Texas Activities

Establishment neighborhood
The State Fair of Texas
3921 Martin Luther King Jr Blvd., Dallas
The Texas State Fair is everything you might expect: country-and-western shows, livestock competitions, roller coasters, and food booths that will fry just about anything. Less expected are the tiny homes exposition, where every dwelling is less than 300 square feet, and the vegan-food pavilion. Open for only three weeks a year, the fairgrounds are filled with ornate Art Deco buildings built in the 1930s, and there’s also a lake you can paddle across in a swan boat.
Ferris Wheelers Backyard & BBQ
1950 Market Center Blvd., Design District
Amazing smoked ribs, jalapeño hot links, queso topped with brisket, tons of local beer on tap, plus the Gentleman’s Handshake (a Lone Star with a shot of whiskey) are absolutely reasons to come here. But the huge backyard is the real draw. Among the picnic tables and twinkling lights, a fifty-foot-tall, fully functioning Ferris wheel runs every evening. It’s the perfect place to go on a warm evening, especially if you have kids.
Austin is one of the more bike-friendly cities, and this is a great way to cover a lot of ground and get your bearings around the various neighborhoods. While you don’t want to attempt riding through Dirty Sixth at happy hour, you should cruise around UT’s campus (kids and sports fans will want to stop and see the football stadium), and definitely head to the generous paths threaded throughout the parks bordering the Colorado River. There are numerous bike rental options in Austin, but the city bike program is actually really well done, easy to use and affordable, with locations all over. You can check out a bike with a credit card at any of the conveniently placed stations for a twenty-four-hour period, or purchase access for a longer time period—three days, a month, one year—online. (Side note on getting around: Uber and Lyft are not currently operating in Austin, but there are a variety of smaller rideshare operations that have sprung up, although the quality isn’t as high—which perhaps increases the appeal of a bike ride if you don’t have a car while in town.)
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