3 Ways to Explore
Dallas at a Glance
Now that you’ve settled in to your new home and neighborhood, it’s time to take care of a few immediate tasks, including applying for a Texas driver’s license and registering your vehicle. You’ll also find answers to your commuting questions, including which freeways connect the area to places beyond and an overview of public transportation. Learn about local laws which may differ from your previous city, plus what you need to know about registering to vote. After you’ve completed your essential tasks, enjoy some area attractions and historic sites which are highlighted for your convenience.

Originally inhabited by the Caddo Native Americans, then claimed by Spain, France, and Mexico during the following years, the territory in Northern Texas has been sought after for decades. It wasn’t until 1841 that present-day Dallas was settled by John Neely Bryan. Bryan chose the east bank of the Trinity River with the idea of establishing a trading post to serve the population migrating into the region but it is unclear why the name Dallas (now nicknamed “Big D”) was selected. Some believe that the city’s namesake comes from George Mifflin Dallas, the U.S. Vice President under James Knox Polk. Around the same time, an army outpost was established several miles west, called Fort Worth. As the last major stop on the cattle trail which made its way north to market, Fort Worth soon picked up the moniker “Hell’s Half Acre” because of the gambling parlors, saloons, and dance halls which catered to the cowboys. Fort Worth is now more commonly called “Cowtown”. In 2003 the U.S. Census Bureau decided to name Dallas, Fort Worth, and all cities in 10 surrounding counties, the Metroplex.

According to America by the Bay Area Center for Voting Research, Plano and Arlington are two of the top 25 most conservative cities in the U.S., which is common for a large evangelical Protestant Christian society. Overwhelmingly, national and federal legislators representing Dallas are Republican. However, voting patterns show that behind Austin and El Paso, the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex is the third most liberal in Texas. Downtown Dallas has the largest number of liberals and as you travel away from Downtown the number of conservatives increase. Presently, the upper-middle class of north Dallas suburbs are usually Republicans but the city of Dallas generally votes for Democratic political candidates in local, state, and national elections. As cultures diversify it is expected that the political environment will also.

Being located in the Bible Belt means there is a large Protestant Christian influence in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, as one might expect. The Catholic Church plays a substantial role in the Dallas area with 70 parishes in the Dallas Diocese and three Eastern Orthodox Christian churches. Located in the Arts District, the Cathedral Santuario de Guadalupe is one of only a few original downtown buildings that date back to the nineteenth century. The Catholic Church order of the Society of Jesus operates the Jesuit College Preparatory School of Dallas and is active in the community. Many Christian denominations including Methodist, Baptist, and Lutheran have churches throughout the region, much like other metropolitan cities. Southern Methodist University, University of Dallas, and Dallas Baptist University are private universities in the area which were founded on their respective religious principles and have many churches near their campuses. In addition to Christian worship centers, many other religions are represented in Dallas/Fort Worth and have brought a more diverse spiritual landscape. The Jewish religion in Dallas dates back to 1875 when the first local congregation was formed. Now Dallas and its surrounding suburbs have one of the largest Jewish communities in the United States which is centered around Temple Emanu-El on Hillcrest Road. In north Dallas cities and northeastern portions of Dallas, is a large Muslim community represented by The Islamic Society of Denton and the oldest mosque in Texas. Nearly 50 mosques’ are in Greater Dallas. There is also a sizable Mormon and Jehovah’s Witness community throughout Dallas and surrounding suburbs. As the Metroplex continues to become a global community, varied cultures will add to the religious setting in which there are already some Buddhist, Sikh, and Hindu populations.

The Metroplex has many reasons to appeal to individuals and families wanting a metropolitan city with suburban options. The low cost of living and lower-than-average home prices are ideal for families looking to stretch their dollars while providing a comfortable environment for their children. With varied industries and corporate headquarters in the Dallas/Fort Worth region, parents have plenty of professional opportunities that can be accessed within a reasonable commute. Dallas is the least-densely populated major metropolitan area in the world so even downtown living won’t feel too cramped. Mild winters and hot, dry summers are suitable for outdoor activities. Green space is used almost year-round under the average daily temperature of 65 degrees Fahrenheit. Many area attractions and museums cater to children, like the Museum of Nature & Science’s Children Museum and the Dallas World Aquarium. K-12 education is held in high regard with prestigious private schools and nationally ranked public schools amid the best according to U.S. News & World Report. Lastly, the Dallas/Fort Worth area has been ranked among the seven most livable urban complexes in the world.

