Moon Dallas & Fort Worth
By Emily Toman
Formats and Prices
- Trade Paperback $17.99 $22.99 CAD
- ebook $2.99 $3.99 CAD
Also available from:
- Flexible itineraries, from a weekend in Dallas to a longer trip exploring the region
- The top sights and unique experiences: Tour landmarks of both cities’ infamous outlaw history, museum-hop in the Dallas Arts District, or hit the indie shops in Bishop Arts. Watch the cattle-drive at the Fort Worth Stockyards, learn how to line dance, or risk a ride on a mechanical bull
- The best local flavors: Dig into barbecue or Tex-Mex (with a margarita or two). Graze at the food trucks in Klyde Warren Park and soak up stunning skyline views, try tacos from a roadside stand, or indulge in Texas-sized steak
- Local insight from born-and-bred Dallas expert Emily Toman
- Full-color, vibrant photos and detailed maps throughout
- Background on culture and history, geography, and regional vernacular
Looking to explore more of the Lone Star State? Try Moon Austin, San Antonio & the Hill Country, or Moon Texas.
DISCOVER DALLAS & FORT WORTH
Big oil and big hair, cowboys and cattle fields—these are the images of Dallas and Fort Worth that prevail.
Established as a profitable trading post on the banks of the Trinity River, Dallas grew into a vibrant community of merchants, and then a cosmopolitan city, as the center of the Texas oil boom. With all that money and status came wealthy socialites with sky-high hair, designer clothing, and flashy BMW convertibles. Thirty miles away, cowboys herded millions of cattle down the Chisholm Trail, founding Fort Worth as the “place where the West begins.” That city’s western culture continues to thrive.
Over the years, however, all kinds of people moved here, and the cities have changed. Transplants from both coasts have set down roots in DFW, influencing the region’s dining and shopping scenes with a homegrown, handmade philosophy. Today, diversity is everywhere, from the colorful quinceañera celebrations in Oak Cliff to the massive Korean spa center in Northwest Dallas. The Fort Worth Cultural District boasts world-renowned art museums full of Picassos and Andy Warhols. Punk rock bars and craft breweries are peppered in with the more classic jazz clubs and dance halls in Deep Ellum. Historic cemeteries preserve the region’s heritage in Uptown, while restaurant rows in Trinity Groves and on Fort Worth’s Magnolia Avenue showcase modern redevelopment.
EXPLORE DALLAS & FORT WORTH
THE TWO-DAY BEST OF DALLAS & FORT WORTH
It takes at least a week to soak up all that Dallas and Fort Worth have to offer. That’s due in part to the tricky transportation; getting from one region to another can be cumbersome without a car. Curate a two-day trip carefully to hit as many highlights as possible without wasting any time navigating the auto-centric metropolis. This sample itinerary will help you make the best of a typical weekend.
Get an early start in downtown Dallas with coffee at Murray Street Coffee. From there, head to the West End’s Dealey Plaza, where President John F. Kennedy was assassinated on November 22, 1963. Buy tickets to the Sixth Floor Museum online in advance. Arrive early and explore the Grassy Knoll and the JFK Memorial Plaza first to maximize your time.
From Dealey Plaza, make your way to the Dallas Arts District. You could easily spend the rest of the day here touring the art museums: the Dallas Museum of Art, the Nasher Sculpture Center, and the Crow Collection of Asian Art. Stroll through Klyde Warren Park, a stunning green space situated on a freeway deck with skyline views. You can also experience the park at night; it stays open until 11pm. Grab a food truck snack, catch a yoga session, or take in a concert on the lawn.
For a late night, go barhopping in Deep Ellum, the city’s liveliest neighborhood between 10pm and 2am. Hit Twilite Lounge for an old Hollywood vibe, Adair’s Saloon if you’re in a honky-tonk mood, or Beauty Bar, where some of the best DJs in town bring crowds to the dance floor. For those midnight calorie cravings, join the line at Serious Pizza for a massive slice of New York-style pie; the place stays open until 3am on weekends.
Spend your second 24 hours in Fort Worth, beginning with breakfast at Paris Coffee Shop, a local institution and the most authentic glimpse into the city’s cowboy character.
Next, make your way to the Fort Worth Cultural District for a day of world-class art, beginning at the Kimbell Art Museum. While the collection is small, you’ll want to spend a few hours lingering inside the Louis Kahn-designed building. Then, head to the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, the Kimbell’s counterpart for post-World War II talent.
