Heading to Dallas for the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) Convention in mid-August? Amazing! We are too.
We’re super excited about this year’s lineup of speakers (including American Express Global Business Travel’s own Drew Crawley, president, Patricia Huska, chief people officer, and Evan Konwiser, chief marketing and strategy officer). We’re also thrilled to have the opportunity to check out Dallas’ thriving culinary and cultural scene when taking a break from convention activities.
To help GBTA attendees navigate the “Big D’s” top attractions, we’ve compiled a list of the hotspots to check out. If you’re staying near the event, you’re in luck. Many of these iconic sights are within a 15-minute ride or walk from the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center, where the GBTA Convention is located. Whatever piques your interest, there’s something for everyone.
For history buffs
Going to the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza is a must-see item for many history and crime fans. The museum is within the former Texas School Book Depository, where Lee Harvey Oswald fired the shot that killed President John F. Kennedy. The space has since been transformed into an impressive museum that chronicles the enduring legacy of Kennedy and the impact of his assassination on the world.
Tip: The museum can get packed, especially on weekends. Plan to visit on a weekday and buy your tickets online.
For art aficionados
You could spend days exploring Dallas’ vast arts district. Covering 118 acres and over 20 city blocks, it is the largest contiguous urban arts district in the United States.
There you’ll find the Dallas Museum of Art, which houses over 24,000 artworks spanning 5,000 years of history, and the Nasher Sculpture Center, home to a magnificent assortment of modern sculptures considered among the finest in the world. If you prefer live performances over the visual arts, check out the AT&T Performing Arts Center, a multi-venue complex showcasing opera, classical music, theater, dance, and comedy.
Tip: Wear comfy shoes – you’ll be doing a lot of walking – and don’t leave the arts district before getting a photo of the giant 30-foot-tall eyeball sculpture at the Joule Hotel.
For sports enthusiasts
A visit to the AT&T Stadium for a behind-the-scenes tour of the Dallas Cowboys’ home turf is a must for pigskin fans. You can delve into the stadium’s remarkable architecture and the rich history of “America’s Team.” Various tour options are offered daily, including the VIP visit and the “Owners Experience,” which grants guests access to seldom-seen areas typically off-limits to the public.
Tip: Book in advance and round up a few friends from the convention to get a group discount.
For nature lovers
If you need a break from the hustle and bustle of the convention, the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden is a tranquil sanctuary. With over 66 acres of finely manicured grounds and 19 gardens to explore, this world-renowned arboretum is a feast for the senses. Bring a picnic lunch to enjoy while taking in the stunning flowers, plants, wildlife, koi ponds, waterfalls, and sculptures.
Tip: Take the free tram if your feet get sore from walking the expansive grounds – and don’t forget to wear a hat and sunscreen.
With the heaping plates of sumptuous food awaiting you, you’ll want to come to Dallas hungry. Carnivores have a tough decision: Should they try the 32-ounce, 240-day dry-aged ribeye at Knife Dallas, the charcuterie board at Petra and the Beast, a barbecue platter at Pecan Lodge, or go for a trifecta and sample all three?
Tip: For even more delicious dishes you can find in Dallas, check out this guide from Resy.
For aviation gurus
Many within our industry will want to carve out time to visit the Frontiers of Flight Museum, located near the Dallas Love Field Airport. At this aerospace museum, visitors will encounter an incredible array of artifacts from aviation history, such as the Apollo 7 Command Module, relics from the German airship Hindenburg, and a 200-piece collection of World War II aircraft models.
Tip: Don’t miss the display dedicated to the history of Southwest Airlines.
For night owls
But possibly the hottest party in town during convention week will be at Gilley’s, where we are hosting a very special event for travel buyers. The venue is stunning – a historic warehouse-turned-event-space with many of its original features preserved. But it’s our musical guest – the sensational Grammy Award-winning country band Little Big Town – who will get your hands clapping, your feet stomping, and your heart pumping. So come on and join us and get your country twang on!
Tip: Have a catnap or coffee before the big event as we’ll be tapping our boots to the beat until 1 am. Be sure to have your GBTA Convention badge and government-issued ID ready to present upon entry.