Headin' to DFW Area...

Kate and Pete

You can't make footprints in the sands of time if
Dec 5, 2006
...for the first time AND all by myself! I have a conference to attend for a week in the middle of July. I'll be staying in Irving - what are some fun, "must do" attractions and restaurants? Safe areas? Areas to avoid? I'll have a rental car - so I can go anywhere! :cool1:
Irving is pretty much in the middle of the DFW metroplex, so you really can get to anywhere. What are you looking to do? Shop? Site see? The only thing I can guarantee you is that it will be HOT and humid. We have had above normal rainfall this year (after a major drought) - good news is that all the wildflowers are blooming and everything is a luscious green. Hope you have a great visit!
I've been watching the weather - looks like I'll be pulling my hair back and expecting it to be curly! :lmao:

I love shopping, but more budget shopping than "fancy" shopping (does that make sense??). I definitely want to see all the big sights - just not sure what those are in Dallas. I know that I do want to see the JFK site.

I'm also thinking maybe six flags one evening. Also, I read somewhere about some shopping or eating that was underground...is that right?? :confused3

There is an underground shopping and eating area in downtown - mainly for the 9-5 business crowd. Not really a tourist attraction. The JFK areas are also downtown, near the West End (a shopping, restaurant area) and Victory Plaza - an upscale development where the American Airlines Center is. Downtown is undergoing a MAJOR redevelopment that is extremely upscale - high rise condos (including by the Ritz Carrolton!), high end boutiques, etc.

A great area for budget shopping is the Grapevine Mills Outlet Mall. It is about 2 minutes from DFW airport. This is where my mother in law ALWAYS has to go when she visits - which is fine with me because she usually spends around 8 hours there! There are also some great resorts in that area to just visit as well.

If you look into the Las Colinas are you will find some interesting areas as well - gondola rides, movie studio tours, etc. A lot of people like to visit the Southfork Ranch - if you were a fan of the television show Dallas. It is east of Plano - about 40 minutes north of Downtown Dallas.
Oh yeah - also - if you decide to go to Six Flags - which is in Arlington - about 30 minutes or so from Irving, make sure that there is not a Texas Rangers came that night. While these days there may only be 6 or 7 people at the ballaprk (lol!) It can become a real headache when the game lets out. They are basically on the same piece of land. Fortunately that will get better when the Cowboys open the world's largest stadium in the same area in 2 years, but I digress....
LOL, SonicGuy, I think you mean Ritz CARLTON. I just had to laugh b/c..well, you know Carrollton is nice enough, but it's not the Ritz. :lmao:

It really depends on how much free time you have. I mean, if you have an entire day you could take the Tarantula train to the Stockyards in Ft. Worth (not really my thing, but it's worth a visit at least once).

Personally, if I went home for a few days in the summer (well, not home anymore, I guess I should say my parent's home ;) ) my FAVORITE thing to do is Shakespeare in the Park at Samuell Grand. Pick up some picnic items (Central Market or Whole Foods will have some really good pre-prepared stuff), a bottle of wine (can you still do that? don't know if the laws have changed) and go for an evening under the stars :cloud9: Just be sure to get REALLY good directions, and try to go with someone, b/c while there are alot of revitalized lovely areas around Samuel Grand, it is just a hop and a jump away from some really scary parts of town. In all the years I've been though, I've never, ever seen anything bad. Good police presence, etc.

I really have always enjoyed walking around the Mustangs, canals in las colinas. It used to be one of my favorite places to go on a summer night, in fact.

You can also take in a ball game in Arlington, since it's right next to Six Flags. They have some pretty cheap bleacher seats.

If you wanted to splurge on a nice dinner and watch the trendy-set for a while, take a trip to West Village over in Knox-Henderson area. I also liked going to the Inwood Theater (though haven't been since it was remodeled). It was kind of an old-fashioned movie theater, and they show more alternative movies mixed with blockbusters. Really cool bar in the lobby :thumbsup2 Also near there is the original Campisis - awesome "egyptian" pizza. Get the "all the way" pizza and/or the chopped. The original restaurant (on Mockingbird Ln., don't mistake it for one of the newer ones) looks just like some old Italian restaurant you'd see in The Godfather (rumored that Mr. Campisi was attached to the mob). Love everything about the place. :)

Hope you have a good time!

