How to spend a long layover in Dallas
Dallas/Fort Worth is American Airlines’ hub for the South. As the airline’s primary getaway to Mexico and secondary to Latin America (their primary getaway to LatAm is Miami), millions of people pass through here every year. Thus, many passengers end up with a long layover in Dallas.
These ideas on how to make the most of your long layover in the Big D are based on the different DART stops of the Orange Line from DFW.
How to get to Downtown Dallas from DFW and Love Field airports
Take the DART Rail Orange Line from DFW Airport Station, located at Terminal A, Lower Level Curb, Entry A-10. Trains run daily from 3:50 a.m. to 1:19 a.m.
If you fly, say, Southwest or Alaska, chances are you’ll land in Love Field Airport. Follow the signs to Ground Transportation and take the Love Link 524 bus to Inwood/Love Field Sation. The bus ride is free of charge. Then, take the Orange line to any of the stations listed below.
You can buy your tickets at any Ticket Vending Machine located on the platforms. You can pay cash or credit card. A single fare is $3.00 and a day pass, $6.00
Here’s what to see and do around each DART station during your layover in Dallas.
Location: West side of the American Airlines Center (2525 Victory Ave.)
From Instagram-worthy photos at the Sweet Tooth Hotel to delicious pizza and drinks, there are a lot of options to enjoy yourself. Click here for ideas on what to do in Victory Park.
West End Station
Location: Pacific Avenue, between Market & Lamar streets.
Take a stroll around the Historic West End District. See how the old red brick warehouses were converted into offices, bars, restaurants and shops.
Dallas Holocaust Museum The new venue opens on 18th September, 2019. The museum has three permanent exhibitions: the Holocaust/Shoah wing, the Human Rights wing, and the Pivot to America wing. Bear in mind that, although the museum is open seven days a week, it is not recommended for children under twelve-years-of age due to the nature of the exhibitions. I must admit I had a lump in my throat throughout my visit.
Dallas World Aquarium Here’s something for the whole family to enjoy. The aquarium is divided into five areas that represent five ecosystems: Mundo Maya, Orinoco, Aquarium, South Africa, and Borneo. It opens daily but is closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas Days.
Old Red Courthouse (site of the Dallas CVB Tourist Information Center) The Old Red covers the history of Dallas from prehistory until today. You’ll find objects that scream “Dallas!” like JR Ewing’s Stetson hat, which actor Larry Hagman donated. Or less savoury ones like Clyde Barrow’s gun (he of Bonnie and Clyde fame).
The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza This museum is dedicated to the memory , legacy, and assassination of President John F. Kennedy. It’s located in the Texas School Book Depository building, from which Lee Harvey Oswald is said to have shot the president.
The John F. Kennedy Memorial You’ll find it behind the Old Red. Cross Main St. and have a look at the replica of John Neely Bryan’s cabin. He was the first Dallas’ settler.
Dealey Plaza is sometimes called the birthplace of Dallas, since this is where the first home was built. Dealey Plaza also encompasses the infamous Grassy Knoll, where JFK assassination took place.
Location: Pacific Avenue, between Akard and Field Streets
This is the Main Street District. Stroll up and down Main Street. Look out for stunning and slightly disturbing Eye sculpture, you can’t miss it! Here’s a self-guided walk of the architecture of downtown Dallas.
If the weather doesn’t want to cooperate, go to the Neiman Marcus flagship store on Main and Ervay. Shop or browse luxury goods and have lunch at the famed Zodiac Room.
Built in 1910-12, The Adolphus was Dallas’ first grand hotel. I love stopping by the lobby bar for a drink, it’s so luxurious.
Pegasus Plaza, on the corner of Akard and Main, is a pleasant shaded plaza to sit and watch the world go by.
There are various bars and restaurants. I like Wild Salsa and The Woolworth.
St. Paul Station
Location: Bryan Street, between St. Paul and Harwood streets
Thanks-Giving Square is one of the few green spaces in downtown Dallas. The spiral shrine is a distinctive feature of the city. Read more about Thanksgiving Square here.
A relatively recent addition to downtown Dallas, Main Street Garden Park includes a café and shaded structure, a splash fountain, a playground, a dog run, and a concert green.
The Majestic Theatre dates from 1920 and it’s as magnificent as it was when built.
Pearl/Arts District Station
Location: Bryan Street, east of Pearl Street
The Dallas Arts District is my absolute favourite place in Dallas. I love to stroll along Flora Street, enjoying the architecture and the art. Look out for the HALL Texas Sculpture Walk, the art is amazing.
If you need more green during your layover in Dallas, head to Klyde Warren Park. The park straddles a motorway and connects two previously divided bits of the city. You can read the papers, play board games, sit and enjoy the views, or grab a table at Savor or Relish, both located in the park.
One Arts Plaza and the Dallas Museum of Art bookend Flora Street. At One Arts Plaza, you’ll find art, leisure and dining options.
Plaza of the Americas Food Court is a hidden urban garden and food court.