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Entertainment Districts

Various cultural and entertainment districts in and around downtown Dallas offer visitors an exciting assortment of activities. With $15 billion in development underway in the urban core and throughout Dallas, expect additional stellar dining, shopping, arts, culture and entertainment options each year.

The city’s many entertainment districts meet any visitor’s needs. From family-friendly offerings and quaint settings to vibrant nightlife and exciting atmospheres, you can do and see it all in Dallas’ various neighborhoods.

Arts District

Dallas Arts District

If you haven’t heard, Dallas has one of the best art scenes in the country and the Dallas Arts District is in large part responsible for the city’s reputation as an arts mecca. The Dallas Arts District is a 68-acre, 19-block area of art heaven, comprised of museums, concert halls, churches and restaurants. A 30-year plan in the making, the Arts District is now home to four buildings composed by Pritzker-Prize winning architects: the Winspear Opera House, designed by Norman Foster and the Wyly Theater designed by Rem Koolhaas, which together compose the AT&T Performing Arts Center; the Nasher Sculpture Center, designed by Renzo Piano and home to one of the world’s foremost collections of 20th century sculpture and a beautiful outdoor garden; and finally, the Meyerson Symphony Center designed by I.M. Pei and host to the world-renowned Dallas Symphony Orchestra. The district is anchored by the massive Dallas Museum of Art and also contains the small but excellent collection at the intimate Crow Collection of Asian Art. Public Art Walk Dallas, starting at Nasher Sculpture Center, 2001 Flora St., is a free self-guided 3.3 mile art walk highlighting 30 pieces of art and architecture in the Arts District and downtown Dallas while promoting a healthy lifestyle through increased awareness and appreciation of public art in downtown Dallas.

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Bishop Arts District

Bishop Arts District

The Bishop Arts District previously sold itself as Dallas’ “best kept secret,” but it’s hard to call this busy district a secret any longer. This two-block, former warehouse area in South Dallas, or Oak Cliff, is now home to some of Dallas’ most sought-after restaurants and its funkiest boutique shopping. The area is fueled by independent retailers and restaurateurs whose goal is to shop local, eat local and live local. Farm-to-table restaurants and vintage spots ensure the corporations stay out of this neighborhood whose organic origins match the organic food. Have a drink at Bolsa, eat Southern food at Tillman’s Roadhouse and enjoy some live music at Eno’s Pizza Tavern. If it’s local, it’s here.

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Deep Ellum

Deep Ellum

A former industrial area immediately east of downtown, today Deep Ellum is the city's headquarters for live music, emerging visual and creative artists and the new Green Line of the Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) system. Although known around town as the “birthplace of jazz and the blues,” on a walk down Elm or Commerce Streets today visitors will hear everything from jazz to hip-hop to rock ‘n’ roll to alternative.  Amidst the numerous clubs and restaurants are shops and galleries where clothing and jewelry double as original works of art. If you’re looking for an area of Dallas that is completely unique and reminiscent more of other cities – New Orleans and NYC’s SoHo come to mind – Deep Ellum is the place for you. Today venues such as Trees and Club DaDa host international music acts and restaurants such as Twisted Root Burger Co. and Monica’s Aca Y Alla attract both locals and visitors to this eclectic area.

Just a few minutes walk from the easternmost portion of Deep Ellum is Fair Park. Dallas residents know it as home to the annual State Fair of Texas, the largest fair of its kind in the country, but Fair Park is much more. The 277-acre district is known as one of the finest collections of art deco architecture in the world and apart from the architecture, which makes a visit to the area worthwhile in and of itself, the area is also home to several museums open year-round including the African-American Museum, Texas Discovery Gardens and the Hall of State, dedicated to the preservation of Texas’ history.  The nearby Exposition Park area is home to a group of popular bars and restaurants including the Amsterdam Bar, popular with the bicycle crowd, and Pizza Lounge among others.

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Design District

Design District

With cutting edge art galleries, world-famous interior design studios and showrooms, and a burgeoning restaurant and nightlife scene, the Dallas Design District is one of the city’s newest and liveliest neighborhoods Located steps from Uptown and Oaklawn, the Dallas Design District is the fourth largest concentration of luxury furnishing showrooms, art and antique galleries in the nation and is recognized as the go-to locale for interior designers in the Southwest. Slocum Street is internationally known for its collection of high-end antique showrooms and Dragon is ground zero for art galleries in the city. Nightly, Dallasites crowd into the area’s highly sought-after restaurants experiencing the incredible beer selection at the Meddlesome Moth and the culinary perfection at the neighborhood’s newest hot-spot, Oak.

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Downtown

Downtown

The heart of every big city is its downtown and Dallas is no different. It wasn’t all that long ago that downtown Dallas was frequented only by the people that worked in its impressive skyscrapers, but the now vibrant city center is in the midst of a true renaissance. Whether you want to check out an exciting nightclub, a 4-star restaurant or a dive bar for some live music, downtown has it all. Window-shop at the flagship Neiman Marcus, enjoy an al fresco beverage at Main Street Garden or admire the contrast between the classic architecture and the modern skyscrapers in the downtown skyline. For a birds-eye view of the city take an elevator to the top of Reunion Tower for one of the best views in town of one of the most beautiful skylines in the country.

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Greenville Ave.

Greenville Ave

Greenville Avenue is one of the oldest and to this day most popular neighborhoods in the city. A trip from one end of the street to the other allows visitors to experience the family-friendly feel of upper Greenville with its grocery stores and restaurants in contrast to the eclectic and alternative lower Greenville area, full of bars, clubs and funky shops. Nestled in amongst the M Streets residential area, on Greenville you’ll find yourself mingling with everyone from families out for dinner to hipsters hitting up a dive bar. A highlight of the area is the historic Granada Theater, a converted 1930s movie theater now host to some of the most in-demand musical touring acts in the city.

