Travel Thursday: Dallas Evokes Fun, History, & Community

Dallas – The Second City In Our Texas Round-Up.

Most people outside of Texas hear that Austin is the lonely liberal blue dot in all of the Lone Star State. So this past March, I decided to go at Texas with my big gay self and drag along a companion to see what four other major Texas cities had to offer. We traveled to San Antonio (Living the Big City, Small Town Life in San Antonio, Texas) as well as Galveston and Houston (which we will get to in later posts), but our last stop was Dallas.

Where to Stay

When it comes to a choice for locale, cost, comfort, and any other box you want to check, get to the Warwick Melrose – Dallas. My corner king room was so much like a cute apartment, it felt like I could move in and stay forever. Enjoying the spring cross breeze as I gazed at the Dallas skyline, it was comforting to know the gay nightlife of Dallas was literally a 2-minute walk from our hotel.

Where I was to rest my rump and other body parts for the weekend.

With a single step inside the historic landmark Warwick Melrose – Dallas, guests know what it means to be in the right place at the right time. Warwick Melrose Dallas’s uniquely Texan charm features a new, fashionable brand of comfort. The red brick and flat roof of Warwick Melrose – Dallas has stood as testament to an age of stately grandeur while the city has continued to grow outside its doors. Located near the Uptown, Oak Lawn, and Turtle Creek areas, the ultimate hotel experience means enjoying Uptown Dallas to the fullest in an intimate and personable way.

Valet parking was great as we dropped off our car and left it in their good hands, only taking it out to go to the Cowboy’s stadium. Uber and Lyft were easy, simple, and inexpensive in Dallas.

Were they gay friendly? I think the quality and the relatively inexpensive cost attracted many people, but it was full of Friends of Dorothy as I am sure it is most of the time. Simplicity, location, and great staff will bring me back here to stay.

Valet and parking entrance to the Warwick Melrose – Dallas. GPS will often bring you out front, but this is the rear and preferred entrance.

Where to Eat

Sixty Vines with its wine on tap and great atmosphere was calling us to experience a Dallas lunch to remember. It’s a special treat for me to enjoy wine when out so making it memorable at Sixty Vines with their selections was very easy and may have lasted more than a couple of pours.

Why is it called Sixty Vines? Because of their 60 wines on tap, serving from pressurized kegs.

When dining there it is obvious that the design and feel of the space and menu were inspired by California wine country with its open, exhibition kitchen with charcuterie bar, several dining spaces, and a greenhouse patio that gives clients a true wine garden dining experience.

ASIAN CHICKEN CHOP – wood-grilled ginger chicken, napa cabbage slaw, toasted cashews, fresnos, carrots, sesame sweet chili vinaigrette TOMATO BASIL SOUP – pecorino romano, micro basil, wood grilled ciabatta Crispy Zucchini – tapioca dusted, peppadew & shishito peppers, cilantro, sweet chili vinaigrette

Lunch at Meso Maya

With a desire to get my Tex-Mex on, we found Meso Maya for some local offerings. You could tell the chefs took pride in the authenticity of the main ingredients in the dishes they serve. Craving a molé from someone who knew how to really make it, my plate was full of the fresh, decadent, and bold flavors of Mexican cuisine.

POBLANO – pulled roasted adobo chicken breast, caramelized onions, cilantro, roasted poblanos, monterey jack cheese, blue corn tortillas, mole poblano

 

Terilli’s

Coming highly recommended from locals and visitors, Terilli’s offered a down-to-earth experience with Italian fare, martinis, and live jazz in a funky ambiance. We met up with a local full of Dallas LGBT knowledge and further suggestions, which he shared over Cheeze Italchos (Italian Nachos), drinks, dinner and dessert.

Cheese Italchos – Crispy Handmade Pizza Chips topped with our famous Family Red Sauce & Terilli’s Cheese Blend

Where to Drink and Dance

The Oak Lawn area of Dallas has long been the center of Dallas’ gay community. When we learned we were staying at the Warwick Melrose, we knew we were going to have an easy time finding the nightlife. There are a variety of venues to stick your neck into and other body parts. Here are just a few.

JR’s Bar and Grill

Touted as Texas’ most successful gay club, and the inspiration for like-named clubs in Houston, Washington D.C., and Denver, the bar is a massive two-story complex is a great place to meet up with friends for drinks, cocktails, or just to watch the crowd walk by along on Cedar Springs.

Station 4

This massive DJ-driven nightclub features a 24,000-square-foot dance area, plus a top-floor drag show lounge. We didn’t get a change to go in here as there was a line at the door all night. Maybe next time when we don’t have as many new options to check out.

