The Perfect Weekend Trip to Dallas, Texas: 2-3 Day Itinerary
October 6, 2022
After living in Dallas for a total of four years, I’m sharing my favorite things to do if you only have a weekend! Dallas is a North Texas city known for original margaritas, delicious Tex Mex, great nightlife, historic sites, the Texas State Fair and more.
Dallas has amazing food. You will certainly not leave hungry as you enjoy the vast options for amazing dining around the city. This guide includes my favorite vegetarian-friendly options. If nothing else, make sure you eat some Tex Mex!
Keep reading to find out how to spend 2 or 3 days in Dallas and learn helpful tips to make your trip a success.
If you have more time to spend in Dallas, check out my 4 day itinerary for even more things to do around the city.
Where To Stay in Dallas
Dallas has a huge variety of accommodations, and it can get really expensive to stay downtown. Here are a few hotels I recommend at different budgets.
Luxury: The Adolphus Hotel
The Adolphus is a historic hotel in the heart of downtown that has hosted many notable figures over the years, including former Queen Elizabeth II. The hotel is over 100 years old and was renovated a few years back. The hotel has a rooftop pool deck, a barber shop and plenty of other amenities for a nice stay.
Mid-Range: Canvas Hotel
Canvas Hotel is located on the edge of downtown and has bright, loft-style rooms designed with local artwork and retro furnishings. The hotel has a fun rooftop pool that offers an amazing view of the downtown skyline. This hotel has great value thanks to its location and price.
Budget: NYLO Las Colinas Hotel
If you are on a budget, you’ll likely want to stay a bit outside of downtown Dallas and there are some great deals near the DFW airport. The NYLO Las Colinas Hotel is a great chic option with well-designed rooms in an industrial setting, a courtyard with a pool and nice amenities.
When to Visit Dallas
I recommend avoiding the summer months in Dallas. The high temperatures can be tough to handle and you likely won’t enjoy any time outside. The best time to visit Dallas is the spring to see the famous bluebonnets. Fall is also a great time of year to enjoy the epic pumpkin display at the Dallas Arboretum. Finally, the winter can be a good time to escape the cold temperatures of other cities.
Do you need to rent a car in Dallas?
It depends! If you’re only coming for 2 days and staying close to downtown Dallas, you can get away with using rideshare. However, if you want to visit Fort Worth or other areas of the metroplex, it is best to have a vehicle.
Either way, don’t expect Dallas to be super walkable or pedestrian friendly. Each neighborhood is walkable on its own, but they are a bit spread out and the public transportation is not the most convenient.
Pro Tip: If you’re renting a car in Dallas, be careful about driving on toll roads. There are many toll roads in Dallas and digital tolls can be really expensive in a rental car. Check the rental car policy and make sure your routes avoid tolls if needed.
Day One in Dallas
Dallas Farmers Market
Start your first day in Dallas by exploring the Dallas Farmers Market! This public market is over 80 years old and is the perfect place to buy fresh produce, hunt for a sourenvir or grab some breakfast.
The indoor portion of the market includes permanent vendors and you’ll find a mix of restaurants and shops. Mainstays include Taqueria La Ventana (great tacos), Scardello Cheese, Beyond the Butcher and 8 Cloves (delicious Indian food). The indoor area is open 7 days a week.
On the weekends, you can enjoy the temporary vendors at ‘The Shed’ outside. You’ll find plenty of fresh food, locally grown vegetables and artisan-made bread, honey and more. Seasonal events occur at The Shed and you’re likely to find something new every time you visit.
Spend an afternoon strolling round the peaceful grounds of the Dallas Arboretum. The gardens are located on the stores of White Rock Lake and encompass 66 acres of various gardens and plant displays.
Highlights of the arboretum include the peaceful pools and statues in the Woman’s Garden, the natural myrtle tree tunnel where couples can get married, the Trial Gardens where research occurs and the impressive Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure Garden that is committed to education.
An exciting aspect of the arboretum is that you’ll find something different year round! There is an impressive pumpkin display in the fall, beautiful blooms in the spring, a Christmas village in the winter and other events occurring throughout the year.
You could easily spend hours exploring the arboretum and they also have various food and drink options for when you get hungry. If you appreciate botanical gardens, this should definitely be on your Dallas itinerary!
Spend your evening eating and drinking in Deep Ellum! Deep Ellum is a vibrant neighborhood known for street art, lively nightlife and live music. The area was formerly a warehouse district with a ford assembly plant and other factories. Today, many of the historic buildings have been converted to loft apartments. Be sure to support locally owned businesses when possible while exploring this area.
Some places to check out include Pepe & Mito’s for delicious tex-mex food, Easy Slider for tiny burgers with a variety of flavors and Dot’s Hot House for cocktails in a large outdoor space. If you like beer, be sure to check out Deep Ellum Brewery for some of the most popular local beers in town.
If it’s still daylight, you can also explore Deep Ellum’s many murals and shops. It’s a great place to hang out and end your first day in Dallas.
