Dallas, Texas is a huge, sprawling city that has encroached upon Forth Worth and Arlington to the west and Lavon Lake to the east. It shouldn’t be a surprise that a city of this size offers a few incredible hidden gems, which are relatively unknown to the average tourist. However, it’s these off-the-beaten-path attractions that make your getaway incredibly memorable. That said, book a stay at a Dallas vacation rental, and add these top hidden gems on your must-see list.

1. Bryan Street Tavern

Located around the Lower Greenville neighborhood in north Dallas, Bryan Street Tavern is one of those gems hidden so well in the sprawling city of Dallas. However, locals love the charming, red accented tavern that offers amazing pizza, great service, and live music. Take a break with a game of pool and a cool brew, or really get into things and stop by on karaoke night. If you get a vacation rental nearby, you can chill out at Exall Park after dinner and drinks at the tavern.

2. Uncle Uber’s

If you want to grab a sandwich on your way downtown, then Uncle Uber’s is your best bet. It offers quality, delicious food that put to shame any other sandwich you’ve ever had. Plus the eatery floats below the tourist radar. This hidden gem even has a hidden menu of extra special items hidden in an unimpressive wood box. Go for the Philly cheesesteak with a side of Zapp’s chips. Don’t be surprised when prices aren’t listed beside menu items; however, be reassured that everything is below double digits.

3. Dallas Heritage Village

The Dallas Heritage Village of Old City Park is a living history museum depicting Western life during the 19th century. The site has 21 historic buildings housing antiques from the era and original furnishings with actors and actresses playing the roles of pioneers more than 100 years ago. The historic buildings making up the village range from mansions and Victorian homes to log cabins and old band shells. The Millermore Mansion is considered one of the most haunted places in the city. According to the stories, a woman haunts the nursery and sickroom. As you tour the building, feel for a sudden drop in temperature, the purported precursor to a ghostly presence. The Dallas Heritage Village is located in the downtown area. With plenty of bus stops and public transportation, you can visit without having to brave the traffic.

4. Ann & Gabriel Barbier-Mueller Museum

The Ann & Gabriel Barbier-Mueller Museum is a small museum that doesn’t get much tourist attention, but what those tourists don’t know is that it has the biggest collection of Samurai armor on display outside of Japan. The museum has family programs every Saturday with art projects and family-friendly tours. The museum is just off the downtown Dallas Arts District, so you can browse both at the same time. Afterwards, head to one of the eateries next door. Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House or the Water Grill are both excellent choices.

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5. El Come Taco

While Dallas isn’t exactly close to the border, it does offer some awesome Mexican food such as El Come Taco. El Come has a simple, elegant menu featuring beef, pork, chicken, sirloin, and brisket tacos with a variety of toppings. There are also the specials and desserts; pt for the tres leches cake. El Come Taco is located in northeastern Dallas out of the main downtown hubbub by residential areas. A vacation rental within the neighborhood means that you can get tacos whenever the mood strikes whether for breakfast or a late night snack.

6. Lakeside Park

Although there are dozens of parks in Dallas, including the popular Klyde Warren and Main Street Garden parks, not one has what Lakeside Park does: teddy bear statues. Other than this quaint addition, the 14-acre area in north Dallas boasts walking paths, access to Turtle Creek, lush greenery, and numerous sitting areas. Davis Park and Prather Park are just down the street if you need some more exploration space.

7. Oak Lawn and Dragon Park

Oak Lawn is another park that runs along Turtle Creek. It sits just north of downtown Dallas and south of Lakeside Park, a little more convenient if you’re staying in a vacation house around the city center. While the manicured greenery and trees are a lovely counterpoint to the wild greenway stretching along the creek, the real treasure is the Dragon Park. This minuscule space is filled with dragons, angels, and other statues reminiscent of a fantasy book. Plus, the surrounding trees make you feel as if you’re far from the city.

8. North Haven Gardens

If you have any fondness for plants and gardening, then you’ll love North Haven Gardens located in the northernmost reaches of Dallas proper. It’s a nursery and greenhouse that sells a variety of domestic and tropical plants, but it’s hidden in-house cafe makes it even better. This cafe serves up fresh, local produce and food such as the veggie BLT and beet chips or avocado toast and a cheese board. The garden also sponsors evens from how-to gardening and watercolor painting classes to craft beer and sausage tastings.

9. Plano Super Bowl

Bowling might not be on your list of things to do while in Dallas, but it should be. Open 24 hours a day, you can indulge in a middle-of-the-night game or a breakfast game. As a bonus, Plano Super Bowl doesn’t just offer a regular concession stand; it houses Scratch Kitchen, a restaurant with juicy burgers and potato wedges, Wagyu beef, mole-glazed chicken wings, and other favorites. Eat while you bowl, or enjoy your meal while relaxing in the lounge. This hidden gem is technically located outside of Dallas in Plano to the north, but it’s still within the Dallas metropolitan area and not far from North Haven Gardens.

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