We visited the land of football, Cowboys, Longhorns, and big hats. We found all of that plus an area rich with history, art, and lovely locals. We had our daughter on our adventures so we know even the kids will enjoy the experiences we are going to suggest. We need to travel again after being stuck indoors and in our town since 2020’s pandemic’s start. We want to help by showing you some of our favorite ways to travel and to do it with “Buy Local” in mind. The small businesses of America will need your help (no matter the town) to recover in 2020. So, think of the locals when traveling elsewhere.
Where to stay in Dallas—Cooper Hotel Conference Center and Spa—“Stay Well, Rest Well, Connect Well, Celebrate Well”. This is what the Cooper Hotel Conference Center and Spa strive for and this was certainly our experience. Not only did we get a restful night in their oversized, clean and comfortable guest room, we also took advantage of their complimentary 50,000 square foot fitness center and swimming pools. The Cooper offers a comprehensive approach to fitness and nutrition and is dedicated to helping you live better. You can add a comprehensive physical exam, restorative and therapeutic treatments at their Spa and shop at their boutique which offers nutritional supplements, clothing, and books. We also enjoyed their complimentary continental breakfast, which included the usual fair and homemade healthy options. This hotel was a truly unique experience and one that we would love to repeat if we return to the area.
What to eat—We had plenty of delicious BBQ (beef of course, it’s the Texas way) and steak while we were in Texas. In Fort Worth, there is a steak house on every corner. We chose to eat at H3 Ranch and the steak was superb. Fresh, perfectly cooked, and seasoned. Everything you might expect. So, where do you eat in Texas when you have meat fatigue? Enter Spiral Diner and bakery in Dallas for REALLY GOOD VEGAN FOOD! This small local chain, vegan restaurant offers creative and delicious vegan comfort food in its retro-themed space. We visited the Dallas location and it did not disappoint. Seriously, you could bring your carnivorous friends and family and they would leave happy and satisfied. We tried The Big Stack, Buffalo Nachos with the best vegan blue cheese dressing and shakes to die for. Be sure to stop by for a comforting, animal-free bite if you’re in town.
Head west over the beautiful Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge and within minutes you’ll arrive at one of the most sizzling taco joints in Dallas. El Trompo Tacos is that spot in Dallas (outside of Oakcliff) that puts the “There aren’t Any Good Tacos in Dallas” comment to rest. Starting out as a backyard Taco Speakeasy this has become one of our favorite spots to eat in America. You’ve not had some of the best Mexican food in Texas till you’ve hit this spot. Trompo serves a Northern Mexican region style of taco pastor.
Another local bite you don’t want to miss are the kolaches. Often located in unassuming gas stations, these little fruit-filled or meat-filled pastry pockets are a must-try. They have been perfected by generations of Czech’s and Slovak’s and are plentiful in this part of the country. We stopped at Little Czech Bakery and Slovacek’s to compare and contrast and the verdict? They were all delicious.
If you’re a beer lover, there is no shortage of local beer from micro-breweries as well as local Texas beer brands made to pleasantly wet your whistle. Being part of our family was in the Texas Top Hands we prefer Lone Star.
What to do—If you’re in Fort Worth, you’ll want to watch the daily longhorn cattle drives as the Texas cowhands drive the herd into the Stockyard National Historic District. Sidewalks get packed but there are lots of viewing locations. Best of all, it’s free! There are also livestock and horse shows as well as exhibits and museums. These are must-do family-friendly activities that will give you a great Stock Yards experience. There’s also plenty of shopping in the area for cowboys and cowgirls alike.
If you’re in Dallas in late September or October, you’ll want to visit the famous State Fair of Texas. This annual fair celebrates everything Texan by promoting agriculture, education, and community through fun, entertainment, and everything deep-fried.
We also visited the Dealey Plaza and the X in the road where JFK was assassinated. Stop by The Sixth Floor Museum, which chronicles the assassination and legacy of JFK. This is a great place for a history lesson and space to explore the memory and effects of the events surrounding our President’s assassination.