3: Six Flags Over Texas, Greenville Avenue and Deep Ellum
If the season is right and you're bringing the kids along, you'll have no peace until they get over to Six Flags Over Texas in Arlington, the original theme park of the successful national chain. Across from Six Flags is Hurricane Harbor, a massive collection of water rides sure to leave you sun-drenched and water-soaked.
An alternative to amusement park overload is a day of retail therapy, getting your fill of shopping heaven. Like any major moneyed city, Dallas has its share of high-end merchandise, which you can find at NorthPark Center, Highland Park Village, and the Galleria. These shopping meccas have the latest and greatest in designer clothing, fine jewelry, and luxurious spa treatments, and for the price of a second mortgage, it can all be yours. However, Dallasites can be just as thrifty and inventive as their artsy fellow Texans down in Austin, and Dallas does have some noteworthy resale and consignment stores, such as Buffalo Exchange on Greenville Avenue and Clotheshorse Anonymous in North Dallas.
Speaking of Greenville Avenue, it has long been home to a large collection of retailers, restaurants and bars. Divided into "Upper" and "Lower," Upper Greenville stretches toward the affluent Park Cities neighborhoods, and Lower Greenville serves as a great place for a "pub crawl" with its high concentration of bars. The Blue Goose is a popular hangout, as is the Dubliner, an excellent Irish pub. For romantic, cozy dining unlike anywhere else in the city, The Grape is a Greenville Avenue institution, serving up fine gourmet cooking and wine for more than 35 years.
By now, you've seen, you've explored and you've purchased. Time to get your groove on at any of Dallas's many nightlife scenes, from Deep Ellum with its assortment of eclectic clubs to the House of Blues in the Victory Park area.
Music lovers will be surprised at the breadth and depth of live performances going on in Dallas any night of the week. At Poor David's Pub, the stage has been graced by the likes of Lyle Lovett and the Dixie Chicks, and the tradition of supporting regional talent continues with singer-songwriters and bands playing there nearly every night. The Granada Theater on Lower Greenville is another venue with a strong line-up of the up-and-coming and near-famous, with big-name national headliners featured on weekends. For "boot scooting," there's no place like Gilley's, the sibling honky-tonk to the one near Houston made famous in the movie Urban Cowboy.
After all that shopping and gawking today, you'll be ready for a nice dinner. Make reservations at Five Sixty by Wolfgang Puck, which features more than 400 wine labels, Asian fusion fare and — best of all — dramatic views of the city.
You may yet see a few cowboys and big hairdos during your Dallas adventures. Just know those are quaint relics in a progressive city moving fast into the future.
by Rebecca Marmaduke
* Six Flags photo from the Dallas
Convention & Visitors Bureau. Highland Park photo
Art Museum photo from www.themodern.org.