TEXAS: what to see north and west of Dallas

May 3rd, 2012, 04:50 AM
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TEXAS: what to see north and west of Dallas

We will be on either I35 or I30 between St. Louis and Dallas,. We'll also be on the I20 & I10 between Dallas & El Paso.

We've explored Dallas quite a bit. We've also visted the LBJ and Bush Libraries / Museums.

In OKC we've stopped several times at the Nat'l Museum & Fed Bldg Memorial & will probably stop again. Also explored the Nat'l Cowboy Museum and had dinner at the Cattleman's Steakhouse, adjacent to the stockyards.

Are there any must-sees or off-the-beaten-path sites we should see? Any fun or unique restaurants or cafes that aren't to be missed?
ellen_griswold is offline  
May 3rd, 2012, 05:43 AM
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North of Dallas the town of McKinney probably comes closest to what you are seeking but that's about it. The town is about 35 miles north of Dallas, midway between Denton (on I-35) and Greenville (on I-30). Not much else north of Dallas until you get into Oklahoma.

Going west from the DFW along I-20 area you might find the towns of Weatherford & Mineral Wells that are interesting places to stop for lunch and a brief stroll but you won't be missing much if you passed them by. Abilene has a few museums, a zoo and some shops (do a google search "Things to do in Abilene" for more info).

Once past Abilene you'll be in some pretty desolate country passing through typical west Texas towns like Midland, Odessa and Big Springs. There's an old joke that goes something like this. First prize is a week in west Texas, second prize is two weeks in west Texas.

If you are traveling this route anytime between now and September make sure your A/C is working - it can get very hot (think triple digits during the summer).

Have fun driving.
RoamsAround is online now  
May 3rd, 2012, 08:37 AM
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Why go on I-30 before hitting Dallas? I-30 runs from Fort Worth to Little Rock and getting to Little Rock would mean going out of your way eastward instead of taking I-44 southwest to Tulsa and then rolling south on US 75 straight to Dallas.

Dallas is the fourth-largest metropolitan area in the country so your question is difficult to answer. Check out dmagazine.com or the dallasobserver.com or Texas Monthly's website for ideas. Guy Fieri has noted various DFW area restaurants on his Diners, Dives & Drive-thrus.

As for this comment: "it can get very hot" - that's incorrect. It DOES get very hot, period. If Dallas doesn't reach 100+ at all in June, July or August, that's a cool summer. Last year we had 70 days of 100+ temperatures and 40-straight at one point.
BigRuss is offline  
May 3rd, 2012, 11:23 AM
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Midland and Odessa is where President George W. Bush grew up. There is a presidential museum in Odessa that has Bush's childhood home. There is lots of oilfield stuff around. A petroleum museum. In Monahans there are sandhills you can climb up and slide down if you aren't coming in the middle of summer...A million barrel museum that used to store oil. A zoo in Pecos. Fort Davis has a McDonald's observatory, a fort that is awesome.

Just a few things from the top of my head. Hope it was helpful
jimelissarichardson is offline  
May 3rd, 2012, 01:09 PM
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You mention between St. Louis and Dallas. Interested in anything in Arkansas?

Stop at Eatzi's in Dallas and get some really cool picnic supplies from their Deli. They have two locations, I think the original location is slightly better.
spirobulldog is offline  
May 3rd, 2012, 01:14 PM
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If you make it as far as Midland. Carlsbad Caverns is a neat thing to see. The bats are awesome sight at sunset. The wild cave tour there is totally amazing-make reservations well in advance as they only allow 8 people per week. This is done on the weekend only. Of course, do see the "Big Room" and eat at the bottom of the cave.
spirobulldog is offline  
May 5th, 2012, 07:20 AM
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Thanks for the replies everyone. Some good ideas!

We haven't done much in arkansas so yes, would consider those ideas.

Gread idea for carlsbad caverns. We haven't been there in years, and there are many 'rooms' yet to explore.

Any other thoughts out there?
ellen_griswold is offline  
May 5th, 2012, 07:48 AM
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I live in Oklahoma about 10 miles from the Arkansas line.
You might want to check out the new Crystal Bridges Museum in Northwest Arkansas. Very nice museum(especially this part of the country). Bill Clinton's Library in Little Rock is interesting as well.

As far as natural interests in Arkansas. I've been to 28 National Parks. Hot Springs easily comes in dead last for me. So, I don't think I'd waste my time with it.
However, Arkansas does have The Buffalo National River and several great State Parks.

Petit Jean. Very nice hiking, older lodge, food is just ok. The two best hikes there are one to Turtle Rocks and the other one to Cedar Falls(when it has rained)

Here is a list of me other favorite waterfalls in AR. This is kinda like a mini Columbia River Gorge area.
Hemmed In Hollow-tallest falls between appalachains and rockys
You can hike to it or kayak/canoe to it
The Lost Valley-great hike with multiple good waterfalls. The final waterfalls is in the back of a short cave(bring flashlight)
Glory Hole Falls-best small waterfall ever!!-only 16 feet tall but is a real gem. You would just have to see it for yourself.
Triple Falls-pretty as anything in Hawaii
All of the above are best in wet weather and just after good rain. Not really anywhere to eat much at any of these.

Pedestal Rocks is a nice hike-features two loops. One of them does go by a very tall waterfall, but the fall isn't the main feature in this area. Bring your own food.

Mount Magazine-hike to tallest point in AR, Very nice new lodge, food is just ok there. Lots of butterflies(especially in June-big butterfly events there in june)

Mount Nebo- Great hikes, no lodge so bring your own food.

Mount Nebo and Mount Magazine are typically 10-12 degrees cooler than the rest of the area. Buffalo River area is usually 5-10 degrees cooler.

search any of these up on youtube

Guadalupe National Park is near Carlsbad. Many good hikes there. I hiked Guadalupe Peak last summer in 100 degree weather. So, just be careful about the heat. several other good hikes there too.

If you have any thoughts on doing the wild cave tour, I can't begin to tell you how awesome it is. I have done them 3 times and they are great. Hall of the White Giants and Spider Cave are very different, but equally good. pick either one or both. You can't wear the same clothes, if you do both. They are very very picky about what you wear. your clothes will get very dirty.
spirobulldog is offline  
May 7th, 2012, 09:08 AM
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Thank you so much, spiro! Some great ideas here!

I had forgotten about Bill Clinton's Library in Little Rock. We love wandering through all the presidential libraries / museums, as they're great thumbnails - and then some - of the time they were in office. We'll definitely be stopping there.
ellen_griswold is offline  
May 7th, 2012, 03:11 PM
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Monahans Sand Hills State Park just west of Odessa is just off interstate.

At Pecos turn right for the the highest point in TX, Guadalupe Peak.

Or turn left at Pecos to Balmorhea State Park, a unique desert oasis.
VolCrew is offline  
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