Travel

The 12 Best Record Stores in Dallas-Fort Worth

Keep these North Texas record stores in constant rotation-you never know what vinyl gems you're going to find.

Photo courtesy of Spinster Records
Photo courtesy of Spinster Records
Photo courtesy of Spinster Records

As Record Store Day approaches on April 22, you’re going to want to keep some of Dallas-Fort Worth’s best vinyl shops on your docket. Vinyls are all the rage right now, as listeners find themselves trapped inside the smooth grooves and nostalgic sounds. Sure, we may be in an era when we can stream our favorite music anytime we want, but nothing beats being able to physically touch and hold your favorite album. So skip Target and Urban Outfitters, check out our favorite vinyl shops and keep these stores on rotation.

Spinster Records

Bishop Arts
This is a staple for crate diggers in Dallas. Spinster Records is always stocked with the latest vinyl releases, as well as DJ singles, B-sides, rarities, and record-playing systems. Not to mention, you can get an early listen at some of the most anticipated new releases at Spinster’s listening parties, which often take place just days before the album’s release date. While this may be a little shop, you can easily spend hours sifting through boxes, and you may just leave discovering your new favorite record.

The Wild Detectives

Bishop Arts
Coffee, cocktails, books, and vinyl all in one place. You’ll find an eclectic mix of music at the Wild Detectives, especially its collection of global and international sounds. But the store still highlights local and independent acts. On any given night, shoppers can hear live music on the store’s back patio stage. Plus, you can order a special cocktail called the Texas Sun, named after the collaborative album by Khurangbin and Fort Worth’s own Leon Bridges.

Photo courtesy of Top Ten Records
Photo courtesy of Top Ten Records
Photo courtesy of Top Ten Records

Top Ten Records

Oak Cliff
Not only is Top Ten a cozy little record store on Jefferson Boulevard, this groovy setting is also a media library preserving music history within Dallas and beyond. Guests can check out or purchase from a wide selection of discs, vinyl, and VHS tapes of their favorite music films or most cherished concerts. Plus, on some nights, shoppers can enjoy live music and DJ sets.

Photo courtesy of Good Records
Photo courtesy of Good Records
Photo courtesy of Good Records

Good Records

White Rock
As its name suggests, Good Records offers nothing but good records. But you better arrive here with a mission. Per its website, they discourage window shopping and killing time-within reason. Good Records supports local artists as well as some of the most highly anticipated record releases. If you live in Dallas, you can order from Good Records which will deliver your precious cargo at no additional charge.

Photo courtesy of Josey Records and Music
Photo courtesy of Josey Records and Music
Photo courtesy of Josey Records and Music

Josey Records

Farmers Branch
Spend your entire day at Josey Records-with claim to the largest record store in Texas, it’d be easy to do. This massive shop has the feel of a classic record store with CDs, 45s, cassette tapes, and vinyls galore. A favorite of local musicians and global acts alike, Josey has hosted listening events and album signing for Yungblud, NF, Joe P, and other artists.

Doc’s Records & Vintage

Fort Worth
Not only does Doc’s have one of the largest record selections in Fort Worth, but fans can also shop from a variety of band shirt’s and other merch. This store carries a variety of genres, but mostly spotlights indie and rock releases. If you’re looking for collectors items and indie exclusives, look no further than Doc’s.

Panther City Vinyl

Fort Worth
Each Record Store Day gets a bit chaotic, but Panther City Vinyl has a plan in place to create an equal playing field. Across its large selection of vinyl, discs, tapes, DVDs, VHSs, and any sort of music media you can imagine, Panther City has instilled a no-holds policy, and is only allowing shoppers to purchase one of each title this RSD. But on any given day, shoppers can load up on all the music their hearts desire and are encouraged to do so by way of the store’s frequent sales.

Forever Young Records

Grand Prairie
If it’s ever been printed on vinyl, Forever Young is more than likely to have it. Inside Forever Young, it feels like the store goes on for miles, as it carries over 250,000 items at any moment. If you’re willing to make the trek, finding rarities and out-of-print vinyls, eight-tracks, and tapes make it worth all your while.

