Welcome, Cheeseheads and Towlettes! Let Us Show You How to Get the True Big D Experience
Howdy, y'all! I'm Andrea, lifelong Texan, and as y'all's tour guide, I'd like to welcome y'all to North Texas. Dallas is real happy to have y'all here, not least because y'all are from Green Bay and Pittsburgh, so Dallas probably feels like an actual vacation, although the frosty weather this week is more akin to what y'all are used to. For a minute there, w'all were worried folks would be coming in from Chicago and New York, where they have, like, museums and Democrats.
I've got a great weekend planned, and it starts right when you land at D/FW International Airport. (We're guessing you didn't fly Southwest Airlines to Love Field, since poor folks fly Southwest, and poor folks don't get to go to the Super Bowl.) Because don't any of us want y'all to get outta here without feeling like y'all got the full "Big D" experience—and locals always say "Big D" just like we always say "y'all" and ride horses to work at the, uh, oil farm—this itinerary is all about doing the most maximally Dallas-like things possible at all times. OK, everybody on the bus!
Just kiddin'. Dallasites don't ride buses.
Friday morning: Land at D/FW! Yee-haw! Have you ever been to Dallas before? I bet your answer is, "Yes, but only to the airport, because I was waiting on my connecting flight to Las Vegas." So if you really want to do the Dallas thing proper, just hang out in the International Terminal E duty-free shop for a while and catch a flight elsewhere. But if you insist on going to the football game, head to the rental car counter. If you're lucky, our celebrity guests like Mike "The Situation" Sorrentino haven't snatched up every last Semi-truck themed disco-lit stretch Hummer with in-transit performances from rockin' Dallas natives Drowning Pool. Let the panties hit the (brushed neon-orange Berber carpeted) floor, amirightguys?
Texas Legends vs. Oklahoma City Blue
TicketsFri., Feb. 24, 7:30pm
Stockyards Championship Rodeo
TicketsFri., Feb. 24, 8:00pm
University of North Texas Mean Green Mens Basketball vs. Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles Mens Basketball
TicketsSat., Feb. 25, 2:00pm
Dallas Sidekicks vs. Ontario Fury
TicketsSat., Feb. 25, 7:00pm
Friday, 1 p.m.: On your way into Downtown Dallas from DFW in your Escalade (you did at least get an Escalade, right?) you'll see the ruins of what used to be Texas Stadium, the venue that was once said to have a hole in its roof so that God could watch His Cowboys play. We blew that mother up like a year ago and reused its steel to build a giant metal Texas with a real big football shot straight through it. That's real meta if you think about it, and we Texans think about Texas about 95 percent of the time, when we're not thinking about tacos. Anyway, the thing's on display now in Fort Worth, which is 40 miles away and filled with rabid jackals and untreatable strains of malaria. You're welcome to go check it out!
Friday, 3 p.m.: After checking into the 400-square-foot Uptown studio you rented from one of our illustrious debt-ridden, BMW-driving $30,000 millionaires, drive down to Dealey Plaza at Main and Houston streets, the home of Dallas' most famous—and only, but we don't let that get us down none—tourist attraction. Dealey Plaza holds dark and painful memories for Dallasites who will never forget that unforgettable day, that gray, colorless morning that signaled the end of an era, when Erykah Badu stripped down naked for a music video and walked down the sidewalk for a while. While you're there posing for photos with your pants down, get a shot of the X's marked on the street—the spot is also where John F. Kennedy was assassinated in 1963!
In the plaza you'll see a lengthy fountain that looks, and occasionally smells, like the piss trough at a honky-tonk. Feel free to use it as such. Dallas homeless dudes have been doing so for years. Whoops, did I say homeless dudes? Dallas actually doesn't have any of those because of our long-standing commitment to forward-thinking social welfare initiatives such as fining indigent people several hundred dollars for bumming change downtown in the weeks leading up to a major national sporting event.
Friday, 3:15 p.m.: Pop into the Sixth Floor Museum cafe and gift shop over on Elm Street and pay your respects to the memory of JFK with a $4 cupcake.
Friday, 3:30 p.m.: When you've had your fill of watching beautifully restored vintage film of President Kennedy driving to his untimely death projected up on the wall at the cafe, drive yourself back east through the heart of downtown, which should only take a couple of hours in traffic. Here, avail yourself of Dallas' storied shopping culture by stopping at Neiman Marcus and then EVERYTHING $1 and...back to Neiman Marcus. Jerry Jones personally sent a letter to every Dallasite assuring us that the Super Bowl would pump more than $600 million into the local economy, and we can't do it unless you buy a couple of pairs of Louboutins. Actually, better make it three just to be sure! Thanks.
