Um, Dallas? Really? Even if you only vaguely remember the original TV show (didn’t someone get shot and then it all turned out to be a dream?) Dallas 2.0, which hit screens on Wednesday, should be your new guilty pleasure. For starters, the hot gardener from Desperate Housewives, Jesse Metcalfe, plays the adopted son of Bobby Ewing, and spends most of his time in underwear. Which may be why we’re suddenly so interested in the iconic city that inspired the show. Plus, it’s a warm 23ºC even in November, which goes some way towards explaining how Jesse got that excellent tan.
OK, where should I head? Dallas is one of the largest cities in the US – they don’t call it The Big D for nothing. Downtown is the centre and includes the hipster Arts District as well as the upmarket Turtle Creek. East Dallas is home to Deep Ellum, a favourite blues and jazz neighbourhood in the ’20s and still the place to find live music and cheap margaritas. If you’re a hardcore Dallas fan, go north of the city to Parker and visit Southfork Ranch (Southfork.com), home of the Ewing Mansion, where they still film the show.
Can I find a hotel worthy of Sue Ellen? Most certainly. For old-school Southern splendour, check into Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek – doubles cost from £189 for two people a night (Rosewoodhotels.com). With sweeping staircases and marble floors, it’s the closest you’ll get to shacking up with Bobby and co. Or for kitsch glamour on a budget, sip a cocktail by the pool at the historic Belmont Hotel (Belmontdallas.com). Doubles cost from £68 for two people per night.
What’s there to do?
*For shoulder pads to rival Sue Ellen’s, watch the super-hot American football team, the Dallas Cowboys, do their thing at Arlington stadium (Dallascowboys.com).
*And forget the “who shot JR?” storyline, the big question in Dallas is: “Who shot JFK?”. The amazing Sixth Floor Museum (Jfk.org) is located on the spot where Lee Harvey Oswald fired the shots (or did he…?). Culture vultures will love the Arts District, The Dallas Museum of Art (Dallasmuseumofart.org) and pop-up galleries around Dragon Street. Find a bench at the Nasher Sculpture Center and chill out by the Henry Moore pieces.
I’ve had enough of museums, I want to shop! You’re in luck. Dallas has more shopping centres per capita than any other city in the US. Even New York! Upscale department store Neiman Marcus started life here and NorthPark Center mall has everything from Armani to Abercrombie. But if chain stores aren’t your thing, Forty Five Ten (Fortyfiveten.com) and Inwood Village (Inwoodvillage.com) are the spots for one-off finds.
OK, I’m hungry now… It might be famous for its Tex-Mex, but Dallas has plenty of other eats to fill your (cowboy) boots. Ticking the trendy box is Samar in the Arts District (Samarrestaurant.com), which is a buzzy, Moroccan-style joint. But if you want an authentic TX experience, Tillman’s Roadhouse (Tillmansroadhouse.com) serves up gourmet “truck-stop” fare, such as chipotle BBQ ribs and Texas mud cake.
Where do the hot cowboys hang out? Deep Ellum neighbourhood is the spot for loft bars and jazz joints, such as The Black Swan Saloon (Blackswansaloon.com). But if you want some cheese, JR’s Bar & Grill and Sue Ellen’s are Dallas-themed gay and lesbian bars (Partyattheblock.com). On weekends they draw cool kids on to their heaving dance floors. Fancy meeting your own oil baron? Get up to the rooftop bar of The Joule Dallas (Thejouledallas.com) – the bed-like sofas poolside attract a flashy crowd.
The next day, take your sore head to the spa at The Crescent Hotel (Rosewoodhotels.com) for a Hotter’n Texas Summer Rock Massage. Dallas really is a dream.
● Dallas continues Wednesday, 9pm, Channel 5.
Getting there Flights from London to Dallas non-stop with American Airlines cost from £525 return (Aa.com) and take around 10 hours.
Time difference 6 hours behind GMT
State capital Austin
Currency US Dollar
Climate Warm and humid. The mercury often soars above 40°C in high summer, so go from September-May when it averages a frizz-free 20°C.