The Dallas-Fort Worth area is a magnet for visitors, whether they’re seeking family fun at Six Flags, a visit to Sundance Square, or a trip to the historic Sixth Floor Museum. There’s no shortage of hotspots to keep out-of-towners entertained, but sometimes the best way to experience a city is to see it like a local. If you want to enjoy the DFW metro area the way the people who live there do, add these four spots to your must-visit list.
Nasher Sculpture Center
Since opening in 2003, the Nasher Sculpture Center has offered a lush oasis in the heart of the city. Housed on a 2.4-acre plot of land in downtown Dallas, it has both a two-story art museum with three indoor galleries and a series of garden terraces that lead to an auditorium. Locals love it as a quiet place for evening strolls and to catch a movie, live music, or lecture. With a rotating collection of art to complement the fixed collections and sculptures, the center always offers something new to enjoy.
Local Tip: Explore the Dallas Museum of Art right next door while you’re in the area.
Fort Worth Water Gardens
Although technically a park, the Fort Worth Water Gardens are unlike any park you’ve experienced. This year-round attraction is an engineering accomplishment you have to see to truly appreciate. Designed by architect Phillip Johnson, the park uses the babbling sound of water to completely shut out the world and make you forget you’re in the midst of a city. Water cascades down massive terraces and leads to one of three pools, each with its own fascinating features.
Local Tip: Before leaving, be sure to visit Bass Performance Hall, the spectacular performing arts center in nearby Sundance Square.
White Rock Lake Park
As one of the most visited parks in the Dallas area, White Rock Lake is the place where locals love to play. With more than 9 miles of running and hiking trails, picnic areas, and a popular dog playground, this park welcomes more than a million visitors a year, making it Dallas’ outdoor spot for year-round fun. The beautiful surroundings are ideal if you’re into photography, or if you’re all about aquatics, it’s the place for kayaking, canoeing, sailing, and more.
Local Tip: White Rock Lake is also the setting for the Dallas Arboretum, which is home to 66 acres of gorgeous display gardens.
Whether you love a great cup of coffee or you want to enjoy some great Texas food, Cafe Brazil is the go-to spot for locals. Since starting in 1991 as a 10-table restaurant, this eatery with a killer cup of joe has now grown to nine locations and earned its reputation as a top weekend destination. Whether you’re going for brunch or for a late night/early morning breakfast, you’re in for one of the best casual dining and coffee spots in the area.
Local Tip: If you want some other options in late-night snacking, check out Urban Donut, where these big-as-Texas confections are served until 2 a.m. on the weekends.
The next time you travel to Dallas, get out and rub elbows with the locals. Don’t forget to share all your best experiences with us on Twitter.