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Highland Park

Highland Park

Dallas residents often refer to Highland Park as the “Beverly Hills of Texas,” and after a visit to this historic area of the city, you’ll know why. From palatial residences and couture shopping to exquisite dining, all set amidst some of the most beautiful landscaping in the city, Highland Park is one of Dallas’ most affluent neighborhoods. Visitors to the area won’t want to miss Highland Park Village, a gorgeous, Spanish Mediterranean complex featuring some of the most revered boutiques in the world (Jimmy Choo and Chanel included) along with fine dining. Other highlights include the campus of Southern Methodist University, home to the Meadows Museum, one of the largest collections of Spanish art outside of Spain.

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Knox-Henderson

Knox-Henderson

Although we like to refer to Knox-Henderson as a single district, it’s really two unique neighborhoods in one.  Named for two streets crossing Central Expressway, Knox-Henderson is a study in contrasts. The West side is Knox; a picture-perfect city street of traditional home décor shops, al fresco dining, spas and salons. The Katy Trail, a 3.2-mile running trail, bookends the street to the west, making the neighborhood one of the most pedestrian friendly in the city. To the east visitors will find the funkier vibe of Henderson Avenue where vintage shops, gastro-pubs and popular patio bars dominate a street that not so long ago was underutilized. Henderson has become a destination for not only the city’s hipsters, but also Dallas’ elite. After all, some of the best restaurants and bars in the city are located on this eclectic street in East Dallas.

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Oak Lawn

Oak Lawn

Oak Lawn is one of the city’s liveliest entertainment districts, known for its established restaurants and its reputation as a major nightlife scene for Dallas’ large gay and lesbian communities. Since the mid 1980s, the “Crossroads” (Cedar Springs Road and Throckmorton Street) has been where gay activism lives, and to this day, Oak Lawn is the place to be for the most popular gay/lesbian shops, restaurants and clubs. Oak Lawn is truly one of the most diverse districts in the city, with the excitement and eclectic nature of the “Gayborhood” just a block away from some of Dallas’ most well-known and busiest restaurants, frequented by neighbors from nearby Highland Park.

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South Side

South Side The  South Side/Cedars culture emerged from the area’s beginnings as an artists’ community in the lofts at Southside on Lamar. Just south of downtown the district has become a desirable place for many to live, but the influence of the eclectic nature of the artists, designers and other creatives that call this area home can be seen everywhere from the unique bars to the studios that still take up the first floor of the Southside complex. The area is also home to Gilley’s – yes that Gilley’s – where visitors can learn to two-step, brave the mechanical bull or take in a show at one of three music venues in the Gilley’s complex. Whether you’re getting a drink at Cedar’s Social, or visiting an art gallery, this is one area you’re going to want to keep your eyes on.

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Uptown

Uptown

McKinney Avenue is the “main street” of this neighborhood, located just northeast of downtown. McKinney runs along the historic McKinney Avenue Trolley line where visitors can still take a free ride from the north end of Uptown, to the Dallas Arts District downtown.  This area experienced a surge of residential growth and an influx of high-end hotels as it evolved into the place in Dallas to see and be seen. This chic but historic area (the State-Thomas neighborhood, part of the district, is 125 years old and home to numerous historic homes) is now Dallas’ nightlife capital. Park your car and visit one of Uptown’s dozens of high-end restaurants, trendy nightclubs and bars along with unique shopping, world-class spas and Dallas’ most desirable residential living. Highlights include Dean Fearing’s namesake restaurant, Fearing’s, and Stanley Korshak, a Dallas-only high-end department store, all located within a beautifully walkable neighborhood. While you’re in the area check out West Village, a shopping destination for the younger set with trendsetting boutiques, vintage collections, art galleries, a wide variety of unique restaurants, popular nightlife and a Magnolia movie theater. It’s almost a district in and of itself!

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The West End

West End

The 55-acre West End Historic District is the center of Dallas’ tourist activity. Just a couple of blocks away from the skyscrapers of the city, entering the West End is like taking a step back in time. Start your visit at the Visitor’s Information Center in the Old Red Courthouse. You can get your bearings while wandering through the beautifully preserved building, which served as the original Dallas County courthouse and is now an interactive museum dedicated to the history of the city. A short walk across the street will land you at the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza where you can discover (or re-discover) the life, legacy and assassination of one of America’s most beloved presidents. Don’t stop there though, make sure to get your cowboy boots and hats at Wild Bill’s Western Store (maybe you’ll even get to shake hands with Wild Bill himself) and take a walk through the historic streets of the district while the aromas of grilled steaks, barbecue and Tex-Mex remind you that you are definitely in Texas.

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Victory Park

Victory Park

If the West End is the historic heart of Dallas, Victory Park is its 21st century counterpart. A 75-acre master-planned development of trendy shops, exciting nightlife and high-end living, Victory Park is glamorous Dallas at its finest. The area’s cornerstone is the American Airlines Center, home to the 2011 NBA Champion Dallas Mavericks and the NHL’s Dallas Stars. AT&T Plaza provides the area with a central meeting place right across from the hip W-Dallas Victory Hotel, home to Dallas’ Ghostbar. Other highlights include the House of Blues, Hard Rock Café and multiple fun and exciting new restaurants and nightclubs.

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325 North St. Paul Street, Suite 700 | Dallas, Texas 75201
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