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A Local's Guide to Exploring the Most Underrated Neighborhoods of Dallas, Texas

Dallas is a big, well-known Texan city worth visiting for all of its amazing attractions, fun activities, and great food. It's a pretty easy city to navigate, but what many visitors overlook are all the districts and neighborhoods within. And because one might not find these areas as easily as spotting Reunion Tower, the spherical building that sits high above the Dallas skyline, we hashed out some of the more underrated places that you should hit during your weekend trip.

Dallas City skyline at dusk, Texas, USA

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Some of the more well-known areas to visit include wandering the Dallas Arboretum & Botanical Gardens or Klyde Warren Park, taking the kids to the Perot Museum of Nature and Science or Dallas Zoo, or checking out the Sixth Floor Museum in the downtown Historic District where President JFK was assassinated. But while those are fantastic places to check out (and worth your time if you so choose), take it from a Dallas native: these lesser-known places will truly show the city's incredible culture.

Fun Things to Do in Dallas This Weekend

Deep Ellum

Dallas Texas Sculpture Robot Traveling Man Deep Ellum

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Less than 10 minutes from the pricey and overrated Uptown area lies Deep Ellum, an entertainment district full of amazing venues, yummy food trucks, cool nightlife, one-of-a-kind shops, and unique art murals. During the day, you can walk around and check out the many extraordinary shops that hold the most eclectic and artistic products. But what Deep Ellum is really known for are the 130-plus murals that turn the district into an open-air gallery.

The best strategy to see as many murals as possible is to plan your self-guided tour prior to exploring. Start by checking out the 42 Murals Art Project. This art initiative was led by 42 Real Estate owner Scott Rohrman who aimed to inspire the Dallas art community, encouraging artists to create public works of art all around the city.  The best place to easily see a lot of the murals is around the alleys and side streets between Good Latimer to Malcolm X and Elm Street to Commerce Street.

Deep Ellum is also known for some of the most amazing food trucks. If you're craving burgers and brews, head to Easy Slider on Main Street. Then maybe for a light dessert, walk down the street to Bobaddiction for some boba tea- a sweet Southeast Asian treat.

Just 10 minutes away from the district is a local favorite, Truck Yard. Calling itself an "adult playground," Truck Yard is a beer garden decorated in a casual backyard theme, where you can order brews on tap inside and listen to live music outside. Near the stage in their backyard are at least three food trucks, and the lineup for the food trucks changes frequently. So every time you visit, you'll get a new menu of options to choose from.

A simple google search before you make your trip will tell what musicians will be in town performing and where, and you can always bet on someone performing. Some of the best venues worth visiting Trees- who has hosted some of the world's most famous musicians, Club Dada- one of the oldest and best live venues in the city, and the Bomb Factory- Dallas's newest and most trendy venue. But even if you're not interested in spending money on tickets to see whoever is performing in town the weekend you plan to be there, save your money for tips at Louie's Dueling Piano Bar where two expert pianists crazily sing covers of songs requested by the crowd on stage.

Bishop Arts District

If you're interested in having as many options to explore as you would in Deep Ellum but not wanting to spend as much time and energy walking all over a larger portion of the city, then head to the Bishop Arts District, Dallas's most underrated neighborhood. Spanning over just two blocks, the southern district holds a plethora of shops, galleries, restaurants, and bars. Get your history fix by catching a film that's normally difficult to watch anywhere else at the Texas Theatre, where you can also sit in the same spot where Lee Harvey Oswald was arrested. Catch a jazz performance at the Bishop Arts Theatre Center, or watch live music at the Kessler- Dallas's best intimate venue.

Shopping at the Bishop Arts District is a hipster's paradise. Its streets are lined with unique, independent shops and boutiques that offer funky, vintage, and second-hand products. Support local artistry by checking out the homemade goods and accessories at the Bishop Street Market, or commemorate your time in the South by checking out Dolly Python. The great vintage store holds a large collection of second-hand cowboy boots, along with other southern antiques and oddities. Cindee Patrick is the shop manager of Dolly Python and explained to us why this shop is more than just an average thrift store.

