City Guide: Dallas for the business traveller

By John Walton, May 20 2011
City Guide: Dallas for the business traveller

Think Dallas is all Stetson hats and big hair? Think again -- it's undergone something of a cultural renaissance over the past few years.

So if your connection from Qantas' flight QF7 from Sydney to Dallas/Fort Worth is an overnighter, or if you're heading to the city itself for business, here are some suggestions for things to do in Dallas.

Nasher Sculpture Center

(Picture: Andreas Praefcke)
(Picture: Andreas Praefcke)

If you enjoy contemporary and modern sculpture, don't miss the Nasher. If the weather's comfortable for time outside, the gardens are fascinating, but there's also a large indoor (and air-conditioned) building designed by famed architect Renzo Piano. 

Closed Mondays, US$10 including audio guide and special exhibitions. Joint ticket with the Dallas Museum of Art US$16, immediately opposite. Flora St & North Harwood St.

Dallas Center for the Perfoming Arts (AKA the AT&T Center)

Dallas might not be the first city that comes to mind for the performing arts, but  with an opera house, a theatre, a chamber hall and two outdoor venues in the Performing Arts Center complex, there may well be something on that you'd enjoy.

The Center is home to the Dallas Opera, Texas Ballet Theater, Dallas Theater Center, Dallas Black Dance Theatre and the Ballet Folklorico. 

The 2011-2012 opera season includes Lucia di Lammermoor, Tristan & Isolde, Traviata and The Magic Flute.
Prices vary. Flora St and North Pearl St.

The Sixth Floor Museum

Located in the infamous Texas School Book Depository building where Lee Harvey Oswald assassinated US President John F Kennedy, the Sixth Floor Museum is a fascinating place to spend a couple of hours boning up on your Kennedy history. 

Open every day, US$13.50 including an audio guide. Elm St & Houston St. 

State Fair of Texas

If you're in Dallas in October, consider a trip down to the State Fair, a real Texas tradition with livestock, entertainment, an auto show, and deep-fried everything. 

You'll want to pack some jeans and leave the business suit in your luggage, but you can't get more Texas than the State Fair.

It's a little tricky to get to (address: 3921 Martin Luther King Blvd) but it's well worth it. 2011 dates: Sept 30-Oct 23. US$16

Cocktails and dinner at Five Sixty Wolfgang Puck

We're always slightly skeptical about celebrity chefs with dozens of pricey restaurants. But with the Australian dollar above the US greenback, it's just the right time for a bit of a splurge.

And a revolving bar and restaurant 50 stories above Dallas sounds like just the ticket. The cuisine at Five Sixty by Wolfgang Puck is American-Asian fusion, with tasting menus, a la carte and a 5-7pm happy hour (Mondays-Thursdays) with cocktails, microbrews and daily featured wines. 

Closed Sundays. Reunion Tower, above the Hyatt Regency. Reunion Blvd & South Houston St.

Don't forget: Dallas has two airports

If you're stopping over in Dallas, make sure that you know which airport to head to for your outbound flight. 

DFW (Dallas/Fort Worth) is the main airport in town, which Qantas and all international airlines use. But if you've taken advantage of a cheap fare and are flying on Southwest, you might be using Love Field, which is also used for regional flights to Houston, Denver and Memphis.

DAL (Dallas Love Field) is an older, smaller airport closer to the centre of town. It's a hub for Southwest -- which is a low-cost airline roughly similar to an enormous Jetstar without a Qantas parent. United and Continental use Love Field for some flights to Denver and Houston (Intercontinental), while Delta flies from Love Field to Memphis.

John Walton

Aviation journalist and travel columnist John took his first long-haul flight when he was eight weeks old and hasn't looked back since. Well, except when facing rearwards in business class.

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