Sue Ellen’s

Not many cities have a place for the ladies to call their own. This bi-level lesbian nightclub boasts a dance floor, live bands and a lounge, plus four impressive patios and a game room.

Round-Up Saloon

We loved this option the most for us. The Round-Up Saloon and Dance Hall may call itself “the nation’s best gay country western dance hall” and we may just agree. Holy Cowboys! Yes, there’s a good mixed crowd here, but it’s easy to see why as there’s fun to be had in every corner. The space looks small from the front, but be prepared to have it packed to brim with people looking for a good time.

We went on both Friday and Saturday night. I shot the following video (if YouTube doesn’t block because of copyright) on Saturday night where they have an amazing time line-dancing, but the music promptly turns over to hip hop and pop on the witching hour.

I think we had the most fun at the Round-Up.

TMC – The Mining Company

We also visited The Mining Company where we enjoyed watching the GoGo dancers and chatting with the locals on the front and back decks. It was dark, crowded, and the hole in the wall that we needed to round out the night.

Dallas Activities and Sights

Self-guided tour of AT&T Stadium

I am far from a Dallas Cowboy fan (GO PATS! GEAUX SAINTS!), but to have the opportunity to tour the AT&T Stadium, we’re going to take it. Walking on the field of the world’s largest domed structure, an art museum, and more wasan inexpensive thrill at about $22. We were also able to go into the cheerleaders’ and football team’s locker rooms.

Entrance to the Arlington Stadium field
Who knew we could get to go into the locker room!

Nasher Sculpture Center

Touted as having one of the finest collections of modern and contemporary sculptures in the world. The 55,000-square-foot Nasher Sculpture Center is enclosed by a glass façade, providing continuous views from the street, through the building and across the length of the 1.4-acre outdoor gallery and garden.

One of the many sculptures at the Nasher Sculpture Center.

Perot Museum of Natural Science

A museum that is a little more geared toward the younger crowd, was still very pleasing to this young-at-heart individual. Two of my loves were on display, dinosaurs and legos.

The world’s largest display of LEGO® art. This exhibition includes a hands-on, interactive, LEGO® brick gallery featuring building challenges, games, and open play spaces.

Created by world-renowned contemporary artist Nathan Sawaya, The Art of the Brick is designed to inspire ingenuity and creativity with original pieces and re-imagined versions of some of the world’s most famous art masterpieces including Van Gogh’s Starry Night and Vermeer’s Girl with a Pearl Earring.

 

Klyde Warren Park Food Trucks

Walking from the Perot Museum to the Sculpture Center, I stumbled upon a Food Truck heaven. With what had to be 16 or so food trucks that are there every day, the options were quite satisfying.

Coming over the crest of the hill and seeing this food truck heaven, yes, we and our stomachs loved the surprise.

The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza

Dallas and the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Visiting the museum, walking the plaza, seeing the x’s in the road marking the shots, seeing the spot where Oswald was, it was all a somber but must-do item if you go to Dallas. As a former history teacher, as a patriot, as someone who loves to learn, the Sixth Floor Museum gets high marks for how it presents all of the facts, theories, and artifacts.

Looking down from the sixth floor and onto the path Kennedy took.

Reunion Tower

It’s a tower. We’re there. It’s there. Why not? Reunion Tower offers a great way to see Dallas as well as learn about its history and layout. There were a great deal of interactive screens on the observation deck discussing many things, including Kennedy.

Reunion Tower

I honestly did not know what to expect when we pulled into Dallas. We were happily received by a great city, a wonderful community, and cannot wait to return. The LGBT energy in Oak Lawn area is palpable, friendly, and invigorating. Keep an eye out for future trips to this welcoming destination.


If you have travel ideas, places we should visit, or work for a PR company and are looking for writers to visit, please reach out to customerservice@instinctmagazine.com and address your comments to the Managing Editor.


As usual, here are some extra pictures from our time in Dallas.

Sixty Vines was not only pleasing to the taste buds, but also to the eyes.
THE C.A.B. BURGER from Sixty Vines – cabernet smothered local akaushi patty, everything bun, raclette cheese, caramelized onions, worcestershire mayo, tomato. duck fat lemon potatoes
Meso Maya back courtyard and their Chips and Salsa with AVOCADO MARGARITA – fresh muddled avocado, freshly squeezed pineapple & lime juices, triple sec, espolon tequila blanco
Terilli’s – We were in eyeshot and earshot of the live jazz throughout the night. Loved the quality of food, the art work, the charcoaled brick walls. All worked well together for a great night.

More of the Lego creations from the Perot Museum.

He received our vote to feed us and we were very happy!
Mac-n-Beefy, Southern Hospitality, The Dead Elvis. All were a perfect combo we chose as the Butcher’s 3-way.

 

 

 

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