To be eligible to register to vote in Texas, any U.S. citizen residing in Texas must meet these requirements:
  • Be at least 18 years old on election day
  • Not be a convicted felon (unless sentence, probation and/or parole are completed)
  • Not be declared mentally incapacitated by a court of law

In most Texas counties, the Tax Assessor-Collector is also the Voter Registrar. In some counties, the County Clerk or Elections Administrator registers voters. You may obtain an application from the county Voter Registrar’s office, the Secretary of State’s Office, libraries, many post offices or high schools. You can also visit www.sos.state.tx.us/elections where you can request an official, postage-paid application. Or, you can download an informal application that will need a stamp before mailing. You can also register to vote when you apply for or renew your driver’s license.

While there is no personal income tax in Texas, there are property taxes, also called ad valorem taxes, which are locally assessed. Your county appraisal district appraises property located in the county, while local taxing units set tax rates and collect property taxes based on those values. Property taxes provide more tax dollars for local services in Texas than any other source – they help pay for public schools, city streets, county roads, police, fire protection and many other services.

In Dallas, the Dallas County Tax Office collects, records, and disburses property taxes. The Tax Office maintains approximately 797,621 commercial, business, and residential tax accounts. For the 2009 tax year, the Tax Office collected taxes on $165 billion worth of property.

State sales and use tax is imposed on all retail sales, leases and rentals of most goods, as well as taxable services. Texas cities, counties, transit authorities and special purpose districts have the option of imposing an additional local sales tax for a combined total of state and local taxes of 8.25 percent. In Dallas and Tarrant County, the sales rate is 8.25 percent, but the rate can vary in different areas. To find out the tax rate for a specific area, visit www.window.state.tx.us and click on Texas Taxes.

In Texas, the law requires drivers and passengers in all vehicles to be secured by a safety belt. The seat belt law in Texas was amended in 2010 to no longer exempt adult passengers riding in the back seat from wearing a seat belt. All persons in the vehicle must be secured with a safety belt or in a child safety seat, whether they are sitting in the front or back seat. A child less than 8 years old and less than 57 inches tall must ride in a child safety or booster seat. A safety belt violation can result in fines ranging from $25 to $250, plus court costs.

Safety Seat Guidelines
Safety belts are designed for adults, not children. Use a booster seat to lift your child up and prevent severe injuries in a crash. If necessary, view an informational video about the proper use of child safety seats at www.dshs.state.tx.us/saferiders or call Safe Riders at 800-252-8255.

Follow these guidelines when buying the proper seat for your child:

Birth-1 Year, Up to 35 Pounds
  • Use a rear-facing seat until your baby reaches the weight limit or height limit of the seat.
  • Secure the chest clip even with your baby’s armpits.
  • Fasten harness straps snugly against your baby’s body.
1-4 Years, 20 to 40 Pounds
  • Use a forward-facing seat for as long as the safety seat manufacturer recommends it.
  • Fasten harness straps snugly against your child’s body.
  • Secure the chest clip even with your child’s armpits.
  • Latch the tether strap to the corresponding anchor if your vehicle has one.
4-8 Years, Over 40 Pounds
  • Use a booster seat.
  • Fasten the lap belt across your child’s thighs and hips, not stomach.
  • Strap the diagonal belt across the chest to rest on the shoulder, not the neck.

Drivers under the age of 17 with restricted licenses are prohibited from using wireless communications devices, including cell phones and text messaging devices. Learners permit holders are prohibited from using handheld cell phones in the first six months of driving. All other drivers are allowed to use a cell phone if they have a driver’s license with full privileges and are not driving in an active school zone (in which case only a hands-free device is permitted). Also, school bus drivers must avoid cell phone use while passengers are aboard.

