When traveling, there’s no better way to get to know a new area than to go where the locals go. From coffee shops to hidden gems, here are some of our favorite places to hang and take visitors who want to explore Dallas-Fort Worth like a local. No matter what city you’re in, you’ll notice us Texans are super friendly, so be sure to say hi and stay a while.
WINE & DINE
With a beautiful patio offering live music multiple nights per week and happy hour deals Monday through Thursday, this is the place to get your wine on. We love this laid-back gem for its superb wine and craft beer selection paired with light tapas.
Catch the Dallas North Tollway and visit the bustling city of Plano. | Approx. Travel Time: 27 min.
Hub Streat, Courtesy: @catchingsplendid
STROLL, SIP & SHOP
PLANO ARTS DISTRICT:
The revitalized downtown area of Plano, set within the backdrop of historic buildings, has everything from eateries like Hub Streat, boutiques like The Feathered Nest, galleries like Holman Pottery and more!
After a day of exploring Plano’s historic downtown, make a pitstop at Mexican Sugar in the Shops at Legacy for a refreshing hibiscus or jicama margarita! If you’re in the mood for shopping, this is your hub for retail therapy at its finest.
Ready to relax with a cup of coffee? Continue west on President George Bush Turnpike to your next destination, Lewisville. | Approx. Travel Time: 20 min.
Courtesy: Tayler MacMillan
THE PERC COFFEE HOUSE:
Step into this throwback, vintage-style coffee house, and you’ll find it’s the perfect place to hang out with friends (or make new friends), grab a cup of coffee, and listen to live music on Friday and Saturday nights! Take time to stroll through Old Town Lewisville where the scenery is just as refreshing as it is charming.
Head south on 121 for a short drive to visit Grapevine, Texas. | Approx. Travel Time: 20 min.
Courtesy: Facebook, Big Daddy’s Ship Store
DINING WITH A VIEW
BIG DADDY’S SHIP STORE:
This hidden gem is definitely a favorite among locals. Take in amazing views of Lake Grapevine and chow down on some seriously delicious food. During the summer months, get there early for dinner and enjoy a free fireworks show over the water.
Time to explore Irving in a unique way. Take 114-E toward Irving. | Approx. Travel Time: 27 min.
Courtesy: Facebook, Stand Up Paddle North Texas
STAND UP PADDLEBOARDING:
When the weather’s right (and it is most of the time), you can rent a paddle board or take a SUP class with a group of family or friends in Irving. The views along the Mandalay Canal and Lake Carolyn are stunning. Stand up paddleboarding is a great day activity for exploring Irving in a new way.
Next up: a cozy bookstore in one of Dallas’ coolest neighborhoods | Approx. Travel Time: 20 min.
Courtesy: The Wild Detectives
BOOKS + BOOZE
THE WILD DETECTIVES:
Picture the cutest bookstore you’ve ever been to, the coziest coffee shop and the coolest bar. Then, mix them all together, and you’ve got The Wild Detectives, a bookstore bar located in an old Oak Cliff house. They often host local events, and if you’re looking for an unplugged oasis, stop by during their weekends without wi-fi.
Next up: another opportunity to get outdoors and soak up some Texas sunshine in Grand Prairie. | Approx. Travel Time: 30 min.
LYNN CREEK PARK:
Sandy beaches might not come to mind when you think of Dallas-Fort Worth, but Lynn Creek Park on the northwest shore of Joe Pool Lake is an outdoor oasis. During the warmer months, take advantage of the white sand beach, volleyball courts and plenty of picnic sites.