Olivia Julianna

This summer, Texas teen activist Olivia Julianna got even with far-right Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz after he body-shamed her on social media. Julianna, the political strategist for Gen-Z for Change, soon launched a fundraiser for abortion rights, a move that garnered her national headlines. It took only around a week for the 19-year-old to generate more than $2 million in donations. Those contributions are getting evenly distributed to 50 abortion funds nationwide to help safeguard reproductive health care access. Even though abortion is now illegal in Texas and other red states, activists like Julianna have continued to fight.

Mike Brooks

Charlie's Star Lounge is a colorful heaven. Whether you're drunk-singing karaoke, bumming a cig from a fellow rock lover or chatting it up at the bar with resident bartender Big Fun, Charlie's feels like home. So step up to the mic, belt out those vocals and don't be afraid to bust a move or two. Or, if you're not too keen on performing, you can play one of the bar's several classic arcade games. As Nirvana would say, this place is very much "Come As You Are," so be sure to wear your most festive outfit.

Lauren Drewes Daniels

When AT&T recently expanded its headquarters space with a public plaza known as AT&T Discovery District, Downtown Dallas gained the kind of exciting, urban high-tech spot you'd sooner find in an Asian city. The new destination area offers visitors innovative art installations, a large media wall that displays trippy digital art and a food hall with endless options. This summer, they added musical performances to the mix, with a Juneteenth show by Keite Young and a Fourth of July event with Old 97's. We've come to find that this is the perfect spot to watch a live show. It's outdoors but mostly contained away from traffic; it's family-friendly and picnic-friendly as the ground is covered by comfortable artificial grass. And you're just a few minutes from Deep Ellum if you want to keep the party going afterward.

To watch Hailey Summers dance is to dive into an exploration of the psyche. From dance battles to showcases, Summers' dance technique has enlivened stages. Summers is a two-time World of Dance Dallas champion. Her most recent win took the audience's breath away on May 21 at South Side ballroom to Flying Lotus' "Land of Honey." Through movement, Summers evokes and expresses raw emotion beyond what the voice could communicate. Grief, love, resilience and triumph flow from each limb as Summers embarks on experimental dance movement. Music of all genres guide her inner exploration. Her movement embodies her spiritual journey and draws audiences in with a gentle invitation to join her. Through her dance community Discovery Movement, Summers invites dancers to embark on their own explorative dance journey through classes and events.

You might be wondering why we have a category for "Best Starbucks" when the cafe can be found in nearly every city in America. It's because the good baristas at Mockingbird Station's Starbucks have joined in the nationwide push to unionize. Earlier this year, nine workers wrote the coffee company's CEO to tell him they intended to unionize. Although the road to forge a union has faced some hurdles, Mockingbird Station's baristas recently announced that they were victorious in their efforts.

For 36 years, Pegasus Theatre has given DFW theater fans the novelty and unique marvel of their signature stage productions made entirely in black and white, achieving the look of old films through expert makeup and stage design. And there's also RadioVizion, a series in which they emulate old-time radio tapings. The not-for-profit group, which got its start in Deep Ellum in the mid-'80s, is still delighting audiences with original productions in their style of vintage, zany, murder-y comedy that we've long loved.

Dallas summers are hellishly hot, but luckily, there's a tropical getaway waiting for you right on Lower Greenville: Swizzle. Since it opened in 2020, Swizzle has earned accolades for being Dallas' only true-blue tiki bar to crop up in more than a decade. Its stunning interior sports tons of tiki art and transports patrons to a sandy beach far, far away. Swizzle's phenomenal rum-based cocktails will help you escape the soul-crushing pain of another grueling workweek, and its Polynesian food is just as sure to please. Surf on over for an extraordinarily refreshing experience.

It's been a tough time for many in Texas, with a conservative-majority Legislature penning legislation targeting LGBTQ+ rights. But the state Capitol may soon gain its first openly gay Black lawmaker living with HIV in Dallas Democrat Venton Jones, who's running for House District 100. Community advocate Jones is endorsed by the Victory Fund, a pro-LGBTQ+ political action committee. He's long worked toward ending the HIV epidemic and is an advocate for public education, fixing the power grid and civil rights. Jones, who was born and raised in HD 100, is also a licensed Realtor and serves as CEO of the Southern Black Policy and Advocacy Network.

The Basic Blogger Bitch, Alexandria Ashraf, struck TikTok gold when she managed to piss off every $30,000 millionaire in DFW by simply stating the facts: Dallas is a dating dumpster. Truth hurts, fellas. But TikTok after Tiktok, Ashraf continues to enthrall followers with her ability to be unforgivably herself, and luckily, she brings Dallasites along for the ride. Ashraf is the TikTok BFF everyone needs. With the support of 22,900 followers and over two million likes, Ashraf has been able to cover a broad range of topics from Pakistani representation to her Taylor Swift fandom seamlessly. She is the perfect balance, relatable to both millennials and Gen-Zers. Dallas and beyond is hitting the red follow button to join in on her shenanigans.

Mike Brooks

We have strong opinions about the best vodka in the Lone Star State, and no, it's not Tito's. Duckworth Vodka is located in Dallas, where each hand-crafted small batch is made with the utmost care. Duckworth is so good that you can actually sip it, which isn't what most people have in mind when they think of vodka. Interestingly enough, Duckworth is overseen by an accomplished winemaker-turned-distiller whose attention to detail manifests in each batch's balanced taste. The Premium Sipping Vodka is great for nursing neat or on the rocks, and the earthy Truffle Vodka is a show-stopping delight. Martini-lovers rejoice.

Best Of Dallas®

Best Of