Enjoy The Citys Artwork
The Deep Ellum neighborhood is full of stunning artwork. You dont even have to visit a gallery if you dont want to .
The neighborhoods streets are filled with murals and street art theres plenty to see just by walking up and down the roads. The Welcome to Dallas mural, in particular, is a must-see.
What To Do In Deep Ellum Dallass Coolest Neighborhood
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Friday the 13th is a big deal in Deep Ellum, the hipster haven hiding in plain sight on the eastern flank of downtown Dallas. Because whenever that infamous date strikes, large lines of people materialize here at midnight.
The cause for their arrival is artistic, not arcane: Each Friday the 13th, without fail, beloved local inking establishment Elm Street Tattoo throws open its doors for the entire 24 hours, decorating the denizens of Dallas for a mere $13 each.
The Pittman Hotel
The Elm Street Tattoo Marathon is a perfect distillation of this diverse neighborhooda melting pot of invention, music, and artistry that positively crackles with convivial creativity. Often compared to Brooklyns Williamsburg or San Franciscos Mission District, its bohemian but urbane an edgy enclave with a big heart and big aspirations.
Originally dubbed Deep Elm , it was pronounced Ellum by early residents 150 years ago, and the name eventually stuck. Today its the mural capital of Texas, with more than 150 carefully painted compositions splashed across its old brick buildings, as well as the epicenter of Dallas live music scene.
Enjoy The Butterfly House At Texas Discovery Gardens
Imagine marrying the love of your life surrounded by nature and butterflies!
Thanks to this natural oasis in North Texas, the Texas Discovery Gardens, this can become a reality. If you are not planning a wedding soon, just book a ticket or visit on a Wednesday .
Relax and enjoy the magical butterfly house, natural gardens, and dont forget to take lots of pictures!
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Stroll Around The Historic District
West End Historic District is always a good option if you are wondering what to do in Dallas, Texas.
Apart from the JFK Memorial Plaza and the Old Red Museum , there are tons of restaurants and shops for you to explore.
The coolest part?
Many of those restaurants and shops are former old warehouses and railroad stations that have been preserved and turned into something new.
This is an excellent way of seeing the past with a modern twist!
George W Bush Presidential Library And Museum
Located on the beautiful SMU campus, the George W. Bush Presidential Library is a must-see for anyone interested in U.S. history or politics. Completed in 2013, the stunning library houses materials that document George W. Bushs presidency as well as permanent museum exhibits and a fully developed research facility. Learn about American history firsthand as you browse things such as the vast collection of handwritten letters from the former president, photos, videos and unique artifacts.
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The Dallas Arts District
The Dallas Arts District is an incredible compilation of buildings and centers in the city that focuses on everything from performing and visual arts to art education and museums. With symphony, opera, theater, sculpture gardens, historic buildings mixed modern architecture and more this area has it all and will undoubtedly thrill any visitor.
Explore The Sixth Floor Museum At Dealey Plaza
The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza remains unchanged since 1963, when shots were fired from the sixth floor, striking president John F. Kennedy.
The immersive exhibit will take you on a journey following JFKs legacy and all the facts and mysteries surrounding this fatality.
If you want to explore the citys main attractions while saving some money and time spent in ticket lines, you are in luck!
The museum is one of four Dallas attractions that you will get the chance to visit when purchasing the Dallas CityPASS.
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Stroll The Streets Of Deep Ellum
The streets of Deep Ellum are filled with old brick buildings, beautiful street art, quirky stores, hip restaurants, and legendary bars.
One of the best ways to explore everything that this neighborhood has to offer is on foot.
Get a tattoo. Discover a secret restaurant or a Speakeasy bar. Shop for vinyl records. Buy home decor.
The options are endless!
Buy Flowers At Petal Pushers
Want to pick up some flowers for your hotel room or for a loved one youre visiting during your stay? Petal Pushers in Deep Ellum offers gorgeous bouquets and flower arrangements that everyone will love. Fun fact: The flowers will be delivered to you by ridiculously good-looking men driving pink Stella scooters!
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Experience The Old West At Pioneer Plaza
If you want to dive into Texass traditions and culture, one of the things you need to do in Dallas is to visit Pioneer Plaza.
This is claimed to be the largest bronze monument in the world, so you dont want to miss out.
The site features native plants and trees, but the icing on the cake is the cattle drive of 49 larger-than-life bronze longhorns. There are even bronze cowboys on horses!
Grab a cowboy hat and experience the Old West like never before!
Take A Guided Tour Of The African American Museum
Let us tell you why the African American Museum should be on your list of things to do while in Dallas, Texas!
The museum is the only institution of its kind in the area.
Its mission is to research, acquire, preserve, and present art and documents dedicated to the African American communitys culture.
The admission is free, but we suggest opting for a guided tour, which will make a difference in how you experience the museum and its treasures.
