As we announced late last week, the National Trust is participating in the 2012 Pacifico Beer summer promotion, Make Adventure Happen, in which we are competing for a portion of $100,000 based on the number of votes we receive (voting instructions at the end of the post).
To raise awareness for the contest, we've partnered with five preservation fans to highlight "Preservation Adventures" in cities and states across America -- the first of which is from Emily Courtney of Dallas, Texas.
Emily was born and raised in Dallas, and makes frequent trips back home to visit her family and experience new adventures. She has a deep love for all things historic and Southern, and previously worked as the communications liaison for the Trust's Gulf Coast Recovery project formed after Hurricane Katrina. Check out her Dallas preservation adventure below!
1. Start Off Shopping
Grab a coffee and head over to the original Neiman Marcus, located along the historic Main Street District in the center of downtown Dallas. This flagship store opened its doors in 1914 and is the last of the original department stores of its kind downtown. The Renaissance Revival architecture is a great backdrop as you wander through the racks or dine at the exquisite Zodiac Room on the sixth floor.
2. Take a Walk or a Bike Ride on Old Railroad Tracks
For nearly 100 years, the Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad carried both people and goods through the Uptown and Oak Lawn areas of Dallas before the tracks were eventually abandoned. In 1997, members of the community and city officials decided to preserve the right-of-way and restore it for as a 3.5-mile pedestrian and bike path called the Katy Trail. It's a safe and fun way to see another part of Dallas -- so grab your sneakers and go!
3. Check Out the Art Deco Architecture at Fair Park
This amazing area of Dallas is definitely worth a visit. You could spend an entire afternoon there -- but since it's the home of one of the largest collections of 1930s Art Deco architecture in America, I would suggest checking out the buildings. Fun fact: The State Fair of Texas has been housed inside Fair Park since 1886. That’s a lot of funnel cakes.
4. Visit the Dallas Arboretum
Listed as one of the top three arboretums in the country, this is a Dallas must-see. The arboretum has over 500,000 visitors a year, and hosts weekly events inside the garden gates. The original vision for gardens was cast in the early 1930s, and since then has become a wonderful addition to the city of Dallas. The 66 acres of property house the botanical gardens and the historic DeGolyer and the Camp Estates. It's a lovely way to spend a lazy afternoon, so be sure and check their website for an up-to-date calendar of events and live music performances.
5. Head Over to the Bishop Arts District via the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge
Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava recently designed an awesome steel bridge that connects downtown to West Dallas. This bridge is world-class! This exciting and new feature of the cityscape will hopefully get you (and others) over to a bustling and independent neighborhood called the Bishop Arts District. With over sixty unique shops, you are sure to stay busy. In fact, a great place to grab a pie is called Eno’s Pizza Tavern. I recommend the Meyer Lemon salad (with fresh jalapenos and pork belly) and any of the pies. You'll leave the Bishop Arts District -- and your day of preservation adventuring -- full and happy, I promise.
You can support our preservation work by voting daily at www.PacificoAdventure.com. A contest code is required to vote -- codes are available on specially marked packages of Pacifico beer, in bars and restaurants, by texting 23000, or by clicking “GET CODE” online.