Photo courtesy of GROWL
Photo courtesy of GROWL
Photo courtesy of GROWL

GROWL

Arlington
Discover your new favorite band at GROWL. Vinylheads come to this little Arlington shop for records, but stay for the live music. GROWL maintains a stacked calendar of shows on a weekly basis. Not only do they platform local artists, but they bring in acts from other cities as well. So celebrate music at GROWL all year long.

Red Zeppelin

Downtown McKinney
This woman-owned record shop always has good music on rotation. If you don’t leave the shop with a vinyl record, you can express your fandom by snagging a prayer candle of your favorite artist, including Prince, Cardi B, and, of course, the Queen Bey herself, Beyoncé. In addition to carrying great records, owner Katie Scott has also launched a label called Red Zeppelin Records, with the mission to uplift independent artists in their music careers.

The Spin

Far North Dallas
There are two good ways to get to know someone: ask how they like their coffee and what their favorite albums are. The Spin cuts out the middlemen and marries these two elements in a sleek little coffee-record shop hybrid. It’s as nice a place for an intimate date as it is to sit back and work remotely. You can enjoy coffee and baked treats, listen to good music, and leave with a new record.

Photo courtesy of NTX Vinyl
Photo courtesy of NTX Vinyl
Photo courtesy of NTX Vinyl

NTX Vinyl

Highland Village, Frisco, and North Richland Hills
On top of three brick and mortar stores, NTX Vinyl also has a vast online collection, as well as a YouTube channel. So whether you’re new to the crate-digging game, or a vinyl veteran, NTX can help you brush up your knowledge on music, both old and new.Want more Thrillist? Follow us on Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, TikTok, and Snapchat.

Alex Gonzalez is a contributing writer for Thrillist.

Travel

Ditch your Phone for ‘Dome Life’ in this Pastoral Paradise Outside Port Macquarie 

A responsible, sustainable travel choice for escaping big city life for a few days.

nature domes port macquarie
Photo: Nature Domes

The urge to get as far away as possible from the incessant noise and pressures of ‘big city life’ has witnessed increasingly more of us turn to off-grid adventures for our holidays: Booking.com polled travellers at the start of 2023 and 55% of us wanted to spend our holidays ‘off-grid’.  Achieving total disconnection from the unyielding demands of our digitised lives via some kind of off-grid nature time—soft or adventurous—is positioned not only as a holiday but, indeed, a necessity for our mental health. 

Tom’s Creek Nature Domes, an accommodation collection of geodesic domes dotted across a lush rural property in Greater Port Macquarie (a few hours’ drive from Sydney, NSW), offers a travel experience that is truly ‘off-grid’. In the figurative ‘wellness travel’ sense of the word, and literally, they run on their own independent power supply—bolstered by solar—and rely not on the town grid. 

Ten minutes before you arrive at the gates for a stay at Tom’s Creek Nature Domes, your phone goes into ‘SOS ONLY’. Apple Maps gives up, and you’re pushed out of your comfort zone, driving down unsealed roads in the dark, dodging dozens of dozing cows. Then, you must ditch your car altogether and hoist yourself into an open-air, all-terrain 4WD with gargantuan wheels. It’s great fun being driven through muddy gullies in this buggy; you feel like Laura Dern and Jeff Goldblum in Jurassic Park.  As your buggy pulls in front of your personal Nature Dome, it’s not far off that “Welcome…to Jurassic Park” jaw-dropping moment—your futuristic-looking home is completely engulfed by thriving native bushland; beyond the outdoor campfire lie expansive hills and valleys of green farmland, dotted with sheep and trees. You’re almost waiting to see a roaming brachiosaurus glide past, munching on a towering gum tree…instead, a few inquisitive llamas trot past your Dome to check out their new visitor. 

To fully capture the awe of inhabiting a geodesic dome for a few days, a little history of these futuristic-looking spherical structures helps. Consisting of interlocking triangular skeletal struts supported by (often transparent) light walls, geodesic domes were developed in the 20th century by American engineer and architect R. Buckminster Fuller, and were used for arenas. Smaller incarnations have evolved into a ‘future-proof’ form of modern housing: domes are able to withstand harsh elements due to the stability provided by the durable materials of their construction and their large surface area to volume ratio (which helps minimize wind impact and prevents the structure from collapsing). As housing, they’re also hugely energy efficient – their curved shape helps to conserve heat and reduce energy costs, making them less susceptible to temperature changes outside. The ample light let in by their panels further reduces the need for artificial power. 

