Looking to satisfy your superhero or graphic novel fix until the next Marvel or DC blockbuster hits the movie houses? Then look no further than Freaks and Geeks in Denton. In their shop in a small three-bedroom house, co-owners Alec Featherstone and Beth Baalman offer a collection of more than 35,000 comic books to surf, 15,000 video games and more than 1,000 toys to please even the most snobbish collector. Comic prices depend on the book's rarity but range anywhere from a couple of bucks to more than $1,000. "Our biggest dream with opening this up was to make it a place where people felt comfortable coming and staying for a while," Featherstone told the local newspaper when the shop opened in January 2015.

Strokers Ice House

Located on 2.5 acres, Strokers has been repairing some of the meanest, baddest bikes in Dallas and Fort Worth for 30 years. It's a place where a biker can grab a bite to eat, cool off with a cold brew or listen to live music while their bike is being serviced. On any given weekend, more than 500 bikes will pass through Stroker's doors. Owner Rick Fairless opened the shop not long after retiring as the top sales rep for the Glidden Paint Co. and never looked back. "I can truly say that I am the luckiest boy in the world," he says. "I am living my dream every day."

Operating a well-done tobacco store depends on subtle cues. These days, stores can double as vape stores, head shops or small-scale bars. But Cigar Art, located in Bishop Arts District, does all the little things right. The lounge in front is plush but not ostentatious, the humidor is large but not intimidating, and the staff is knowledgeable without being douchey. A good tobacco store encourages people to stick around and smoke, and this BYOB spot is surprisingly roomy and comfortable. People actually lounge in this lounge. The place has a great selection and some real cred — cigar makers rolling product in the store have a minimum of 12 years experience in a Cuban factory.

Wild Bill's Western Store
Michael Barera

Just a few blocks from the book depository where Lee Harvey Oswald shot JFK, Wild Bill's Western Store offers a selection of saddles, boots and belts in the historic West End of downtown Dallas. It's a place that once catered to actors from the old TV show Dallas and rock stars such as Mick Jagger, Elton John and Eric Clapton. Wild Bill's boot selection is impressive, from freshwater Hornback alligator boots to diamondback rattlesnake and hippopotamus skinned ones, too. Some boots showcase designs of guitars and others crosses. From hand-tooled Indian skulls to tooled snake and roses, all different types of custom-made boots are available. Moccasins, too. Wild Bill's is the best and one of the oldest boot shops this side of the Trinity.

The Joule Hotel

The Joule isn't just a comfortable place for out-of-towners to rest their weary heads. It's fast become a culture hub of downtown Dallas and a favorite haunt of locals (meaning you know it's good). With a basement-level speakeasy, Midnight Rambler, which serves cocktails with exotic ingredients, and a lobby-level restaurant, CBD Provisions, which sources sustainable ingredients with a focus on local farms, brewers and vinters, the Joule is the best hotel in these parts. The hotel is a patron of the arts with an impressive collection, and sources some of its decorative works from local artists. It's the official hotel sponsor of the Dallas Art Fair and plays host to art galleries, dealers and artists from around the world. With the yearly Dallas Art Fair fete taking place under the watchful gaze of the Joule's massive eyeball sculpture in its garden across the street, this hotel is the one to watch for the best events in the city.

Readers' Pick:

Omni Dallas Hotel

If you have, say, an English Foxhound with a very finicky stomach, there is no better place in Dallas to find comfort than Deep Ellum's Upper Paw. The local shop stocks dozen of specialty foods for all types of dogs and has a complete selection of harnesses and other dog gear to keep Fido outfitted. Just don't eat the cookies stocked near the front of the store, however good they look. They're for your four-legged pal, not you.

Readers' Pick:

Petsmart

It's time to say goodbye to your dog or cat. You don't want to, but you knew it would happen. So you can take your furry pal to the vet, the place you know the critter hates, or you can go to lovingpawshousecalls.com and ask for a house call. Dr. Rebecca Westbrook will show up with kind words, a professional demeanor and total competency. Her lethal cocktails are delivered in a way that ensures your pet's final moments, spent at home, are painless. The fee is reasonable, especially since you've bought yourself a lifetime of guilt-free happiness, knowing you sent your animal off in the best possible way.

Pet boarding has gone upscale. Video cameras, plasma televisions, spa days and swimming pools have made it easier to tamp down the separation anxiety associated with leaving your furballs behind when you're out of town or busy during the day. These perks don't come free, but the return on investment is easily recouped in peace of mind. Paradise 4 Paws' DFW facility markets itself as a pet resort, and rightfully so. Dogs can get mud baths, individual walks, time in the pool and "cuddle time" at night. Cats have a jungle gym area to roam. For those traveling from Love Field, they have a "boarding lounge" service that will ferry pets to their Airfield Drive location in a van. Here's a tip: Leave your vehicle at the pet resort, take the ride P4P offers and save yourself from the steep airport parking charges.

Pawliday Inn

Dropping off Rover at his first day of doggy daycare feels like dropping a kid off at preschool. You worry about his ability to fit in with the other pups, whether he'll get bullied, if he'll have fun, and most of all you hope the person responsible for watching him is attentive and nurturing. Pawliday Inn in The Cedars just south of downtown may not be much to look at, but the friendly staff really loves your pup. They play fetch with your pooch, run around with him and send you Snapchat videos or photos to put you at ease. At affordable prices like $22 for a full day and $11 for up to six hours, it's hard to turn down a day of fun for your four-legged friend.

The guilt is real. Your dog is spending another day waiting by the door of your cramped boring apartment. Even with a dog walker, your pup may only get an hour or less of exercise. But Dallas has many day care options that offer pups a fun environment with plenty of frocklicking friends. The best for small dogs is Urban Paws in Deep Ellum. This facility has many clients under 40 pounds. Having an abundance of smaller cohorts is essential if your mini French boxer is a major menace to larger dogs. Urban Paws also offers bathing and grooming, training classes and overnight boarding. Best of all, they offer curbside pooch pick-up and drop-off.

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