54 Things To Do While You’re in Dallas

Benson Hines
Benson Hines Director of External Mobilization

Howdy & Welcome to Dallas!

Honestly, you probably won’t hear too many “howdys” here in Dallas, but maybe a few “y’alls” here and there. The CLC team would like to provide you with a little intro to Dallas, to help you and your team explore our city before or after the conference, or in the evenings.

The Food

The first thing you need to know is that CLC lunches and dinners are worth staying for. We’ll be serving authentic Tex-Mex and barbecue for dinner, plus In-N-Out Burger for lunch on Tuesday (free for Workshop attendees, $5 for everybody else).

You have some great options for other times (perhaps a late night “Fourth Meal”?). Nearest to Watermark, you’ll find Mattito’s, Asian Mint, and Chipotle. You’ll also find several choices at the corner of Preston Rd. and Forest Ln. For more great barbecue, try Ten 50 BBQ. If you find yourself near a Twisted Root, do yourself a favor and try one of their burgers (they even have exotic options like buffalo.)

In need of breakfast? Try Crossroads Diner (get the sticky bun аnd you won’t be disappointed). Other nearby go-to’s include Original Pancake House and Maple Leaf Diner (it’s Canadian!). Cindi’s New York Deli is a popular choice among Watermark staff.

Dallas also has plenty of great places for quicker bites. You don’t have to look far for a Chick-fil-A, Whataburger, Newk’s, Sonic, In-N-Out, Freebirds, Waffle House, Raising Cane’s, Dairy Queen, or even Shake Shack.

The Neighborhoods

LOTS of other eateries exist in the various neighborhoods around Dallas.

Trinity Groves, located in a majorly redeveloped portion of West Dallas, not only serves as a multi-eatery “restaurant incubator” with great patio dining, but it also offers a walking bridge and great views of Downtown Dallas. (Be sure to stop at Kate Weiser Chocolate, even if it’s only to view her chocolate creations.)

Deep Ellum (east of Downtown) or Bishop Arts (southwest Dallas) are revitalized areas full of culture, shops, and food – and are highly walkable. I’d personally give the edge to Bishop Arts, but Deep Ellum is edgier if that’s your scene. If you want to explore a little bit closer in, spend some time on Lower Greenville or wander Mockingbird Station.

Culture (or what Texans call, “The Learnin”)

Highland Park is a city within a city – located right in the heart of Dallas. Not only is it full of tree-lined streets and stylish shops, but HP is also home to SMU, one of the prettiest college campuses in this part of the world. Next to SMU you’ll find the George W. Bush Presidential Library, one of Dallas’s newest historical hot spots.

The Perot Museum of Nature and Science is another new attraction with lots of buzz. If you buy tickets now, you could even attend their Late Night event on Thursday night. And there’s always the good ol’ Dallas Museum of Art, too (general admission is free, but you’ll have to pay for parking). The Sixth Floor Museum draws crowds as well, even 54 years after President Kennedy was assassinated from that very sixth floor (or was he?).

Don’t need education but would love to see something shiny? Consider the Downtown GeO-Deck, an observation deck inside that big ball you’ve noticed in the Dallas skyline (pro tip: it’s called Reunion Tower). You can also eat at Wolfgang Puck’s restaurant inside the ball, and get a 360 degree view of Dallas as the restaurant slowly spins. Or you can check out Jerry Jones’s various Dallas Cowboys facilities: the mammoth AT&T Stadium out in Arlington, or the brand-new Cowboys training facility, The Star, that’s a little closer in. Both facilities offer tours.

Team Time!

The Texas Rangers won’t be in town, but their minor league team, the Teddy Roosevelt-themed Frisco Roughriders, will be. See them battle the San Antonio Missions at 7 pm Tuesday through Friday.

More great team hangout options? WhirlyBall in Plano is a fun combination of bumper cars and lacrosse. (They also offer laser tag if that’s more your style.) Or you and your team can compete at Top Golf, a high-tech driving range that’s also great for non-golfers.

For something free, scenic, and laid-back, consider Downtown’s park-built-over-the-highway, Klyde Warren Park. They’ve got food trucks, restaurants, and lawn games. Or for some team time without all the chit-chat, Alamo Drafthouse (close to Watermark) is one of the better restaurants in Dallas that also happens to be a movie theater.

Your crew could also try some indoor skydiving at iFly, play video games at Dave & Busters, or take in some live music (calendar here). If you prefer bowling – go swanky at Bowl & Barrel, or throw it back to middle school at Main Event, a large entertainment complex with bowling, games, and more! In need of a shopping fix? NorthPark Center is close to Watermark and a Dallas institution, but the Galleria is closer and offers ice skating.

I Could Go On…

Wanna roam a giant bookstore? The Half Price Books flagship store is on Northwest Highway, just south of Watermark. Don’t believe Dallas has nature? You’ll find lots of it at White Rock Lake or the Dallas Arboretum. While you’re here, you could Google “Cinco de Mayo Dallas” to find some related festivities or check out D Magazine’s weekly roundup of events.

A Word about Transportation

Want to see some of these, but don’t want to bother renting a car for a week? Check with the hotel to see how far their complementary shuttle will take you. Uber and Lyft also have a strong presence here in Dallas. Or if you’re not in a hurry and want to enjoy the ride, Dallas’ light-rail system (DART) can take you to several of the spots mentioned above. Plus, there are always cabs waiting right outside the hotels.

Enjoy your time in Dallas! We’re so glad you’re here.