Dallas for 4-5 days

Old Oct 28th, 2023, 02:05 PM
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Dallas for 4-5 days

45 day trip. I am located in the PNW.
I have some trip planning for Dallas, TX in early spring, looked into Austin as well, but I don't think I can get both in, my understanding is DFW is not a great tourist destination, but I would take it over Houston and San Antonio.

I would buy the plane tickets and hotel reservations in advance.
Budget would be $1300-1800

So, at a baseline budget looks like for 4-5 nights
Flight: $300-$400 Roundtrip
Hotel: $80-$100 per night
Food: $80 per day
Transportation: $60-70 rent a car

Things I want to do:
Explore the city, lots of tex-mex
arts district
reunion tower
presidential library

I can probably get the numbers a little tighter but that is what I'm estimating and from my understanding having a car is necessary in Texas.
Any thoughts would be appreciated.
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Old Oct 28th, 2023, 10:00 PM
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In all honesty Dallas is my least favorite city in Texas, but based on your post:
Airfare varies seasonally, you may be underestimating here. Also keep in mind that DFW is a good hour outside the city. Love Field is closer in.
Hotel budget is way too lean - you won't even get a fleabag for that price. Be careful when looking, confirm actual location on a map. And keep in mind that traffic in Dallas is legendarily bad, maybe even worse than Houston.
Rental car costs may also be an underestimate, especially with all the add on taxes and fees so common in Texas.
Not sure what you want to explore in Dallas,IMO there's not a lot of there there.
Tex Mex in Dallas is not all that great. For good Tex Mex (hope that terminology doesn't offend Fodor foodies!) you need to go to SA or Austin.
Dallas arts district is not particularly impressive. Kimbell museum in Fort Worth is a drive away but outshines anything in Dallas.
Presidential (Bush II) library is OK but doable in an hour or two.
Reunion tower is a drive by at best.
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Old Oct 29th, 2023, 12:36 AM
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Ditto almost everything Seamus posted. (probably everything)

Just re the budget:

I can't think of anywhere in the US one can get a safe / clean hotel for $80 a night. Even many hostels cost more than that. Plus between state and city hotel taxes (13% together) and other fees, to get a room for $100 you'd be limited to a base rate of about $85. Ain't gonna happen.

You might get airfares for $400-ish R-T but it would likely be 'Basic Economy' - so no changes, no refunds, only under-seat carryon (nothing in the overhead), fee to check bag.

And a rental car for $60-$70 -- I seriously doubt. Might be closer to $60/$70 PER DAY
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Old Oct 29th, 2023, 12:13 PM
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I would go to Austin which has gone through a renaissance of sorts and now claims to be the cultural capital of the Southwest, epicenter of a thriving music, art and lit scene. It once was nicknamed the “People’s Republic of Austin” and was a cool, hip place in the 1970s and 80s (“Keep Austin Weird” was its slogan). The 1990 ground-breaking film “Slackers” highlighted this weirdness. Now, many believe Austin is just a big sprawled out city with traffic jams (its metro population is 2 million) and thousands of homeless people. It has dubbed itself as the Live Music Capital of the World (“Austin City Limits” is filmed here). You can still hear a variety of music in nightclubs including Norteno, Blues, County Swing, Folk, Zydeco, Swamp Pop, Soul and Jumpin’ Jive. It is only 30 minutes away from the lovely Hill Country (check out Barton Creek Preserve). Some residents say to avoid east Austin (east of I-35) which has gangs. This being Texas, it has great Tex-Mex (such as Migas), Chili and BBQ.
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Old Oct 29th, 2023, 01:23 PM
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Where in Austin will the OP get a room for $80+ a night?

(Does read a bit like AI content?? )
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Old Oct 29th, 2023, 02:31 PM
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Originally Posted by janisj
Where in Austin will the OP get a room for $80+ a night?