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The Factory In Deep Ellum
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|The Bomb Factory|
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The Factory in Deep Ellum, formerly The Bomb Factory, is an American live musicvenue and event space located in the Deep Ellum district of downtownDallas, Texas. It originally operated from 1993 to 1997 and was reopened in March 2015 under new management. Since its reopening, the venue has hosted acts including Erykah Badu,Sturgill Simpson,Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin,Disclosure,Don Henley of The Eagles,Future,D’Angelo,Brand New,Hardwell,Chvrches.,Kraftwerk, Hatsune Miku, and Ludacris.
Get Lost In The Nasher Sculpture Center
Getting lost in a quiet oasis among skyscrapers filled with beautiful art doesnt seem so bad, does it?
The Nasher Sculpture Center is located in the heart of the Arts District. It holds Raymond and Patsy Nashers collection of modern and contemporary sculptures, as well as special exhibitions.
There are more than 300 masterpieces for you to see in this museum-garden!
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From Fancy Bistros To Buzzy Music Venues And High
Deep Ellum is a vibrant neighborhood situated just east of Downtown Dallas. It buzzes with energy and packs an impressive number of bars, restaurants, music venues, and shops between its borders, giving locals and visitors endless ways to spend their days and nights. And as bustling as Deep Ellum is now, even more draws are in the works. The district continues to attract restaurateurs, club owners, and venue operatorssome with national and international cloutwho are rehabbing old spaces to join in on the action.
Ways to spend a night out here are endless, so what you need is a game plan. Heres a rundown of what to eat, drink, and do in Deep Ellum, from cant-miss dishes and cocktails to fun-filled concerts and bar games.
Hunt Murals At Deep Ellum
According to many, this is one of the most instaworthy things to do in Dallas.
Deep Ellum is a mecca for urban art, and the numerous unique murals scattered throughout the neighborhood are just the tip of the iceberg!
Colorful, beautiful, vibrant, quirky, uniqueyou will just have to play a game and find them all the next time you are wandering through Deep Ellum!
Side note: The Bishop Arts District also has some incredible murals too!
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Enjoy Live Music In Deep Ellum
Deep Ellum is also known as the live music capital of Dallas.
The neighborhood is home to several excellent music venues and restaurants that feature live performances by local musicians.
The neighborhood is popular for celebrating birthdays, Bachelor or Bachelorette parties and other special occasions among the younger crowd.
Dont Miss The Texas State Fair
Did you know that the Texas State Fair has been held in Dallas since 1886?
The fair is held for 24 consecutive days at the Fair Park, so you have a pretty big chance of catching it while visiting Dallas !
The family-friendly environment will make it relatively easy for you to enjoy everything the fair has to offerfrom the quality entertainment to the delicious food.
Make sure to visit everyones beloved iconBig Tex!
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Or Go For Something More Low
While the above spots provide a few welcome options for a slightly more dressed-up night on the town, the neighborhoods real strength lies in its bounty of casual eats, including barbecue, burgers, fried chicken, pizza, and ramenall the major food groups.
Get your crispy fried chicken fix at Guss, or head to Brick and Bones, where you can score a 10-piece bucket, Habanero-Bacon Mac, and a choice Mezcal cocktail. If its noodles youre after, slurp down piping-hot bowls of ramen at Ichigoh, which specializes in chicken-based broths, or Oni, which spices things up with its Oni Reaper Ramen, with hellfire miso broth comes spiked with Carolina Reaper chiles and topped with pork belly. Cane Rosso is still a reliable go-to for Neapolitan-style pizza, and Pecan Lodge and Terry Blacks sling great barbecue within a burnt ends throw of one another.
If you dont want to settle for one type of cuisine, wander into newly opened Hawkers. The bright, colorful restaurant serves a menu inspired by street food stalls across Malaysia, Hong Kong, Thailand, and Korea, with dishes like Roti Canai , Laksa, and Seoul Hot Chicken Buns among the festivities.
Where To Listen To Music
Deep Ellums musical heritage is richer than that of most Texas cities. Blind Lemon Jefferson, Lightnin Hopkins, Robert Johnson, and Bessie Smith were among the blues and jazz legends who rose to fame here in the 1920s, decades before the Old 97s and the New Bohemians came along. Great music from solo artists and bands still plays from a multitude of stages.
Sons of Hermann Hall showcases Texas singer-songwriters, acoustic jams, and regional dance hall bands in a vintage building. 3414 Elm Street 214-747-4422.
Go to Treesto see metal bands, rappers, and indie performers. 2709 Elm Street 214-741-1122.
The spacious Bomb Factory continues to shine. Recent big-name performers include Erykah Badu, Dwight Yoakam, Kacey Musgraves, and The Killers. 2713 Canton Street 214-932-6507.
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In Dallas A Vintage Neighborhood Gets Its Groove On
No place in Dallas can claim as many ups and downs as Deep Ellum has endured. The compact downtown district developed in the 1870s as a home to Dallas outsiders, particularly African Americans and immigrants. It was named Deep Elmafter one of its main roads, Elm Streetthough the slow, drawled Ell-um, as pronounced by the early residents, became commonplace and stuck.
The economy was strong in those early years, with a major cotton-processing plant and a Ford automotive plant based here. In the 1920s, Deep Ellum was a hotbed of blues music, but the area fell into neglect over the next several decades. It briefly revived in the 1980s and 90s, when punk and grunge groups took over the old blues venues. Then the neighborhood was largely abandoned again. Until recently.