In Texas, 21 years old is the minimum age to buy or consume liquor. You can buy alcoholic beverages in a liquor store Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; liquor stores are closed on Sunday. There are no sales of liquor on Christmas Day, New Year’s Day or Thanksgiving Day. In the event that Christmas Day or New Year’s Day is on a Sunday, stores are closed the following Monday. Beer and wine can be sold in supermarkets and convenience stores from 7 a.m. to midnight on Monday through Friday, on Saturday from 7 a.m. to 1 a.m. and on Sunday from noon until midnight.

Alcoholic beverages may be served in restaurants and bars from 7 a.m. to midnight on Monday through Saturday. A late hours permit/license is available in certain areas that can extend the purchase of alcohol until 2 a.m. On Sunday, alcohol can be served with food service or at a “sporting venue” starting at 10 a.m. until midnight. Other permits may start at noon and serve till 2 a.m. with a late hours permit.

Various counties are partially wet meaning the sale of alcoholic beverages have restrictions, or are completely dry like Delta County. Some prohibit off-premises sale, some prohibit on-premises sale, and some prohibit both. Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code (TABC) holds elections several times a year to determine wet/dry areas. Although the laws regulating the alcoholic beverage industry are consistent statewide, the TABC allows local determination of the types of alcoholic beverages which may be sold and how they can be sold by means of local option elections. Elections can be held by counties, cities or individual justice of the peace precincts.

Texas also has a zero tolerance law regarding the consumption of alcohol while driving, and driving while intoxicated (DWI) laws are strictly enforced by Texas police officers. The legal limit for intoxication in Texas is .08 blood alcohol concentration (BAC), however, drivers can be stopped and cited for impaired driving due to alcohol or other drugs regardless of BAC. A first offense carries up to a $2,000 fine, 72 hours to 180 days in jail and driver’s license suspension of 90 days to one year. For drivers under 21, a first offense carries a 30-day driver’s license suspension, up to a $500 fine, eight to 12 hours of community service and mandatory attendance in alcohol-awareness classes.

The state of Texas requires that dogs and cats be vaccinated against rabies by 4 months of age and on a 1-year or 3-year basis thereafter depending on the vaccine used. Additionally, when traveling with a dog or cat, have in your possession a rabies vaccination certificate that was signed by a veterinarian. Check with your veterinarian about other vaccines that are available for a wide range of diseases.

All dogs and cats over 3 months of age that are being transported into Texas must have been vaccinated against rabies within the last 12 or 36 months depending on the vaccine used.

Once you’ve set up residency in the Dallas area and have a local address, one of your first stops will be to the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) to apply for a Texas Driver’s License and to register your vehicle.

According to the Department of Public Safety, new residents are required to get a Texas driver’s license within 90 days of moving to Texas. New residents with a valid out-of-state driver’s license and who own a vehicle and would like to obtain a Texas driver’s license will need to provide proof of Texas registration, proof of liability insurance, a Social Security number and an out-of-state license. The only examination required is the vision test.

If the out-of-state license has expired, a new resident will have to take a written and a driving examination as well as the vision test. Those who do not own a vehicle will not have to show proof of insurance but will be required to complete an affidavit of non-ownership. At the time of application, new residents will be required to surrender their valid or expired out-of-state driver’s license. The fee for an original driver’s license for people over 18 is $24, and it expires in six years. For a full list of fees, visit the Website at www.txdps.state.tx.us/administration/driver_licensing_control/dlfees.htm.

All original applicants for a driver’s license or an identification certificate must present proof of identity satisfactory to the Department of Public Safety, as well as take written, driving and vision tests. For information about documents that may be presented as acceptable proof of identity, go to the Texas Department of Public Safety’s website at www.texasonline.com.

A beginning driver –15 years of age or older – can apply for an instruction permit, which enables the holder of the permit to drive with a licensed driver who is 18 years of age or older in the front seat. To obtain a permit, one must pass the written portion of the driving test.

In addition to the items listed above, applicants under the age of 18 applying for a first-time Texas driver license and presenting either a valid out-of-state instruction permit or driver license must present proof of completion of driver education and verification of current enrollment and attendance in school (or high school diploma or GED).

