Dallas: should I stay downtown or uptown?

Jan 18th, 2011, 04:13 AM
  #1  
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Dallas: should I stay downtown or uptown?

I'm heading to Dallas for the first time for a conference held at the Convention Center downtown. I won't have a car except for the weekend. I'm trying to decide between staying at the Hyatt Regency (convenient, free shuttle to the convention center, but not many restaurants/bars within walking distance, it seems) or at a hotel uptown 0.5 miles off McKinney Ave (found better rate, closer to restaurants and bars, but I'd have to take a cab every day to the Convention Center).

Is it worth it to stay uptown? How much would the cab rate be? Also, I'll have a free Sat night and Sunday, what are the must do?
travelino is offline  
Jan 18th, 2011, 10:19 AM
  #2  
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Another question: is there any rental car company in the city (preferably downton) where I can pick up / drop off on a Sunday without having to go to the airport? I tried on expedia, Hertz, Avis, with no luck. Thanks!
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Jan 20th, 2011, 12:20 AM
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travelino- If you're going out every night, probably uptown is better. But you are within walking distance of the West End (if you stay at the Hyatt) and there are some perfectly fine eating establishments in that neck of the woods.

But certainly, for "nightlife", uptown might be better.

How old are you? How late are you leaving the convention center every night? Dallas has a good public transporation system. You can catch a train from the convention center to McKinney Ave.

Here is the DART info: http://www.dallascityhall.com/servic...portation.html

To rent a car in city, I would suggest Enterprise. They always have "local" rental centers. Additionally, if you decide to stay at the Hyatt, I suspect their concierge may have some recommendations. Probably can get a car dropped off for you there. But check out Enterprise. I love them and use them exclusively, due to their excellent prices and service.

Have fun in Dallas. I don't know what week you're coming in, but I hope it's not Superbowl week. This whole Metroplex will be a zoo!

Paula

PS You can walk to the Sixth Floor Museum from the Hyatt. Highly recommend it. http://www.jfk.org/
sarge56 is offline  
Jan 20th, 2011, 12:22 AM
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Also, you can't ask what "must do"s are. You have to tell us what you like.. art? shopping? museums? nature? spectacles? (think Cowboy Stadium... or as we locals call it...The Death Star) hahaha.

Gotta know what you are in to before anyone might make recommendations.
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Jan 20th, 2011, 10:37 AM
  #5  
yk
 
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I'm curious, why don't you want to rent a car for your entire stay? You probably can get a decent price for a week-long rental. Try hotwire if you're familiar with it.

Like sarge56 says, there are quite a number of restaurants in West End, which is within walking distance from the Hyatt Regency. There are also new restaurants in Victory Park, a newer neighborhood, also within walking distance.

I personally prefer Uptown, and you can ride the McKinney Ave trolley for free so there are even more restaurant and nightlife options for you with the trolley. However, having to take a cab daily to the convention center will add up quickly, for cab fares: http://www.dallastaxi.com/rates.html

For me, "must do" would be a visit to the Dallas Museum of Art and Nasher Sculpture Center. YMMV
yk is offline  
Jan 20th, 2011, 11:29 AM
  #6  
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Thanks all for the replies! Let me answer collectively to some of the points, and ask a couple more questions:

- I'll get there on Saturday night, have all of Sunday free, and spend every day of the week at the conference, from morning until 6pm or so. Maybe I'll sneak out for an afternoon.

- I'm in my late thirties. The extent of my "nightlife" will be going out for dinner/drinks with colleagues and old friends that are attending the conference.

- I hesitate to rent a car for a week mainly because I don't want to worry about parking. Or is parking very easy in Dallas?

- I found out that there is also a bus that stops in front of the hotel uptown and gets me within two blocks of the Convention center, and runs until 7pm. This seems the faster option on paper.

- I will have only a full day for sightseeing, and I'd like to see the highlights, something I can only find in Dallas / Fort Worth. The 6th Floor Museum sounds excellent. I'd rather see some unique architecture than art (there are plenty of art museums where I leave). On this topic, is it worth the hassle of visiting Fort Worth given that I have so little time?

Thanks again.
travelino is offline  
Jan 20th, 2011, 11:56 AM
  #7  
yk
 
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If you don't mind taking the bus to/from Uptown, I think that'll be the better location for drinks/dinner/bars. And here's the info about the free McKinney Ave Trolley:
http://www.mata.org/

Regarding architecture, you should check out Dallas Art District - it has the highest # of buildings by Priztker Prize-winning architectes (located within a 2-block radius). These include the older Myerson Symphony Hall (IM Pei), Nasher Sculpture Center (Renzo Piano), and the brand new Winspear Opera House (Foster & Co) plus Wiley Theatre (Rem Koolhaus).

Over in Fort Worth, there's Kimball Art museum by Louis Kahn, and Modern Art Museum by Tado Ando.