Weather permitting, spend the rest of the daylight hours walking or biking along the Trinity River. The surrounding park features a duck pond, a picturesque bridge, shady lounge areas, and a tiny fishing pier. Before embarking on the quintessential country-and-western evening, make a detour to Angelo’s for local barbecue that far outshines the touristy restaurants.
Arrive at the Fort Worth Stockyards in time for the 8pm championship rodeo every Friday and Saturday. Watch competitive bull riders, cattle roping, and barrel racing, along with rodeo clowns offering comic relief. After the show, go two-stepping at Billy Bob’s Texas, the massive nightclub frequented by country music legends. Ride the mechanical bull, play pool, sing karaoke, or grab a late-night bite from the Honky Tonk Kitchen.
WITH MORE TIME
If you have more time to spend in Dallas, extend your JFK tour by following in the footsteps of the accused assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald. His tracks will take you south to the Texas Theatre, where you can locate the exact seat Oswald sat in while evading police. Several blocks east at the intersection of 10th and Patton, a historical marker indicates the location where Oswald shot and killed Dallas Police Officer J. D. Tippit.
Dedicate a few daytime hours to Deep Ellum. Although known for its nightlife, the walkable neighborhood east of downtown offers plenty of afternoon diversions. Have lunch at All Good Café before sampling some local brews at Deep Ellum Brewing Company.
In Fort Worth, head to the Fort Worth Stockyards earlier in the day to see one of the twice-daily cattle drives at 11:30am or 4pm. You can also catch a historical reenactment of the original Pawnee Bill’s Wild West Show on Saturdays at 2:30pm and 4:30pm in the Cowtown Coliseum. Dating to 1909, the show features cowboy trick roping, shooting, and riding. Tickets are $11.50-18.50.
TOP SIGHTS IN DALLAS AND FORT WORTH
Dallas and Fort Worth feature the old and the new. Travelers can spend half a day buried in archives that document the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, then spend the other half soaking up the contemporary architecture of the nearby Dallas Arts District. From historic preservation to urban creativity, the region has more than a few surprises.
KLYDE WARREN PARK
Transformed from freeway to green space, Klyde Warren Park is a shining example of creative city planning. The bustling park is also a prime spot for people-watching.
SIXTH FLOOR MUSEUM
Nothing shaped Dallas more than the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. The Sixth Floor Museum features a comprehensive exhibit that puts the national tragedy into greater perspective.
MCKINNEY AVENUE TROLLEY
Linking downtown Dallas and Uptown, the McKinney Avenue Trolley adds some vintage charm to your modern-day sightseeing. Plus, it’s free.
GEORGE W. BUSH PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARY AND MUSEUM
Regardless of your political leanings, the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum features a fascinating display of the Bush years.
BISHOP ARTS DISTRICT
The Bishop Arts District has retained its historical charm and is home to locally owned boutiques and restaurants housed in old brick buildings along tree-lined sidewalks.
MARGARET HUNT HILL BRIDGE
Since its addition to the Dallas skyline in 2012, the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge has helped create a vibrant dining and entertainment scene in West Dallas.
FORT WORTH WATER GARDENS
The Fort Worth Water Gardens offer an unexpected, almost hidden retreat on the south side of downtown.
In stark contrast to Dallas, the historic Sundance Square gives downtown Fort Worth a refreshing, small-town vibe. The free parking and 24-hour security help, too.
FORT WORTH BOTANIC GARDEN
The 110-acre Fort Worth Botanic Garden maintains its natural beauty and simplicity among 22 picturesque gardens.
FORT WORTH STOCKYARDS
At the Fort Worth Stockyards, the city’s western heritage is on display daily in the form of rodeos, bull riding, and cattle drives.
LOG CABIN VILLAGE
The Log Cabin Village living-history museum features 19th-century cabins relocated from various areas of Fort Worth that have been restored for educational purposes.
BUREAU OF ENGRAVING AND PRINTING
The Bureau of Engraving and Printing operates a “money factory” in north Fort Worth, offering free public tours during which visitors can watch from an overhead walkway as machines manufacture billions of dollars.
LOUIS TUSSAUD’S PALACE OF WAX
Designed after an Arabian-style palace, the flashy Louis Tussaud’s Palace of Wax features more than 200 renditions of notable people, organized in different themed exhibits.
Dallas has become a food destination—and not just for steak, barbecue, and Tex-Mex. The local culinary scene has come to life over the past several years, embracing the farm-to-table philosophy by sourcing quality ingredients from local purveyors. Chefs are akin to rock stars; some have even achieved national reality TV fame.
