2: Dallas Farmers' Market, Fort Worth and West Village
Day 2 has arrived, and you're well-rested and refreshed after a good night's sleep. Grab a hearty breakfast at funky little Buzzbrews Kitchen, then spend a little time at the Dallas Farmers' Market, where you can marvel at the abundant, fresh local produce and the vendors hawking everything from Bundt cakes to handmade jewelry.
South of downtown off I-35E, Dallas has the largest zoological park in Texas, and in 2010, the Dallas Zoo opened its "Giants of the Savannah" exhibit, featuring a safari-like habitat for giraffes, elephants, lions, wild dogs and many other African species. The zoo is an educational way to spend the afternoon, and you should take the monorail that runs around the perimeter of the savannah so you can have the extraordinary perspective of looking directly down upon the animals.
The Bishop Arts District lies between downtown and the zoo, so it's a convenient stop for lunch or dinner. A favorite Bishop Arts breakfast and lunch location is Café Brazil, with a wide assortment of specialty coffees and to-die-for carrot cake. Tillman's Roadhouse is a more ambitious dining venue, with leather banquettes, Murano glass chandeliers and mounted animal heads somehow combining to create an upscale tavern atmosphere. Favorite dishes are the honey-and-lavender-glazed salmon and the grilled bone-in pork chop perched atop creamy grits with a side of fried green beans.
After you savor your lunch or dinner, stroll around the district, which is home to 50 or so merchants, boutiques, and restaurants. You can get one-of-a-kind souvenirs at the Bishop Street Market or Féte-ish.
Zoos might not be your thing, in which case you might want to mosey over to Fort Worth for a visit to the Fort Worth Stockyards National Historic District and Fort Worth Cultural District. The world-famous Kimbell Art Museum has works ranging in period from antiquity to the 20th century, including European masterpieces and items from Greece, Rome and Africa. The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth is housed in a stunning Tadao Ando building that appears to be floating on water in the middle of the prairie. Fort Worth sports some surprisingly swanky dining venues, such as Grace and Bonnell's Fine Texas Cuisine, where the chefs add ingenious gourmet touches to the meat that made "Cowtown" famous.
If the day's adventures haven't left you completely drained, end your whirlwind exploits in Uptown Dallas with its endless assortment of galleries, shops, bars and restaurants for libations and entertainment. West Village is a great place to pull up a chair on a sidewalk patio and watch the stream of chic and fabulous types strut their designer bags and matching purebred dogs. Catch a movie at the Magnolia Theater and scarf up some Italian ice cream at Paciugo Gelato while you're there.
to Day 3
*Images courtesy Dallas
Convention & Visitors Bureau