Girls' weekend! Your favorite people from high school, college or beyond are visiting you in Dallas, and it's going to be the best weekend ever. Probably. Maybe. Mostly. If you can just figure out how to be the perfect Dallas hostess.
The truth is, everybody will have more fun if you can come up with a great itinerary. And I found one that really worked.
Here's my 36-hour plan when three girlfriends visited Dallas for one action-packed weekend.
If your friends are flying into Love Field or DFW International Airport, be prepared if flight delays fuss up your plans. It happened to us.
Here's Plan A — which, due to flight delays, didn't work out for our group, but was going to include Uber rides to and from Lower Greenville, and short walks between venues.
Margaritas at Blue Goose or Gloria's: The first stop for anyone visiting Texas needs to include a margarita, right? Start with tequila cocktails at Blue Goose or Gloria's. (Note: This story originally picked Don Chingon as the starting point, but it has since closed.)
- Dinner at HG Sply Co.: Stroll up just in time for your reservation — and, yes, do make one. Dinner at HG Sply Co. is a safe bet because most of the menu is "clean," and gluten-free and dairy-free options are available. The build-your-own bowls, which offer choices of ingredients like sweet potato hash, grilled avocado, chile-garlic broccoli and more, are filling and healthy. End dinner with a cocktail up on the third-story patio and pretty views of downtown Dallas.
- Drinks at Truck Yard: Want one more drink at yet another popular Dallas hotspot? Walk across the street to Truck Yard, a shabby-chic backyard with picnic tables.
- Dessert at Joy Macarons: End the night sweetly at Joy Macarons, which stays open until 11 p.m. on Fridays. Order a variety of colorful macs to take home, or eat a frozen macaron sandwich on-site: an ice cream sandwiched between two oversize macarons. Instagram or it didn't happen.
Plan B was how our night actually went, after storms in the Midwest stalled one friend's arrival. No big deal: We headed to Uptown Dallas, which was closer to Love Field than Lower Greenville, for a totally different evening.
- Dinner on the patio at Henry's Majestic: Located at the tip of Uptown Dallas, Henry's Majestic is in a slightly quieter part of town, which means it's a perfect place for gabbing. (Pro tip: Your first stop with friends should not be so loud that you can't comfortably hear one another. You haven't seen each other in a while!) We shared duck spring rolls and a few other items, sitting under the pretty covered patio.
- Drinks and dancing at Chelsea Corner: It wouldn't be the first night of a party weekend without some dancing. By 11 p.m., Chelsea Corner was packed with trendy people in their 20s and 30s. We headed straight back for a round of vodka-sodas, (sorry not sorry, we're trying to relive college), before shimmying through the oddly shaped bar to chat, dance and people-watch. Bonus points to the DJ: The mix of old and new, paired with snippets of music videos, is the perfect way to end a boozy evening with friends. Uber home.
If your friends have children, like some of mine do, sleeping in is a luxury. Saturday morning on a kidless girls' weekend should always start slowly. Then: coffee.
Lattes at Magnolias: Sous Le Pont: Dallas' most adorable French-style cafe, Magnolias: Sous Le Pont, is nestled under a high-rise on a quiet street in the Harwood District, which lies north of Victory Park and south of Uptown Dallas. Stop into Magnolias with the girls for coffees of all kinds and a cozy atmosphere.
Brunch at Mercat Bistro: It's an easy walk to Mercat Bistro, a quaint place that'll have your guests forgetting they're in Dallas, with all those cute European flourishes. Brunch can be light or filling, with options like grilled chicken salad, veggie quiche or crab Benedict. Ask to sit out in the covered, enclosed patio, which feels like the quintessential place for ladies' lunch.
Saturday afternoon and evening
For most out of the year in Dallas, it's pool season. Isn't that a nicer way of saying "it's really hot here?" Let's go to the pool.
Drinks and sun at JadeWaters at the Hilton Anatole: Head to the adults-only portion of JadeWaters, the resort inside the Hilton Anatole Hotel. Important: You have to have a room at the Anatole to go to JadeWaters, but if you do, entry for a select number of people is free. JadeWaters has cabanas, two slides and a lazy river. Do those if you must; the adults-only pool with a swim-up bar was just as great.
For anyone looking for other sunny, relaxing spots to take the gals to on a warm afternoon in Dallas, consider King Spa or Spa Castle. Find a list of water parks and pools in Dallas-Fort Worth here (but comb through it, to find venues that'll be fun for a group of women without kids).
Dinner at Sixty Vines in Uptown Dallas: It's an easy drive or Uber ride from the Anatole to Sixty Vines, a stylish pizza joint with wine on tap. My friends loved sitting near one of the big pizza ovens while we shared salads and pies, each of us drinking a different wine from the expansive list. Despite the restaurant being cavernous, it feels cozy once all the tables are filled up — and they will be.
Wine and dessert at Ascension Coffee in Uptown Dallas: We weren't quite ready to go home after dinner; it had been a big day in the sun, but we wanted something sweet to finish the night. We strolled through the Crescent — a blast for anyone not from Dallas, because it's stocked with high-end fashion — and over to Ascension Coffee in Crescent Court. Ascension offers 50-percent-off bottles of wine every night, so we shared a great-priced bottle and a plate of warm bread pudding.
Then, we headed back home, for sweatpants and a movie on the couch. Just like in college.
How did such a wonderful weekend go so fast? There's one more stop.
Breakfast at Dream Cafe: Start with coffee — or, hey, a mimosa, if you're still partying — at this cute restaurant, located both in Uptown Dallas and in Lakewood Dallas. The prices are good and the food comes quick, which is important if you're trying to get to the airport on time. We suggest the huevos rancheros for out-of-towners who want just one more bite of Texas flavor.
Then it's hugs goodbye, kisses on the cheek. There's nothing better than best friends.
Please note: Sarah Blaskovich and her friends paid full prices at all of these venues. This diary of a girls' weekend was never intended to be a story — until it ended up being so much fun that we figured you might want to borrow a few ideas.