Dallas is an inclusive and culturally diverse place where people of all backgrounds can visit and find the things they love and connect with most. With so much to see and do, it would be easy to miss out on some of the real gems this cosmopolitan city offers. If you want to experience the best that Dallas has to offer, we suggest that you ask a local—and that’s just what we did. Join us as we explore this diverse and exciting destination with three LGBTQ individuals who live, work, play, and create here. Dallas is filled with many wonderful things just waiting to be experienced and enjoyed, from unique local businesses to art galleries, museums, theatre, scenic tours, farm to fork restaurants, and spectacular one of a kind attractions. Find your ALL in Dallas.
Tell us about yourself and what you do for a living?
I am a lot of things rolled into one ball of always-on-the-go energy. Some call it “extra,” but it’s the way I’ve always lived life: busy, with a full plate and an even fuller heart. My day job is Vice President of Marketing and Communications for the American Heart Association – North Texas. I’m also the current Senior Chairman of the Black Tie Dinner, the nation’s largest LGBTQ one-night charity event of its kind held in Dallas each year. When those two organizations allow free time, I also host my own podcast with Yea Network called BFFU: Best Friends Forever University, which is focused on living your most authentic life. In addition to those super fun gigs, I am also the face and host of Dallas Voice TV, our LGBTQ publication here in North Texas. Needless to say, I don’t sleep.
How long have you been living in Dallas?
I was born and raised here in the Dallas area. I grew up in Duncanville, went to college in Denton (UNT) and took a few years off in my 20’s to travel the world performing (singing, dancing and acting) in theme parks, on cruise ships, and at vacation destinations like Las Vegas and Branson. I ultimately landed back here in Northeast Dallas with my husband, David, and our three fur babies, Charly, Chester, and Chase.
What are your favorite places to go for a cocktail and/or dinner?
Depending on the mood, we have a handful of favorite places. If it’s a well-deserved date night that involves a button-up and pizazz, then we love to head to The Library Bar inside the historic Warwick Melrose Hotel in the heart of the Dallas “gayborhood” for a few of their famous martinis. From there, we will head to dinner at Georgie’s by Chef Curtis Stone for dinner and an atmosphere that will blow your mind. That being said, if David and I are in a snapback, ripped jeans, and a t-shirt kind of mood, then it’s patio drinks at The Grapevine bar with some of our favorite locals followed by takeout from Dallas’ best Mediterranean cuisine on Greenville Ave., Sevan G&G Café.
What cultural attractions are a must-see for visitors to Dallas?
Perot Museum, Sixth Floor Museum, Dallas Museum of Art, and the Dallas Theater Center. These are all true Dallas “must-see” cultural attractions, and anyone that has never been could easily find themselves wanting to go back again before they leave town.
A friend is coming to Dallas for the first time… Please describe the perfect weekend.
I hope this friend is up for a good time because it would start with a trip to happy hour straight from the airport. We’d hit up The Happiest Hour (yes, that’s the real name) for some drinks before we walked next door (literally a stone’s throw away) to Te Deseo to pamper ourselves for dinner, tasting the bold flavors of Latin America. From there, we go home and go to bed because no one my age should overdo it the first night of a weekend bender. Saturday would be jam-packed with breakfast first at Snooze followed by a trip to Dallas’ premier shopping destination/art museum, NorthPark Center, to update our attire for the evening. Once we do a costume change, it’s off to Highland Park Village for dinner upstairs at Bistro 31. After dining on the city’s best European cuisine, we’d head down the street to the historic Oak Lawn/Cedar Springs strip to bar hop until our favorite showgirls of the Rose Room start their show at 11 p.m. It’s night-night after that because Sunday involves brunch at Paradiso in Oak Cliff, followed by a friendly drop-off at the airport.
What are the best places to truly enjoy the natural beauty of the area?
White Rock Lake in Dallas for sure. From canoeing to running trails, this beautiful area of Dallas is a hot spot and an area you have to truly see for yourself to enjoy.
What is your favorite time of year in Dallas, and why?
Fall. We only get one month of it if we’re lucky. Be sure to check out the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden and their fabulous pumpkins!
What’s one souvenir to bring back for friends or family?
You can’t leave Dallas without snagging a custom cowboy/girl hat from Dallas Hats!
Please finish this sentence: Don’t leave Dallas without…
Booking your follow-up trip first. There’s so much to do from embracing the Western culture to arts, music, cuisine, and sports; there’s no way you’re going to fit it all in your first visit!