Dallas is a richly diverse American city - over the years it has become a melting pot of cultures, religions and lifestyles. With countless festivals, exhibits, events and attractions, Dallas offers numerous opportunities to experience, and appreciate the rich diversity.
While Dallas is relatively young when compared to many cities, its past is as colorful and eventful as any.
In 1839, John Neely Bryan, a lawyer from Tennessee with a taste for adventure, wandered into the area. He was impressed with what he believed to be the perfect ingredients for a trading post and eventually a town: plenty of raw land, Indians with whom to do business, and the river. Bryan went to Tennessee to close out his affairs, and he returned to Dallas in 1841. He laid claim to 640 acres and sketched out a town, designating a courthouse square and 20 streets.
Gradually and with some adversity, the young city grew. A "can-do" spirit helped bring the railroads to the area in the 1870s, the Federal Reserve Bank in 1914, Southern Methodist University in 1915, Dallas Love Field Airport in 1927, the Texas Centennial Exposition in 1936, Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport in 1973 and the Republican National Convention in 1984 -- to name just a few. For every one of these major public endeavors, there have been countless private enterprise initiatives that have helped put Dallas on the map.
In 1930, C.M. "Dad" Joiner struck oil 100 miles east of Dallas. With the discovery and development of the East Texas Oil Field -- the largest petroleum deposit on earth at the time -- Dallas became a center of oil-related activity. Although Dallas County has never had a working oil well, the region's role as the financial and technical center for much of the state's drilling industry has been as good as gold. Commerce and industry have followed suit, adding to the city's success and progress.
Football's Dallas Cowboys began their march to fame in the 1960s, as did entrepreneurs such as Ross Perot and Mary Kay Ash. The Dallas Market Center continued to grow, and Six Flags Over Texas opened in nearby Arlington.
But most importantly, it was in 1965 that the cities of Dallas and Fort Worth agreed to build an airport to serve the entire region. With the opening of giant DFW International Airport in 1973, John Neely Bryan's dream of a major inland port was finally realized.
As the 1980s came to a close, Fortune Magazine named Dallas/Fort Worth -- site of many major corporate relocations -- the No. 1 business center in the land. Dallas also gained international attention as a dominant force in the convention, meetings and tourism industry. Dallas is one of the leading convention destinations in the U.S., due to the city's outstanding convention and meeting facilities, world-class accommodations, numerous restaurants, and endless variety of entertainment and recreational opportunities.
As the 21st century advances, Dallas continues to build on its strengths: friendly people, entrepreneurial spirit, flair for style and innovation, mild climate, excellent accessibility, and outstanding quality of life. Visitors and residents alike enjoy exceptional opportunities.
Nearby Fort Worth is best known as "Where the West Begins." If a visitor to the Dallas/ Fort Worth MetroPlex wants to see a real cowboy, they need only to drive thirty miles west of Dallas to Fort Worth. Indians. Cattle. Railroads. Oil - the history of Fort Worth reads like the history of the American West.
Fort Worth began as an army outpost in 1849, established to protect settlers from Indian attacks. Soon, Fort Worth became the last major stop on the legendary Chisholm Trail, the dusty path where millions of cattle were driven North to market. The Western History of Fort Worth was the wild era of "Hell's Half Acre," an area of town filled with gambling parlors, saloons, and dance halls. Later, the railroad transformed the Fort Worth Stockyards into a premier livestock center. And when oil began to gush in West Texas, Fort Worth was at the center of the wheeling and dealing.
Known as "Cowtown" for its rough-and-rowdy roots, Fort Worth still celebrates its colorful Western history and heritage today.
The city of Dallas encompasses 384 square miles of rolling prairie, with native pecan, cottonwood and oak trees located along the Trinity River and the numerous creeks that feed it. The elevation ranges from 450 to 750 feet.
- Normal average daily temperature: 65.4°F (18.9°C)
- Warmest month: July ***
- Daily mean temperature: 85.3°F (29.6°C)
Sales TaxDallas City sales tax is 8.25%. This tax is added to most goods and services, including dining.
Seat BeltsTexas has a seat belt law which states that all front seat passengers must wear a safety belt or chance a $200 fine.
TippingThe custom of tipping is a common practice in Dallas: 15% to 20% for waiters; 10% to 15% for taxi drivers; $1 per bag for bellmen. Occasionally gratuities are automatically added to restaurant checks, but not usually.
Dress for DallasClothing styles in Dallas are as varied as any other major city in the world. Styles of dress ranging from comfortable and casual to elegant and stylish will be seen in all parts of the city. Air conditioning is a way of life during Texas summers, making all clothing comfortable indoors.
Currency Exchange Locations
Hotels -- Airports -- Banks -- ATMs
General Business HoursBusinesses: Mon. - Fri. 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
Stores: Mon. - Sat. 10 am - 9 pm and Sun. Noon - 6 pm
Many grocery stores and restaurants have extended hours. Some are open round-the-clock.