On the early morning of Friday, November 19th, 2021, I flew to Dallas, Texas with my friend, Kelvin, for a destination wedding shoot with our company – SDEWeddings. The wedding was scheduled for the following day on Saturday, November 20th, so we had a decent amount of time to explore Dallas once we landed. We also scheduled two extra days after the wedding to see more of Dallas, since it was our first time visiting and we didn’t know when or if we’d be back again.
Luckily, I received a lot of amazing recommendations when I asked you guys on Instagram, so this itinerary is a compilation of my Google research, you guys, and also thanks to the wedding vendors we met during work! I hope you have fun reading through this post, and that it’s helpful for when you plan your trip to Dallas!
For accommodation, we stayed at the Canopy by Hilton Dallas Frisco Station. We decided to stay in Frisco because that was the starting location of where the bride & groom would be. That way, it’d be super convenient on the day of the wedding.
The rate was $525 for 4 nights, and parking on-site was an additional $15/day. Overall, the hotel was really modern and clean. I enjoyed my stay and would recommend it!
Address: 4455 Frisco Green Ave, Frisco, TX 75034, United States
For car rental, we downloaded an app called Turo. It’s basically like Airbnb for cars, and it’s much more affordable than renting at the airport! Turo is available on Android & IOS, and it’s a peer-to-peer rideshare app. I actually didn’t know about this until some of you guys told me on Instagram! Super thankful for that information and I’m excited to share it with everyone else so we can all travel better together!
COVID-19: Pre-Flight Requirements
For every destination, the COVID-19 rules may be different. It’s best to double-check the entry requirements prior to your flight. A trick I use is to check my destinations on Air Canada’s Travel Ready Hub. It tells me exactly what I need to prepare for my trip!
We took an early morning flight from Toronto (YYZ) at 9:00am, and arrived in Dallas (DFW) by noon. This gave us the entire day to explore the city before we had work the next day! As soon as we arrived in Dallas, we picked up our luggage and communicated with our driver from Turo, so we could pick up our car rental and start our journey.
Get Nostalgic at the National Videogame Museum
When I was checking Google Map around our hotel, I saw “National Videogame Museum” and immediately, I marked it down on our travel itinerary! Kelvin and I are both a fan of games, so I knew it’d be something we would enjoy. Also because our check-in time wasn’t until 3:00pm, we had a few hours to kill so it was the perfect time to go after we landed!
We had no idea how much it would cost when we arrived, but once we got to the cashier, they charged us $12USD per admission ticket. This also included four tokens (that we’d be able to use to play in the arcade). I thought it was super worth it, and we had so much fun exploring the museum! It was seriously a nostalgic throwback since I grew up playing Nintendo & Playstation.
It’s crazy to think that the items we had as kids are now in a museum… we’re really living as history is being made!
Address: 8004 Dallas Pkwy, Frisco, TX 75034, United States
Check-in to your Accommodation
After exploring the museum, we headed back to our hotel to check in and settle down. We brought all of our camera gear and suitcases to our rooms, and chilled for a little before we went back out to explore/grab food!
Explore Legacy West
Every time I create a travel itinerary, the first thing I do is google, “best things to do in x.” After that, I also check Google Map to see what’s nearby our accommodation to see what makes sense to visit based on the amount of time we have. Legacy West was one of the recommended areas to explore and it was close to us, so we decided to do that for our first evening in Dallas!
Eat Dinner & Listen to Live Music at Legacy West Food Hall
Legacy West is a business and cultural district located in Plano, TX filled with luxury stores and numerous restaurants. We had fun walking down the streets and decided to check out the Food Hall for dinner. Inside the Food Hall, there were many different cuisine options. Kelvin got taco and fries, and I got General Tso chicken! We also had a few drinks by the bar upstairs. The vibes were really chill and there was also a nice outdoor balcony area.
Live music was scheduled to start at 6PM, but we decided to leave before it started since we had work the next day and wanted to rest up early.
Visit West Elm
On our way back to the parking lot, I saw West Elm and asked Kelvin if we could go inside. I actually just moved out by myself, so home decor is something I’m really interested in now haha. I used to never care before, but now I’m always searching to see what kind of pieces fit my vibe and what I can add to my space!
I had fun looking around/getting inspiration, but I didn’t buy anything of course haha. It would be way too hard to bring that back home even if I did!
Note: The next day, we filmed the wedding and the reception took place at Knotting Hill Place. It was a gorgeous space and everyone was so sweet throughout the day. We really enjoyed capturing the wedding, and I honestly feel so grateful to travel and create as my job!
Technically this would be Day Three for us, but this is Day Two of traveling! This day was super interesting because I was able to organize a mini meet-up with two of my longtime supporters/online friends (Brad & Darren) that I met through YouTube/MapleStory. I was really excited, but also a little nervous haha.
Try Authentic Texas BBQ at Hutchin’s BBQ
Texas BBQ is a must-try in Texas, and luckily there was one nearby in Frisco! Brad recommended Hutchin’s BBQ (and I also saw that when I googled Texas BBQ recommendations), so we decided to meet up there! Brad was super kind to treat us all T__T” I wanted to pay for the bill too, but he wouldn’t let me ahhh >__<“ (Thank you again Brad if you’re reading this!! Appreciate you so, so much)!!
Anyways, the food was really good and filling! Kelvin mentioned how it was the best brisket he’s ever had, and it literally melted in his mouth haha. After we finished eating, we took a few candid photos outside before we said our goodbyes :’D
Take a COVID PCR Test @ Walgreens
One of the requirements for us to fly back home was to take a PCR test 72 hours before our flight. We managed to find a free booking at Walgreens (also thanks to my friends who shared this with me)! The process was actually quite simple. We did a drive-thru self-test, and the results were sent to us shortly after.
