Heading to the Big D in the heart of the Lone Star State? Carve out some time to explore vibrant Uptown Dallas, a central neighborhood buzzing with action. Connected to Downtown Dallas by the tranquil Klyde Warren Park, this dynamic district boasts plenty of bars, boutiques, bistros, and beer gardens.
The beating heart of Uptown Dallas is McKinney Avenue, where you’ll find all the action. Take a stroll or hop on the free vintage trolley and trundle past art galleries, theaters, fashion stores, coffee shops, and bars.
Plenty of lovely parks await to escape the hustle and bustle of the city, too. And when it comes to nightlife, Uptown Dallas won’t disappoint: This lively neighborhood has everything from cozy speakeasies to energetic dance clubs.
You’ll also find plenty of fantastic accommodation options in Uptown, from affordable, family-friendly hotels to luxury resorts.
Ready to plan your trip to the Big D? Make sure you have all your ducks in a row with this complete guide for what to see & do, where to eat & drink, and where to stay in Uptown, Dallas.
What to see & do in Uptown Dallas
Start your adventure in the heart of Uptown with a stroll along McKinney Avenue. This vibrant street boasts trendy shops, buzzing bars, cozy cafés, independent galleries, and acclaimed theaters.
Backed by over a century of history, the two-mile McKinney Avenue blends historic charm with modern style, and is one of the hottest entertainment spots in the city. If you love art, don’t miss the Dallas Museum of Art with its impressive collection. Shopaholics will love the eclectic mix of boutiques and shops that line the street.
When your legs are tired, hop on board the vintage McKinney Avenue Trolley and let it transport you back in time. This charming streetcar is a beloved icon of the area and a fantastic way to explore the neighborhood while enjoying the picturesque views. Plus, it’s completely free!
Escape the city’s hustle and bustle and embrace nature’s beauty on the Katy Trail. Winding its way through Dallas, the 3.5-mile-long pedestrian and bicycle path is a haven for outdoor and fitness enthusiasts, with locals using the trail year-round.
Once an abandoned railway line, the Katy Trail is the perfect place for your outdoor workout. Lace up your running shoes or rent a bike and walk along the scenic route through lush greenery, charming neighborhoods, and beautiful bridges.
The Katy Trail has exercise stations, so you can stop and do strength training along the way. When you’ve worked up an appetite, grab a bite to eat at one of the many cafés and eateries along the route.
Turtle Creek Park
Another fantastic spot to grab a few hours of peace and serenity is Turtle Creek Park. Situated in the heart of the city, this beautiful and historic green space has enchanted visitors for decades. Designed by renowned landscape architect George E. Kessler and established in 1902, Turtle Creek Park is one of the oldest parks in the city and a hidden gem among Dallas tourist attractions.
Explore the winding pathways that meander through the 8.4-acre park and enjoy the tranquil atmosphere. Admire the captivating sculptures and art installations that are scattered throughout the park.
Pack a picnic and find a cozy spot under the shade of a tree or in one of the park’s picnic areas. Keep your eyes peeled for various bird species, including colorful cardinals, graceful herons, and chirping finches.
Named after prominent Dallas attorney and civic leader Colonel Samuel D. Griggs, Griggs Park is beautiful with open green spaces, lush trees, and manicured landscapes. You’ll find plenty of shaded areas and serene spots for relaxation.
Griggs Park provides a picturesque setting for a leisurely stroll or invigorating jog. Explore the park’s pathways and enjoy the lush landscapes and vibrant flora. Admire the eclectic art installations, adding a touch of creativity and culture to the surroundings.
The park features well-maintained playgrounds that are perfect for families with children. Let the little ones enjoy the swings, slides, and other play structures while you relax and take in the views. Watch out for festivals, concerts, and other outdoor activities in the park throughout the year.
Second Thought Theatre
Catch a thought-provoking production at the historic Second Thought Theatre on Blackburn Street. If plays that tackle relevant social issues, explore complex characters, and challenge the status quo are right up your alley, then seeing a show at Second Thought Theatre is a must!
Founded in 2004, the Second Thought Theatre was born out of a passion for producing daring and intellectually stimulating plays that challenge conventional norms. Today, the production company has gained recognition for its innovative productions and commitment to supporting emerging artists.
You’ll find a variety of productions, from thought-provoking dramas to innovative comedies, in small intimate venues, promising a unique and immersive experience.
If you’re interested in getting involved behind the scenes, Second Thought Theatre offers volunteer opportunities from assisting with front-of-house duties and helping with set construction to supporting marketing efforts.
Klyde Warren Park
If you want a real feel for Uptown’s close-knit community, head to Klyde Warren Park. Bridging the gap between Downtown Dallas and the Uptown neighborhood, the park is a special gathering place for locals and visitors alike.
Spanning 5.2 acres across the Woodall Rodgers Freeway, Klyde Warren Park features lush landscaping, native plants, trees, and flowers, providing a picturesque backdrop for its various attractions and activities.
