Dallas & Fort Worth Vacations
Dallas is the most mythical city in Texas, with a past and present rich in all the stuff of which American legends - and TV shows - are made. It stands tall as a paragon of conspicuous consumption, a city known for its business acumen, its restaurants and its shopping.
The 'Big D' is most famous for its contributions to popular culture - the Cowboys football team and its cheerleaders, the Dallas soap opera...but there's a more serious side to the city. It was in Dealey Plaza that one of the greatest tragedies in US history - JFK's assassination – unfolded.
If Dallas is skyscrapers, Fort Worth is streetscapes: the awesome mural of the Chisholm Trail, the hitching posts of the Stockyards, the cobblestones of old Camp Bowie Blvd. Fort Worth is proud of its Cowtown nickname, but the livestock industry is just a small part of it these days.
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Set in the heart of downtown Dallas, adjacent to the historic district, West End, entertainment district and arenas, this luxurious 50-story hotel features unsurpassed views of the city.
What To Do
By foot, bike or horse is the best way to explore Dallas. There are more than 50,000 acres of public parks, most notably Fair Park, White Rock Lake Park northeast of downtown and Bachman Lake just northwest of Love Field.
What To See
A presidential assassination and a TV series are Dallas' main tourist attractions. Those not yet obsessed with conspiracies of the JFK or JR Ewing variety can check out the Cotton Bowl stadium, Texas State Fair and the art deco wonders of the 277-acre Fair Park.
Shopping in Dallas is varied and plentiful; you can flit from dime-store craft shops to the high-end designer clothes emporiums. For serious mall action there's Northpark Mall or the Galleria. Head to Highland Park Village for Prada and Chanel and the West Village for fashion's hippest.
Dallas has a renowned live music scene with a hardcore edge. The slightly seedy Deep Ellum area has concert venues, bars and clubs - bring your leather and chains. Downtown, theatre and cinema sorts are well catered for, and there's a symphony center too.
It doesn't get any bigger than the big Texas State Fair held for a month every late September through October in Fair Park. The fair is a hundred-year-old institution and features buckets of barbecue, bronco busting rodeo and America's biggest ferris wheel, the 15m/49ft-tall Big Tex. The Deep Ellum Arts and Music Festival is a weekend of alternative art and live music on multiple stages throughout the Deep Ellum district; it occurs every April. Artfest, held over the Memorial Day weekend in May, brings visual artists to Fair Park to raise money for Dallas' cultural scene.
In 1958, a 24 year old Louisiana native named Van Cliburn became the first American to win the Tchaikovsky piano competition in Moscow. Today, he lends his name to the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, held every four years in Fort Worth. Up to a million people attend Fort Worth's annual three week Southwestern Stock Show and Rodeo held late January through early February. The show marked its 100th anniversary in 1996. The Chisholm Trail Round-Up is another Fort Worth cowboy lovefest, held each June. The Texas Storytelling Festival is a tall-tale competition held at the end of March in Denton, located 36mi northwest of Dallas.
Food and Drink
Eating out is the norm for Dallasites, and they have thousands of restaurants from which to choose - from quick fried seafood to languorous, multi-course meals. Uptown restaurants tend toward the trendy, while staples of the scene are on Greenville Ave, northeast of downtown.