At the same time, tried-and-true greasy spoons and taco shacks hold their own against contemporary cuisine. Time-tested establishments and experimental restaurants coexist to create a diverse culinary landscape. Make no mistake: Steak, barbecue and Tex-Mex are essentials. But the Dallas-Fort Worth food scene is so much more than that.
The rise of Tex-Mex began with El Fenix a century ago, making it your best bet for the iconic cuisine.
At Café Momentum, you can dine on charcuterie, beef filet and fingerling potatoes while helping at-risk teens turn their lives around.
Set inside a beautiful Hare Krishna temple, Kalachandji’s inviting atmosphere is just as impressive as its meat-free Indian cuisine.
For quality steak and a glimpse at Dallas’ one percent, duck inside Al Biernat’s where you can rub elbows with local celebrities.
MUTTS CANINE CANTINA
The dog-friendly patio reaches a whole new level at Mutts Canine Cantina, which features a members-only off-leash dog park with day passes available.
The all-vegetarian menu at Cosmic Café features a variety of Indian staples, making it a go-to lunch spot for health-conscious herbivores.
EAST HAMPTON SANDWICH CO.
Something of a local empire, East Hampton Sandwich Co. takes an upscale approach to the fast-casual deli.
KUBY’S SAUSAGE HOUSE
Kuby’s Sausage House is a delightfully unexpected pocket of German culture, carrying 16 kinds of bratwurst along with gourmet cheeses, specialty mustards, and sauerkraut.
EL JORDAN CAFÉ
The bustling Bishop Arts dive, El Jordan Café, is the place to go for a heaping, Tex-Mex breakfast.
DAVIS STREET ESPRESSO
The baristas at Davis Street Espresso operate under a different philosophy – they want to reduce waste and encourage human interaction.
As new trendy barbecue joints open left and right, locals know that Angelo’s remains the best spot for hickory-smoked meats with a truly Texan ambiance.
Righteous Foods focuses on unprocessed, organic, whole ingredients and humanely raised meats.
LONESOME DOVE WESTERN BISTRO
Lonesome Dove Western Bistro offers an upscale experience in the Stockyards’ dusty Old West setting.
OL’ SOUTH PANCAKE HOUSE
Open 24 hours, Ol’ South Pancake House has the best selection of pancakes, including the popular German pancake and plenty of build-your-own options.
The basic breakfast staple becomes a decadent dessert at FunkyTown Donuts, which features flavors like key lime pie, raspberry dark chocolate, and double-stuffed Oreo.
Tailgate Tavern is the place to pre-game before cheering on the Dallas Cowboys.
PLANNING YOUR TRIP
WHEN TO GO
You can get the most out of your visit to Dallas and Fort Worth in the spring (March-May) or fall (September-November), when the milder temperatures help accommodate some of the best events—from the Deep Ellum Arts Festival in April to the State Fair of Texas in October. During these months, you can fully explore the city on foot or by bike without risking heat stroke.
The summer routinely sees triple-digit temperatures that make it hard to justify leaving the house. If you’re stuck in Dallas around this time, splurge on a nice hotel with an indoor pool and a breezy bar. From flash floods to ice storms, the winter brings unpredictable weather that could ruin your best-laid plans (e.g., snowstorms in the DFW area during Super Bowl week before Dallas hosted Super Bowl XLV).
International travelers must have a valid passport and obtain a visa to enter the United States. Canadian citizens do not need visas if they are just visiting. Other travelers may be eligible for the Visa Waiver Program, which allows visitors from certain countries to travel to the U.S. for tourism or business for up to 90 days without obtaining a visa. Upon arriving at DFW International Airport, you’ll be directed to automated kiosks, which speed up the entry process. But still, be prepared to speak with U.S. Customs and Border Protection about the nature of your visit. If you’re checking baggage, avoid packing anything that could be mistakenly flagged for any reason—such as a large container or any oddly shaped object—or you may arrive in Dallas without your luggage. For more information, visit the U.S. Customs and Border Protection website (www.cbp.gov).
As of fall 2020, US citizens will need a passport or REAL ID-compliant driver’s license to travel domestically. For more information, visit www.dhs.gov/real-id# [URL inactive].
If traveling by air, most visitors arrive via the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport (DFW), one of the busiest airports in the world, serving more than 73 million passengers a year. Those flying on Southwest Airlines will touch down at the much smaller hub of
- On Sale
- Oct 13, 2020
- Page Count
- 256 pages
- Moon Travel