A new rule placed into effect March 1, 2010, states that driver license applicants between the ages of 18 and 24 must complete an approved driver education course and a driving skills test to become a licensed driver in Texas. Applicants must submit a certificate proving that they successfully completed a driver education course approved by the Texas Education Agency under Sections 1001.101 (a) (1), 1001.101 (a) (2), or 1001.1015, Texas Education Code.

In 2000, Texas passed a regulation, which requires that first-time foreign applicants must prove legal U.S. residency before obtaining a Texas driver’s license.

Call the Texas Department of Public Safety Driver’s License Office in Dallas at 214-651-1859 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday for information on locations and to obtain a booklet on Texas driving regulations. Bureaus are located throughout the area.


According to the Department of Public Safety and the Department of Motor Vehicles, new Texas residents are required to do the following within 30 days of moving to Texas: get a vehicle inspection; and register and title their vehicle. New residents must have their vehicles pass inspection before having it registered and titled. After having it inspected, owners should take the following to their county tax office:
  • inspection certification,
  • proof of liability insurance,
  • the vehicle’s odometer reading if it is less than 10 years old,
  • an original out-of-state title, proof of registration, proof of sales tax payment or current foreign/military ownership document,
  • completed Form VTR 130-U, and
  • the following fees:
    • registration fee,
    • title application fee of $28 or $33, depending on the county, and
    • new resident tax of $90.

Members of the U.S. Armed Forces and nonresident students attending accredited Texas schools on a full-time basis are not considered state residents.

Other fees might include the safety inspection of your vehicle (varies with year and model); any needed repairs and any notary fees. The newcomer’s county tax assessor will have the most recent information. Registration and license tags also must be renewed every 12 months. Texas residents can renew registration and tags by mail, in person or online. For more information about fees, visit the website at ftp://ftp.dot.state.tx.us/pub/txdot-info/vtr/fees/fee_chart_1c.pdf.

Every 12 months, all Texas automobiles must undergo a safety inspection. New automobiles have a sticker that is effective for the first two years, after which the automobile must be inspected every 12 months. State-regulated inspection stations carry a designation as such and can include dealerships, garages or auto service centers. A vehicle that passes inspection will be issued a sticker that must be displayed in the lower left-hand corner of the front windshield.


Personal automobiles are the primary mode of transportation for Metroplex residents. Although public transpiration is available, the pure size of the area usually requires navigating the freeways at some point. The freeway system resembles a wheel. The hub are the inter- and outer loops which circle Dallas and the spokes are the freeways which cut in and out of the city. Stacked five freeways high is the High Five Interchange that connects LBJ Freeway (Interstate 635) and Central Expressway (US 75). Opened in 2005, the High Five Interchange is comprised of 37 bridges distributed across 5 levels and 120 feet above ground at its highest ramp. Finding your way can be complicated to newcomers so the best way to get acquainted with the roadways is to drive them, preferably during non-peak hours.

Airport Freeway — State Highway 183 from State Highway 114 to the south DFW Airport entrance

C.F. Hawn Freeway — U.S. Highway 75

Jim Wright Freeway/East Freeway North/East Freeway South/Northeast Loop/Southeast Loop/ Southwest Loop — Loop 820 at various points

John W. Carpenter Freeway — State Highway 183 and 114 from I-35 East to the north DFW Airport entrance

Julius Schepps Freeway — I-45 from downtown to the south

Lyndon B. Johnson Freeway (LBJ) — I-635

Marvin D. Love Freeway/ J. Elmer Weaver Freeway — U.S. Highway 67

North Central Expressway — U.S. Highway 75 from downtown to the north

Northwest Highway/Buckner Boulevard/Walton Walker Blvd/Ledbetter Drive
— Loop 12 at various points

President George Bush Turnpike (PGBT) — State Highway 190

Preston Road — State Highway 289

South Central Expressway — U.S. Highway 75 from downtown to the south

Stemmons Freeway/R.L. Thornton Freeway South — I-35 East

Tom Landry Highway — I-30 between I-35 East in Dallas and I-35 West in Fort Worth

West Freeway/R.L. Thorton Freeway East — I-30

Woodall Rodgers Freeway — Spur 366

The North Texas Tollway Authority (NTTA) is in charge of acquiring, constructing, maintaining, repairing and operating turnpike projects in the Greater Dallas area. The Authority has representatives from Collin, Denton, Dallas and Tarrant counties, as well as one surrounding county, on its Board of Directors. The six roadways in and around Dallas/Fort Worth which use a toll-base fee for access, do so with the help of TollTags®. The self-adhesive sticker is placed on the inside windshield and is electronically scanned when passing through a toll station. Toll booths are available at some stations for cash paying customers, who pay a higher toll. However, the NTTA seeks to move completely towards electronic collection by use of TollTags or by billing the vehicle whose license plate is captured by photograph.

