The Lone Star State is known for its tall hats, distinctive accents, and other Western traditions. But don’t let the stereotypes of Texas steer you away from unexpected must-sees that the locals love. Here are a few ideas for your Dallas date night itinerary.
1) CATCH A GAME
Texans are known to be avid sports fans. With that said, get your tickets ahead of time to secure good seats. Between the Dallas Cowboys, Texas Rangers, Dallas Mavericks, Dallas Starts, FC Dallas, and Dallas Wings there’s no shortage of quality sporting events to choose from. To simplify the process check out Visit Dallas who organize all the game information in one spot.
Not interested in a major league event? There are plenty of minor league and collegiate level events to pick from too. If you like what you see, take a tour of a major sports venue: go behind the scenes at Globe Life Park, the American Airlines Center, or the AT&T Stadium.
2) GRAB A MEAL
There are dozens of amazing restaurants in Dallas. Some are so great you’ll be sad to know you went elsewhere. These five romantic hot spots have rich Texan history and are sure to impress your date.
El Fenix has been serving Texas since 1911. The classic Tex-Mex grub is perfect for a casual evening and you’ll be surprised at the inexpensive bill. Plus if you decide to catch a game, it’s walking distance from the American Airlines Center.
THE OLD WARSAW
My go-to recommendation for an upscale meal is The Old Warsaw. Their menu is impressive, and so are the prices, but the antique accents are my favorite part. If your timing is right, you might even catch a live piano performance.
Famous for their hand-pulled noodles, Royal China is the city’s oldest Chinese restaurant. This place truly is a hidden gem, tucked away in the corner of Preston Royal. If you’re looking for American-Chinese food, go somewhere else as here you will find traditional and authentic Asian meals.
Angry Dog is the spot for burger lovers and late-night snackers. The food is excellent and so is the service, but you might find a lack of space. This probably isn’t the best place for a first date. Ice breaking chit-chat can be tricky in a loud atmosphere.
Campisi’s is an Italian joint and a downtown local favorite. The decor hasn’t been updated since the business opened its doors in 1946.
MY FAMILY’S PIZZA
If you like the idea of Italian, but were hoping for something quick, go for a slice of the city’s best pizza. From sauce-heavy spots like My Family’s Pizza, Dallas has no shortage of original pizzerias.
3) TAKE A WALK
After your meal take a stroll through one of Dallas’ 400 parks (there is sure to be at least one close by). Dallas is massive, and it’s one of the largest cities with the most green space. You’ll find gorgeous views at the Dallas Arboretum & Botanical Gardens, but for adventure seekers I recommend Arbor Hills Nature Preserve for a bike ride, or White Rock Lake Park for sea kayaking and swimming. Where you can rent kayaks.
4) WATCH A PERFORMANCE
If you and your date share music tastes, go catch a concert. More than 20 artists play shows every week Or maybe a local play sounds more interesting: look into the Majestic Theater, the arena stage of Theatre Three, the Undermain Theatre, and the Pocket Sandwich dinner theatre. Become a season subscriber so you’re always able to catch a performance before they’re sold out.
5) VISIT A MUSEUM
After seeing a local play, build on your cultural portfolio by taking your date to one of Dallas’ museums. Learn about Texan art and culture, world history, or science and natural phenomena. Museums include the African-American Museum of Dallas, the Dallas Museum of Art, Perot Museum of Nature and Science, and the must-see Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza. My other favorite is the Bath House Cultural Center, which conveniently sits on the edge of White Rock Lake. Impress your date by studying up on the exhibits and venues beforehand. Plus, Groupon has your back with around half off most of these.
6) SEE SOME WILDLIFE
Dallas is also home to the state’s largest and oldest zoo. Established in 1888, the non-profit zoo is located in Marsalis Park. I recommend visiting during the winter, but for summer seasons the aquarium is a good alternative. The Dallas World Aquarium is a much newer attraction, featuring various fish, mammal, and bird exhibits.
From the parks and stadiums of downtown to the quickly growing hub of apartments and cocktail bars of uptown, there’s no shortage of fun things to do in Dallas. Don’t miss out on historic favorites you and your special someone can enjoy.
Have you ever been to Dallas? We’d love to hear your stories and tips in the comment section below! Read Next > A Guide To Seattle Washington