Mixing Business and Pleasure: Quick Escapes in Dallas

by  Darren Murph | Nov 14, 2012
Dallas / f11photo/iStock

Dallas is one of America's largest, most sprawling metropolises, and touching down there for the first time can be somewhat intimidating. If you're sent to the heart of Texas for business, however, there's nothing to be afraid of. In an effort to get you outside of the boardroom and into the wilds of Big D, we’re offering up two restaurants, two attractions, and one bar that you can hit with just a few extra hours between meetings.

Unlike some cities, which shove their meeting venues to the outskirts of town, Dallas' primary convention center is located right in the middle of the action. Nestled between Union Station and City Hall, you won't have to walk far to find good grub. Just a few blocks away sits Sonny Bryan's Smokehouse. While in Texas, you'll be doing yourself a disservice if you don't have a taste of Texas-style BBQ. For the vegetarians that may be in the group, a hearty helping of green beans, sweet potatoes, and onion rings ought to fill a similar void. Dallas is chock full of chain-style BBQ eateries, but this one is a cut above. And yes, you'll need to temporarily ignore whatever diet you're on.

If you're willing to walk just a bit more (or hail a cab), make your way over to Iron Cactus. Perfect for a goodbye dinner, this is a quintessential spot for enjoying a taste of Mexican food while sitting a few hundred miles north of the border. It's a classier spot, with slightly elevated prices but an atmosphere that makes up for it.

If you're looking for a hot ticket, the American Airlines Center is home to the Dallas Mavericks NBA team, and it also hosts to a slew of high profile concert events. While it's 1.6 miles away from the convention center, the walk itself is through a terrifically beautiful part of town. This section of Dallas has been refaced significantly, and you won't have to look far to find plenty of galleries and shops as you close in on the Arts District. It's also worth mentioning that the parking deck just a block away from the Hard Rock Cafe enables visitors to park for up to two hours free of charge. Now, if only every other city in the world would take notice.

Beyond that, you'll probably need a rental vehicle to really see Dallas. While there isn't much here in the way of standout nature attractions, the museum selection is top shelf. The Dallas Museum of Art and the Sixth Floor Museum can each be enjoyed with only an hour or so between meetings, while the Dallas Arboretum is a nice respite on White Rock Lake during the city's cooler months.

To close things out, I'd recommend a stop by the City Tavern. It's a stone's throw from the convention center, and can be enjoyed for lunch, dinner, or late night shenanigans. Mix southern appetizers with plenty of brews on tap, and you've got a pleasant evening before heading back home.

This is a recurring feature exploring must-visit locales in a variety of cities. If you find yourself traveling to a place for business, why not venture out and enjoy your surroundings?

See our Dallas destination guide for more trip-planning information, then use our Travel Search price comparison tool to find the lowest rates on flights.

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