Everything in Dallas is BIG. Big is infused in the architecture and the character of the city. This metropolis reminds me of old time city living and flair. That is until visitors realize how large it truly is and visiting one location is just that, one location. Dallas is an impressive city with enough for visitors to do on a mini-vacation or on a full-on trip for a week.
The first noticeable thing about Dallas is the architecture. The city has many tall buildings and a famous skyline but also many short buildings between 4 and 10 stories. A rail system travels through many of the tourist attractions, dropping tourists off at points of interest. Tourists are able to walk to some attractions. However, if you’re not the walking kind, then you can take the bus or the Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) to famous tourist attractions such as the Dallas World Aquarium, local museums, and, of course, the grassy knoll where Pres. John F. Kennedy was shot, which was a big draw for someone like me with a history degree.
Nice accommodations are easy to come by in Dallas. The Sheraton Hotel, where I stayed for a few days, was warm, modern, and the rooms comfortable. After being outside in the heat of the day, stepping into a hotel is a breath of fresh, cool air for the common person. The rooms at the Sheraton are cozy but shaped like a box. Modern conveniences like flat-screen televisions, coffee machines, and Internet access are included. In the hotel lobby, there is a media center with television, newspapers, and computers and printers for guest usage.
Dallas proved an interesting city by day and by night. In the daytime, DART tickets can be purchased at boxes at the local stations. After figuring that out, tourists can hop the train. Fines result from being on the train without a ticket. Be sure to purchase the ticket before jumping on.
I couldn’t figure out what direction I was supposed to go, so I walked to the grassy knoll. Since I couldn’t determine if the Kennedy assassination was impossible and a conspiracy, I headed to the aquarium.
The Dallas World Aquarium and Zoological Garden smells like a barnyard. Really. It is shrouded by tropical trees and shrubs. The cost to enter with tax is $22.50 for adults. Visitors walk up and down stairs to view the animals. In the Aquarium everything from parrots to snakes, spiders, a large spotted cat and a manatee share the same home. Birds screech and monkeys pick each other’s hair, just like in the cartoons. It is wildlife with the stench and variety of the jungle. Visitors end with the penguins and have an opportunity to stop by the gift shop as they walk out the door.
Dallas is a city where tourists must Think Big to fit in. When visiting, tourists should rent a car to touch more than just one small corner of the city as Dallas spans far and wide. Shopping, food, and even Six Flags Over Texas await visitors who have the time and driving skill to locate all the attractions.
Angelic Jones is a freelance writer for Austin Weekly News.