When I was a little girl, I wanted to move to Dallas and become a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader. I also wanted to become a Solid Gold dancer, so apparently dancing was the theme of my childhood.

Sadly, I never wore a gold lame bodysuit and leg warmers on the Solid Gold stage but that was probably a smart career move on my part. My dream of becoming an NFL cheerleader did come true.  However, since I lived in Louisiana, I ended up cheering for the New Orleans Saints instead of the Dallas Cowboys.

After six years of living in Louisiana, I took a road trip to Dallas.  The moment I spotted the Dallas skyline from Interstate 45  fourteen years ago, I knew I would call “Big D” home.  A few weeks later, I packed up a moving van and moved to an apartment in Irving, about 15 miles outside of Dallas.  I grew up in a small town in West Virginia, then lived in a small town in Louisiana, so moving to Dallas was a BIG change.

Dallas Bucket List

When I first moved to Dallas, I wanted to explore all the city had to offer; downtown Dallas, sporting events, the Arts District, ALL the shopping malls, live music and restaurants.  A few years ago, my husband and I started keeping a list of our favorite places to eat, visit and attractions around Dallas so we could “show off” our city when friends and family come to visit.  This became the inspiration for the Ultimate Dallas Bucket List.

There is still more of Dallas that I want to experience and explore. The Ultimate Dallas Bucket list includes places to visit, eat, drink, attractions, Dallas Sports teams, art, music venues, and the best shopping across DFW. If you are looking for advice on what to do during a weekend in Dallas, this list is going to be ambitious. Even after living in this city for fourteen years, I still have dozens of items left to cross off on my Dallas Bucket List.

Before you die (or move away from Dallas), here are 50 items you need to cross of your Dallas Bucket List:

  1. Take the elevator to Five Sixty at the top of Reunion Tower and have dinner (or at least drinks) while watching the sunset over Dallas
  2. Visit the Dallas Arboretum during Dallas Blooms in the spring
  3. Cheer for the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium (try to watch the game on the field, not on the big screen)
  4. Book reservations for dinner at the French Room in the Adolphus Hotel (reopening in Spring 2017)
  5. Grab concert tickets at The Kessler Theater, the historic Art Deco movie theater turned music venue located in Oak Cliff
  6. Stay out late admiring the art during the Dallas Museum of Art Late Night series
  7. Find a seat at one of the picnic tables at Lee Harvey’s and enjoy cold beer, live music (best people watching patio in Dallas)
  8. Catch the daily cattle drive in the Fort Worth Stockyards
  9. Take DART to the State Fair of Texas and ride the Texas Star (ferris wheel)
  10. Admire the art and sculptures as you shop at NorthPark Center
  11. Visit the Dallas Farmers Market to stock up on fruits, veggies, and fresh food items then walk over to the indoor Market for lunch
  12. Ride the DART directly to the stop at the Dallas Zoo and visit the animals
  13. Cheer on the Dallas Mavericks at the American Airlines Center
  14. Stay at the Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek and enjoy dinner at the legendary Mansion restaurant
  15. Grab your tickets to a concert on the main stage at the House of Blues Dallas
  16. Browse the original art, listen to live music and watch the pet parade at the FREE Deep Ellum Arts Festival
  17. Walk, sip and shop during monthly Wine Walks in Deep Ellum
  18. Take the Grapevine Vintage Railroad train from Downtown Grapevine to the Fort Worth Stockyards
  19. Bring out-of-town guests to the Perot Museum of Nature and Science
  20. Don’t miss the tallest indoor holiday tree in the U.S. which stands in the middle of the ice rink at Galleria Dallas
  21. Go see the Christmas window displays at Neiman Marcus Downtown in Dallas
  22. Purchase tickets for bleacher seats to watch the Dallas Children’s Holiday Parade (the best seats sell out early)
  23. Head back to the American Airlines Center to catch a Dallas Stars Game
  24. Have drinks at the Belmont Hotel then go to dinner next door at Smoke (I recommend the beef rib)
  25. Once you grab tickets to a concert at South Side Ballroom, get there early to grab a good spot to see the stage
  26. Show off your inner book nerd by attending the Dallas Book Festival at the Dallas Public Library
  27. On a sunny day, cool off at the Truck Yard for their food trucks, beer garden, tree house bar and ice cream
  28. Pack a picnic basket and blanket for Cool Thursday Concerts on the lawn at the Dallas Arboretum
  29. Take a picture sitting behind the desk of the “oval office” at the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum at SMU
  30. Visit the art galleries, furniture and antique stores in the Dallas Design District
  31. Get the holiday spirit by visiting the Ice exhibit at the Gaylord Texan
  32. Byron Nelson Golf tournament at the Four Seasons in Irving
  33. Skip work and attend opening day for the Texas Rangers
  34. Grab a table, relax with a book,and order lunch from the food trucks at Klyde Warren Park
  35. Another art deco movie theater turned music venue, The Granada Theater has one multiple awards for best music venue in Dallas
  36. Experience four days of art, music, culinary arts and vendors at the Main St. Fort Worth Arts Festival
  37. Have high tea at the Adolphus Hotel (pinkies up!)
  38. Put on your cowboy boots and head to the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo
  39. Go for a run or bike ride on the Katy Trail
  40. Go shopping in Highland Park Village and stop at Royal Blue Grocery for coffee or wine tasting (depending on the time of day)
  41. Take a picture in front of the Flying Pegasus outside of the Omni Hotel
  42. Join the tradition and watch the St. Patrick’s Day parade on Greenville Ave
  43. Visit Texas Motor Speedway to fill your need for speed
  44. Get a taste of the original Tex-Mex restaurant in Dallas, El Fenix (downtown location)
  45. Listen to the Dallas Symphony Orchestra at the Meyerson
  46. Check out modern sculptures at the Nasher Sculpture Center (FREE admission the first Saturday of every month)
  47. Have a girl’s day out at the Grapevine Wine Trail or just walk along Main St. and indulge in wine tasting
  48. Go dancing at Billy Bob’s in Fort Worth, then stick around to watch professional bull riding in the arena
  49. Go for a  walk, bike or a run around White Rock Lake
  50. Spend an entire day exploring the boutiques, restaurants, coffee shops and eating Emporium pie in the Bishop Arts District

Don’t worry, I have MORE!! Part 2 of the Ultimate Dallas Bucket List is now available. How many items have you already crossed off of your bucket list? What have I missed that you think I need to add? 

Follow me on Instagram to see pictures of me #ExploringDallas and as I cross off items on my #DallasBucketList.


  1. WAIT…did I know you lived in Louisiana? I am from New Orleans. The Saints are my team, so I have to say I disagree with #3 on your bucket list. Otherwise, it’s lovely and I can’t wait to see the rest!

    • Yes! I moved to Louisiana after college and lived in Lafayette (commuted to New Orleans for cheerleading). My husband is from Crowley, so we go back to Louisiana several times a year to visit family. When the Saints play the Cowboys, I have a hard time choosing who to cheer for!!!

  2. So many incredible places!! I haven’t been to several of these, so they need to be on my summer bucket list for sure!! Thank you for compiling. I can’t wait to see part 2.

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