It’s your local city experts, Dallasites101, here! Let’s be real – the smoldering heat makes it feel like summer, but the lack of available travel sucks all the fun out of the months we’re so used to spending on “getaways.” With everything going on within the world, maybe you’re not looking to travel yourself, or have had to postpone a planned trip. Worry not! We’re here to give readers a few ways to do a little globe-hopping while staying local. Experience the vibrance of Miami, a fun-filled beach day in Hawaii, wine in Italy, jerk chicken from Jamaica, and more without leaving The Metroplex!
Here are 9 easy ways to spend an adult summer vacation in Dallas and make it your best staycation yet.
TRAVEL TO ITALY VIA ANTONIO RISTORANTE
No trip plans this spring break, or bummed you can’t travel to Italy? Transport yourself to dinner in the Italian hills via Antonio Ristorante! Classic Italian dishes like Fettuccine al Mondo del Mare made with fresh shrimp, scallops, clams and mussels, and authentic tiramisu will make you feel a world away. The specials and fresh fish change daily and they have an incredible (award-winning) wine selection. Their charming, shaded patio space is the perfect spot to hang with your crew and feel like you’re at an Italian retreat. Go enjoy a chef-inspired menu from Chef Antonio’s legacy!
TRAVEL TO MIAMI VIA WATERPROOF
You don’t need a plane ticket to Miami to lay poolside on a rooftop! Sip a refreshing drink at Waterproof nestled on the 19th floor of The Statler boasting panoramic downtown views. Yummy bites and craft cocktails are always better with a view and their indoor/outdoor lounge spaces are loaded with photo opportunities. Taking a dip in a chic rooftop pool surrounded by the downtown scene? Now that’s what we call a vacay!
GET THE PERFECT INSTAGRAM SHOT VIA THE MUSEUM OF MEMORIES
Grab your friends for a killer Insta photo! Dallas is a hub of immersive art installations for your Instagrammable pleasure. Level up your spring break photos at the Museum of Memories, which offers a totally unique experience inspired by childhood imagination. Their quirky rooms are full of fun items like a giant ice cream cone and an adult-sized bowl of cereal that gives us major ball pit flashbacks. They’re only open on weekends, so make sure to plan accordingly.
TRAVEL TO TROPICAL WATERS VIA THE DALLAS WORLD AQUARIUM
Nothing feels more otherworldly than snorkeling or scuba diving in crystal clear waters surrounded by tropical fish. And, while Dallas doesn’t offer coastal waters, The Dallas World Aquarium is a great way to plunge into other parts of the world. There are several long tunnels where you can watch marine life swim all around you, including a shark tunnel. Not to mention, it has a full jungle scape you can walk through with free-flying birds and monkeys, and sealife walk-overs that showcase a variety of animals, like manatees. Check them out on Instagram!
Another local aquarium option is Sea Life in Grapevine. Both have set extensive health guidelines in place for guests, so you can feel confident about visiting!
EXPERIENCE ASIAN CULTURE VIA NORTH DALLAS
Have you heard of DFW China Town? Located in Richardson, this hidden gem is a key destination for authentic Asian food and shopping! Experience flavorful dishes influenced by Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Taiwanese, and Vietnamese culture, and visit the Asian grocery store to bring home ingredients and keepsakes from your “trip.” Make sure to check out the Dallas Chinese Community Center before you head home. The center hosts various interactive events, including karaoke! Many of the businesses have shared that times are much tougher in the midst of the pandemic, so getting out while being able to support local makes the trip to Richardson a highlight for everyone.
TRAVEL TO HAWAII VIA SANDBAR CANTINA
A tropical getaway in Deep Ellum? Count us in. Dip your toes in the sand at The Sandbar Cantina and Grill, otherwise known as “Beach Ellum!” Sandbar provides a local destination to unwind on their rustic deck and savor fresh-made food under the palms. You can even register for year-round sandbar leagues like sand volleyball and dodgeball on The Sandbar Cantina and Grill website. Right now, they’re closed due to a mix-up of establishment classifications with The City of Dallas/TABC (they are working on being able to operate outside of the “bar” category since the majority of their business comes from volleyball services). Be sure to “like” and follow their Facebook page to stay up-to-date on when they will reopen to the public.
TRAVEL TO DENVER VIA CEDAR RIDGE PRESERVE
For those of us who prefer forest retreat, nature awaits at Cedar Ridge Preserve managed by Audobon Dallas in southwest Dallas county! This 603-acre preserve boasts 9 miles of walking trails, a broad variety of wildlife, and a range of education programs. The nature preserve is open to visitors year-round Tuesday through Sunday from 6:30 am -dusk. Visit their website for birding resources, trail maps, and activities provided by Cedar Ridge Preserve. Make sure to note that they are closed on Mondays and check the weather before going.
TRAVEL TO MEXICO CITY VIA LA RESISTENCIA
If you frequent Deep Ellum, you’ve most likely heard of Revolver Taco Lounge, which is one of the top taquerias in Dallas! This isn’t your average taqueria – taco ingredients such as duck (named one of the best tacos in Texas), octopus, and ruby red trout definitely make their menu items one-of-a-kind. La Resistencia is the new Revolver Taco Lounge tasting experience. This taco experience is straight from Mexico City! Enjoy an amazing six-course chef tasting menu for $65, complete with creative proteins, traditional flavors, and a ton of creative flair. They’re serving patrons on a by-reservation-only basis, so be sure to reserve a table through Resy before “traveling.”
TRAVEL TO JAMAICA VIA THE ISLAND SPOT
Stumble upon a bit of Jamaican paradise at the Island Spot found in Oak Cliff and Carrollton! This authentic Jamaican eatery serves rich food, good rum, and traditional reggae. When you go inside, you are immediately greeted by the island vibes from a bamboo-lined bar. The real show-stoppers, though is are the many forms of the jerk chicken and the fried plantain. Of course, all meals come complete with all the Jamaican spices. If you enjoy a good rum beverage, make sure to have a Rum Paradise served in an actual pineapple. By the time you head home, you’ll have all the best island-y vibes!
Travel may be at a bit of a standstill, but with the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex being such a hub for different cultures and international experiences, you can still get a taste of something extraordinary! For more city guides, visit our Dallasites101 website or follow us on Instagram!
Written by Lily & Kara of Dallasites101
Dallasites101 is a hyperlocal media company in Dallas, about Dallas. They are your 101 to Dallas, encouraging new and native residents to continuously discover and engage in the city, through content and experiences. They want Dallasites to call the city home, to find and build their sense of place here by trying “the new.” And that doesn’t just mean what’s new to Dallas, but also what’s new to them!