Explore The Heady Mix Of Old West & Modern Living In Dallas & Fort Worth
The Prairies and Lakes Region is dominated by the sprawling Dallas Fort Worth Metroplex, which is a brilliant place to kick off your Texas vacation. The non-stop flights from Canadian cities also make this region the ideal starting point for Canadian travellers.
Dallas is a vibrant and sophisticated city with superb nightlife and more restaurants and shops per capita than New York City. All the trendiest spots are complemented by low-key hang outs and tremendous music venues and there’s dazzling architecture and spectacular performances to see in the city’s Arts District.
Fair Park hosts the State Fair of Texas, plus museums and art deco galore, and sports fans can hardly miss the colossal Cowboys Stadium in Arlington.
Alternatively, Fort Worth, the city of cowboys and culture, seems to pride itself on contrasting Big D.
While Dallas offers plenty of glitz, Fort Worth embraces its Western heritage and cowboy spirit. The Stockyards National Historic District, National Cowgirl Museum & Hall of Fame and Billy Bob’s Texas – the largest honky-tonk in the world – are just a few examples of this. In short, Fort Worth is the place to practice your Yee-haw!
Beyond the region’s two major cities, there are plenty of charming small towns to explore. You’re virtually guaranteed to find a friendly face in the area’s smaller communities. Outside the Metroplex, you’re sure to meet delightfully straight-shootin’ folks in towns like Commerce and Paris.
Art & Culture
Fort Worth CVB
The Prairies and Lakes region is simply bursting with treasures for Canadian culture vultures.
Boasting the largest urban arts district in the U.S. – which features hundreds of pieces of public art and five cultural venues designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architects – Dallas is truly a city that is focused on the arts.
The Dallas Museum of Art, which now features free admission, is the anchor of the Dallas Arts District, which features three museums and four performing arts venues within a 19-block radius. Highlights include the Nasher Sculpture Center’s collection of contemporary sculpture, the Crow Collection of Asian Art, the Meyerson Symphony Center and the AT&T Performing Arts Center.
This area is also the location of the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo, an annual event that attracts over a million visitors. Dallas CVB
In Dallas, visitors of all ages enjoy the newly opened George W. Bush Presidential Center and the Perot Museum of Nature and Science, as well as Dallas Zoo, Dallas World Aquarium and the Summer Adventures in Fair Park.
The two-hectare Klyde Warren Park was built over the freeway that connects downtown to uptown Dallas, making it a convenient place to stop and relax and enjoy time with the kids. Check out the free fitness programs, play outdoor chess, splash in the water features or listen to some live music in the pavilion.
Fort Worth CVB
Alternatively, Fort Worth Zoo, which is home to some 7,000 animals, is ranked in the top five zoos in the U.S. Its ‘Texas Wild!’ exhibition provides a hands-on experience that showcases the unique wildlife of the Lone Star State.
The kids are sure to love Fort Worth’s Log Cabin Village, which features nine historic structures dating back to the mid-1800s. Or take them to the Fort Worth Nature Center and Refuge, where they can immerse themselves in the area’s natural history and explore some 32 kilometres of hiking trails.
Dining & Nightlife
Dallas restaurants offer far, far more than the Texan favourites of steak houses, barbecue and Tex Mex. You’ll be pleasantly surprised by the fresh seafood, Brazilian, Indian to European options on offer.
The city is also a musical Mecca where artists, dancers and musicians flourish. And it’s not all about Country with a capital ‘C’ – in Dallas you can search out any type of music on any given night of the week.
A former industrial area immediately east of downtown, Deep Ellum is the city’s headquarters for live music. Although known around town as ‘the birthplace of jazz and the blues’, on a walk down Elm or Commerce Streets you’ll hear everything from jazz and hip-hop to rock ‘n’ roll and alternative.
Fort Worth’s downtown Sundance Square offers of some 35 blocks of entertainment, fun and food. It is believed to be one of the safest and cleanest downtowns in the country, and it is very pedestrian-friendly. However, if you choose not to walk, you can ride ‘Molly the Trolly’, a free downtown-get-around trolley system.
And don’t miss out on a visit to Billy Bob’s Texas – the world’s largest Honkey Tonk – where the some of the best of country and rock musicians have performed. There are even free dance lessons on Thursday nights. Fort Worth CVB
The Fort Worth Herd Cattle Drive is an absolute must. Twice a day, a herd of 18 Longhorn steers is driven down Exchange Avenue in the Stockyards National Historic District, led by drovers who resemble the cowboys of Fort Worth’s Chisolm Trail past. Fort Worth CVB
The X Factor:
Nowhere else in Texas does cowboy culture thrive to the extent it does in Fort Worth. No other city boasts such an unmistakable mix of preserved Western heritage and unrivaled artistic offerings. The city of cowboys and culture offers a true Texas experience.
Prairies & Lakes: What’s On?
Lone Star Film Festival, November 6 to 10
Tom Thumb Texas Stampede, November 8 & 9
Dallas City Lights, November 16
JFK 50th Commemoration, November 22
Chesapeake Energy Parade of Lights, November 29
Southwestern Exposition and Livestock Show & Rodeo, January 17 to February 8
Dallas Blooms, March
Savor Dallas, March
Main Street Fort Worth Arts Festival, April 10 to 13
Fort Worth Opera Festival, April 19 to May 11
Fort Worth Music Festival, May
Mayfest, May 1 to 4
Frontier Forts Day, May 9 & 10
CityArts Festival, May 30 to June 1
Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra’s Concerts in the Garden, June & July
National Day of the American Cowboy, July