Dallas itself is an interesting city: it has a massive downtown that’s impressively modern but with not a lot to shout about, and then the ever-present red neck vibe of cowboy-country. I went to meet my sister there for a weekend and we enjoyed two nights in the city itself (enough for a taste), and then a third in Fort Worth (brilliant!).
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3 THINGS YOU REALLY CANNOT MISS:
BILLY BOB’S | aka the largest honky-tonk in Texas. Make a visit to Fort Worth for this joy alone! It’s so big, and so much fun: get the obligatory bull riding pic, dose up on vodka red bulls, shoot some pool, and watch – or even better join in – with all the cowboys and their cowgirls dancing to Shania Twain classics. Also check out: burgers at Love Shack, and even later night dancing at Neon Moon.
GRASSY KNOLL | definitely check out the Sixth Floor Museum and brutal ‘X’ marks the spot, as it’s well curated and provides a solid audio tour of the time when JFK was assassinated. There’s not a lot to downtown Dallas but I found this stop really interesting. Also check out: NYLO hotel and Cedars Social co-run by an ex-Green Bay Packer, as options in the suburb of Cedar just south of Downtown.
GALAXY DRIVE-IN | this is a fantastic step back in time – idyllic for its heavy wave of Americana nostalgia, but tainted with sadness that it’s all falling in to such disrepair. It’s 35 minutes’ drive south of Dallas: park up, play a bit of mini golf, and relax back in your car courtesy of 6 screens and individual car speakers. We saw The Great Gatsby which was a spot on choice.
3 THINGS WORTH A SNOOP:
DALLAS FARMERS MARKET | a bustling little place, with some good cheap food options. We plumped for the Pecan Lodge and it’s ‘Pitmaster’ and ‘Hot Mess’ i.e. a carnivore’s wet dream – totally delicious meat feast heaven. Also check out: Main Street BBQ outside of Fort Worth in Euless. My, my, my.
BISHOPS ART DISTRICT | this area in Dallas, as well as Oak Cliff, make for a nice enough stroll to soak up some local neighbourhood vibes and stretch your legs. Also check out: Bolsa, for a delicious lunch and $10 bottomless Mimosas. HELLO drunk Sundays.
COWTOWN COLESIUM RODEO | I’ve been to rodeos before, but my sister hadn’t and was completely blown away by the spectacle! This one is in the Stockyards, Fort Worth and had everything from bull riding to kids trying to catch calves and dirty cans of Margherita for sale to see you on your way. Also check out: the Long Horn cattle drive every morning at 11:30am.
3 THINGS TO STAY CLEAR:
BEING SICK | yes that’s you sister. We just had a little bit too much fun at Billy Bob’s, which ended up costing an $100 cab receipt to clean up the sick. Line your stomach and maybe ease off on too much partner-swinging on the dance floor.
GRAND PRAIRIE | sometimes travelling solo really sucks. Especially when you have to be dropped off in the middle of nowhere at a bus stop 7.5 hours ahead of the scheduled departure time. My tip? Get a kindle and write a diary! Sometimes you just need to kill some time…..
SPRAWLING DALLAS | I think realistically, Dallas is one of those cities that you get more out of if you have a car. It’s pretty sizeable, and I feel if we hadn’t had some wheels we wouldn’t have come away with such a positive feeling of the city and neighbouring Fort Worth. Also check out: Renaissance Hotel in Fort Worth.
1 THING I WISH I’D DONE:
CULCHA | well, a little dose anyway. We were so wrapped up in the Rodeo that we didn’t spare much time for other attractions like the Dallas Museum of Art and the Nasher Sculpture Centre – an outdoor roofless museum and supposedly one of the finest modern and contemporary collections of sculpture in the world.
AND KNOW THIS: The Dallas Cowboys were originally known as the Dallas Steers. The name was quickly changed, however, when the team’s general manager decided he didn’t want a castrated mascot.