1. Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge: The shimmering, otherworldly optics of this newly-opened bridge 56 central cables is best viewed driving the vehicle-only link between Dallas' wealthy downtown and developing neighborhods, but the structure, designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava's creation astonishes even when viewed from afar, perhaps from the BarBelmont?
2. The Belmont Hotel: This hot spot's balcony bar, BarBelmont, boasts the city's best views of Dallas' famous skyline, including I.M. Pei's Fountain Place and the Tron-like Bank of America Plaza. After partaking in one of BarBelmont's signature infused whiskeys, mosey down to Smoke to try the meat-centric restaurant's coffee-cured beef, veal sweetbreads or meat-centric dishes. (901 Fort Worth Ave; (214) 393-2300)
3. Kalachandji's Vegetarian Restaurant: Buck the BBQ trend with the unbeatable and budget friendly buffet at Kalachandji's. Located for the past three decades in a refashioned Baptist church, this temple and courtyard restaurant offers a lush sanctuary from the city's excess while highlighting the city's long multicultural pride. Be sure to get a big glass of the tamarind tea and kheer, rice pudding. (5430 Gurley Avenue; (214) 821-1048 )
4. Deep Ellum: Named for the regional pronunciation of its main thoroughfare, Elm Street, Deep Ellum provided the backdrop for jazz and blues artists like Robert Johnson and Bessie Smith's early years. Though once crime-ridden, Deep Ellum is experiencing a revival, thanks to a bevy of live music venues, up-and-coming galleries like The Public Trust (2919-C Commerce Street) and the 500x Gallery (500 Exposition Avenue) and a vibrant bar scene.
5. Oak Lawn: Dallas' gay neighborhood, Oak Lawn is perfect for an afternoon of revelry. Bar hop from the cowboy-themed Round-Up Saloon (3912 Cedar Springs Road; (214) 522-9611) to the more rarefied Library Bar at the Warwick Melrose Hotel (3015 Oak Lawn Avenue; (214) 224-3144), stopping at art spots like the ilume GALLERIE (4123 cedar springs suite 107; (214) 507-7369) and the McKinney Avenue Contemporary, The MAC (3120 McKinney Avenue; (214) 953-1212), along the way to get a real taste of this city's gay flavor.
6. Klyde Warren Park: This newly constructed park, built over the Woodall Rodgers Freeway on the edge of the arts district, is definitely going to become one of the city's most popular and diverse attractions. The park, "created out of thin air," includes performance and concert space, a botanical garden and plenty of enviable lawns that are a perfect reprieve from the downtown's concrete and steel.
7. Dallas Arts District: Dallas isn't all about cowboy boots and well-worn wranglers: the city's ever-expanding arts district, DAD boasts some of the nation's best art outposts, including the Dallas Museum of Art (1717 North Harwood Street; (214) 922-1200) , the Nasher Sculpture Center (2001 Flora Street; (214) 242-5100) and billionaire businessman Trammel Crow's Collection of Asian art (2010 Flora Street; (214) 979-6430).