Dallas, New Orleans and South Padre Island are all popular vacation destinations, but even if you have been to these three cities recently, there may be some hidden treasures that each of them have to offer that you may not know about. Here are some off the beaten path ways to enjoy these places.

On a day trip to Dallas

Culture: A new development in Dallas is The Statler.

“Downtown Dallas’ historic Statler now flies the Hilton flag again after a $255 million redevelopment,” Visit Dallas Communications Specialist Zane Harrington says. “The 59-year old landmark opened last fall, paying homage to its musical roots and Conrad Hilton’s original vision for the special property. The property will be home to several restaurants and shops as well as the new Dallas Morning News office.”

Food: If you are looking for French dishes, Harrington recommends Bullion, a restaurant that offers classic and contemporary French cuisine, open since November of 2017. Chef Bruno Davaillon’s restaurant was on the Whitewaller Dallas 2018 list of where to eat and sip.

Recreation: Harrington also recommends A Tasteful Place at the Dallas Arboretum for those interested in outdoor fun.

“A Tasteful Place is a 3.5-acre edible display garden, complete with a lagoon, meandering walkways and picnic areas,” he explains. “Overlooking White Rock Lake and the downtown Dallas skyline, the $12 million garden was inspired by the movement toward growing and eating sustainable, fresh, locally grown food. It also features a 3,600-square-foot pavilion with event space and a teaching kitchen, an orchard and four potager gardens of artfully arranged vegetables, herbs and flowers—gardens that are both visually beautiiful and a working kitchen garden.”

On a weekend trip to New Orleans

Culture: The New Orleans Museum of Art recently opened a new exhibit dedicated to the avant-garde fashion designer Alexander McQueen.

“While the museum is not new, it does have changing exhibits that people may find really interesting,” New Orleans CVB Senior Communication Manager Vicki Bristol says. “So you can explore City Park and its gorgeous oak trees and lazy lagoon. You can just visit the park and have a picnic and then go to the museum.”

Frenchmen Street is also a great destination for those that are looking for fun in New Orleans.

“It has a lot of jazz clubs and bars that have no cover charge to get in,” Bristol says.”You can just move from one to the next enjoying the live music and culture of the city.”

Food: The Jack Rose restaurant recently opened in the Pontchartrain Hotel in New Orleans. Bristol said the restaurant is great for families that want to let their guard down and relax in the city.

“They have an eclectic mix of Southern flair,” she explains. “You can just enjoy your meal. It is a great Cajun restaurant with food influences from the French, Spanish and more.”

Arnaud’s in New Orleans will be celebrating 100 years this year.

“They are a classic restaurant for this area,” Bristol said. “They have classic Cajun cuisine and a lovely jazz bistro cafe.”

Recreation: An activity that Bristol said that most people do not realize that they can do is take a helicopter tour of the city.

“There are many services that offer it and you can see just how beautiful the city is,” she says.

For those that want a land tour of the town, Bristol recommends a swamp tour.

“I really like the Cajun Encounters Tour,” she says. “It is run by locals who were born and raised near Honey Island Bayou. They really know the Pearl River. I recommend them because they have a transportation service because the wetlands are located about 40 miles outside of the city.”

On a week-long trip to South Padre Island

Culture: The Great Texas Catamaran Race is the biggest catamaran race in the world. Taking on a distance of 300 miles, sailors are traveling from South Padre Island to Galveston Island. The race will be held June 13-16. For more information email, greattexasinfo@gmail.com.

Cristo de los Pescadores can be translated as “Christ of the Fisherman.” This statue in memory of Gustavo De la Lastra can be found at the southern tip of South Padre Island in Isla Blanca Park. Visit the statue to read the inscription found at the bottom of the piece.

Museums of Port Isabel is three museums: Port Isabel Lighthouse, Port Isabel Historical Museum and Treasures of the Gulf Museum. Each museum keeps summer hours and each site has a separate ticket charge. The museums are in walking distance of each other.

Food: If you are looking for live music while on your island getaway, Windjammers Beachfront Cafe has food and entertainment. There are nightly specials and a tiered patio. The restaurant serves fresh seafood as well as steaks, pasta and and Tex-Mex dishes. Also, ask about their luxury accommodations.

Located on the roof top of Schlitterbahn Resort, Sea4Ever Rooftop Bar and Grill is known for its view of the island. This restaurant is open during the summer. This bar and grill is known as the place to party. The dining experience is described by Schlitterbahn as upscale in a casual atmosphere.

Pier 19 is where the locals eat in South Padre. This restaurant and bar is where the surfers, sailors, kayakers and fisherman eat after a long day on the water. The menu includes daily specials, seafood and American favorites.

Recreation: For diving and snorkeling, the company to turn to in South Padre is American Diving. They have a deck and promenade at 62-80 feet and interior spaces from 70-110 feet and everything in between for experienced and less experienced divers. On the opposite end, Skydive South Padre is open year round for those that would like to do some tandem skydiving. Video is available and highly recommended.

Breakaway Cruises is an all in one for those wanting to make the most out of South Padre Island. From dolphin watching eco-tours to parasailing, bay fishing and fireworks cruises, this destination has all of the beach activities. In business for more than 20 years, this is good for family trips, couples trips and singles trips.

On State Park Road on the north end of South Padre Island are the sand dunes of South Padre. A perfect spot for pictures, the sand dunes are part of the island’s ecology. Acting as a barrier between the ocean and the grasslands, the sand dunes are a scenic backdrop for the island