Dallas North Tollway (DNT)
The 32-mile Dallas North Tollway (DNT) connects motorists between downtown Dallas and cities in Collin, Denton and northern Dallas counties. The expressway passes through or along the cities of Dallas, Highland Park, University Park, Addison, Farmers Branch, Plano and Frisco. Tolls range from $0.22 to $10.75.

The first section of the DNT from downtown Dallas to IH 635 (LBJ Freeway) opened to traffic in June of 1968. It was extended to Briargrove Lane in 1987 and to SH 121 (now known as the Sam Rayburn Tollway) in Plano in 1994.

President George Bush Turnpike (PGBT)
The east to west President George Bush turnpike covers the northern half of the Dallas Metroplex. Commuters are linked to high-tech corridors and corporate headquarters while also giving motorists additional access to Central Expressway (US 75), the Dallas North Tollway, IH 35E and LBJ Freeway (IH 635). A 9.9-mile extension to reach I-30 is planned to be complete by the fourth quarter of 2011.

Addison Airport Toll Tunnel
Opened in February of 1999, this two-lane tunnel crossing under the Addison Airport runway has a total roadway length of 3,700 feet. The two-lane tunnel reduces congestion in northern Dallas and Addison by offering an east-west route between the Dallas North Tollway and IH 35E. Motorists can now go through Keller Springs Road as an alternative to Belt Line Road or Trinity Mills Road.

The Mountain Creek Lake Bridge (MCLB)
The Oak Cliff section of Dallas and the City of Grand Prairie have direct access between the two cities via The Mountain Creek Lake Bridge which opened to traffic in April of 1979. The two lane bridge is 7,425 feet long and makes for easy Dallas and Tarrant County connections during sporting events in Arlington. Plans to open a second bridge have been discussed to further elevate traffic but the project has not been funded.

Sam Rayburn Tollway (121 Tollway) in Collin, Dallas and Denton counties
Extending northeastern from State Highway 121 to U.S. 75, the Sam Rayburn Tollway is approximately 26 miles. The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) has assisted in seamlessly transitioning the roadway to the NTTA which officially took over on September 1, 2008. The Sam Rayburn Tollway passes through the cities of Allen, Carrollton, Coppell, Fairview, Frisco, Lewisville, McKinney, Plano and The Colony.

Lewisville Lake Toll Bridge (LLTB)
The NTTA introduced the newest tollway for use, Lewisville Lake Toll Bridge (LLTB), on August 1, 2009. The east to west toll bridge is 1.7 miles long and crosses over Lewisville Lake in Denton County. The four-lane bridge has flanked lighted columns on each side which has become a visually pleasing landmark. The bridge is an all-electronic toll collection facility and can be reached by U.S. 380 near Cross Roads, Oak Point and Lincoln Park.

To open an account, resolve a violation, and inquire about rates for Dallas/Fort Worth toll roads, visit www.ntta.org.

The city's public transportation is provided by Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART). DART is the public transit authority for Addison, Carrollton, Cockrell Hill, Dallas, Farmers Branch, Garland, Glenn Heights, Highland Park, Irving, Richardson, Rowlett, Plano & University Park. 221,000 passengers a day get around using DART in the 700-square mile service area. Customers can plan bus and rail trips online using DART Trip Planner available on www.dart.org.

DART bus riders can chose from 120 routes that are used by the 740-bus fleet which carry millions of riders annually. A combination of bicycling and public transportation travel called biketrans, is made easy with bike racks installed on the front of most DART buses. DART customer information at 214-979-1111 can recommend convenient routes, departure times, quote fares, and advise of necessary transfers along the way when provided with your origin, destination and desired time of travel.

