The Spa at the Joule
1530 Main St., Downtown
The sleek subterranean spa beneath the the Joule hotel offers both traditional and experimental spa treatments in a relaxing environment. Many of the facials use Tata Harper products; body treatments include Swedish massage, cupping therapy, and Thai table massage; and there are brow treatments from threading to microblading by local brow expert Rula Sharkawi. There’s a steam room with a giant amethyst shining in the corner (thought to encourage tranquility), a sauna, showers, and the Vitality Pool, a body-temperature pool with jets that gently massage the skin. Book a 50-minute or longer service and get a free spin, kickboxing, or yoga class at the neighboring Vital Fitness Studio.
The Cedars Social (Closed)
1326 S. Lamar St., Downtown
While the menu of decadent foods like crisp pork belly tacos, queso fundido, and grilled rib eye is a definite plus, the real draw to this retro-themed bar is the extensive drinks menu, care of mixologist Leann Berry. The plush seating and ’70s lounge chairs make this bar even harder to leave—especially true when you’ve made the journey out to this part of town, as it’s a little off the beaten track.
1325 S. Lamar St., Downtown
This rooftop bar at the NYLO—the latest in a crop of younger, hipper hotels—offers spectacular views of the city’s South Side. Come for sunset drinks by the pool or at the bar, take in the Dallas skyline, and make a meal of it, too, thanks to a menu of substantial snacks—hot dogs, tacos, salads, and the like.
1530 Main St., Downtown
The Joule’s subterranean mixology bar is somewhere between hipster and Texas classic, serving up some serious old-school cocktails with a twist, in a glam setting concocted by the gang behind the store Tenoversix (which also has a concession in the hotel). Green marble cocktail tables, brass bar stools and accessories, and a walnut ceiling are elegant enough for the Texas environs, while the cocktails—with names like Sister Cel-Ray and Savory Hunter—have a bit more bite.
Perot Museum of Nature & Science
2201 N. Field St., Downtown
Opened in late 2012, the new science museum is a must-see, not only for its stunning permanent exhibits and traveling shows but also for Thom Mayne’s groundbreaking sustainable building, which boasts a glass-enclosed staircase that cuts right through the structure. There is so much to see here that you might want to break it up into a couple of trips, but our favorite by far is the gems and minerals hall, which among other phenomena, includes an amazing five-foot geode. Plus, if you have little ones, the Children’s Museum alone is practically worth the day trip with all its requisite slides, crawl spaces, and sandpits.
Nasher Sculpture Center
2001 Flora St., Downtown
Adjacent to the Dallas Museum of Art and open to the public since 2003, this private collection, owned by the Nasher family, is one of the most stunning in the world, including works by everyone from Auguste Rodin and Paul Gauguin to Richard Serra, Ellsworth Kelly, and Tony Smith. The grounds match the work with a sprawling garden by Peter Walker and a glass Renzo Piano pavilion that barely interrupts the landscape. And not to be missed (from May until October): The Nasher hosts the ’til Midnight program, staying open late for film screenings and outdoor concerts.
Dallas Museum of Art
1717 N. Harwood St., Downtown
The permanent art collection here cannot be dismissed: There are Monets, Manets, and Rauschenbergs, plus one of the largest Impressionist and Post-Impressionist collections in the country. But all that said, the museum’s design and local crafts holdings from around the world are just as impressive, from pre-Columbian artifacts to African masks and ceremonial attire to Eero Saarinen’s Tulip Chair. Admission is free. Photo courtesy of the Dallas Museum of Art.
1511 Commerce St., Downtown
This shop lives on the ground floor of the Joule hotel. Known for their great eye and fashion-y but relaxed finds for women, men, and kids, Kristen Lee and Brady Cunningham have opened a second location as delightful as their first. You’ll find familiar labels like Rachel Comey and Suno, along with planters from Kelly Lamb and Karen Kimmel’s modern dream catchers.
2418 Victory Park Ln., Downtown
Shop owners Jackie Bolin and Liz Thompson were the first to bring a new breed of understated labels to Dallas (and quite possibly to Texas as a whole)—for one, they’re known for their Isabel Marant buy. But they also stock Alexander Wang, Acne, Thierry Lasry, Coqui Coqui candles, and a trove of vintage in collaboration with Archive in Austin. You’ll find Chanel, YSL, Dior, and Hermès.
1618 Main St., Downtown
Neiman’s was born in Dallas, and no trip to Texas is complete without a visit to the mothership (there’s the original downtown, and a bigger outpost in Northpark). Here, you’ll experience the sort of service that Stanley Marcus described in his epic book, Minding the Store, which is a must-read for anyone who loves retail. But, we digress: The shoe department here is particularly epic, and dressed models still roam the floors, making it a wonderfully old-world experience.