Day Two in Dallas
Breakfast and Coffee near Downtown Dallas
Dallas has so many restaurants that it’s always hard to pick! If it’s your first time in Texas, I highly recommend eating some breakfast tacos.
One of my favorite places for breakfast tacos downtown is Salsa Limon. This restaurant started in Fort Worth and now has a few locations around Texas. I found their breakfast potatoes to be so soft and the eggs to be perfectly cooked. Plus, they have great vegetarian options such as a potato, egg, cheese and avocado taco.
A few minutes outside of downtown, other places I love for a Tex Mex breakfast include Taco Joint for tacos and La Victoria for breakfast burritos.
If tacos aren’t your thing, another great place to eat in the Village Baking Co. Boulangerie. They have amazing croissants and a variety of pastries daily. The chocolate kouign-amann is especially good and something you don’t see often in the US.
If you’re willing to drive a bit further, Rise No. 1 is sure to create a memorable brunch experience. They serve both savory and sweet French Souffles and amazing marshmallow soup (tomato soup with cheese “marshmallows”). The interior is colorful and will remind you of a French bistro. This is a great option if you’re looking for something unique and a bit nicer.
Sixth Floor Museum
One of the most infamous parts of Dallas history is the assassination of former president John F. Kennedy. He was shot in downtown Dallas in 1963. You can both see X’s painted on the road where he was shot (please don’t walk into the street, it is an active road) and explore the Sixth Floor Museum in the building where the bullets actually came from.
The Sixth Floor Museum does a great job of telling the story of the assassination and you can go at your own pace with their audio guide.
Lines can be long so I recommend reserving your ticket in advance.
Klyde Warren Park
Klyde Warren Park is an urban park centrally located next to the Dallas Museum of Art, the Nasher Sculpture Center and various restaurants. There are a variety of activities including a dog park, fountains and events such as yoga, live music and more.
In fall 2022, the park unveiled a giant new fountain that puts on a nightly choreographed light and music show.
The park also usually has a line of food trucks parked right next to the park, so it’s a great place to grab lunch.
Bishop Arts District
Bishop Arts is a great neighborhood to shop, walk around, eat and drink. The neighborhood has over 60 independent businesses along with great street art and a vibrant atmosphere.
I recommend grabbing a coffee at Wild Detectives (a coffee shop, bar and bookstore combo) and exploring the various boutiques. We are 1976 has beautiful stationary and DFW M'Antiques is a great shop for unique finds.
For food, consider Lockhart Smokehouse if you’re a BBQ fan, Paradiso if you’re looking for something trendy or Tejas for Tex-Mex. If you’re craving something sweet, be sure to have a slice of pie from Emporium Pies. This Dallas mainstay is located in a former home and serves year-round flavors such as chocolate (The Smooth Operator) and apple (Lord of the Pies), along with seasonal selections.
If you’re looking for a night out, Bishop Arts also has several bars and is great for nightline. Visit Revelers Hall for live music or Bar Eden for cocktails.
Day Three: Explore Fort Worth
If you have a third day and it’s your first time in the DFW area, head over Fort Worth to see a whole different side of Texas!
The Fort Worth Stockyards became a major shipping area for livestock in the late 1870’s and the North Fort Worth Historical Society began to preserve the livestock heritage beginning in the 1970’s. Today, the area is home to the world’s only twice-daily cattle drive along with a Coliseum that hosts rodeos, saloons, shops and more.
It’s worth exploring the area and watching the cattle drive, grabbing a drink (you can drink on the street here) and soaking in the authentic western vibes. You’ll experience a whole different side of Texas than Dallas and feel as if you’ve stepped back into the wild west.
While you’re in Fort Worth, it’s also worth going downtown and seeing the Fort Worth Water Gardens. This giant water fountain is unique because you can actually take steps down into the fountain and feel a part of the experience. Be sure to watch your step as falling in would be dangerous.
Dallas and the entire DFW metroplex has so much to offer, so this barely scratches the surface. However, this itinerary will allow you to hit a variety of the places that make Dallas special. Whether you’re visiting for the storied history, the Tex-Mex or the margaritas, Dallas has a lot to offer.
Check out my additional Dallas and Texas guides below for planning inspiration on your next Texas vacation.
- Dallas 4 Day Itinerary
- Top 10 Things To Do in Dallas
- Romantic Weekend Trips from Dallas
- The Best Hiking near Dallas
- 35 of the Best Day Trips from Dallas
- The Ultimate Texas Nature Bucket List
- 40+ Things To Do in Texas Hill Country
- Tips for Seeing the Ennis Bluebonnet Trail
- The Perfect Fredericksburg Itinerary
- A Four Day Itinerary for Visiting Austin
- Big Bend to Marfa Road Trip
- A Three Day Itinerary for Visiting San Antonio
- The Best Things To Do at Caddo Lake
- A Guide to Caprock Canyons State Park
- Fun Things To Do in Wimberley, Texas
- Epic West Texas and Southern New Mexico Road Trip
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