DART's rail cars are an electric-powered, non-polluting 115 vehicle fleet. The rail system operates the Green, Red, and Blue line which share four stops in Downtown Dallas and then diverge to surrounding suburbs. The rail system runs 48-miles long and travels at average speed of 25-35 miles per hour. The DART rail system opened in June of 1996 and had a ridership of 19 million in 2009.

Trinity Railway Express (TRE) is a commuter line that links DART customers to DFW International Airport and downtown Fort Worth’s smaller public transit system, The T. The express rail uses diesel cars which travel at an average speed of 45 miles per hour and can accommodate 96 seated- passengers. Most rail stations provide free parking and are served by DART bus routes, timed to make transfers between buses and trains.

Both Dallas and Fort Worth have train stations which are served by Amtrak routes. The Texas Eagle travels through Dallas and Fort Worth from Chicago to San Antonio daily. Travel between Fort Worth and Oklahoma City is a short 4 hours and 14 minute trip via the Heartland Flyer which runs daily and offers connections at either point. The Dallas Station is located at 400 South Houston Street and the Fort Worth Station can be found at 1001 Jones Street. For more Amtrak information, visit their website at www.amtrak.com.

DFW International Airport
Opened in 1974, DFW International Airport covers more than 29.8 square miles and generates a $16.6 billion output which makes it large in size and economic activity. In 2009 the DFW Airport moved 50,945,450 domestic and 5,085,007 international passengers to their destinations making it 8th in the world in terms of number of passengers served. Every major city in the continental United States can be accessed within four hours by using one of the 18 passenger airlines which travel DFW Airport.

DFW International Airport
3200 East Airfield Drive
DFW Airport, TX 75261
Dallas Love Field Airport
Named in 1917 in honor of Lieutenant Moss Lee Love, the 10th fatality in Army aviation, Love Field is owned and operated by the City of Dallas. Southwest Airlines is based out of this airport, originally only flying to San Antonio and Houston but now serving 69 Texas cities. Dallas Love Field Airport has only three runways but generates $2 billion annually to the Dallas economy.

Dallas Love Field Airport
Terminal Building
8008 Cedar Springs LB16
Dallas, TX 75235
As the fifth largest media market in the U.S., Dallas/Fort Worth residents consume all channels of media to keep them connected to local and global news. The Dallas/Fort Worth area is also significant to the Hispanic media market, which it ranks high in. The dominant newspaper serving Dallas is the Dallas Morning News. The paper was first published in 1885 as a sister paper to the Galveston Daily News, the oldest newspaper in Texas. The daily publication has a circulation of a quarter million, making it among the top 25 most circulated newspapers in the U.S. Other area newspapers include, Dallas Business Journal, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer, and Fort Worth Business Press. Park Cities News and Collin County Business Press are among the few dozen community publications. Online issues can be found at each newspaper’s website for free or in conjunction with your print subscription.



People move here from all over the country and the world, bringing with them a least one fact about their new city, this is where the Dallas Cowboys play. Whether it is because the Dallas Cowboys have made it to the Super Bowl more than any other team or because they are the highest valued sports franchise in the history of the United States, the Cowboys are widely known and much celebrated as "America's Team". To match the Cowboys status in the NFL, a new state-of-the-art venue, Cowboys Stadium, opened in 2009. The stadium is located in Arlington, seats 80,000, and has the largest high-definition screen in the world.

Named after the state law enforcement agency by the same name, the Texas Rangers are an American League MLB team. This baseball team was partially owned by former President George W. Bush for several years. The Rangers play on natural grass in Ranger Stadium which seats nearly 50,000. Ranger Stadium in located in Arlington, just a few steps from Cowboys Stadium.

After a move from Shreveport, Louisiana, the RoughRiders now play at Dr. Pepper Ballpark in Frisco as a Class AA affiliate of the Texas Rangers Major League Baseball club. Without a Major League Baseball affiliation are the Grand Prairie AirHogs whose 48 home games are played at QuikTrip Park in Grand Prairie.

