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This Southern City Just Made Our Must-Visit List

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    New York, Chicago, San Francisco — these are the places we name when talking about what American cities are must-visits. But, one big buzzing town just edged its way onto our list: Dallas. The Texan metropolis caught our eye in Merritt Beck's snaps on her blog, The Style Scribe. With so much shopping and food against its Southern backdrop, we're calling it a hot spot in its own right.

    But, rather than take our word for it, we'll let Merritt do the talking. In the slides ahead, she takes us on a personal tour around the city she calls home. Between showing us some hidden gems and sounding off on a few cool restos, the blogger reveals her styling secrets (accessories, accessories, accessories) and tells us how she always looks so polished (do not underestimate the power of a monochromatic look). So, forget the big hair and bad stereotypes, Dallas is about to get a major upgrade in your mind.

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    What makes Dallas such a great place to live?
    "I actually started my blog in Houston but made the move back to Dallas a few years ago. I went to school at SMU [Southern Methodist University], and all my friends live here. I love Dallas. There’s always something going on, whether it’s a fashion-related event or a football game. The women in this city are also very, very chic and stylish. They know how they like to dress and have a clear image of that, so it’s nice to be in a city full of fashionable women."

    When you leave the city, what do you miss most?
    "The food here is definitely something I miss when I’m away. Texas is known for Mexican food, or Tex-Mex, so there are a lot of great restaurants here. There’s also amazing shopping in Dallas. It’s nice knowing where all the boutiques and shopping centers are."

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    Even when you're going on a picnic, you look polished. How would you describe your style?
    "It really depends on my mood. One day I’ll be wearing Old Navy slip-on sneakers, which are kind of edgy, and the next I’ll wear a very modest, knee-length dress with heels. I do like to incorporate classic elements — I’ll invest in my accessories and then buy trendy pieces to go along with them. I also generally stick to a neutral palette."

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    Your outfit is pretty monochromatic, but you're not at all washed out. What's your secret?
    "Accessories are a great way to add some texture and dimension to your outfit. Here, I chose a Lela Rose rope necklace. It’s really big, so it stands out and makes the outfit pop a little more. I'm also wearing woven, metallic Old Navy sandals, which I think are really cute."

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    Arboretum, where we are now, seems like the perfect place for a picnic.
    "The Dallas Arboretum is beautiful — it has lots of flowers, a beautiful garden, places for you to walk. It’s also a great spot for lunch when it’s cooler outside. It’s so huge that you could sit anywhere and just be by yourself."

    What else is in that picnic basket?
    "I’m a big cheese fan, so I love a good cheese tray. That, olives, some nuts. I love to snack, so that’s really kind of my go-to."

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    This neighborhood, Deep Ellum, seems great — we love the street art.
    "I love to shoot here. But, there are also a ton of restaurants here. There’s a great ramen place I've been to, Tanoshii Ramen, and there are a ton of bars that have live music, if you want to see some new bands. It’s definitely a place for discovery, and you’ll never see anywhere else like Deep Ellum in Dallas. It’s a little more edgy, a little more grungy. It's just cool."