If there’s anything this year has taught us, it’s that it is more important than ever to appreciate what we have in front of us. While international travel may be temporarily off the table, Texas is a state where you can discover the iconic and unexpected. If you’re looking for an easily accessible weekend escape or a quick getaway in your own backyard, the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex is the place to go. The great thing about DFW is that the distance between Dallas and Fort Worth is short and can be traversed easily by car or the Trinity Railway Express. Here’s the perfect three-day itinerary.

Day One:

Check in at the Adolphus Hotel in downtown Dallas. This historic hotel is centrally located and offers high-end features such as flat-screen televisions, individual climate controls and complimentary high-speed Wi-Fi. The hotel is keeping a careful eye on safety, social distancing and local government guidelines to keep guests safe. If you feel comfortable, you can spend a few hours lounging by the pool or head out for day one of your adventure.

The Bishop Arts District, a trendy neighborhood known for its diverse restaurants, independent boutiques and colorful murals, should be your first stop. Browsing at your own pace is the best way to explore. Allow yourself time to check out the eclectic art at Fête-ish, sniff the candles at Society and shop at All Good Things. Just make sure you plan a stop at Emporium Pies! The decor is totally Instagrammable, and the pies are to die for.

For a hearty lunch, head to Beto & Son. Beto & Son offers an extensive menu of Mexican food made from scratch that’s locally sourced and served chef-to-table. You can’t go wrong with a helping of their homemade guacamole or salsa. Did I mention that Dallas is the birthplace of the frozen margarita? Do yourself a favor and try the infamous Liquid Nitrogen Margarita at this restaurant. It’s a fun experience, and you won’t be disappointed! Beto & Son is open for dine-in Tuesday-Sunday by reservation only. See their website for hours. 

Speaking of margaritas, Dallas is also home to Margarita Mile. The Margarita Mile app makes taste testing easy by curating a collection of the best margaritas in the city. Once you download the app, check out the "Taste To Win" category for instructions on how to win Margarita Mile merchandise.

Day Two:

You’ll likely want to sleep in after an evening ticking off stops on the Margarita Mile. Enjoy an early lunch at the Pecan Lodge restaurant in Deep Ellum, where the patio is open Monday-Sunday. Visit their website for updated hours. There may be a line when you get there, but I can promise you it’s worth the wait! Every single thing I tried, from the savory yet sweet ribs to the mac and cheese with a candied bacon finish, was exceptional. The Three Meat Plate will allow you to choose from brisket, sausage, ribs, pulled pork and smoked turkey. Or for $79 you can go all out with The Trough, which comes with 1 beef rib, 1lb. of pork ribs, 1lb. of brisket, 1/2 lb. of pulled pork and 3 sausage links.

While you’re in Deep Ellum, you have to take a walk and admire the street art. You can easily spend hours photographing all the Instagram-worthy artwork that Deep Ellum has on display. There are several murals and public installations to discover, and the scene is constantly evolving. If you’re into sculptures, you’re also in luck: The Traveling Man is a 38-foot-tall statue of a robot with an awesome view of downtown Dallas in the distance. Don’t forget to pop in and support some of the local businesses on Main Street! If you want to continue the search for great public artwork, swing by the giant Eye sculpture on your way back downtown. Tony Tasset’s three-story eyeball sculpture is located at the Joule Hotel.

Day Three:

You can’t leave the DFW area without getting a taste of the Old West, and Fort Worth is where you’ll find it! Start the day off with a stroll through the Fort Worth Stockyards National Historic District. Home to the last standing stockyards in the United States, here is where you’ll find the history of the Texas livestock industry. Visit the Fort Worth Herd to see the world’s only twice-daily cattle drive, held every day at 11:30 a.m. and 4 p.m.

The Fort Worth Stockyards is also where you’ll want to set aside time for souvenir shopping before you end your trip. Options are plentiful, and you’re sure to find the perfect reminder of your time in Texas. Boutiques sell everything from handmade cowboy boots to the usual trinkets like keychains and magnets. M.L. Leddy’s in Sundance Square and Maverick Fine Western Wear offer a wide selection of cowboy boots at different price points. You can even get a custom-made pair!

After a full afternoon of sightseeing, have a breezy lunch by the river at Woodshed Smokehouse. Located on the banks of the Trinity River, this restaurant has abundant outdoor seating and is the place to go for all things grilled, fire roasted and slow-cooked. Smoked BBQ is an art form at the Woodshed Smokehouse, and the meat served here is smoked over four different types of wood: hickory, mesquite, pecan and oak.

When you finish lunch, you can walk along the river, rent a bike or head to The Modern museum for a casual stroll as you enjoy the art. This modern and contemporary art museum houses an impressive collection of exhibits from the 1940s to the present. End the day with a beer to go from Rahr & Sons Brewery. Visit their website for the most up-to-date information.

The great thing about the Dallas-Fort Worth area is that you can have so many varied experiences in one trip. There is no shortage of culture to experience, art to admire and delicious cuisine to indulge in. With so many things to discover in DFW, you’ll be sure to leave feeling inspired and reinvigorated! Just be sure to abide by local health regulations and social distancing guidelines as outlined by the CDC. Postpone your trip if you aren’t feeling well, bring a mask and wash your hands frequently. Circumstances are changing rapidly, so visitors are advised to call businesses in advance to confirm hours and availability.