The Dallas Mavericks were founded in 1980 and since then have gone on to win 3 three division titles (1987, 2007, 2010) and one conference championship (2006). The Mavericks, or Mavs, play home games at the multi-purpose American Airlines Center in the Victory Park neighborhood near downtown Dallas. The NBA team is currently owned by Mark Cuban, a prominent Dallas entrepreneur.

Ice Hockey

Originally the Minnesota North Stars, based in Bloomington, Minnesota, the Dallas Stars transferred to Dallas during the 1993-1994 season. The Dallas Stars have been a successful NHL team, winning division titles, Western Conferences, and even the Stanley Cup in 1999. The hockey team plays out of the American Airlines Center which they share with the Dallas Mavericks.

Founded as the Dallas Burn in 1996, the professional soccer team changed its name to FC Dallas in 2005. FC Dallas play out of the soccer-specific Pizza Hut Park stadium. The weather in Dallas lends to favorable outdoor conditions so this Major League Soccer team can contribute the well-rounded sporting landscape of the Metroplex.

Auto Racing
NASCAR fans recognize Texas Motor Speedway as the site of several top racing events held annually, including the Sprint Cup and Nationwide series. The speedway is also used for driving schools and track experience, facility tours, corporate functions, and campgrounds during event weekends.

Dallas is the number one tourist destination in Texas for a reason — there is a lot to see and do here! Lucky for you, all these attractions are now in your backyard. The amusement park Six Flags Over Texas, in Arlington, has over 50 rides for both youngsters and thrill-seekers. Across the street from Six Flags Over Texas is Hurricane Harbor, A Six Flags Water Park. The water park is 47 acres of family fun and an excellent way to cool off in the summertime. Both the Dallas and the Fort Worth Zoo seek to educate and promote wildlife conservation while entertaining with extensive animal attractions and exhibits. The Dallas World Aquarium, located in the West End District of downtown Dallas, exhibits freshwater and saltwater ecosystems which are fun, educational trips for adults and children alike. Only a few minutes away from the aquarium in the 6,000-acre Great Trinity Forest is the Trinity River Audubon Center. As the largest urban hardwood forest in the United States, the woodland supports a diverse community of plant and animal species and contains a unique mixture of bottomland hardwoods, wetlands and grasslands.

If you’ve had your fill of animal attractions, head to Southfork Ranch, America’s most famous ranch since filming for the "Dallas" television series begun. While there you can tour the famed Ewing Mansion, re-live moments from the series, and see the gun that shot J.R.

White Rock Lake, Bachman Lake, and Grapevine Lake are urban escapes for water recreation. The lakes have a well maintained perimeter to take in the scenery and the water is apt for sailing and fishing.


Since that tragic day in 1963 when President John F. Kennedy was shot on the streets of Dallas, the Texas School Book Depository achieved notoriety and is now the site of the Sixth Floor Museum. The museum has had more than 6 million visitors from around the world and offers information about the assassination. Adjacent to the Sixth Floor Museum is the Old Red Courthouse Museum which serves as a symbol of Dallas heritage. Built in 1892, the beautifully restored Old Red Courthouse contains some of Dallas County’s most fascinating historical artifacts. Right outside the Old Red Courthouse is a replica of Dallas founder John Neely Bryan’s cabin. Also in the vicinity is Dallas Fair Park, a National Historic Landmark and home to nine museums, six performance facilities, a lagoon, the world’s largest collection of 1930s Art Deco exposition buildings and the largest Ferris wheel in North America. For a taste of western cultural history, head down to the Fort Worth Stockyards where you can visit the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame and the Stockyards Museum. White Rock Lake, Bachman Lake, and Grapevine Lake are urban escapes for water recreation. The lakes have a well maintained perimeter to take in the scenery and the water is apt for sailing and fishing.


Steakhouses are plentiful in Dallas/Fort Worth and it’s no wonder with a cattle-drive background. Barbecue and Tex-mex are also treasured regional cuisines and discovering the variations is an easy way to explore your new city. With global diversity in the Metroplex, an ever-growing range of ethnic dining options are becoming available and many fusion restaurants are blending foreign favorites with down-home recipes. Catering to the sophisticated palate are many upscale restaurants that are attaining nationally acclaim, like York Street in East Dallas and Fearing’s in Uptown. Each year the Dallas Observer creates a “Best Of” food and drink list which can be used to begin your eating adventure.