Due to their low environmental impact, they’re an ideal sustainable travel choice. Of course, Tom’s Creek Nature Domes’ owner-operators, Cardia and Lee Forsyth, know all this, which is why they have set up their one-of-a-kind Nature Domes experience for the modern traveller. It’s also no surprise to learn that owner Lee is an electrical engineer—experienced in renewable energy—and that he designed the whole set-up. As well as the off-grid power supply, rainwater tanks are used, and the outdoor hot tub is heated by a wood fire—your campfire heats up your tub water via a large metal coil. Like most places in regional Australia, the nights get cold – but rather than blast a heater, the Domes provide you with hot water bottles, warm blankets, lush robes and heavy curtains to ward off the chill.

nature domes port macquarie
Photo: Nature Domes

You’ll need to be self-sufficient during your stay at the Domes, bringing your own food. Support local businesses and stock up in the town of Wauchope on your drive-in (and grab some pastries and coffee at Baked Culture while you’re at it). There’s a stovetop, fridge (stocked as per a mini bar), BBQs, lanterns and mozzie coils, and you can even order DIY S’More packs for fireside fun. The interiors of the Domes have a cosy, stylish fit-out, with a modern bathroom (and a proper flushing toilet—none of that drop bush toilet stuff). As there’s no mobile reception, pack a good book or make the most of treasures that lie waiting to be discovered at every turn: a bed chest full of board games, a cupboard crammed with retro DVDs, a stargazing telescope (the skies are ablaze come night time). Many of these activities are ideal for couples, but there’s plenty on offer for solo travellers, such as yoga mats, locally-made face masks and bath bombs for hot tub soaks. 

It’s these thoughtful human touches that reinforce the benefit of making a responsible travel choice by booking local and giving your money to a tourism operator in the Greater Port Macquarie Region, such as Tom’s Creek Nature Domes. The owners are still working on the property following the setbacks of COVID-19, and flooding in the region —a new series of Domes designed with families and groups in mind is under construction, along with an open-air, barn-style dining hall and garden stage. Once ready, the venue will be ideal for wedding celebrations, with wedding parties able to book out the property. They’ve already got one couple—who honeymooned at the Domes—ready and waiting. Just need to train up the llamas for ring-bearer duties! 

An abundance of favourite moments come to mind from my two-night stay at Tom’s Creek: sipping champagne and gourmet picnicking at the top of a hill on a giant swing under a tree, with a bird’s eye view of the entire property (the ‘Mountain Top picnic’ is a must-do activity add on during your stay), lying on a deckchair at night wrapped in a blanket gazing up at starry constellations and eating hot melted marshmallows, to revelling in the joys of travellers before me, scrawled on notes in a jar of wishes left by the telescope (you’re encouraged to write your own to add to the jar). But I’ll leave you with a gratitude journal entry I made while staying there. I will preface this by saying that I don’t actually keep a gratitude journal, but Tom’s Creek Nature Domes is just the kind of place that makes you want to start one. And so, waking up on my second morning at Tom’s —lacking any 4G bars to facilitate my bad habit of a morning Instagram scroll—I finally opened up a notebook and made my first journal entry:

‘I am grateful to wake up after a deep sleep and breathe in the biggest breaths of this clean air, purified by nature and scented with eucalyptus and rain. I am grateful for this steaming hot coffee brewed on a fire. I feel accomplished at having made myself. I am grateful for the skittish sheep that made me laugh as I enjoyed a long nature walk at dawn and the animated billy goats and friendly llamas overlooking my shoulder as I write this: agreeable company for any solo traveller. I’m grateful for total peace, absolute stillness.” 

Off-grid holiday status: unlocked.

Where: Tom’s Creek Nature Domes, Port Macquarie, 2001 Toms Creek Rd
Price: $450 per night, book at the Natura Domes website.

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