Dallas attracts people and companies from across the globe, creating an international community that boasts an increasingly diverse array of things to do. In fact, this city has gained a reputation as a music mecca, a sports-lover’s dream, a historic landmark, and a sprawling bastion of warm Texas weather. With so much to explore, moving here can feel overwhelming. No worries! We’re here to help show you all the things for locals to do in Dallas. Check out these amazing eateries, activities, and hidden gems of Dallas.

Still planning your move to Dallas? AptAmigo can help with that too. We’re an apartment locating service that makes finding your dream apartment in Dallas so easy, you’ll wonder why you didn’t call sooner. Contact us today!

Local Life in Dallas


Top places in Dallas to grab a bite…

1) Pecan Lodge award-winning BBQ

This Deep Ellum restaurant represents the epitome of Dallas flavors. There’s usually a line around the block before they even open, and they close early if they sell out of food, which happens more often than late-night diners would like. Staying true to family recipes, anything they can make from scratch, they do.

Our favorite dish: We recommend the “Pitmaster.” You’ll want to come extra hungry for this towering sandwich piled with brisket, pulled pork, and sausage, topped with slaw, bbq sauce, and jalapenos.

2) Meso Maya Comida y Copas

Located on the border of Victory Park and Downtown, you can walk to this traditional Central and Southern Mexican food restaurant from many Dallas attractions, such as the Perot Museum of Nature and Science, the Dallas Museum of Art, and the Sixth Floor Museum. Sit back and relax from your day of sightseeing in the shaded courtyard, while ordering a house marg with Tajin rim. Under Chef Nico’s watchful eye, every dish here is seasoned to perfection.

Our favorite dish: It’s tied between the brisket enchiladas and the Herradura salmon. Both get rave reviews on Google, so you really can’t go wrong with either.

3) The Truck Yard

On the South side of Lower Greenville (near Knox-Henderson) sits the Truck Yard. More than just a restaurant, this Dallas experience will please everyone’s palates. Check their website or social media for the calendar of which food trucks will be serving on which days. There’s always a great rotation, with staples like Easy Slider, Halal Mother Truckers, and Avilia Arepa.

Our favorite dish: Since everything rotates, it’s hard to recommend a true favorite. But, there’s a permanent bar with dozens of craft cocktail and beer options, including wine, sake, and a Bucket-o-Mosas for brunch.


Outdoor Activities

Hiking & Biking Spots

Looking for a spot to take a walk, or maybe break out the bikes with the kids? A great 9.2-mile loop encircles White Rock Lake with plenty of access points and no hills. If you live closer to Downtown, head over to the 3.5-mile Katy Trail. You and Fido will have a great time when you stop off at the Katy Trail Ice House for a quick drink. For more in-the-woods hiking or mountain biking trails, hop in the car and head to the Arbor Hills Nature Preserve in Plano. 

Water Sports

If you’d rather get wet than stay dry, there are plenty of Dallas activities for you as well. For both beginners and seasoned pros, White Rock Paddle Company and DFW SURF help Dallas residents and visitors with paddle boarding and kayaking. Boating and jet ski rentals are available at nearby Lake Lewisville and Lake Ray Hubbard.

Hidden Gems

The Museum of Geometric and MADI Art

This little museum sits in Uptown close to Turtle Creek Park, and admission is completely free. The MADI art movement was founded by Carmelo Arden Quin in the 1940s and features works with odd shapes, convex and concave forms, and plenty of mind-bending eye-trickery. You’ll see the world in a whole new dimension by the time you leave this gem.

Deep Ellum Candy Company/Truth & Alibi

When you walk up to the Deep Ellum Candy Company, you may be craving a sweet treat. But behind the walls of this bright little shop lies a prohibition-style speakeasy bar called Truth & Alibi. You’ll need the password (try their Facebook page for that), but the cloak and dagger secrecy of this place is well worth the trouble of a visit.

The Giant Eyeball

If you’re new to Dallas and looking to fill your Instagram feed with your adventures around the city, be sure to stop off at 1601 Main Street to see this iconic sculpture. Created by Tony Tasset, the legend goes that city residents complained a new parking garage would be an “eyesore.” So, Tony put a “sore eye” in the spot instead. 

Live Music

Deep Ellum

Whether you want a full-blown concert at a venue like The Bomb Factory or Club Dada, or you’re looking to enjoy some background music with your dinner at a place like Ruins or Harlowe MXM, Deep Ellum has the music you crave. There are too many concert venues packed into this small area of town to mention in this article. But, you can find everything from country to hip hop and rock and roll when you visit Deep Ellum.

American Airlines Center

As far as stadium concerts go, the American Airlines Center is a fantastic place to see your favorite big-name star. Singers, musicians, and bands, from Bon Jovi to Dua Lipa to Twenty One Pilots, have sold out this venue time and time again. Tickets go fast, so book early!

House of Blues

Also Downtown is the famous House of Blues. With multiple options for music, dinner, and events, this venue attracts Dallas socialites of all kinds. You’ll enjoy the experience of a lifetime when you come for Gospel Brunch.

Weekend Activities

Galaxy Drive-In Theatre

Head out of town early on a Friday or Saturday and mosey on down to Ennis, Texas for a night at the drive-in. The Galaxy Drive-In Theatre offers a double feature for just $8 a person (cheaper than your average movie). Tickets are only available when you arrive, so get there early because they do fill up.

Fort Worth Stockyards

This historic 98-acre district in nearby Fort Worth is a great place to hang out for a day or a whole weekend. From shopping and wine tastings, to rodeos and cattle drives, there’s a little something for everyone here. Don’t forget to cap your night off with a rowdy time at Billy Bob’s Texas honky tonk.


An hour or so north of Downtown sits a much smaller downtown—that of Denton, Texas. There’s always something going on in Denton. From their music festivals to their holiday events in the square, Denton offers a fun escape from the big city life. 

Now that you know how to spend your time as a local, learn about the Cost of Living in Dallas,TX before you start your apartment search.

Find Your Dream Dallas Apartment 

Feeling like a local already? If you’re ready to move to Dallas, give AptAmigo a call. We use the best mix of technology (our database is huge!) and human knowledge from our local apartment specialists to find you the perfect-fit home near the best things for locals to do in Dallas. Our service is completely free, so there’s no risk in giving us a try. Call today!

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About the Author
Jeanette Smith

Jeanette Smith is a writer, editor, and freelancer based in Dallas, Texas. Find out more at JeanettetheWriter.com.