When you leave the kids at home, where do you go and paint the town? Depends on what you like when it comes to music and atmosphere. Even ballroom dancing is popular in Dallas!
Here''s a brief rundown on some of the hot nightlife districts in the Big D:
Deep Ellum: This is the place you''re going to hear the most about if you ask someone where to go bar hopping. The crowd here is a mix of ages but tends to be college heavy. If you get away with the "grunge" look anywhere in Dallas, it will only be here or in Lower Greenville. But that is a bar-to-bar sorta thing, so try to at least make sure there are no holes in your jeans! After all, Dallas is known for its pretty people. What type of music will you find? There''s a wide array, but it''s progressive heavy.
Greenville: Only 15 minutes (by car) away from Deep Ellum, you could easily hop over here in one night. There are actually two parts of Greenville Street that offer nightlife. Lower Greenville is going to have more tattoo parlors and bars that like to hold events like bikini contests. For obvious reasons, this is an early twenties crowd. Upper Greenville has more don''t spill beer on the floor offerings and a little older crowd. Choose what suits you best. The Red Jacket (214/823-8333) is a popular bar for all Greenville visitors. The low red lighting lends a sultry feel to the hip-hop-pop atmosphere.
West End: This is sometimes seen as a tourist enclave, but it''s still worth a look for anyone who wants to shake their groove thing on the dance floor. The offerings? Nightclubs like Bar Dallas, and Dick''s Last Resort, a popular drinking spot for bachelorettes.
Addison: This is actually a small city that hugs Dallas, but it might be worth the short drive for the dancer in you. It contains a nice mix of nightlife, both dance clubs and bars, and it was recommended to me by a 24-year-old Big D local as a laid back place to go and hang out. It''s a little dressier here than other spots, but you can find everything from jazz music to pop. Sambuca Jazz Cafe (972/385-8455) is a hip place for big band music and swing dancing.
Cowboys Red River: Red River isn''t a district, it''s a bar (214/352-1796) off NW Hwy and 635. But, I have to mention it because it''s a good place to go two-stepping. The atmosphere is a bit more relaxed here. One dancing Dallas friend of mine who frequents the Red River says, "You''ll only occassionally see a fight there." Well, that tidbit would make the Urban Cowboy (or, at least, his mother) happy! They play Old Texas music for your enjoyment. Of course you can wear cowboy boots, but that''s not a necessity. Whatever attire you have on, you''ll have a foot-stomping good time. Other country and western joints in the area? Try the Texas Dance Depot (972/253-1799) in Irving.
Oaklawn: An array of alternative-lifestyle nightlife.
Turtle Creek: Bars in this area cater to an upscale, older crowd.
The best thing about nightlife in Dallas? Dallas isn''t that big, so if you don''t like what you''re seeing, it won''t take long to get somewhere else.