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Flickr: Bonita de Boer

By Kristina Rowe, NewsCastic

A ride on the M-Line trolley, operated by the McKinney Avenue Transit Authority (MATA,) is a fun, nostalgic experience in and of itself. All the vehicles are authentic, historic trolleys, and they’re free to ride.  It’s not just a daytime experience – you can make the rounds till 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and past midnight on the weekends.

Riding the full route takes about an hour, but with more than 30 stops, you’re sure to want to make a day of it. This fun “Discover Dallas” experience can fit any budget. Find Uptown’s best shops and restaurants, avoid traffic and parking headaches in the Dallas Arts District, or see and do some things that make your heart beat a little faster. Our roundup of the 10 coolest places on the M-Line will show you why you don’t want to miss a single one.

Two Words at Sip | Stir Cafe

We have just two words for Sip | Stir Cafe in West Village. Latte art. It’s astounding what they do with coffee here.

If you come on Saturday morning, a different pair of words will make you smile – Hypnotic Donuts. Sunday gets two sets of “two words” magic – breakfast tacos (from) Taco Deli. For beautiful coffee worth savoring in a warm, welcoming space, hop off at McKinney and Blackburn.

On Your Toes at Pure Barre

While you’re in the West Village area, try a challenging workout at Pure Barre. Their unique routine of isometric movements help you build long, lean muscles, without all the bouncing around. This challenging routine will get your morning started off right any day of the week. It’s also a great way to prepare to shop till you drop at some of the incredible apparel and accessory retail shops at West Village.

Pup Paradise at Mutt’s Cantina

Doggies can ride the M-Line too, so bring your four-legged best friend (on leash.) The trolley makes a stop at Klyde Warren Park, where your pooch can romp in the off-leash area or the two of you can roam the whole park.

For the best canine experience, start or end your trip at the Cityplace West Station so you can stop in at Mutt’s Cantina. Their hand-spun shakes and pupsicles are just the thing for a dog day afternoon.

Grab a Drink and Hang On Tight at Trophy Room

If you’re ready for action around Happy Hour time, jump off at the McKinney and Worthington stop, and head over to Trophy Room. It’s a fairly quiet and very comfortable spot to grab a drink midday. The crowd and the energy build up big time for late night fun. You can give the mechanical bull a whirl or just watch from a safe distance.

Browse Books and Eat Local at Serj Books

To relax for a while midday during the week, take the trolley stop at St. Paul and Federal. You’ll find a charming independent bookstore, Serj, that also happens to serve delicious local food and drinks. Pick your reading pleasure, enjoy a laid back lunch, and indulge in some Henry’s ice cream to make it a special weekday afternoon.

Celebrate Life at Cancer Survivor’s Plaza

You’ll feel like a superhero when you stop the motion of a 5,000 pound granite ball, with just your hand. The experience is part of the inspiration and gratitude you’ll discover at the Cancer Survivor’s Plaza near the Federal and Olive stop.

The Dallas park is one of 25 parks in the U.S. and Canada funded by the R.A. Bloch Cancer Foundation in honor of cancer survivors. The “Positive Mental Attitude” walk and the “Road to Recovery” Walk are designed to lift your spirits, even if you haven’t yet faced cancer personally.


Catch a Play (in the round) at Theatre Three

The Quadrangle is one of the oldest multi-use developments in Dallas. You can easily reach it from the nearby stop at McKinney and Boll. Make this an evening stop if you’d like to catch a play at Theatre Three. Shows are Thursday through Sunday evenings (plus weekend matinees.) Enjoy theater in the round all year round or more intimate performances at the smaller onsite venue, Theatre Too.


Dance the Night Away at Sambuca

Enjoy live music with dinner and cocktails any night of the week at Sambuca Uptown, near the McKinney and Pearl stop. Thursday through Saturday, they up the energy for some stellar dance parties. No matter what kind of day you’ve had, this happening supper club makes a happy ending very likely.


Get Fresh at Fat Rabbit

The menu is absolutely drool-worthy at Fat Rabbit. (We think that’s why the rabbit got fat.) You’ll have found taste bud nirvana when the trolley drops you off at McKinney and Routh.  Bring some friends to share small plates and flatbread. The burgers are so great you won’t want to share.


Get ON My Lawn at the Nasher Sculpture Center

The M-Line stops right in front of the Nasher Sculpture Center, and if you’ve never been, this is the way to go. Parking isn’t impossible, but spaces are limited, and you’ll have much more fun walking the neighborhood. One nearby parking lot invites pedestrians to “Please, play on the grass” and that vibe continues throughout the Dallas Arts District.