The opening of the new AT&T Performing Arts Center in 2009 marked the completion of the world-class Dallas Arts District and is already receiving recognition for its venues, performances, and skyline. In fact, the AT&T Performing Arts Center is the largest new performing arts complex built since New York’s Lincoln Center. The Arts District is home to the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Dallas Chamber Orchestra, Dallas Opera, Dallas Theater Center and others. Bringing the creative works of Shakespeare to the Dallas community is the cultural institution called Shakespeare Dallas. Inspired by the New York Shakespeare Festival, the company now produces year-round events. Since 2003 the Nash Sculpture Center has been displaying modern art, including twentieth-century paintings and drawings, and stunning sculptures. The indoor gallery, garden detail and the building itself are works of art offered as a retreat from Downtown Dallas. Centrally located in the Metroplex is the Grapevine Opry, which is known in the country music industry as one of the finest live music venues; and Irving Arts Centers, designed to accommodate a wide range of cultural and civic needs.

Sharing the rich-cultural and historic heritage of Dallas is done with the help of dozens of museums and learning centers. The Museum of Nature & Science and the African American Museum in Fair Park are such examples. Niche museums like the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame, The American Museum of Miniature Arts, National Scouting Museum, and the International Museum of Cultures are rare and interesting places to visit if you’re looking for something less mainstream. Museums are located all across the Metroplex so finding one near you is easy, visit the "Resource Directory" from our Homepage for a complete list.

When it comes to shopping, Dallas is a consumer’s paradise. Dallas has more shopping space per shopper than any city in the country. Antique and specialty stores, high-end retailers, and independent boutiques are abundant in and around Dallas/Fort Worth. Naming all the malls and shopping centers would be an expansive list, so here are the highlights:

Highland Park Village
In 1931, the first planned shopping center, Highland Park Village opened with a unified architectural style and stores facing toward an interior parking area, built and managed under single ownership. Today Highland Park Village offers an unparalleled selection of international and local retailers, with Diane von Furstenberg, Christian Louboutin, and The Marquee Club opening later this year.

NorthPark Center
Developed from a 97-acre cotton field, NorthPark Center has transformed the land with quality of materials, architectural detailing and use of natural light. 21 million visitors annually enjoy luxury retail, market exclusives and fine dining with wide promenades, spacious courts, water features and lush landscaping. Major works of art are displayed in the center and new pieces are rotated in. New stores coming soon are: E5H; Cherish; Gucci; Gregory's; Disney Store; Vera Bradley; and Essensuals London.

Mockingbird Station
Mockingbird Station is a mixed-use development and a stop on the Dallas Area Rapid Transportation’s Blue and Red Line. Vintage lofts, office space, retail stores, and restaurants create the trendy complex that is Mockingbird Station. On-site are also dental and banking services.

Galleria Dallas
This upscale, indoor shopping mall has all the retailers you expect to find at a large mall plus many boutiques and restaurants, and an ice-skating center. Newest stores include BCBGeneration, Earthbound Trading Company, Guess, and Lenscrafters.

Grapevine Mills Mall
Giving Grapevine and north Metroplex residence easy access to a large shopping mall with plenty of selection, Grapevine Mills Mall offers a convenient shopping experience for a solo trip or family adventure. The one-level facility has 20 anchor stores, a 30-screen movie theatre, and an ice rink for hockey and skating.

Traders Village
Each weekend Trader Village opens to eager guests shopping for treasures, novelties, bargains, and crafts from more than 3,500 vendors. The Grand Prairie location opened in 1973 and was so popular that Houston and San Antonio have followed suit with their own Traders Villages. This flea market is nationally known as the most-visited weekend flea markets and festival complex in Texas.

Allen Premium Outlets
Twenty miles north of Dallas, in the city of Allen, everyday discounts can be found at Premium Outlets. The outdoor shopping mall has over 100 stores selling designer fashion, sportswear, shoes, home furniture and more. Groups of 15 or more will receive free VIP Coupon Books upon arrival when a reservation is made.
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