However, if what you have in mind is Texas-style unique architecture, then I can't help you there.
yk is offline  
Jan 20th, 2011, 03:05 PM
  #8  
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The arts district sounds interesting, I will definitely check it out. I suppose I won't mind taking the bus, the schedule says it's should take about 15 minutes.
travelino is offline  
Jan 20th, 2011, 03:16 PM
  #9  
yk
 
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P.S. To answer your car-parking question, it's very easy to find parking in Dallas. Most restaurants have free parking. However, you'd have to check to see if the hotel(s) you're considering offer free parking or not, and also what's the parking situation at the convention center.

How are you getting to/from the airport? The link I gave above indicates it will be a $40 ride each way by taxi.
yk is offline  
Jan 20th, 2011, 04:32 PM
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trav- Here is a link for Fort Worth architectural interests. Frankly, I love some of the art deco buildings near Sundance Square. But if you've a real interest, the downtown areas of the two cities are really only about 30-35 mts apart. On a Sunday. (Straight shot out Interstate 30)
http://www.fortwortharchitecture.com/arch.htm

And if you head out on I-30, it is only a 5-mt ride off the Collins Street exit in Arlington to see the new Cowboy Stadium. Well worth it if you like architecture. It is easy off and easy on the Interstate, so won't take a lot of time out of your day. You can even take a tour!

http://stadium.dallascowboys.com/

I hope you enjoy our cities.
P
sarge56 is offline  
Jan 20th, 2011, 04:35 PM
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OH PS If you decide to come to Fort Worth, don't miss Bass Hall in Sundance Square. Fabulous building. (You can't miss the huge angels on the front.

http://www.basshall.com/

If you have any local friends, and you are done at 6pm, you have plenty of time to enjoy Fort Worth at night. Like I said, half hour from Dallas convention center to downtown Fort Worth. It's beautiful at night, but does get a little "slow". Friday night would be awesome in Sundance Square.
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Jan 20th, 2011, 04:48 PM
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You will not find parking hard in Dallas at virtually any location.
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Jan 21st, 2011, 10:29 AM
  #13  
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sarge56, thank you so much for the suggestions and the links.

spirobulldog, I'm glad to hear about parking. Where I live parking is impossible.

yk, I'm planning to rent a car at DFW airport when I arrive, and return it the next day. It costs only a little more than the cab ride. Only problem is that it seems the nearest I can drop off car on a Sunday is Love Field airport, and then I'll need a taxi back, which I believe should be $12 to $18. I hope to share a cab to DFW when I leave.
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Jan 21st, 2011, 12:41 PM
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Ok, the decision boils down to this:

1. are there enough nice restaurants/bars in the West End for going out with friends/colleagues or is Uptown so much better?

2. the Hyatt Regency looks kind of isolated indeed, how is the walk back from the West End at night?

3. how long is the bus ride from Uptown? The schedule says about 15 min but how long would it take to drive in rush hour, say, from McKinney and N Pearl St to the Convention Center, without taking the freeway but going along the bus 29 route? http://www.dart.org/maps/29map.htm
travelino is offline  
Jan 21st, 2011, 02:40 PM
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I think you would be dissappointed spending time in the West End. There are a few chain restaurants (On the Border, The Palm, Corner Bakery) and a few non-chains that no one that lives in Dallas would consider eating at normally. I work near McKinney & Pearl and it really is quite close to the convention center...I think 15 minutes is reasonably safe, depending how many stops the bus makes. I don't think a taxi would be too pricey either...less than $10 unless they have some weird convention center fee.

Uptown has more of a neighborhood feel, whereas downtown is pretty abandoned at night. I strongly recommened you stay in the uptown area. Its so close in proximity, but a totally different vibe.
beckytx is offline  
Jan 21st, 2011, 02:49 PM
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One positive about the Hyatt Regency is that its close to the Wolfgang Puck restaurant 360 in Reunion Tower. Its kind of touristy as you are on top of the tower in a rotating room to see all the views, but the food really is great. But still...for a week of hanging out with people after the convention, I can't think of anywhere else great down there to go.
beckytx is offline  
Jan 21st, 2011, 03:41 PM
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I kind of have to go with beckytx. I think you'd be happier uptown. And taking the Dart train "home" to your hotel every day and back to the CC in the morning.

Either way, you'll have a good time, I'm sure.

Re the car- please try Enterprise. They have a downtown Dallas location on Elm.
sarge56 is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2011, 05:17 AM
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We visit Dallas 3 or 4 times a year, and I agree, The West End really isn't anything that we like. We are about 4 hours from D and mainly go there to shop and eat.
spirobulldog is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2011, 05:50 AM
  #19  
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Well, the verdict seems unanimous, Uptown it is. Thanks for the help everybody!
travelino is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2011, 11:47 AM
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Personally, I like Beltline Road area in Addison(North Dallas) for dining and inexpensive decent lodging. For shopping, we like North Park Mall and the Galleria. We are not nightlife people, so can't really help you there. Eatzi's is one of my favorite spots in D. It is an Italian Deli/Grocery store(think Whole Foods really kicked up). It is fairly small.
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