I wanted to say something about Southfork. Everyone notice that the first thing anyone says after seeing Southfork is the same thing that they say about the Alamo? "It's so small in real life!" :laughing:

Come on now - Carrolton is pretty close to The Ritz (lol!) Thanks for catching that...
I agree with Southfork - may have been an impressive Texas home in its day, but nothing compared to most of West Plano or McKinney today!
Things I miss from living around Dallas:
Dancing. If you've never been to a real country bar head out to one Cowboys Red River will be one of the closest for you. I could sit and watch people dance for hours. Gilley's has opened near downtown since we've moved, don't really know what it's like tho.

Dallas Summer Musicals. You can look and see what is playing the week you're there. Balcony seats for mid week are pretty cheap.

Pocket Sandwich Theater. It's just a good time and the Sangria is pretty good.

We lived there for about 4 years, and I never did see Southfork or Reunion tower. The Tarantula Train from Grapevine is neat to do. Probably wouldn't do it alone. It is a long ride. My FIL is really into trains so we did it with him.

Have a good time!!!
If you go to Six Flags, make sure you check out the new nighttime show: Coobrila. It's by the Cirque people and is FANTASTIC!!

The Rangers are in town over the 4th - and they usually have great fireworks! (Not Disney quality, but the best non-Disney fireworks I've seen.) And Lone Star Park (the horse race track in Grand Prairie) will have fireworks the 3rd and the 4th.

Grapevine Mills has some good shopping, but it's a mix of regular priced stores and outlets. So you'll find some fantastic deals, but some not-so-good ones, also.

You might check into the Studio Movie Grills if you're going to catch a movie one evening. They have office style chairs (the big comfy kind) and a full-service menu of Chili's-type items for eating during the movie. (it's our go-to place for any new movie coming out).

The Shakespeare in the Park is a fantastic idea! And Spamalot is playing at the Dallas Summer Musicals through July 8th. If you like Monty Python - it's worth the money!! :banana:

Fort Worth has one of the best zoos in the country, and a large section focusing on Texas animals (if you like zoos). And the Fort Worth arboretum is beautiful (the Chinese Gardens are especially good, but there's a charge to see them).

I hope you have a fantastic trip!
I second going to Grapevine Mills - it's an AWESOME outlet mall.

Also, in Grapevine Mills they have a Raintree Forest Cafe - always a nice place to sit and eat.

Other than that - I try and avoid Six Flags - too expensive, too crowded and nothing like Disney - blech!!

Seeing a Texas Rangers game is a nice thing to do but this time of year - it's really HOT out there. DH and DS went to a Rangers game on June 9 and they said it was miserable hot - no wind.

Ft. Worth has a AWESOME zoo - stay away from the Dallas Zoo though.

Also in Ft. Worth near the zoo they have some Japanese gardens and lots of museums and the OMNI theatre is a good place to go.
There is a Gameworks at Grapevine Mills and that is a fun place to hang out (even solo). They used to have ladies night but did not see on the events list :confused:
Medieval Times is a little pricey but if you get reimbursed for dining you might consider it. We've done a few New Years Eve shows with our kids and they were impressive. I actually entertained asking for a job, it looks like so much fun! :banana:
Oh........forgot to say that there is a Disney OUTLET in Grapevine Mills too - nice selection of marked down stuff and really marked down on some.
Another vote for the mall at Grapevine - had a blast there! :thumbsup2 I stayed at the Harvey Hotel in Irving on a business trip once and the service was terrific. I needed close access to the airport and it was probably one of the closest I could have found.
Wow! Thanks everyone! :goodvibes

I'm an English teacher (and in TX on "English Teacher Business" :teacher: ) so Shakespeare in the Park is right up my alley! And watching some western dancing sounds like a blast! And shopping...and a zoo...it all sounds like so much fun! I'll have a few hours each night to myself and then a full day Saturday. I'm definitely going to check out the show at Six Flags - I'll poke around on-line and see what I can find.

I really appreciate all the help! :thumbsup2
I vote for Grapevine Mills as well. It's a great mall. We always go there to shop for a girls trip (from Oklahoma). We shop and then go to the Rainforest Cafe for a "budget" lunch of appetizers and dessert (we split one of each).
Keep in mind that Dallas and Fort Worth are distictly different cities with different moods and attitudes. Irving, Arlington, and Grapevine are all in between. By the way, downtown Fort Worth is much more people friendly after dark than Downtown Dallas. Also, the Fort Worth Zoo is not far at all from the Fort Worth Botanic Garden and Japanese Garden which is not far from 3 very good Art Museums, none of which are far from downtown Fort Worth. Ok, I'll stop bragging now ;) If it looks like you're going to be heading toward Fort Worth, please feel free to PM me, and I'll give you some more information.



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