10 Best Things To Do In Dallas According To A Local

1. Fair Park Esplanade and Art Deco structures

Anyone who loves history and architecture will enjoy a stroll around the grounds of Fair Park, the only intact pre-1950s World’s Fair in the United States. It also has the largest collection of Art Deco exhibition buildings and sculptures.

The Fair Park was originally designed as the location for the State Fair of Texas in 1886. Only in 1936 did it become the site of a world exhibition commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Republic of Texas. Architects came from all over the world to create the art and exhibition buildings you see today. On each side of the esplanade are sculptures depicting the six flags of Texas, Mexico, Spain, France, the Confederation, the Republic of Texas, and the United States. Look out for the murals in the porticoes and the very streamlined Art Deco sculptures on the south side of the reflective pool. And don’t forget to visit the Hall of State, a beautiful Art Deco building that commemorates the history, agriculture, and social development of the state of Texas.

Local tip: Go early in the morning and you’ll likely have the space to yourself as long as no event is scheduled.

2. The statler

The Statler is a mid-century architectural gem in downtown Dallas. When it was completed in 1956, it was recognized as one of the first modern hotels in the United States and the epitome of contemporary design. It became the top hotel in the southwest for congresses and business travelers and had the first hotel helipad. The 2,200-square-foot ballroom was home to many entertainers including Jackson 5, Tony Bennett, and Liberace.

In 2013 a developer began a multi-million dollar restoration to restore the Statler to its original splendor. After several stands, it finally reopened in 2017 as part of the Hilton Curio Collection. Today it is both a hotel and a residential property with several restaurants, offices, and shops on-site.

Local tip: I take guests out for drinks at the rooftop bar with great views of downtown. A guest visiting from Munich admitted that she thought it was an odd choice, but when she got there she loved it and thanked me for the excellent suggestion.

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