<p>Photo: Skyline</p>

The Dallas skyline is made distinctive by the ball-shaped Reunion observation tower. Numerous new skyscrapers are under construction or being planned in the city after almost two decades of slow growth.

Photograph by Jerry Driendl/Getty Images

Big D, as Dallas has been called for half a century, was built in the 19th century on the fruits of oil and cattle businesses, making it a comparatively young city. Dallas owes its boom in recent decades to the banking, electronics, fashion, and motion picture industries, and it’s not shy about strutting its glitzy stuff, either. You’ll readily find this giant on the plains of North Texas a place that loves to have fun, what with serving as birthplace to the frozen margarita machine and boasting more shopping centers than any other urban American center. Now the ninth-largest city in the nation, it flings its arms north toward Oklahoma, east to Louisiana, south toward the fabled Texas Hill Country, and westward toward Fort Worth, the other half of the metropolis called the Metroplex. Although there is a burgeoning light rail system called DART and the city’s center offers a few places to get around on foot, you’ll need wheels to fully explore this Texas sprawl.

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