Hungry for adventure? From the skyscrapers of downtown Dallas to quaint town squares, DART helps you explore the world that’s right in your backyard. You’ll discover a bustling big city, sleek “new urban” oases, and historic downtowns where what’s old is new again.
A walkable experience in Addison
Addison is an urbanist hot spot. A quarter mile from the namesake transit center, you’ll find Italian food, Latin fare, New York-style pizza, taverns, sushi and a British-style pub, all clustered around Addison Circle. There’s live theater, too, at the innovative WaterTower Theatre, a small playhouse that is one of the region’s flagship cultural institutions. Popular festivals, including the city’s signature events, take place in Addison Circle Park, right next to the transit center.
Addison Transit Center
Small town vibes in Carrollton
Carrollton was built around the railroads in the 1870s. Many of the buildings built near the tracks still line the town square – only now they’re next to DART Rail. The historic downtown is more vital than ever, with a mix of homegrown restaurants, mom-and-pop shops, and other attractions. On the northern end of the neighborhood, you’ll find Babe’s Chicken Dinner House, a regional favorite for fried chicken, chicken-fried steak and down-home sides; on the southern end, there’s 3 Nations Brewing, voted 2020 Brewery of the year by CultureMap. Visit the taproom to sample any of a dozen beers on tap, plus burgers and such.
Downtown Carrollton Station
You can always go Downtown ... Dallas
It’s not hard to find big attractions and vibrant nightlife in downtown Dallas. There’s the Dallas Arts District, for starters, with the Dallas Museum of Art and Nasher Sculpture Center and the performance spaces at the city’s cultural venues and the AT&T Performing Arts Center. The best-kept secret of the lot is the always-free Crow Museum of Asian Art, where the wide-ranging collection spans history and cultures. Elsewhere in downtown, there’s the Dallas World Aquarium, featuring a real-life rainforest with exotic wildlife; the Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum, which recently opened a new 55,000-square-foot facility; and the Perot Museum of Nature and Science, with 11 permanent exhibit halls and special exhibitions throughout the year.
Pearl/Arts District Station, St. Paul Station, Akard Station, West End Station
Venture outside the loop
Just beyond downtown, you’ll find some of the city’s coolest urban districts. Iconic Deep Ellum has been a hotbed of music since the 1920s, and it hosts numerous galleries, restaurants and bars. West Village is jam-packed with shopping and dining, and it’s also the gateway to walkable Uptown; the vintage streetcars of free M-Line Trolley will ferry you right through the neighborhood’s heart. Bishop Arts District, with its diverse restaurants and shops, is just a short streetcar ride away from the Eddie Bernice Johnson Union Station. You can even hop on the TRE and spend the day in Fort Worth’s Sundance Square – a popular historic district with Western heritage to spare.
Deep Ellum Station, Cityplace/Uptown Station, Union Station (TRE and Dallas Streetcar)
A historical walk in Farmers Branch
The Farmers Branch Historical Park is a 27-acre outdoor gem that is both park and museum, and features numerous 19th-century buildings, including a train depot, school and old church. While you’re there, check out the Antique Rose Garden, where the flowers are grown without commercial fertilizers or pesticides. In addition to roses of all sizes, the fragrant respite includes a daylily display. If you want to follow your visit with evening entertainment, just down the street, where you’ll find a more than 60-year-old fire station converted into The Firehouse Theatre, a mainstay local performance venue. And soon, the Shops at Mustang Station will be filled with shops and restaurants.
Farmers Branch Station
A Saturday in Garland
Downtown Garland shows the city’s rustic, rural roots. It’s a charmer: Local specialty shops, eateries and a great brewpub ply their trade in a historic neighborhood that feels like a small town in the city. The eclectic shopping ranges from ceramics to vintage clothing, and there’s a great farmers market that starts in May. There’s even an old-fashioned feed store. For a taste of today, head to Intrinsic Smokehouse & Brewery, where you can sample handcrafted beers, soda and barbecue, all in a funky industrial setting. Looking for entertainment? You’ll find musicals, plays and concerts at both the Granville Arts Center and the Plaza Theatre, an Art Deco gem. Afterwards, a nightcap is a definite option.
Downtown Garland Station
A tale of two cities in Irving
Las Colinas is a bustling, growing enclave of shiny buildings, with restaurants, canals and Water Street, a cluster of restaurants on the shores of Lake Carolyn. There’s also a one-stop entertainment option: the Toyota Music Factory, which boasts the Pavilion concert venue, Alamo Drafthouse cinema, and plenty of dining and sipping options. You’ll find the flip side of this modern mecca in the downtown Heritage District, with its quaint architecture, low-key shopping and numerous restaurants, including an honest-to-goodness soda fountain.
Las Colinas Urban Center Station, Downtown Irving/Heritage Crossing Station (TRE)
Artfully done in Plano
There’s a reason they call it the Downtown Plano Arts District . The neighborhood is bursting with cultural venues: The Courtyard Theater , Cox Playhouse, ArtCentre of Plano and Interurban Railway Museum. McCall Plaza and Haggard Park host several live music series. The neighborhood itself artfully blends old and new, with a vibrant blend of art galleries, restaurants, unique shops.
Downtown Plano Station
A night at the theater in Richardson
Eisemann Center for Performing Arts brings new meaning to “eclectic.” The arts venue with a cool, modern design hosts musicals, comedy and drama, stand-up performers, monologists – you name it. The venue reopens on Aug. 18 with a slate of performances. For pre- or post-theater dinner or drinks, head to the next rail station, where the CityLine development offers a selection of restaurants in a walkable environment.
Galatyn Park Station, CityLine/Bush Station
An afternoon in Rowlett
Get off the Blue Line in Rowlett, and a slower pace envelops you. The city’s historic downtown is relaxed, and the Village of Rowlett – a mixed-use project that hosts the library and retail on the ground floor – has helped spark a renaissance. The city’s Downtown Event Series and the downtown association regularly host events on Main Street, including a summer concert series, holiday celebrations, and a farmers’ market that ramps up in May. Additionally, you’ll find cute boutiques, a coffeehouse, and restaurants including Bankhead Brewing, an eatery featuring its original tap brews.
Downtown Rowlett Station