Forward-thinking, community-minded developers have given new life much of the vintage quarters 180 acres, which are filled with the citys largest collection of buildings more than a century old. A palpable energy emanates from new businesses occupying thoughtfully renovated storefronts, and a few of Deep Ellums hardy survivors are finding new patrons. Another Deep Ellum revival has arrived.
No need to worry that the neighborhood is going mainstream, though. Innately hip Deep Ellum will never lose its edge.
Support Local Business & Shop Small
Some of Dallas most unique businesses are found in Deep Ellum. One of the favorites is the Flea Style, which is a store and creative workshop space. On the shop side, the owner curates vintage and second-hand clothing, jewelry and home décor from local, creative spirits. She has a knack for one-of-a-kind pieces that you wont see anywhere else and youre sure to find a treasure here. On the workshop side, you can learn a new skill by taking a pressed flower art class, learn watercolor techniques for brush lettering or even DIY your own soaps. Another must-stop spot in Deep Ellum is Jade & Clover. Here you will find cute giftables, accessories and a succulent bar where you can custom build your own terrarium. This place gives off really good vibes and the people are always friendly. Overall, its a fun shopping experience thats unique to Deep Ellum.
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The Story Of Deep Ellum
The Deep Ellum Dallas Neighborhood, formerly called Deep Elm, and also called Central Track due to its proximity to the Houston and Texas Central Railroad, was developed in the late 1800s as both residential and commercial Dallas neighborhood located in the east side of Downtown Dallas. It has the largest collection of commercial storefronts originating from the early 20th century.
Since 1884, when the first industrial business opened in Deep Ellum, the land has absorbed an overrun of business, great entrepreneurial ambitions, and industrial parts, along with the next-to-arrive restaurants, art galleries, retailers, bars and visitors. Many feet, tires, and tracks have packed the earth of Deep Ellum. It is the culmination of all these elements in this entertainment-district that was borne from an industrial heritage that provided the materials for creation of The Traveling Man.
IN 2007, The Traveling Man reached out to Brandon Oldenburg and a team of artists in Deep Ellum at Reel FX Creative Studios. The Traveling Mans image and personality began to reveal himself, the folks at Reel FX knew something special was about to happen. But they needed a little help from Dallas sculptor Brad Oldham to complete his image. The Traveling Man has done for years, he has facilitated yet another creative collaboration this one between Reel FX and Brad Oldham to bring him alive above ground.
About The Traveling Man Sculptural Series:
The Traveling Man Walking Tall
What To See In Deep Ellum: Must
After eating, take a walk and stay awhile. Deep Ellum has been home to artists since the 1920s, and now has a reputation for the paintings, murals, and graffiti dotted all over the district.
The most iconic art is due to Frank Campagna, whos been called the Godfather of Deep Ellum. These are some of his most iconic pieces:
- The rainbow-colored Deep Ellum facade along Good Latimer Expressway
- A robot fighting a T-rex inside of a black-and-white TV
- A burning Big Tex, the face of the Texas State Fair, who famously caught fire in 2012
Campagna has painted hundreds of murals around town over the years, and youre sure to see some of his work today in Deep Ellum. He also owns the Kettle Art Gallery, which hosts works from local artists.
Not enough art for you? Other must-sees include Deep Ellum Art Co., a gallery-bar-music venue mashup, and remaining pieces from the 42 Murals project, which was discontinued in 2017. If youre looking for some highlights, the Dallas Observer has compiled a quick guide to 10 Deep Ellum street art stops that Id recommend checking out.
Insider tip: If youre lucky enough to be in town in April, a trip to the Deep Ellum Arts Festival is a must.
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What To Hear: The Music And Soul Of Deep Ellum
Above all else, music is in Deep Ellums DNA.
In the 1920s, Deep Ellum was known for its booming jazz and blues scene, hosting acclaimed artists like Blind Lemon Jefferson, Huddie Leadbelly Ledbetter, and Bessie Smith, and earning a reputation as the one spot in the city that needs no daylight savings time because there is no bedtime.
In the 80s, Deep Ellums music scene came back with a force, thanks to the likes of local bands like the Toadies, Tripping Daisy, and Old 97s. Nationally known acts stopped by, too, elevating the profile of the crowded bandhalls. Pearl Jam, Radiohead, and the Flaming Lips toured through Deep Ellum and lets not forget one of the most memorable moments in Dallas music history, when Nirvanas Kurt Cobain was punched in the face by a bouncer at Deep Ellum venue Trees.
For todays music fans, just about every genre under the sun has a home in Deep Ellum:
- Electronic and Latin: RBC is known for its theme nights, DJing electronic nights and Latin nights, along with the well-known Emo Nite.
- Punk, soul, jazz, R& B, and funk: Over at Three Links, which describes itself as ground zero for the Dallas punk scene, punk isnt the only thing on the lineup. Jazz, soul, funk, and R& B can be found all week long, too.
- Country: For something a little different, check out Sons of Hermann Hall, home of the best two-stepping in town.