The Dallas Arts District

Nineteen blocks of culture and creativity breathe life into the north side of downtown.
The Dallas Arts District
Wyly Theatre, at the AT&T Performing Arts Center
Photograph by Darren Braun

1. Stanley Korshak

Get ready to swoon and spend. Proprietor Crawford Brock has single-handedly turned up the volume on what is now one of the most recognized family-owned upscale specialty stores in the country. Shoppers will have to practice platinum-card restraint when perusing the high-style designs, the likes of which have seen many a fashion runway. A men’s haberdashery sells made-to-measure and tailored-on-site suits by Brioni and Belvest, and the women’s department is a dreamy wonderland of frocks and flats, handbags and heels. Don’t say we didn’t warn you. 500 Crescent Court, 214-871-3620, stanleykorshak.com

2. AT&T Performing Arts Center

Watch out, Lincoln Center. Dallas’s AT&T PAC, now the largest performance complex outside New York City, is gaining on you. The candy-apple-red Winspear Opera House and the aluminum-tube-clad Wyly Theatre make the place an architectural feast for the eyes, but it’s the Dallas Opera, the Texas Ballet Theater, and the Dallas Theater Center, all of which call these spots home, that will keep people coming back. The Annette Strauss Artist Square, an outdoor facility, and City Performance Hall, a venue for smaller acts, will open soon. And tying it all together is Sammons Park, a ten-acre expanse of green. 2403 Flora, 214-880-0202, attpac.org

3. Nasher Sculpture Center

When it comes to connoisseurs of art, few could rival Raymond and Patsy Nasher. The Dallas couple had a private collection of contemporary and modern sculpture so large that they commissioned Italian architect Renzo Piano to design a public home for it. One can spend hours wandering the galleries, full of Picassos, Giacomettis, and Calders, as well as the gardens, terraces, and water features outside. Admission is free the first Saturday of each month, and families are encouraged to take part in story time, scavenger hunts, and hands-on craft activities. 2001 Flora, 214-242-5118, nashersculpturecenter.org

4. Dallas Museum of Art

Established in 1903, the DMA moved to its current location in 1984 and became the cornerstone of a district that now spans nineteen blocks. Already known for its sizable collections of American and European painting, sculpture, and deco-rative arts, along with African, pre-Columbian, and South Asian holdings, the DMA was gifted eight hundred prized works from private collectors in 2005, making it one of the most important art centers in the country. Wander amid de Koonings, Monets, and Mondrians or stop in at the museum store for your own cardboard Frank Gehry Wiggle Chair. 1717 N. Harwood, 214-922-1200, dm-art.org

5. Crow Collection of Asian Art

Walk into this serene space and leave the loud traffic and urban frenzy behind. This free two-story museum in front of the Crow skyscraper is dedicated to five thousand years of Asian art and culture. The hushed galleries are filled with painstakingly detailed jade sculptures from China’s Qing Dynasty, religious statues from India, and hanging scrolls from Japan. If you want to take home a piece of the East, choose from the lacquered serving trays, porcelain vases, and kimonos for kids at the Lotus Shop. 2010 Flora, 214-979-6430, crowcollection.com

6. SAMAR By Stephan Pyles

Stephan Pyles’s newest restaurant was initially the hot spot for the theater crowd, who scrambled to have an exotic bite before heading to a prime-time show. But now that Samar is open for lunch, it’s the place to linger over small plates of Indian-, Eastern Mediterranean–, and Spanish-inspired dishes. If tables aren’t available, don’t underestimate the U-shaped bar. The ambience—even during the day—is supremely moody, thanks to the beaded Syrian lanterns and a bar top that glows green. 2100 Ross Ave., 214-922-9922, samarrestaurant.com

7. Americas Ice Garden

Passing the Plaza of the Americas glass tower, with its white marble entrance, you’d never know that tucked inside, just one level down, is an ice-skating rink. Because of its hidden location, this insider-y spot is rarely crowded, making it an ideal place for first-timers. Beginners as young as two are welcome; the more-coordinated older kids are hooked on a game called broomball: ice hockey on sneakers. 700 N. Pearl, 214-720-8080, icesk8aig.com

8. Pyramid Restaurant and Bar

After making the museum rounds, an early-evening aperitif is in order. Concocted from fruit and herbs grown in the restaurant’s rooftop garden, the handcrafted cocktails are an example of mixology as art form. The recently updated brown-and-cream decor creates a cozy atmosphere, so you’ll want to stick around to eat too. Try the endive salad sprinkled with the Dallas Mozzarella Company’s Deep Ellum blue cheese and the Texas venison burger topped with a sweet and spicy chipotle-cranberry chutney that’s made in-house. 1717 N. Akard, 214-720-5249, pyramidrestaurant.com

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