I recently had the chance to visit the wonderful state of Texas in the United States for a short vacation trip. Wanting to experience as much as I could, I made a visit to Downtown Dallas – one of the major cities located in Texas.
My Day in Downtown Dallas
My friend, with whom I was staying with, lived in Arlington Texas. Arlington was a good distance from Downtown Dallas – about 20 miles, which is 30 minutes via car – so we had decided that we would take the train from the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) to get there.
The DART Transportation System
You see, taking the train was a much better alternative than driving to Downtown Dallas. For one, it was cheaper. A Day Pass to take the DART (Dallas Area Rapid Transit) was a mere US$5.00, while a two-hour pass was US$2.50. Additionally, taking the train allowed us to avoid the headache of finding adequate and inexpensive parking, once we arrived at our destination.
The DART Schedule includes 5 main train routes. These include the DART Rail Red Line, the DART Rail Blue Line, the DART Rail Green Line, the DART Rail Orange Line and the Trinity Railway Express. We were able to take the Orange Line to downtown, where we spent the evening with the locals.
In addition to the train lines, DART also provides a bus service and our day pass was valid for the rides. We, however, opted to walk around the city instead of hopping from bus stop to bus stop. It was comforting, though, to know that at any point during our trip, we could always use the same pass to ride the bus as well.
Downtown Dallas is known for mainly being a corporate area, commonly called the Central Business District (CBD), so there were not many sights to see or attractions to visit, as the buildings were mainly apartments or office spaces.
We spent the first half an hour or so walking around, just admiring the city itself and the various buildings. Personally, for me, tall buildings were a welcome sight. In my homeland – Jamaica – such buildings were not very popular, so forgive me for a few minutes if I found beauty in just a mere architectural structure.
While on our mini-tour of the city, we happened upon the JFK Memorial Site.
The John Fitzgerald Kennedy Memorial
One significant attraction that we did see in Downtown Dallas was the John Fitzgerald Kennedy Memorial. The JFK Memorial is a monument that was erected for the U.S President. It is said that he was shot about 200 yards from this site. History was never a favourite subject of mine growing up, but to be able to stand in such a significant spot that was created to highlight a major part of the United States history, was a MAJOR deal to me.
The Wing Bucket
After visiting the memorial, we went on the hunt for sustenance, aka FOOD! This hunt led us to The Wing Bucket and I can definitely say, with confidence, that this was one of the best decisions I have ever made.
Their food is absolutely delicious, the prices are quite affordable and their portion size is something to boast about. Totally unaware of how large their wings were, I ended up ordering a 3-piece combo (that came with a side and a drink) and boy oh boy was I pleased. About halfway through our meals, my friend and I had to call it quits because we were unable to go any further.
So, a great tip is to just be mindful of the size offerings. Do not be thrown off by a 1-piece or a 2-piece combo – you WILL be full in no time!
Another great option that The Wing Bucket offered was the option to choose a frozen margarita to go with your meal instead of the regular soda drink and let’s face it, who turns down frozen margarita? That was a plus! Wings and Frozen Margaritas! What more could you ask for!
Naturally, after having spent the last hour ‘pigging it out’, we had to find a way to continue our trek around the city and we were surely in for a treat.
Tell me this, have you ever heard of the $1 bike ride movement?
I’m definitely being a little overdramatic at this point because it surely isn’t a movement but it was a definite blessing.
Riding Around Downtown Dallas
Throughout the entire city of Downtown Dallas, there are multiple groups of bicycles that are available for rental for just a small fee of $1 per hour.
Two separate companies called, Ofo and Spin, charge you via their mobile app (available on both Android and iOS devices), where you enter your credit card information, after which you received a code that you then use to unlock the bicycle. The great part is that the ride does not automatically end once the hour is up. You will just be charged for the additional time. Even better news, the first hour was free, so my friend and I did not even end up paying.
I have read where there are a fair amount of bike sharing companies in and around the city but it would seem like Ofo and Spin were the popular choices for the area that we visited. Did I mention that Downtown Dallas was MASSIVE and we barely managed to cover a small section for the few hours that were out? That would explain why we did not see the bikes from the other companies.
The bike rides were definitely a highlight of my evening. It was so freeing to be able to ride around the city while soaking up all the nightlife that Downtown Dallas had to offer.
Overall, our quick trip to Dallas was a success. I was able to experience a bit of the Southern hospitality that I often hear of. I was able to get a taste of southern cuisine. I was able to experience the life of the business class, even if it was just for a few hours.
My friend and I went home exhausted but we were also filled with joy, knowing that we just spent the evening in a new area and one that we can definitely remember many years from now.