Whether or not you’re a socially challenged introvert, alone time is necessary to maintain one's sanity. And everyone can agree that the struggle to do something more than watch Netflix documentaries when the precious opportunity for alone time arises is very, very real. But there’s no better way to really explore Dallas than to do it on your own. You don’t have to worry about anyone bugging you about the itinerary or complaining about your choice of activity, and you can get some good thinking time in along the way. Get up off the couch, and spend your alone time productively at one of these 10 perfect spots.
Loiter at The Joule
Being at The Joule just makes you feel cooler by osmosis, and that’s especially true if you’re flying solo. Take advantage of the valet, walk in like you’re a goddamn celebrity, and hang out in Dallas’ lushest setting. Grab a coffee at Weekend, window-shop at Ten Over Six (you can’t afford anything there), and browse through the Taschen library before taking a seat near the coffee shop and starting your first novel. Or reading the Internet on your phone for an hour.
Wander the Dallas Museum of Art
Museums are supposed to be quiet, but your annoying friends won’t ever stop talking about how ground-breaking that Miro was or how good they would be at recreating the abstract modern art. When you’re alone, you can wander through the galleries at your own pace, only stop at the stuff you’re interested in seeing, and really think about the work you’re seeing. As an added bonus, no one will call you a nerd for insisting on the audio tour.
Read at The Wild Detectives
This space is tiny, so you might have to elbow a few folks out of the way for a good spot, but The Wild Detectives is a great place to sit quietly and read. Buy a book from the shelf, order a glass of wine or tea, and spend an hour or so getting acquainted with Joan Didion. If you need a little more solitary time, take your party of one outside to the patio — no one likes a lingerer who is taking up space.
Walk the Continental Avenue Bridge
When you don’t have to listen to commentary from critics of local politics and self-designated architecture experts, walking across Large Marge's little sister bridge is a relaxing experience. Grab lunch, a cocktail or dessert at Trinity Groves, then get in a little cardio by walking over the bridge and taking in the view. It’s a great spot for people-watching and just appreciating the skyline, but you should probably go during daylight if you’re planning on flying solo. Better safe than sorry.
Check out the change in Deep Ellum in real time
This historic neighborhood is changing before our very eyes, which makes for some seriously excellent people-watching and a good time. When you head to Deep Ellum on your own, you can strike up conversations with strange weirdos of all kinds, stay at the bar even after your tab is closed just to figure out what that really drunk couple is fighting about, and enjoy watching the tattooed regulars mingle with the trend-chasers.
Make use of the Dallas Central Library
Even though Dallas has a great library that is free and open to the public, many of us have never stepped foot into the J. Erik Jonsson. Whatever your weird and bizarre interest is, this is the place to explore it. You can certainly check out some books to read, but also take advantage of the things you can't check out at the Dallas Public Library, like its art and old document collections. Peruse the world-class selection of rare books (they’re “limited access,” so you’ll need to ask a librarian for help), or research if you’re related to someone famous in the genealogy department. If you can’t find something to occupy your time in a building that is eight freaking floors of books, we can’t help you.
Take a free yoga class
In all likelihood, you’re probably not going to commit to yoga in the long-term, but an hour or so of solitary (if in a group) stretching while listening to spa music never hurt anyone. Local yoga studios, like Sunstone Yoga, offer up to a week of free classes for newbies, and you can start in the beginner’s class so you don’t throw out your back trying to be all master yogi in your first class. When you’re not distracted by not trying to fart or look like a dork in front of your friends, you’d be surprised how relaxing yoga can actually be.
Browse the vinyl and memorabilia at Forever Young
You’ll have to drive to Grand Prairie, but that’s another perfect opportunity for self-reflection. When you get there, Forever Young awaits, and it’s certainly worth the trip. Spend hours digging through the massive collection of vinyl, sell some of the crap on your own shelf that isn’t getting played, and plan to spend much more money than you originally intended. Don’t forget to look closely at the cases of memorabilia — it’s basically a miniature music museum.
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Learn to dance
If you don’t know how to dance, you’re never going to learn because you’re too self-conscious to try out your moves in front of people who might make fun of you mercilessly. If you make an ass of yourself at a free swing dancing at Sons of Hermann Hall on Wednesday nights, no one’s going to really care. And, if you choose a particularly rigorous class, like the salsa and bachata lessons offered at The Red Room on Thursdays and Saturdays, you can also check “ass-kicking workout” off your to-do list. Don’t worry — plenty of singles show up, and you might just make a new friend. Or at least get a cool story out of dancing with a complete weirdo.
Treat yo’ self to a massage
The hands down best way to spend alone time is doing a little self-care, and massage is always an excellent choice. If you’ve got the cash to ball out, book a half-day at The Crescent Spa, where you can take full advantage of the spa and sauna facilities once you’re all loosened up. For bitches on a budget, try reflexology at Foot Joy in Richardson — it ain’t fancy, but you’ll leave feeling like you spent much more than $30 for that little hour of bliss.