Things to do in Dallas/Fort Worth
There are plenty of things to do in the Dallas/Fort Worth area to make a visit worth your while.
They do everything bigger in Texas, and this urban area is no different. The two major airports that service this area are DFW and DAL. DAL is the old Love Field that is located within Dallas and is currently being upgraded. Southwest and Virgin America both use DAL and it is starting to look great. DFW is the large international airport complete with trams connecting the terminals. DFW sits in the area of town surrounded by the suburbs of Irving and Grapevine.
Since Dallas/Fort Worth is a sprawling town, you will almost always need to rent a car. I might make an exception if I was going to stick to a specific area of town and the cost of Uber would be less than renting a car and any parking charges at your hotel.
First we’ll cover the Dallas area:
One of the greatest museums in Dallas is the Perot Museum of Nature and Science. Just open since late 2012, this museum gets rave reviews. This modern structure pulls you in when you see the inside escalator jutting out from the building incased in glass. The building itself is an exhibit, not to mention what’s inside. It’s a perfect place for families. This museum has reciprocal entry with other ASTC museums (i.e. Intrepid Ship and Complex in NYC) across the country. So if you are a member of one of those, you are considered a member here, and can get in for free.
Dallas moms rave about the Dallas Arboretum. The place is absolutely stunning. I’m not really a plant person, and even I like it. There is a children’s garden that has timed entrance tickets. Weekdays until 2pm are busy and sometimes they are crowded with school groups, so plan accordingly. There is always a seasonal display, festival or classes going on at the Arboretum. Be sure to look on their website for discounts on tickets and parking.
One of my favorite restaurant areas in Dallas is Lower Greenville. Snuffers is the spot to hit for burgers and the best cheese fries in the world. Make sure to get them loaded. The Blue Goose is great for mexican food, and the Blue Fish is a great seafood choice. The atmosphere in the Lower Greenville area is young and relaxed with great food. You can even stop by Cafe Brazil after a night out on the town, for the best breakfast food in Dallas. You’ll just have to trust me on that one.
Shopping malls seem to be a big draw for some people who visit Dallas. I’m not a shopper, but I’ll do my best to give you the details. NorthPark Center is one of the oldest and most popular for upscale shopping. There is always the Galleria complete with ice skating rink if you need to dump the spouse and kids somewhere while you shop. Newer shopping centers have popped up in the suburbs of Frisco and Plano with everything you can think of. Stonebriar mall is in the northern suburb of Frisco, which seems to be trying hard to be the shopping suburb of Dallas.
If you’re looking for more of a Texas country feeling, you might want to center your visit around the Fort Worth Stockyards.
Now we’ll cover Fort Worth:
The Fort Worth Stockyards are what you consider Texas country to be all about. On one visit, I was standing in line at In ‘n Out Burgers in Fort Worth and the man in front of me had on spurs. Real ones. You’re not in Kansas anymore, Toto.
Anyway, Hubby and I stayed at the Hyatt Place Fort Worth Stockyards for a weekend without the kids and had a great time, partially because everything was within walking distance. There is a daily longhorn cattle drive in the Fort Worth Stockyards Historic District. Check the calendar at the Stockyards Rodeo, or try your luck in the cattle pen maze. A trip to Fort Worth wouldn’t be complete without a visit to Billy Bob’s, the largest Honky Tonk in the world. Adults can two step, watch a country band concert, belly up to the bar or watch the bull riding events that take place on the weekends. Kids are allowed inside with a parent at arms length the whole time, but I don’t think I’d take mine.
One famous restaurant worth mentioning is Joe T. Garcia’s. The limited menu mexican restaurant was opened in 1935. I remember going there as a child once, and it was more like an old house that the family welcomed you into for a meal. This cash only restaurant has grown to include great patios and margaritas. I was underwhelmed by the food on my last visit. It’s an experience worth doing once. You can decide if you need to visit again.
Don’t let the stockyard stuff scare you away from Fort Worth if that’s not your thing. The Kimball Art Museum has several Monet and Picasso paintings to look at. The Kimball is known for it’s special exhibitions. If that’s not enough culture, the Amon Carter American Art Museum and The Modern,can be your next stop.
One last thought for a Fort Worth restaurant is The Woodshed Smokehouse. They woodsmoke all of the meats for the menu and try to be as responsible and green as possible. The mostly outdoor restaurant sits along the river with shade trees and has a great vibe. It’s the kind of place that makes you want to eat and drink the day away there. Which is easy to do with the wide and rare variety of beer and wine they offer. I just can’t say enough about this place.
As you can tell, there are a lot of things to do in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. So, next time you travel through one of the airports, you might stopover and stay awhile.
I wasn’t paid for any of these mentions…I just happen to like them and hope that they inspire you!