Downtown destinations within arm’s reach

Downtown Dallas’ Klyde Warren Park has been a runaway success, in part, because of its proximity to a number of great destinations. You can spend the morning taking in the fresh air and, later, stroll over to the Dallas Museum of Art or tour the sculpture garden at the Nasher Sculpture Center. You can marvel at the exhibits at the Perot Museum of Nature and Science and then refuel with lunch at one of the many food trucks adjacent to the park. The Dallas Arts District, the historic Belo Mansion and the Dallas Center for Architecture are all situated within walking distance of Klyde Warren.

Once our four new parks planned for downtown Dallas are complete, what local attractions, restaurants and other downtown amenities can you look forward to enjoying even more?

Carpenter Park: At the heart of Carpenter Park is a renovated and expanded John Carpenter Plaza, currently located at the intersection of Pacific Avenue and Pearl Street. One goal for Carpenter Park is to better connect downtown and Deep Ellum by creating a pedestrian corridor underneath the Central Expressway overpass. Carpenter Park thus opens up a number of Dallas nightspots (The Lizard Lounge, Club Dallas and The Prophet Bar) to park visitors. The Plaza of the Americas and its wealth of retail, residential and commercial developments sit just to the north of the proposed park grounds. Not to mention that Carpenter Park, by virtue of being located just across the street from a newly landscaped East Transfer Center, may be the most DART-friendly of all the downtown parks.

Pacific Plaza: Concert-goers and fans of the performing arts should note that one of Dallas’ most important cultural institutions, the Majestic Theatre, will be located a mere block south of this new park near Republic Center. Pacific Plaza also offers students at the University of North Texas’ nearby downtown campus a green space in which to take a study break or get some exercise. Dining options abound in this stretch of downtown, too, whether you’re hankering for some Texas beef (Dallas Chop House), looking for a place to chow down while you take in the big game (Press Box Grill) or appreciate atmosphere and elegance as much as you do gourmet fare (The Zodiac at Neiman Marcus’ flagship store).

Harwood Park: Sports, free play and outdoor events of all kinds will be a focus of this park. But, in terms of location, Harwood Park’s proximity to Dallas’ thriving Farmers Market neighborhood will be a major draw. Harwood Park will put visitors a mere five to seven minutes away, by foot, from the unique shops and boutique eateries that have brought new life to the Market Sheds. Harwood Street itself passes through a historic slice of downtown Dallas, too. Both the Masonic Temple and Scottish Rite Cathedral were built in the early 1900s and provide enduring testimony to an era in which fraternal organizations were a significant force in American social life. The Central Branch of the Dallas Public Library and its special collections, including photographs, fine art objects and significant holdings relevant to local history, are also nearby.

West End Plaza: Planning on the fourth new downtown park is only just beginning, and those plans involve making West End Plaza a cornerstone in Dallas’ Smart Cities initiative. At the same time, this park will be a neighbor to some of the oldest and most important pieces of Dallas’ past, such as city founder John Neely Bryan’s cabin. Other nearby landmarks include Dealey Plaza, the Sixth Floor Museum and the Old Red Museum of Dallas County History and Culture. West End Plaza will also help to finish out the integration of American Airlines Center and Victory Park into downtown Dallas proper. Park visitors, as well as basketball and hockey fans, will have no shortage of restaurant and entertainment options from which to choose. Best to make those reservations at Ellen’s Southern Kitchen and the Y.O. Ranch Steakhouse now.