To Eat In Bishop Arts District
For those with a sweet tooth grab a slice of pie from Emporium Pies. Try the Smooth Operator which consists of a salty pretzel crust filled with French silk chocolate.
Lockhart Smokehouse BBQ
You cannot spend 24 hours in Dallas without chowing down on ribs and tender Texan brisket. Lockhart Smokehouse BBQ is another favorite with the locals. Just a heads up, you may end up leaving smelling like barbecued meat.
Eno’ Pizza Tavern
Another great spot to dine in Bishop Art’s District is Eno’s Pizza Tavern. Grab a thin-crust pizza or a warm bowl of pasta. Momma’s Pie is the perfect combination of garlic, basil, and roasted tomato.
A French bistro deserving of your visit is Boulevardier. Since their menu times change frequently, it wouldn’t be fair to recommend any entrees. Whatever is on the menu during your visit will be pretty darn tasty.
4| Best Restaurants In Dallas For Dinner
If your belly isn’t full of brisket or tacos, then I suggest you try one of these restaurants that will surely appease your tastebuds during your visit.
Honor Bar is by far my favorite casual restaurant to get my burger fix when I visit Dallas. You just need to order the Burrata On Toast, Honor Burger, and Tres Leches. Leave me a comment below once you had these recommendations. You’re welcome.
Matt’s Rancho Martinez
Tex-Mex is mandatory when spending 24 hours in Dallas. Matt’s Rancho Martinez off Lower Greenville has a queso for cheese lovers. The Bob Armstrong Dip is loaded with guacamole, sour cream, salsa, and seasoned ground beef. You could easily make a whole meal of this with their crispy tortilla chips.
Travel to the Mediterranean without leaving Dallas dining at Sachet. This mid-century modern-themed restaurants serve up some of the best Mediterranean food you can find in the metropolis. If you plan to dine here for dinner, MAKE RESERVATIONS. And, no matter what you order, it is going to be good.
5| Things To Do In Dallas At Night
Wondering what is there to do in Dallas at night? Dallas has one thrilling nightlife- from casual bars to speakeasies you are bound to have one forgettable night if you don’t watch yourself!
One of Dallas’ most popular hotspots in Uptown is Moxie’s . Enjoy hand-crafted cocktails and mingle with locals on their large patio. Moxie’s tends to get pretty crowded late at night so arrive a
Stepping into a scene from The Great Gatsby at the Midnight Rambler located inside the Joule Hotel. The cocktail lounge is chic, sexy, and moody.
The Truck Yard
To experience something unique in Dallas, visit the Truck Yard. It’s a retro outdoor space with live music, a treehouse, and many food trucks!
View the stunning Dallas skyline from the trendy rooftop lounge, SODA Bar.
Bourbon & Banter
Bourbon & Banter, is a speakeasy located inside The Statler Hotel. Expect swanky decor and sexy cocktails inside this dimly lit den. Gain entrance by going inside the phone booth outside the door and dialing the number on the phone. Follow instructions from there for entrance.
Things To Know For One Day In Dallas
Airports In Dallas
If you are arriving by plane you will either land at DFW or Dallas Love Field.
DFW is the major airport in the metropolis, it’s usually cheaper to fly into this hub. Since DFW is literally the size of Manhattan and can be a little confusing getting in and out of the airport. Taxi’s typically are not hanging around outside, so I suggest you take an Uber to get you where you will be staying.
If you’re arriving at Dallas Love Field, it is small and easy to get out the door quickly. Taxis are typically outside of the airport here if you decide not to grab an Uber.
Hotels To Stay In Dallas For One Day
When visiting stay at a hotel downtown since all the things to do in Dallas will be within walking distance.
Some of my favorite hotels Downtown are The Statler, The Joule, The Adolphus, Magnolia, Omni, and Aloft.
You can check out additional hotels in the downtown area within your budget below.
Getting Around Dallas
Dallas has amazing public transportation for getting around the city. D-Link is a free shuttle service that runs every 15 minutes from 11 am-11:30 pm Monday thru Saturday. Click here to get more detailed information on the routes.
If you plan to venture outside of Downtown Dallas, then I suggest taking a taxi or Uber. Luckily, all the neighborhoods are relatively close so a cab or Uber won’t cost you too much.
You can also take the M-Line which is the free trolley in Dallas that has over 40 stops!
If you rent a car, you may come across a few headaches parking in the downtown area, especially if visiting during the weekends. Parking is free in Dallas except for downtown.
Are Things In Dallas Expensive
If you are wondering if things to do in Dallas are expensive, they’re not. It is relatively a cheap city and you can expect to find an inexpensive meal or fun activities for a few bucks or free!
Alright, now it is time to get on with our trip and find out all the fun things to do during your 24 hours in Dallas. Saddle up, it’s time to get started!
24 Hours In Dallas Is Up
During your trip to Dallas, you will find some of the biggest food portions, the biggest hairstyles, and Texans with the biggest hearts.
Time to get going cowboy or cowgirl for your one-day visit to Dallas.
Hold your horses, I have some other related posts you may enjoy:
If you want to take some pretty awesome photos, my post Places To Take Pictures In Dallas list some great locations for a perfect backdrop.
You can also follow my step-by-step guide to planning a trip with Google Maps to learn how to add all these awesome places I recommended for your trip.
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I love that you had a great time in my hometown. You nailed it with your recommendations, especially Lockhart BBQ and Emporium Pies–some of our faves! Thanks for a fun share
Dallas is one wonderful city! I am drooling thinking about those places right now.
Looks like a lot of fun! Never been to Texas but hope to make it down there sometime!
Yes, I hope you make it there too! If you do, definitely visit Dallas!
Oooh all the food looks soooo good! It sounds like there is food from all around the world with a Texas twist! Do you think there is anything that is quintessentially Dallas that we should try when we go? Or should I just have a bit of everything?
You’re going to have a blast when you go! Definitely eat at Taco Deli! They have some of the best tacos I have ever eaten. Every time I go visit my parents it is a MUST to eat there!
Some of that food looks so darn good! I will be in Dallas in March – first time in a long time and I am looking forward to it! Thanks for the spots to check out!
You’re so welcome! I am so excited for your upcoming trip. Hopefully, you will check out some of those restaurants. Their food is AMAZING!