You know it’s a good connecting airport when 60% of passengers don’t even leave the airport.
But there was so much more to Dallas, Texas than the walls of Dallas Fort Worth International Airport.
Dallas is the 9th largest city in the United States and the third in Texas with a population of 1,288,457, while Fort Worth is the 13th largest city in the United States and the 6th fastest growing major city of the country with a population of 2017. 874,168.
Dallas is less than four hours by air from almost any North American destination and serves more than 260 destinations, including New Zealand after American Airlines launched its nonstop Auckland-Dallas flight this month.
* Drunk flier expelled from US plane
* Yee-haw to my double vision from Texas, USA
* Fort Worth: beginning of the American Far West
But a tour guide who knew the town like the back of her hand said very few people were staying for a vacation.
So here’s what you can do while you’re down for a few days instead of immediately logging into another state.
Fort Worth Stockyards
A 30-minute drive from Dallas or an hour by train on the Trinity Railway Express, the city of Fort Worth is often referred to as “Where the West Begins.”
Originally set up in 1849 as an army outpost on the Trinity River, Fort Worth was one of eight forts tasked with protecting settlers from Indian attacks on the advancing frontier.
It is home to the 40-hectare Fort Worth Stockyards, which celebrates the city’s long tradition in the cattle industry.
Here you will be immersed in the wild west vibe, with cobbled roads and western buildings.
Stockyards Heritage Development Co.’s US$175 million renovation of historic Mule Alley in Fort Worth Stockyards was completed in late 2020 and included new stores, restaurants, creative workplaces and venues. live entertainment.
While you’re there, you can check out the 41 bars and restaurants and 50 shops, which include high-end custom cowboy boots and hats.
Head to Billy Bob’s Texas, the iconic 130,000 square foot (12,000 m²) country music honky-tonk with an indoor rodeo arena, mechanical bulls and dozens of bars, for a drink and a night out. billiard game.
Then, at 11:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. daily, the Stockyards still hosts the world’s only daily cattle drive, where long-horned cattle roam the streets of the city.
Art galleries and museums
Fort Worth and Dallas are home to a number of museums that cater to young and old.
In Fort Worth, the Museum of Modern Art of Fort Worth, the Kimbell Museum of Art, the Museum of Science and History of Fort Worth, the Amon Carter Museum of American Art and the National Cowgirl Museum are all within walking distance of each other.
Most are also free entry, except for a few exhibits.
The Fort Worth Water Gardens are a small park with water features that are free to enter.
The Kimbell Art Museum houses the only Michelangelo in the Americas, his first painting, The Torment of Saint Anthony.
The Dallas Arts District is the largest urban arts district in the United States.
Museums include the Dallas Museum of Art, the Perot Museum of Nature and Science, the Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum, and the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza, which is in the building from which President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in 1963.
A white ‘X’ on the Elm Street sidewalk below marks the spot where President Kennedy was shot.
Travelers can pick up a Dallas City Pass for US$49 (NZ$82) which gives ‘free’ entry to a range of major attractions and is valid for 9 days.
Watch a sports match
There’s nothing quite like immersing yourself in American culture like going to a sports game.
With a crowd full of energy, lots of music, amazing half-time performances and even fast food brands to buy during the game, even a cheap ticket to a sports game is worth the hype.
Dallas is home to the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks, NFL’s Dallas Cowboys, and NHL’s Dallas Stars.
Lamar Hunt, the founder of the American Football League and son of oil magnate HL Hunt, was a well-known Dallas resident when he coined the term “Super Bowl,” which makes sports history even richer in Dallas.
Food Tours and Margarita Mile
Food is at the heart of the state, with grilled meats being the most sought-after cuisine. And margaritas too.
The frozen margarita maker was invented in Dallas by restaurateur Mariano Martinez. The original machine now resides in the Smithsonian National Museum of American History.
Almost every restaurant offers a specialty margarita, which has made the Margarita Mile a thing, which is a self-guided tour of Dallas’ best and shiniest margaritas, where margarita lovers download a “passport” and sip drinks in local restaurants while checking them off.
To experience food like a local and find hidden gems including handmade tacos, barbecue smoked meats and French desserts, joining a food tour is often the best way to eat like the locals while walking outside. delicious cuisine.
Food Tours of America runs public and private group tours and takes you through the hidden gems of the unique restaurant industry. Locations include Dowtown Dallas, Uptown and West Village, and Deep Ellum.
Not only is the tour tasty, but the guides are rich in knowledge about the history of the restaurants and the area you are in.
But remember, everything really is bigger in Texas – even the food portions, so small bites at each restaurant are the best way to not feel full before you reach the end of the tour.
Admire the Dallas skyline from above
A great place to reflect on all the sights you’ve seen is from up high at the top of the Tour de la Réunion.
It is a 171-meter-tall observation tower located in the heart of Dallas with a 50-story observation deck offering 360-degree panoramic views of the Dallas skyline.
You can climb 837 steps to the top or jump in the elevator for a 68-second ride to the top.
On a clear day, you can see as far as Fort Worth, which is 31 miles away.
The tower, which some locals call “The Ball,” puts on special light shows with 250 LED lights at night in honor of city events, local sports team victories, and, of course, holidays.
It also has a bar and a restaurant, but it has been closed since the pandemic.
It’s within walking distance of where JFK was assassinated, so visiting the tower can be a great activity before or after your visit to Dealey Plaza.
Getting There : American Airlines offers daily direct flights from Auckland Airport to Dallas Fort Worth International Airport. See: aa.com
Stay there: Spend a night in Fort Worth at one of the city’s newest hotels, The Sinclair, where rates start at NZ$594 or stay all the time in Dallas at the newly renovated The Statler, where rates start at NZ$650 $NZ.
The writer traveled as a guest of American Airlines, Visit Fort Worth and Visit Dallas.