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Tips on What To Do in Dallas - Fort Worth

From amusement parks to museums, shops to sports arenas, the Metroplex has enough to keep almost every kind of traveler entertained. The majority of the cities' attractions are located near their respective downtowns. If you're looking for a quick and entertaining way to see the sights, both experts and previous visitors recommend taking a ride on Dallas' McKinney Avenue Trolley or one of Fort Worth's horse-drawn carriages.

  • Look for $1 and $2 coupons for museums and other attractions in the Dallas/Fort Worth Area Visitors Guide and other tourism board publications (available free at the CVB office in the Old Red Courthouse as well as at some hotels and restaurants in Dallas)." -- Frommer's
  • The best way to sample the local culture is to check the nightlife and entertainment listings in the local newspapers or alternative weeklies, free at many restaurants and hotels. GuideLive.com, a Dallas Morning News site, offers daily suggestions. It's also wise to talk to a concierge, who can tell you about the best place to catch a late-night meal, movie, or a drink." -- Fodor's
  • Dallas is a good place to start, and its downtown is a perfect jumping-off point. Spend the morning in the busy historic commercial district -- check out the Art Deco skyscrapers and the original Neiman Marcus store -- and use the afternoon to soak up local history in the West End district, including the essential Sixth Floor Museum." -- Moon Travel Guides

Museums

Both cities are also home to several museums highlighting their history, such as Dallas' Sixth Floor Museum, which displays artifacts pertaining to the assassination of John F. Kennedy, as well as the Frontiers of Flight Museum. Those interested in art should head to the Dallas Arts District in the northern section of downtown, home to the Dallas Museum of Art and the Nasher Sculpture Center. Fort Worth also boasts its fair share of masterpieces, from the works of Frederic Remington at the Amon Carter Museum to the numerous contemporary works at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, both located in the Cultural District. The National Cowgirl Hall of Fame is also in the Cultural District and is another must-see according to professional and leisure travelers.

  • In Dallas, a good place to start exploring is Fair Park, home to six performing arts venues and nine museums. Among these are the African American Museum, home to a large collection of folk art; the Dallas Aquarium, known for its sea horses and daily 2:30 p.m. animal feedings; the Women's Museum, with exhibits on pioneering female politicians, scientists, and artists, among others." -- Away.com
  • Art lovers will want to spend the better part of a morning or afternoon in the Arts District, though you could do a drive-by through a couple of the museums in a little over an hour. To get there via public transport, take DART Light Rail to Pearl or St. Paul station." -- Frommer's
  • Down in the Cultural District, tour the Cowgirl Museum and others, including three amazing art collections." -- Lonely Planet

Historic Attractions

If you're looking for a taste of the authentic Wild West, Fort Worth is the place for you. Experts describe the Fort Worth Stockyards National Historic District as a living museum showcasing life in the Old West. Witness a real-life cattle drive on Exchange Avenue; later, pull on your cowboy boots for some heel-clicking, knee-slapping honky-tonking at Billy Bob's Texas club. If you're worried about sticking out in the crowd, pick up a cowboy hat at one of the many Wild West boutiques.

  • If you're interested in experiencing a little Texas history, visit the Old Red Courthouse, built in Romanesque Revival style out of Pecos red sandstone and Texas red granite around 1890. It's now the historic seat for the Dallas County government and one of Dallas' oldest remaining buildings." -- Travel Channel
  • To jump into the turn-of-the-20th-century Old West character of the Stockyards, don your best Western duds and hop aboard the Grapevine Vintage Railroad." -- Frommer's
  • The Fort Worth Stockyards National Historic District is an essential stop for any Texas tourist. Spend half a day absorbing the sights, sounds, and even the smells of the Livestock Exchange, Cowtown Coliseum, and Stockyards Museum." -- Moon Travel Guides

Attractions for Kids

Experts and previous visitors agree that Dallas and Forth Worth are enjoyable for families. "The Big D" especially has several family-friendly parks, perfect for running and playing, and the youngsters will enjoy the cattle-roping, trigger-happy showdown action of the Fort Worth Stockyards National Historic District. Recent visitors highly recommend a day at the Dallas World Aquarium. Others suggest a day at Six Flags Over Texas or Six Flags Hurricane Harbor, both of which are located in the nearby city of Arlington.

  • If you have kids or are just playful by nature, plan to spend a day between Dallas and Fort Worth in Arlington, home to several amusement parks (the legendary Six Flags Over Texas, and Six Flags Hurricane Harbor) and the Rangers Ballpark in Arlington." -- Moon Travel Guides
  • Experience the fun side of the megalopolis by strolling the 66-acre Dallas Arboretum, a colorful patchwork of lakes, lawns, sculptures, and gardens that provides a countrified escape within city limits. Head southwest to the satellite 'burb of Arlington to splash through Six Flags Hurricane Harbor or tackle the thrill rides at Six Flags Over Texas." -- Away.com

Sports & Leisure

Whether you're interested in football, baseball, hockey or soccer, Dallas has it. The city shelters six professional sports teams, the most famous of which being the Dallas Cowboys football team -- "America's Team" -- which plays at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington. 

  • If you have kids or are just playful by nature, plan to spend a day between Dallas and Fort Worth in Arlington, home to … the Rangers Ballpark in Arlington." -- Moon Travel Guides
  • For tickets to sporting events and performances, try Central Tickets … Star Tickets … or Front Gate Tickets ... For many events, there's little need to secure tickets in advance of your trip, but that's not the case with big sporting and musical performances." -- Frommer's

Shopping

As the birthplace of the Neiman Marcus department store and home to its flagship store, shopping in the Big D is not just a pastime; it's a lifestyle. Thirty minutes to the west, Fort Worth's shopping scene is much more quirky, with rustic shops selling everything you need to create your own cowboy image, from boots to belt buckles.

  • If you need to focus your shopping attention, incline it toward Western duds (especially Texas-made cowboy boots) and upscale clothing and accessories (this is the home of world-famous Neiman Marcus, after all). Texans aren't fond of taxes (there's no state income tax, still), but there is a state sales tax, and it's one of the highest in the country: 8.25%." -- Frommer's
  • Shopping is a local sport here, but there's more to Dallas than Neiman Marcus. For slow-paced window shopping, stroll around Inwood Village, a landmark 1949 shopping center with an eclectic range of signature stores." -- New York Times

Nightlife

Dallas/Fort Worth boast a varied assortment of nightlife hotspots. In Dallas, professional and leisure travelers say that the lively bars and live music joints of Deep Ellum are where you want to be when the sun sets. Dallas' Greenville Avenue is another popular hangout.

Like the city itself, Fort Worth's nightlife scene is less glitzy and more rustic, with bars and clubs blasting honky-tonk until the small hours of the morning. For authentic Wild West music, travel writers and experienced visitors suggest you spend an evening at Billy Bob's Texas.

  • Dallas has a lively nightlife scene, with enough in the way of performing arts and theater to entertain highbrows and more than enough bars and clubs to satisfy the young and the restless. If you've come to North Texas to wrangle a mechanical bull, you may have to drop in on Fort Worth, but there are a couple of sturdy honky-tonks in Big D where you can strap on your boots and your best Stetson and do some two-steppin' and Western swing dancing." -- Frommer's
  • The best way to sample the local culture is to check the nightlife and entertainment listings in the local newspapers or alternative weeklies, free at many restaurants and hotels. GuideLive.com, a Dallas Morning News site, offers daily suggestions. It's also wise to talk to a concierge, who can tell you about the best place to catch a late-night meal, movie, or a drink." -- Fodor's

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