The sleek steel-and-glass skyscrapers of downtown Dallas scream 21st century like nothing else. Rich from oil, this is a city that likes to consume - which is why the 'Big D' has more retail opportunities per person than anywhere else in the USA, making it nirvana for shopaholics. The other thing the locals like to consume is meat - so if you're a fan of steak or barbecued ribs, holidays to Dallas, Texas will have you drooling in anticipation.
There's history here too though, and the nearly 50 bronze steers, cowboys and horses in Pioneer Plaza are a reminder of the days when the Shawnee Trail, a nineteenth-century cattle driving route, passed this way. Dallas' grassy knoll and Book Depository are equally deeply ingrained in American history as the scene of President Kennedy's assassination, and a visit to the spot where American history was re-shaped will sweep you back to another era.
The cattle may be gone from Dallas now, but the cowboy spirit lives on and it's the perfect place to pick up a pair of cowboy boots or a belt with just the right buckle. There's rodeo action too, with the Mesquite Championship Rodeo running from June through to August each year, while if Country & Western music is your thing, honky-tonks across the city have live bands every night.
Another big plus point of holidays to Dallas is easy access to the USA's largest urban arts district, which runs from the Museum of Art down to the One Arts Plaza, with plenty of stimulation along the way. There's also interesting neighbourhoods to explore, as well as plenty of parks and gardens, while fans of TV show Dallas can even head out to Southfork, to pay homage at the home of the Ewings. It's just a shame J.R. won't be there to welcome you.
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Sixth Floor Museum
Located in the famous building that was once the Texas School Book Depository, the museum is dedicated to the life, death and times of John F Kennedy. You can see the actual window from which Lee Harvey Oswald fired the shots that killed America's 35th president on 22 November 1963 and trace the events of that fateful day.
Texas State Fair
Going strong since 1886, the annual Texas State Fair (26 September-19 October) draws over three million people to Fair Park to enjoy three weeks of rodeo competitions, car shows, cooking contests, pig races, outdoor music events and college football matches. There's also a huge amusement park, including America's tallest Ferris wheel, and every type of fried food imaginable.
Holidays to Dallas are the perfect choice for serious shoppers. Shopping is a way of life here and you can hit every type of store from the original Neiman Marcus to Wild Bill's, which stocks cowboy gear. Upscale Highland Park Village is the place to head for designer labels; the Shops at Park Lane mall has outlet bargains; and the North Park Centre has something for just about everyone.
Anchored by the huge collection at the Museum of Art, the Arts District also includes the fabulous Nasher Sculpture Centre with its world-class works by artists including Miro, Giacometti and Picasso Performance arts are on tap here too, with the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Centre, the Winspear Opera House and the Dallas City Performance Hall all in the area.
Thrill seekers can get their kicks at the Zero Gravity Thrill Park, complete with extreme rides including a 16-storey free fall. Adrenaline addicts who prefer something a little less terrifying can opt for the Six Flags Over Texas theme park in Arlington.
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