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Dallas, Texas

Dallas, Texas is more than just barbecue and football. The city was founded in 1841 and grew up in the rough and tumble era of cotton and oil. Today, this sophisticated and welcoming urban center offers everything from modern art to old school jazz. Don't worry though - succulent ribs and the Dallas Cowboys are never far out of reach.

Just fifteen minutes from downtown Dallas is the outdoor haven of White Rock Lake. Bike the lake and keep an eye out for the bright green of the park's resident monk parakeets. Catch a lecture and browse the wide-ranging collections of the Dallas Art Museum for free at DAM's Friday Late Nights. Head to Deep Ellum - so named is the end of Elm Street - for live music at Dada, and a plate of ribs plus fried apple pie at Baker's Ribs. Wander the neighborhood and get a glimpse of Deep Ellum's history through its early 20th century storefronts.

Take a day trip to Plano and spread out for a quiet picnic among native Texas trees and the rolling yellow hills of Arbor Hills Nature Preserve. Don't miss a traditional Texas cattle drive down the main street of the Stockyards National Historic District in Fort Worth.