(Does read a bit like AI content?? )
I've been to Austin albeit a long time ago but have followed its progress. A bit of that language is from a travel site. Using Tripadvisor I see hotels in late November from $80-100 per night.
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Old Oct 29th, 2023, 07:15 PM
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Now, many believe Austin is just a big sprawled out city with traffic jams (its metro population is 2 million) and thousands of homeless people.
And they are correct. Traffic is horrid, public transport (as much as exists) is awful, once cool venues are hyper-commercialized. There are a few decent Tex Mex food options, but nowhere near as good or plentiful as San Antonio. Check out the location of the hotels you found - they are likely in boonieville.
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Old Oct 29th, 2023, 09:35 PM
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Originally Posted by PrairieHikerI
I've been to Austin albeit a long time ago but have followed its progress. A bit of that language is from a travel site. Using Tripadvisor I see hotels in late November from $80-100 per night.
Except the OP is traveling early next Spring, which might mean Easter. For a four night stay the only places I find on Booking between $80 and $100 per night are Motel 6's, Super 8's, Fairfield Suites and similar in the outer suburbs. In central/semi-central areas just one hotel is listed under $100/night and that is a Super 8 motel.
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Old Oct 30th, 2023, 10:50 AM
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If you are going early spring, you might think about trying to see the bluebonnets. I cannot think of anything more iconic than bluebonnets except maybe longhorn cattle. there are some patches around dallas if you aren't venturing out to the texas hill country. and for your transportation budget is that $60-70 a day for a car or for the total time? While I think there may be enough to do in 4-5 days in Dallas, I'd do a day or a day and a half and try and fit in something else like Austin and the Hill Country.
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Old Nov 1st, 2023, 07:43 AM
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I'll just cut it down to 2-3 days
Austin is about 3-5 hour drive time, it's too far.

As far as budget since there is reduced days. I end up with.
Budget would be $1300-1500

So, at a baseline budget looks like for 2-3 nights
Flight: $330-$440 Roundtrip
Hotel: $88-$110 per night
Food: $70 per day
Transportation: $70-80 rent a car (per day since folks need clarification....)
Gas: $40 per day
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Old Nov 1st, 2023, 02:41 PM
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Because our daughter and her family recently relocated to the DFW area, we have visited several times in the last year. I don't think the Dallas area is as bad as some people say. But I am certainly not an expert on Texas and the DFW area. We also visited San Antonio for several days, and Austin for a day about 10 years ago. Since you don't have the time to go any further than Dallas, I can offer some suggestions for sightseeing. Of course, it depends on your interests as well.

We do enjoy going to Fort Worth and the Fort Worth Historic Stockyards. They have a cattle drive every day at 11:30am and 4:00pm. Yes, it's touristy but we think it's fun. Of course, we are coming from MA so this is something very new to us. We love seeing the longhorns! Never realized their horns were so long! There are lots of restaurants, and we have eaten at several that we like. Don't remember the names. Our daughter and her family visited an art museum they raved about in Ft. Worth; it could very well be the Kimbell Art Museum. All of us like the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History, which has something for everyone. The adults particularly liked the Cattle Raisers Museum within the Science and History museum.

In Dallas we all really like the Perot Museum of Nature and Science.

We have eaten several times at the Hard Eight Pit BBQ restaurant in Coppell, about 30 minutes from Dallas. The food is delicious, straight from the smoke pit, and they sometimes have live music.

We also really like Esparza's in downtown Grapevine.

And during our last visit in October, we visited the Dinosaur Valley State Park, which all of us loved. You can follow the dinosaurs' foot prints in the river bed. It's about 1.5 hours from Dallas.
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Old Nov 1st, 2023, 04:35 PM
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Why Dallas when you could go to Austin on the same budget (or less)?
I don't know what the plan is for, but I have flown into Austin relatively cheaply (since it is a Southwest hub). Airport taxes there are high on car rentals, almost doubling the cost. I've used Fox/Europcar since they don't require a shuttle. Some locations are better than others, Austin has been okay both times I've used them there. I would never again use the Fox in Houston Hobby!!

You can normally find decent hotels about an hour north of Austin in the $100 or less range (eg Cedar Park) although it isn't clear what exactly you are planning.
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