Dallas: Come to the Art Side

by Analise Flatt on February 4, 2024 in General, Travels, Dallas/Fort Worth,

Welcome to the Art side of the Dallas scene, where we will journey into the best ways to experience Downtown Dallas and the Arts District; highlighting where to stay. Especially with Valentine’s weekend coming up, enjoy this little sneak peek of all the fun things going on to celebrate with loved ones! 

The Arts District 

The Arts district is known for being Downtown Dallas’s cultural hub with the Meyerson Symphony Center, The Winspear Opera House and The Dallas Museum of Art. The thing is, if you are going to stay in such an iconic spot, you can’t just stay anywhere, the vibe must match. Therefore, the first JW Marriott in the city of Dallas is the perfect fit. 

Chris Judy Art piece. Photo courtesy The JW Marriott Arts District.

The hotel showcases more than 20 pieces of original artwork that varies across different mediums throughout the public areas, there for everyone to enjoy. One of these pieces includes the brass and metal installation by Dallas-based artist, Chris Judy. Right when you walk out of the elevator into the 11th floor lobby you are greeted by this piece that was created to resemble sheet music, harp strings, and the chandeliers that the Winspear Opera House is known for. 

Hotel room. Photo courtesy The JW Marriott Arts District.

The room options vary from size and accommodations but one thing that is unwavering is your promise of a good view. 

The JW Marriott has many different dining options throughout the hotel that include Margarets, Vincent’s Sky Bar, 800 North, and JW Market. The JW Market sits in the 11th floor lobby and is the perfect spot for a little coffee moment at any point in the day. 

Vincent’s Sky Bar. Photo courtesy The JW Marriott Arts District.

Vincent’s Sky Bar is weather permitting, but hopefully the weather behaves for your stay because the sky-level terrace holds within itself a one-of-a-kind view of downtown Dallas. Open-air, fun cocktails, light bites, what more could you want? 

Margaret’s. Photo courtesy The JW Marriott Arts District.

One of the great things about Margaret’s is that you can enjoy their offerings all day with their breakfast, lunch and dinner offerings. They pride themselves on their ranch to table concept with menus inspired by seasonal ingredients and flavors. Checkout their special Valentine’s menu being offered from February 14-17

Symphony Orchestra. Photo Mark Kitaoka

If you are staying in the Arts district, it would be a shame to not experience any of the cultural offerings that await you. One of these options that I want to highlight is the Dallas Symphony Orchestra at the Meyerson Symphony Center. If you check out the calendar you will notice that they have a lot of talent coming in. For Valentine’s weekend they have a pretty stacked schedule including a youth concert- Recipe for Music (Feb 14-15) and Uptown Nights: It Don’t Mean a Thing if it ain’t Got That Swing (Feb 16-18). 

After you have enjoyed an incredible show at the symphony you can walk back to the JW Marriott and enjoy specially curated cocktails in their cocktail lounge, 800 North. Reminisce on the beauty that you just experienced over some superb drinks in a buzzing atmosphere. 

Downtown Dallas

Now, we are moving four minutes deeper into the heart of Downtown Dallas which is where the lovely Thompson Hotel is located, which is within The National, an urban upscale mixed-use project. 

Lobby Pic. Photo Gustav Schmiege.

The mid-century modern design of the hotel reverberates throughout the hotel lobby. Right when you walk in the door you know that you have walked into a luxurious space. 

Thompson room. Photo Julie Soefer

The Thompson offers 219 spacious rooms, which include 52 suites that all have their own unique characteristics. Each room is specially curated to fit the theme which creates an atmosphere perfect for whatever you are feeling, whether it’s staying cozy or mixing up a cocktail to begin the evening. 

Catbird. Photo Gustav Schmiege.

Speaking of getting ready for a night out, Catbird, one of my personal favorites, is an excellent first stop. They are currently re-inventing themselves from a full on restaurant to more of a cocktail lounge, small bites vibe. There also have been some additions to their entertainment options which consists of Tuesday night Jazz, Live music on Wednesdays, and DJ’s on Fridays & Saturdays. One of the qualities that contributes to their stellar cocktail lounge aesthetic is their delicious and beautiful cocktails. Some of the crowd pleasers include The Catbird, the Nitro Espresso Martini, and Gin-erally Speaking. As far as small plates go, the Catbird Fries and the Barbacoa Sliders are incredible options. 

Analise and friends excited to enjoy the Dallas Symphony. Photo Courtesy Analise Flatt.


Cover Photo courtesy The JW Marriott Arts District

A lover of all things travel, pretty running trails and good coffee, Analise Flatt is newly graduated from Stephen F. Austin State University and is now pursuing a position as a FOCUS Missionary. Check out her Instagram to stay updated on her latest travel adventures.