Irving, Texas

Four Seasons Resort

The Four Seasons Resort (pictured)

A quick drive from Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, this planned community has long been home to one of the state's poshest hotels: the 431-room Four Seasons Resort & Club Dallas at Las Colinas. Off campus, the city itself is sprouting new hot spots to keep visitors engaged.

Now open is the Toyota Music Factory, an indoor/outdoor venue (with 4,000 seats inside, 4,000 outside) that soon will be surrounded by a host of shops and eateries. Already serving diners is the Thirsty Lion Gastropub & Grill; local entrepreneur Billy Bob Barnett's Big Beat Dallas will debut there early next year with a whiskey bar, an outdoor stage, a BBQ joint and more.

All this is adjacent to the striking copper-covered Irving Convention Center, where a 350-room Westin is under construction.