"We're truly a Dallas favorite, and it really is an experience to shop here. We meet a lot of needs for people who work in all sorts of industries. I've always said that it's part amusement park, part playground," she says. "People from all walks of life shop here. We've had celebrities, costume designers, and all kinds of people stop by. And it's always so great to hear customers' exclamations from the excitement they have looking around. Nostalgia is an extremely strong emotion here."

And just because you won't have as much walking to do doesn't mean you won't get hungry. Stop by the Dallas Grilled Cheese Co. for a unique, gourmet grilled cheese sandwich. If you're vegan, hop on over to the deliciously health-conscious True Food Kitchen nearby. Dessert is a must-have in the Bishop Arts District, so make sure you make a stop at Emporium Pies and/or Dude, Sweet Chocolate. Emporium Pies offers the most delectable sweets, concentrating mostly on- you guessed it- pies. Dude, Sweet Chocolate, also as its name implies, offers chocolate treats. But these aren't just any chocolate treats. The dessert shop takes chocolate foods to the next level with their inventive and experimental chocolate options. But if you're wanting drinks for dessert instead, sample the tasty cider beers at Bishop Cider Co. They have other craft beers as well, but if beer isn't what you're looking for, head to Boulevardier to dive into one of the town's largest wine collections.

Design District

Aerial drone view Blue hour downtown Party lights glow with illuminated Dallas Texas Skyline Cityscape

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Deep Ellum and the Bishop Arts District are more casual neighborhoods to explore, but DFW also has more upscale shops, galleries, restaurants, and bars that can be found in the Design District. Sitting right outside of downtown Dallas, the area is an ideal location for families to bring their kids.

The area features high-end boutiques such as f. is for frank, full of stylish products, custom jewelry, and collectable antiques and also the most complete wholesale market in the world, the Dallas Market Center. For the kids, you can take them to Medieval Times. A hilarious classic, the young ones might enjoy the mock medieval tournament while eating barbarically with their hands, while you get to enjoy watching grown men and women into medieval cosplay sword fight and joust. It can't get any better than that.

The Dallas Museum of Art and Nasher Sculpture Center are great art spaces to visit, but art lovers can enjoy more of what the city has to offer by checking out all the other interactive art galleries in this district. The Photographs Do Not Bend Gallery showcases photo-based works of art between the early 20th century to present day from artists who are regional, national, and internationally recognized photographers. Missy Finger, owner and curator of PDNB, explained why she appreciates the Design District and why she chose this area to hold her gallery. "A lot of the major art galleries in Dallas decided to move here. It's great to have a family of art galleries around," she says. "We've been around for about 12 years, and we're very comfortable here. There's a lot going on in the art world in Dallas. There's a ton of warehouse style spaces, and not a lot of small spaces. So it made sense for us to be based here, and we love it."

Some of the best easy eats (especially for the families with young, picky eaters) are the Pie Tap Pizza Workshop & Bar and Mama's Daughter's Diner. At Pie Tap, you can have a gourmet pizza for lunch or even start your adventure with a breakfast pizza to fuel up for the day. For dinner, choose a more intimate atmosphere with Mama's Daughter's Diner, who has been baking their own pies, rolls, and cornbread daily since 1958.

If you left the kids at home or are in dire need of great brews, then there are two breweries in the Design District that you need to make. For local home-grown ales, check out the Texas Ale Project. But if you have to choose one brewery to check out, then head to Peticolas Brewing Company. Peticolas has been voted the best brewery in the state and has 16 beers on tap that are worth your time while in Dallas.

Do you know any note-worthy but underrated places to check out in Dallas, Texas? Share your tips with us on our Wide Open Roads Facebook

READ MORE: 12 Family-Friendly Day Trips to Escape Dallas, Texas