Two days to kill in Dallas/Fort Worth. What should I do?

In my week-long quest to find a job in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, I have found i have Wednesday and Thursday free of all appointments. Now, I could probably just randomly drive around and get lost again, which has lead to some interesting stories, but having done that about 6 times in the past two days I’d rather have some more direction.

So what is there to do around here? What are some good restaurants? I’m not really interested in tourist-trap attractions, but a museum might be nice. How about some authentic local cuisine? Any buildings that are architecturally stunning? Come on Dopers, what are the “must do” things for the area?

Kill yourself. It’s the only way to be sure.

Seriously, Dallas was the dulles place I’ve ever been. We asked the hotel concierge what there was to do; his first option was to see South Fork (or Sarth Fark as he pronounced it, we had no idea what he was talking about til he produced a brochure). After that his only suggestion was shopping. There is of course Dealey Plaza and the fateful Book Repository, but that only takes a few minutes.

BTW, if you see signs pointing you to the Museum of Western Art … remember where you are. That’s Western as in cowboy, not as in Western Civilisation.

Avoid the book depository. That’s probably the first place they’ll look.

If you want to avoid the tourist traps, then stay away from the Stock Yards. The aquarium’s a little better though. Both Dallas and Fort Worth have art museums (if modern art is your thing, go to the one in Forth Worth). How about a museum of planes and space rockets?

Fan of modern architecture? I M Pei designed four buildings in Dallas.

Food? I’m sure a local will pop into the thread and scoff, but you ought to try some Tex-Mex at the ultra kitsch Chuy’s or the trendier Iron Cactus.

For general cultural happenings, try here for Dallas and here for Fort Worth.

The only time I have ever been to Texas was a two hour layover at the Dallas/Ft. Worth airport.

I just found it amazingly funny that 100’s of guys were walking around the airport in suits, but they were all wearing big-ass cowboy hats. It was just weird.

Seconding The Modern in Ft. Worth for culture, though I can’t recomend much more in Ft. Worth.
Dallas is loaded with things to do. The Arboretum is nice. For night life head to Greenville Ave - Dallas has some of the best local music. You will find many nice places from down town to, say, Northwest Hwy. There used to some great places to eat along Greenville, too.
For local hippnes try Deep Ellum.
Many like the West End but I think it’s over-rated.
You can get a great view of Dallas from Reuinion Tower (YouTube link w/sound) but don’t eat there, the food sucks. It’s the big ball in the skyline.

If you like zoos, Fort Worth has a first class zoo. Bring your binoculars, if you have them with you. We also have the Botanic Gardens, which is mostly free. And there’s the Log Cabin Village.

I don’t do much of interest to visitors…my idea of a good time is heading to Half Price Books and/or the library, and staggering back home with two totes of books.

Good call Lynn. Half Price Books is a great suggestion if the OP enjoys being overwhelmed mountains and mountains of used books :smiley:

Well, now I know what I’m doing tomorrow. I wonder how many will fit in my luggage…

Thanks for all the suggestions so far! This is going to be a busy couple of days now.

I forgot BBQ. Sonny Bryan’s or Back Country will fill you up good.

Ask where the clearance section is. I always head there first. HPB is rather aggressive about turning over their stock, and so I frequently find great buys in the clearance section. Oh, there’s also Recycled Books up in Denton, which is HUGE. Should you have to mail home some of your purchases, ask for the media mail rate. Much cheaper than other rates.

If you go to Denton, you might want to have a burger for lunch.

Deep Ellum, back in my day, was the baddest part of Dallas; if you couldn’t get yourself killed down there on a Saturday night, it was because you were already dead. It’s nice to know the place has cleaned up. Leadbelly used to hang out down there; if you don’t know who he was, you should learn. I seem to remember hearing that some sort of memorial to him was going to be erected but I don’t know if it was ever done. Anyway, I hear there are some great blues clubs down there but the guy who told me is at least 85, so he might be a mite mixed up. I’m beginning to miss Texas, maybe I’m getting senile.

I’ve always liked the Dallas World Aquarium. The indoor rainforest is pretty cool.

The Dallas Dopefest was held at El Fenix . I also like Uncle Julios, Monica’s, and Ojedas. What part of town are you in?

It is touristy but the Book Depository and and it’s JFK exhibits were actually very interesting. Being in that space walking on the grassy knoll and strolling past the x’s on the pavement where President Kennedy was shot were all oddly powerful and provided me with a very interesting personal reference to the assassination.

What every you do DO NOT go visit Southfork Ranch It is just as insipid as you would think. In my defense I went to an awards ceremony there for my father in law. Great Party, ridiculous location.

The one art gallery in either that has an international reputation is the Kimbell in Fort Worth. Its collection isn’t exactly fabulous, but, for its size, it certainly punches above its weight. The building also counts as one of the most influential museum buildings of the late twentieth century, falling into the category of now seeming to be less than remarkable because the idea has since been copied so often.

It is next to the Modern Art Museum and, speaking from personal experience, you should easily be able to do all three of the museums on the site (the Amon Carter Museum being the third) in one day.

I really liked the book depository/sixth floor museum. While we were there a 1963 (?) Continental, just like the one JFK was in, drove by slowly, then sped off to Parkland Hospital. It’s some kind of tour you can take.

I’ve never been to Ojedas but plan to because that’s where (I am told) President Clinton ate. Supposed to be very good and reasonable.

For BBQ my favorite is Dickey’s.

Too bad you’re not free for the weekend:

*The 5th Annual CityArts Festival 2008 presented by TXU Energy “Celebrate the Arts,” Downtown and Dallas in the Dallas Arts District will be happening this weekend June 13-15 featuring music, dance, culinary art and visual art. It will be a showcase of multiple outdoor stages featuring dance, a variety of music and cultural performances, a juried art show, culinary demonstrations and wine tastings, complimentary admission to world-class museums, exciting exhibits, interactive children’s activities and much more! *

I don’t have many good things to say about Dallas…but from my time there the place I enjoyed the most was the Granada Theater. It is an older style movie house (I think) that was converted to a music venue. Every seat in the house is good and the sound is also good everywhere. Check the local independent paper “The Observer” for the acts that will be performing on the nights that you are there. For some reason the atmosphere of that place also seemed to make the people more friendly. It felt like an oasis for me. It is on Greenville in the area suggested by someone further up in the thread.

Since you are picking up the Observer, read some of the articles. The best newspaper writing in Dallas appears in that paper.

I travel for work all the time, and go to a lot of different places around the country. Ft Worth is one of my more frequent destinations, so I’ve had to kill a lot of time there.

I can’t do much better for entertainment suggestions than what’s been posted already. I just came to mention that there is no other place I’ve ever been where it’s so easy to accidentally run into good food. Most other places (in my experiences, anyway) you’ve got to know the one or two local secrets to be assured of a good meal. But around D/FW, you can’t walk two blocks without tripping over a couple decent barbecue places. There are good Tex-Mex restaurants all over, too. But when I find out I need to go to Ft Worth, the first thing I think is “Great! I haven’t had good barbecue in weeks!” It’s what they do best.

If the barbecue joint you’re considering looks a little shady…gritty…hole-in-the-wall, then go there! You want a place where the food is good enough to keep the place open despite the uninviting storefront. I’d name particulars, but it depends greatly on what parts of the area you’ll be in. But it doesn’t really matter where you go…the worst barbecue in North Texas is better than good barbecue most other places.