A lot of tailgaters ask me..What should I do or see in Dallas and Fort Worth when I come in town for the College Football National Championship (Cotton Bowl as well)? I had no idea that when starting a tailgating trailer business that I’d become a tour guide as well. HA!
First of all, I’d like to say that I’m a little biased towards the Fort Worth side of the metroplex, since I live just 15 minutes south of downtown Fort Worth. I’m a little more laid back, like to wear jeans and a polo or button-downed shirt a lot so Fort Worth just fits my style a little better. So take this review knowing I’m a Fort Worth homer.
There are tons of things to do in DFW, but to keep this under 100,000 words, I’ll pick my ideal itinerary with the idea that you would fly in the morning of the day before the game and leave the day after the game.
A Tailgater’s Guide to Fort Worth
What to do in DFW? I’d say it really depends on where you are staying. If I had my pick, I’d stay at the Omni Hotel in Fort Worth. You might want to book early as well, and that goes for just about anything on my National Championship or Cotton Bowl fantasy itenerary. There are tons of people in town for the game, so Fort Worth will be busy. The Omni is not exactly close to the stadium (25 minute cab ride) but to be honest, there isn’t a ton to do in Arlington.
The Omni Fort Worth is only a few blocks from Sundance Square which has received a huge face lift the last few years. There are tons of restuarants, bars and hotels in the area with lots of stuff for the family to do. If I’m picking out my night in Fort Worth, I’d probably start out with a beer at the Flying Saucer, then go to dinner at Reatta Steakhouse. It’s my favorite place to eat and has a menu that you won’t get at most chains. You can’t go wrong with just about anything they have there. You could also go check out the 7th street area west of downtown. Lots of good restuarants/bars down there, along with our favorite move theater, Move Tavern.
After dinner, I’d go see a show at Four Day Weekend. I’m a fan of improv comedy and enjoy doing something a little different. Again, make sure you buy tickets early. Round out your night with a trip to The Original Cupcakery or Sweet Sammies in the 7th street area. Sweet Sammies will get you introduced to Blue Bell Ice Cream (if you haven’t had the privilege) smashed between two homemade cookies of your choice.
Hopefully you are in full food coma by the time you return to the hotel to rest up before your big day of tailgating.
A Tailgater’s Guide to places not named Fort Worth
Ok, if you are going twist my arm and make me stay on the central or east side of the metroplex, I’m probably going to choose the Gaylord Texan in Grapevine, which is 20-25 minutes north of AT&T Stadium. It’s a resort more than a hotel, with restaurants and attractions right on the site. The kiddos will love the enormous ICE exhibit, but sorry National Championship tailgaters, it ends Jan. 3.
Grapevine has a pretty cool downtown area as well that’s family friendly. Check out their website here for other stuff to do in the area.
I’ll let someone else take all things Dallas…check out this site for a lot more info. They even have an event planner that’s pretty good. My only reccomendation for Dallas is going to the Pecan Lodge for some crazy good BBQ. Get there early for lunch before you head back out of town, because it will be BUSY. When they sell out, that’s it. So show up early and expect to wait a bit.
Well, that’s my advice for tailgaters. I’m leaving a ton out, but I think your main focus should be bringing your A-game to your tailgate. If you have additional questions about the area, we would be happy to help.