Experience the Cowboy Life @ Fort Worth Stockyards Station
After getting our COVID PCR test out of the way, we drove towards Fort Worth Stockyards! It was roughly a 45-minute drive out west, and I was excited because I heard this is the place to go for the authentic cowboy experience haha.
See the Cattle Drive
As I was googling about Fort Worth Stockyards Station, I learned that they do a daily Cattle Drive at 11am and 4pm. We didn’t have time to do the morning one, so we scheduled our itinerary to make it for 4pm!
For the actual cattle drive, we were a little underwhelmed because it only lasted a few minutes long, and we thought there would be a lot more cattle. Overall, it was still super cool to see the animals in person though. Their horns were super large and sharp, and we were pretty close by to them!
Watch the Gunfight Show
Every weekend, there’s also a free gunfight show immediately after the cattle drive. Unfortunately, we missed it because we didn’t know exactly where it was held and we walked in the opposite direction LOL. By the time we realized the show was just inside the stockyards station, the show had already ended.
Ride a Mechanical Bull
At the Fort Worth Stockyards Station, there’s a mechanical bull in a mini arena where you can pay a fee to ride on it, and see how long you can last haha. Kelvin and I didn’t try it out, but we had fun watching kids ride the bull – especially because it would move faster as time went on, and eventually the rider would fall off XD
Explore Fort Worth Water Gardens
After venturing through all of Fort Worth Stockyards, we drove towards the water gardens! This area was super cool and looked like some ninja training space to me haha.
Eat Taiyaki Soft Serve @ SOMISOMI
At the end of the night, we decided to head to Carrollton, which is the Koreatown of Dallas. We started the evening with some delicious taiyaki soft-serve, and then went next door for some more sweets!
Drink Bubble Tea @ 7 Leaves Cafe
Once we got our taiyaki, we felt thirsty, so we stopped by 7 Leaves Cafe and ordered bubble tea! I got the Jasmine milk tea with tapioca. It was a bit too sweet and didn’t taste like anything special tbh, but I’ve heard that the Mung Bean milk tea is really good, so I’ll definitely have to try that one next time!
Shop Japanese Merchandise @ Kinokuniya Carrollton
When we finished up our taiyaki and bubble tea, we discovered a nearby Japanese store filled with stationery, manga, and other cute merchandise haha. I always have fun looking at Japanese lifestyle products, but I didn’t buy anything!
Grab Food at H-Mart
H-mart is a giant Korean-American grocery store! Originally we wanted to buy a quick dinner there, but all of the fast-food restaurants were closed inside. We decided to just buy some kimchi and seaweed salad for dinner since we were really fully from snacking.
For our last day, we scheduled all the main tourist attractions within downtown, Dallas & then ended the night with some delicious Korean BBQ!
Relax at Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden
We started the day off by visiting the Dallas arboretum and botanical garden! Since it was close to Christmas, they actually decorated the garden with fairy lights wrapped around the trees. It was super beautiful! There was also an exclusive Christmas village market filled with holiday-themed shops, and a dazzling musical Christmas light show every half hour. This was definitely one of the highlights of Dallas!
For admission and parking rates, you can check out their website here.
Take a Picture of the Giant Robot Sculpture at Deep Ellum
After visiting the botanical garden, we made our way to Deep Ellum where I wanted to see the giant robot sculpture (that I had seen on Google). Once we arrived, we parked across the street from the robot sculpture. I got out of the car, and quickly ran towards the robot – took a few photos, and then we left haha. There actually wasn’t much in the surrounding area.
Deep Ellum is known as a vibrant district filled with street murals, live music, and cocktail bars, but we didn’t explore much of the neighborhood. We left as soon as we saw the robot sculpture.
Stroll around Klyde Warren Park
Our main plan of the night was to visit the observation deck at the Reunion Tower for sunset, but we were still early – so we took our time exploring more of Downtown, Dallas before heading over there!
Klyde Warren Park was one of the recommended areas to check out, so we took a stroll around there. Honestly though, after visiting the Dallas arboretum earlier that day, the park was a little underwhelming hahah. The weather was nice though, and we enjoyed just walking around! We also passed by the Dallas Museum of Art.
Visit the Observation Deck at the Reunion Tower
The Reunion Tower is Dallas’ iconic landmark and offers a stunning panoramic view of downtown, Dallas! We watched the sunset from the observation deck and saw as the city transitioned from daylight to nighttime. Nothing beats seeing the city from an aerial perspective. It’s always such a cool experience, and was definitely a highlight of our trip!
For information regarding admission tickets, you can check out their website here.
Eat AYCE Dinner at GEN Korean BBQ House
To finish off our last night in Dallas, we went back to Koreatown for some AYCE Korean BBQ. This place was recommended to us by the wedding photographer we met at work (thanks Victoria)! I don’t remember the exact price, but I believe it was around $30 per person, and we were allowed to order three dishes at a time. We enjoyed some fresh salad, crispy pork belly, beef short ribs, soondubu, and lots more! Everything was really yummy, and I just remember feeling super full and satisfied by the end of the meal haha.
Wooot, okay we made it!! That’s the end of our 3 days in Dallas, Texas! I hope you guys were able to learn something new from this travel itinerary, and wish you all the best on your next trip! In the past two years, I’ve started to do a lot more destination wedding shoots, so I’ve been able to travel a bit before/after work. I feel extremely grateful, and hope to continue traveling and creating for as long as I can!
Anyways, thank you so much for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed the vlog and itinerary, and I’ll see you in the next one!
Your travel friend,