Dallas' new slogan is "Live Large. Think Big". It sums up perfectly this city that was built on the attitude that all things are possible. It started out as a trading post in the 1840s, growing and growing to become the No. 1 business centre in the U.S. Millions of business and leisure travellers take cheap flights to Dallas each year for meetings, conferences, and to sample the city's exciting culinary scene, lively arts and entertainment districts and superb shopping.
Dallas is a force to be reckoned with when it comes to professional sports too. There are three major teams based in Dallas - the Mavericks (NBA) and Stars (NHL) that play at American Airlines Center and the Cowboys (NFL) that call the Texas Stadium home - all followed with passion.
There are more than 400 green spaces in Dallas, but its flagship park is Fair Park. It's a National Historic Landmark, home to museums, performance facilities, a lagoon, North America's biggest Ferris wheel and Big Tex, a 16-metre-tall statue with a 75-gallon hat and size 70 boots who will even say hello.
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Dallas has a humid subtropical climate. Summers are hot and humid, winters are mild. Spring and fall have perhaps the best weather. Travellers considering booking cheap flights to Dallas during spring should bear in mind that there is a risk of thunderstorms (with fantastic lightning shows) and tornadoes.
When to fly to Dallas
Spring and fall are the best times to book cheap flights to Dallas. The weather is pleasant although it can be volatile with tornadoes and spectacular thunderstorms. There are lots of festivals and cultural events on during these times.
Summers can be extremely hot and humid with temperatures greater than 38 degrees Celsius (100 degrees Fahrenheit).
Getting around Dallas
The main Dallas sights are easy to get to on foot. You can join any of a number of walking tours. Dallas’ public transportation system, the Dallas Area Rapid Transit, also called DART, runs buses and light-rail that connects the downtown Dallas Convention Center with the West End and other sightseeing spots. At the downtown Dallas Museum of Art, you can hop on the M-Line Trolley, also called the McKinney Trolley, to get to the historic McKinney Avenue area. It’s still a good idea to rent a car in Dallas. It’s a very big city, and you’ll be glad you have the option should you decide to spend time outside the city. Make sure you know your hotel’s parking policy though. There’s little free parking to be found downtown, and most hotels charge for parking. You will also have to battle rush hour traffic. The highway numbers are easy to find on a map, but many locals refer to them by name, like the Airport Freeway or Central Expressway. If you’re going to Deep Ellum at night, take a taxi.
Dallas insider information
- Pick up a Walking Sculpture brochure at the visitors centre. The brochure highlights 33 outdoor public sculptures by the likes of Henry Moore, Richard Serra, Ellsworth Kelly and Mark di Suvero. There are guided walking tours of the district on the first Saturday of the month.
- The annual Texas State Fair in September/October is a huge draw. Running for several weeks, the fair's offerings include live music, auto and truck shows, backyard circus acts, large-gauge model trains, free-flight bird shows, and, as you'd expect, animal and livestock exhibits.
- The Trammell and Margaret Crow Collection of Asian Art is stunning. Located on Flora Street, the galleries are dedicated to the arts and cultures of China, Japan, India and Southeast Asia. Opening hours are 10am-5pm Tuesday-Sunday, the Crow Collection is open late on Thursdays, until 9pm. It's closed on Mondays. Admission is free.
- The Nasher Sculpture Center is also on Flora Street. Devoted to modern sculpture, it boasts works by Rodin, Brancusi, Miro and Giacometti. It's open 10am-5pm daily except Monday, late opening until 9pm on Thursdays. Admission costs $10.
- Who shot JR? You can visit Southfork Ranch, home of the Ewing clan, and see the gun that shot the most infamous Ewing of all.
- The Sixth Floor Museum of the former Texas School Depository at 411 Elm Street explores the theories surrounding the assassination of President John F Kennedy.
- To make the most of your stay, grab a copy of the Weekend Guide of the Dallas Morning News as soon as you get off your cheap flights to Dallas. The Dallas Observer is a free weekly paper with arts, entertainment, and dining information.