Explore the park’s various installations and public art displays celebrating the intersection of nature, culture, and creativity. Get active and join a yoga or tai chi class, break a sweat in the outdoor exercise areas, or challenge friends to a game of basketball or table tennis.
The kids can enjoy climbing structures, slides, and interactive play areas, and your dog can play in a designated area with obstacles and water fountains. Unwind with a good book or catch up on work in the Reading and Games Room.
Klyde Warren Park also hosts a range of live performances, including concerts, dance showcases, and theater productions throughout the year, so keep an eye on the calendar.
Where to eat & drink
Uptown offers a smörgåsbord of dining options from easy-to-recognize favorites to local gems, and you’ll find everything from tapas to Tex-Mex.
If you’re a seasoned fan of Spanish cuisine, Si Tapas on Allen Street is a must! Take a culinary journey to the lively streets of Spain as you kick back in a relaxed, laid-back atmosphere and tuck into an array of delectable and authentic tapas. Think Patatas Bravas with creamy garlic aioli, succulent shrimp sautéed in garlic-infused olive oil, and traditional Spanish paella heaving with saffron, seafood, chicken, and vegetables. Don’t forget to pair your meal with a carafe of sangria!
Head over to Routh Street for an evening of sizzling Tex-Mex and tequila at Las Palmas Tex-Mex. Expect a warm and welcoming ambiance, colorful décor, festive lighting, and a lively crowd. Dine on mouthwatering beef fajitas, gooey enchiladas, and grilled fish tacos piled with queso and guacamole. Frozen margaritas are the order of the day, but there’s nothing like a few tequilas to get the party started!
For something more upmarket and elegant, go to the luxurious Ritz-Carlton Hotel on McKinney Avenue for an evening at Fearing’s Restaurant. This sleek Southwestern-inspired restaurant takes dining to a new level with innovative food combinations, such as an antelope, a cactus pear glaze, or the Guinness chocolate cake with orange curd and cider beer ice cream. Dine in the garden-facing glass pavilion or on the exquisitely landscaped patio.
Sixty Vines is your go-to for classic Italian fare in a casual, relaxed atmosphere! Located in the Windhaven Plaza on the Dallas Parkway, the Plano hot spot serves an Italian-inspired menu of appetizers, wood-fired pizza, house-made pasta, fresh salads, and 41 wines. Sit at long communal tables with oversized lanterns or in the quieter greenhouse patio.
Located on the fittingly Irish McKinney Avenue, The Standard Pour is a neighborhood restaurant and bar that combines a greasy and silver spoon to create a classic cocktail den and cravings kitchen. Sip creative and expertly crafted cocktails, from traditional favorites to innovative concoctions. Indulge in gourmet dishes like truffle mac and cheese and fresh seafood. It’s a popular spot for brunch, so get there early!
Stylish and intimate with cozy seating and soft lighting, Parliament is perfect for a special occasion. Sip craft cocktails like Old Fashioned or Negroni, or enjoy a bourbon, rye, or Scotch from an impressive whiskey selection.
Where to stay
As it’s one of the most recommended neighborhoods in Dallas for travelers, there are plenty of superb accommodation options in Uptown. If you run out of choice, venture south of Klyde Warren Park to the Dallas Arts District or push further into the Dallas Downtown Historic District.
Relax in elegant, modern rooms with Nespresso machines and complimentary Wi-Fi at this refined hotel. Set on a tree-lined street just two miles from the Dallas Museum of Art, Canopy By Hilton Dallas Uptown has a 24-hour gym and a bistro-style café. Enjoy complimentary breakfast every morning and relaxed evenings over local beers and spirits. Hop on a loaner bike to explore the area.
Close to a tram stop with easy access to downtown, Hotel ZaZa Dallas is a chic retreat with luxurious amenities. Indulge in a whirlpool bath in your suite, lounge on your private terrace with beautiful city views, or book a 1930s-style bungalow for extra privacy. Relax at the outdoor pool and spa and use the complimentary shuttle to explore Uptown.
Sleek and stylish, Marriott Dallas Uptown offers polished rooms and suites with balconies and modern amenities. Book a club room to access a private lounge to enjoy complimentary snacks and drinks. Unwind by the rooftop pool and work out in the nearby Reverchon Park, a short stroll away.
Unfussy rooms and suites with designer Italian bed linens, iPod docks, and free Wi-Fi offer luxurious comfort at Hotel Crescent Court. Book the double-story suite for added space with a full kitchen. If you can’t be bothered to cook, enjoy top-notch Japanese cuisine at the hotel restaurant or the guest-only dining club with views of the Dallas skyline. Kick back at the rooftop pool, luxury spa, and courtyard garden
Defining luxury, The Ritz-Carlton, Dallas has everything from an award-winning spa and wellness center to a world-renowned American restaurant. Indulge in opulent suites with designer linens, soaking tubs, and high-end amenities. Enjoy elegant evening receptions with wine tasting and snacks, and relax over traditional British high tea on Saturday afternoons.