I’m really excited to interview Harry Hall, author of “This Used To Be Dallas,” about Dallas, Texas. Harry’s tips for the best things to do in Dallas are awesome because he’s lived here for 50 years and has watched the city grow so much. He loves the low cost of living, plentiful job opportunities, and moderate weather.

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Best things to do in Dallas Texas - Harry Hall - El Fenix mural
Mural outside El Fenix. Stop by the home of Tex-Mex and the original margarita.

Dallas, Texas

Dallas is one of the most visited cities in Texas and is the commercial and cultural hub of the region. It is the home to professional sports teams from the NBA, MLB, NFL, and NHL. And locals have amazing pride in the culture, food, and fun that awaits visitors to their city.

You’ll find all four seasons in Dallas. Spring is warm, while summers can be hot. Fall is nice, while winter varies from sub-freezing to pleasant. Like any big metroplex, there are numerous festivals and events throughout the year. Harry recommends experiencing the Texas State Fair at least once in your life and attending the Taste of Dallas to sample some of the region’s top chefs.

We share a lot of resources and local suggestions in today’s podcast, but you should also check out Visit Dallas, the local visitor’s bureau. They are a wealth of information and can help you plan an itinerary based on your time, budget, and interests. The Dallas CityPass saves 37% on four of the most popular Dallas attractions – Perot Museum of Nature & Science, Reunion Tower GeO-Deck, The Sixth Floor Museum, and the Dallas Zoo.

If you’d like to learn how to travel for free using airline miles and hotel points, check out my free 7-day email course.

Best things to do in Dallas Texas - Harry Hall - photo courtesy of Dallas Firefighter Museum
Photo courtesy of Dallas Firefighter Museum

Getting around Dallas

There are two major airports in the Dallas area – DFW and Love Field. Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) is the larger of the two and is the hub of American Airlines. Dallas Love Field Airport (DAL) is a regional airport that is the hub of Southwest Airlines.

Harry says that you should rent a car when visiting because Dallas is so spread out. Public transportation is very limited, even though getting around downtown is fairly easy. For the best offers, visit Avis, Budget, or Hertz. Uber and Lyft are excellent ways to get around if you want to avoid the traffic and expense of parking a vehicle.

When you only need a car for a couple of hours, you can rent by the hour with Zipcar. Join now to get $25 loaded into your account.

Best things to do in Dallas Texas - Harry Hall - Inn of the Dove was listed in the 'Green Book'
Inn of the Dove was listed in the ‘Green Book’

Places we talked about on the podcast

Here is a map of all of the places we talked about in the podcast episode with Harry Hall about Dallas, Texas. You can zoom into the map and click on each dot to explore the city.

  • Red dots = best places to eat in Dallas, Texas
  • Green dots = best things to do in Dallas, Texas
  • Yellow dots = best places to stay in Dallas, Texas

Who is Harry Hall?

Harry Hall has lived in Dallas for more than 50 years and has seen the city grow into a major player in America. He graduated from Irving MacArthur High School where he ran track and cross-country. Harry earned a degree in Physical Education and a teaching certificate from UT-Arlington. He was a freelance writer/columnist for several local and state publications, including eight years with the Dallas Morning News.

Harry taught public speaking for 23 years at the University of Dallas and three at SMU. He’s an active member of Toastmasters International, the National Speakers Association, and the Dallas Press Club. He’s written three books, “Help! Everyone is Staring at Me,” which gives strategies on overcoming the fear of public speaking; the winner of three national writing awards, “The Pedestriennes: America’s Forgotten Superstars,” the only book ever written about the late 19th-century professional women endurance walkers, and his latest, “This Used To Be Dallas,” which chronicles the history of 90 buildings & structures in Dallas, what they were, what they are and why they matter.

Harry has completed two Boston Marathons and seven White Rock (now Dallas) Marathons and has run a personal best of 2:27 and he’s coached several athletes to national championship events. He lives in Grand Prairie, TX with his wife of 34 years, Susie; their college-age son, Zane, and Zane’s best friend, Scamp (Pooch) Hall.

Best things to do in Dallas Texas - Harry Hall - I Fratelli's photo courtesy of Zane Hall
Harry Hall at I Fratelli’s. Photo courtesy of Zane Hall.

You can connect with Harry on his website and on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.

Big thanks to today’s affiliate partner – AwardWallet

This episode is brought to you, in part, by AwardWallet. Using airline miles and hotel points makes travel affordable, but keeping track of all of those loyalty programs can be a challenge. That’s why I use AwardWallet to track my miles and points balances, reservations, and special goodies like free hotel night certifications and airline companion passes.

Having everything in one easy-to-use dashboard helps ensure I don’t let any rewards expire and makes logging into my accounts super easy. Go to WeTravelThere.com/awardwallet to start your free account.

Best things to do in Dallas Texas - Harry Hall - Dallas World Aquarium - photo courtesy of Zane Hall
Dallas World Aquarium. Photo courtesy of Zane Hall.

Stay tuned for our next episode

Best things to do in Rome Italy - Erica FirpoListen to the next episode when Erica Firpo of Ciao Bella shares the best things to do in Rome, Italy. Erica and I talk about touring the Colosseum, exploring the Catacombs, and eating gelato. We hope you’ll join us when We Travel There.

What’s your favorite part of Dallas? Send us a Tweet, let us know in the comment section below, or continue the discussion in our Facebook group!

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To see which cities we’ve interviewed and scheduled, please visit WeTravelThere.com/map. If you’d like to be a guest on the show, please submit an application at WeTravelThere.com/guest.