Dallas has long been better known for its business and banking instincts than its cultural treasures and must-see attractions -- in fact, Fort Worth still gallops ahead of it on the cultural radar (though the world-class Nasher Sculpture Center and other prominent local collectors donating valuable works to the city, as well as the stunning, $340-million Dallas Center for the Performing Arts, slated to open in fall 2009, ought to finally put Dallas on the arts map). Yet plenty of visitors simply come to Dallas and go native: Shop during the day, eat, drink, and attend big-time sporting events at night and on weekends. Big D, a young city, can certainly entertain visitors for a few days or more: It has its infamous Kennedy legacy (which it has reluctantly decided to embrace), revitalized state fairgrounds, a growing arts scene, and a handful of parks and enjoyable places for the kids. And, of course, the shopping.

The Arts District -- Art lovers will want to spend the better part of a morning or afternoon in the Arts District, though you could do a drive-by through a couple of the museums in a little over an hour. To get there via public transport, take DART Light Rail to Pearl or St. Paul station.

A Dollar Saved . . . -- Look for $1 and $2 coupons for museums and other attractions in the Dallas/Fort Worth Area Visitors Guide and other tourism board publications (available free at the CVB office in the Old Red Courthouse as well as at some hotels and restaurants in Dallas).


At the Top of the Tower -- Dominating the Big D skyline is sphere-topped Reunion Tower (tel. 214/651-1234; DART Light Rail: Union), the top of which is lit up like a giant pincushion at night. The tower, located in Reunion Park at Reunion Boulevard, rises 50 stories, and the dome rotates very slowly (completing a single rotation in just under an hour), though imperceptibly to the naked eye. Take an exterior elevator to an observation deck for panoramic views of the city and surrounding plains, or have a drink at the Top of the Dome cocktail lounge, where you can blame your spinning head on something other than the libations in front of you.

Downtown Dallas's Outdoor Sculpture -- Fans of monumental contemporary sculpture should, after visiting the Nasher Center and the outdoor sculpture garden at the Dallas Museum of Art, pick up the Walking Sculpture brochure (available at the Visitors Center), which details 33 outdoor public sculptures in the downtown area. Along the way you'll find works by Richard Serra, Ellsworth Kelly, Mark di Suvero, and Henry Moore. On the first Saturday of each month, a guided walking tour is offered, departing from the Crow Collection of Asian Art at 10:30am. Call tel. 214/953-1977 for required reservations and more information.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.