Friday, 7 p.m.: Party time, y'all! Valet park for the 2011 "Leather and Laces" sexy party at Hotel Zaza, because there are no "good" street spots open, and by "good" in Dallas we mean parking spots that are five steps or less from your destination. Walking is the worst! But sexy leather and sexy laces—oh, and sexiest of all, sexy leather laces!—are the best! That girl from the Pussycat Dolls and some dude from Entourage are hosting. But if you can't get in because they've got a problem with your Steelers Crocs, remember that in Dallas, everyone can be a VIP as long as they spring for bottle service. Head outside, listen hard for a "Don't Stop Believin'" remix and the sound of roofies over ice, and go thataway. Fist-pump your credit card until somebody sets you and your closest, brand-new 15 friends up in a leather booth with a bottle of Grey Goose.
Saturday, whenever you peel yourself off the carpet:
Rise, shine and visit some Texas steers at Pioneer Plaza, a collection of larger-than-life bronze cows and cowboys rambling through downtown. A century and a half ago, this was the Shawnee Trail Drive. Now, it's a lush, relaxing place for all those homeless folks who don't live in Dallas to not take naps in when they're not not hanging out at crowded downtown intersections not asking for money.
Saturday, 2 p.m.: Mosey that Escalade up north to Southfork Ranch, where the television series Dallas was filmed and which still boasts several different signature herds of locally raised shoulder pads and bouffant hairdos. Southfork's up by the suburb of Allen. Dallas suburbs are home to some of the best-valued real estate in the world, despite the foreclosure crisis. See if anything in subdivisions Resignation Heights or It's Really Only 15 Minutes To Downtown Ridge strikes your fancy.
Saturday, 5 p.m.: But Dallas isn't all high-rises and cowboys and martinis, evidenced by the neighborhood of Oak Cliff, just across the Trinity River from downtown. Oak Cliff's a hilly enclave that's home to a diverse mix of Latinos, black folks and hipsters who've dedicated themselves to restoring its neglected main streets and shopping districts to some glorious vision of the city they want to live in. Namely, Austin. Some here have complained of gentrification, but those people are just retro-thinking Debbie-Does-Downers. What's that, you say? You haven't seen a river? All you saw was a soggy, fetid marsh between a couple of levees that look like they'd overflow if an afternoon shower looked at 'em sideways? That, friends, is the Trinity River, the aquatic pride of North Texas. Off to your right, you'll see our signature $117 million-dollar Calatrava-designed bridge, which connects two of our favorite hang-outs, the industrial warehouse district where they make concrete, and the warehouse district where they do stuff with steel. Progress, y'all!
Saturday, 7 p.m.: Dine at one of Dallas' high-end restaurants run by and named for their celebrity chefs, like Dean Fearing's "Fearing's" or Stephan Pyles' "Stephan Pyles." Such nomenclature may reek of conceit, but in Dallas, we just call that "cojones," which means "expansive tasting menu" in Spanish. And that's about all the Spanish you'll see in our finer dining establishments, because while the city features authentic Tex-Mex, taquerías and down-home barbecue pits on practically every corner where delicious morsels can be had for near-pennies, that stuff is really for, you know, the ethnic crowd. Wherever you end up, try the mussels. They're local...to somewhere with an ocean.
Saturday, 9 p.m.: Consider taking DART rail to Victory Park, which is like the Times Square of Dallas, if Times Square were a manufactured multi-use development that has stood practically empty for years until literally like two days ago when a Nike store went in. Tonight's the big DirecTV "Celebrity Beach Bowl" event in the plaza, which will be held rain, shine or snow. All three are equally likely in Dallas in February. Actually, if you're in Victory Park, "snow" is almost guaranteed, knowwhaddamean—look for the guy with the frosted tips and the Ed Hardy jacket, he can hook you up.
Sunday, 11 a.m.: On your way out to Cowboys Stadium, stop in at any number of Dallas' widely respected strip club buffets for brunch along scenic Northwest Highway. In Dallas, it's not Sunday morning if someone doesn't have a spoonful of overcooked eggs and a half-chub. And ladies, don't think you can't go too. Dallas is super liberated—women here can sexually express themselves both by dancing in strip clubs and by watching dudes watch women dancing in strip clubs!
Sunday, 3 p.m.: By now, you'll have been sitting in traffic on Interstate 30 for several hours really cussing yourself for not opting for that Drowning Pool edition limo. If you're fed up, take matters into your own hands. Drive along the shoulder for a few miles before cutting in front of an electric Prius wuss-wagon and leaving the truck parked with two tires on somebody's lawn. Texans are real nice folks, and the residents inside will be more than happy to look out for your car while you're at the game.
Sunday, kickoff: Here, I leave you and your overpriced nachos to the football gods. Not that Dallasites believe in any god besides capital-G-God, the One who created guns, heterosexual sex and Dr Pepper, 'acourse. And don't worry about sobering up for the drive home—you'll have plenty of time to do that in the parking lot for the next six hours with 100,000 of your closest friends and newly made enemies. Good thing a Terrible Towel can be used both as a hankie and a weapon!
Get the ICYMI: Today's Top Stories Newsletter Our daily newsletter delivers quick clicks to keep you in the know
Catch up on the day's news and stay informed with our daily digest of the most popular news, music, food and arts stories in Dallas, delivered to your inbox Monday through Friday.