Help me pack in a nice 3 day weekend in DFW with my wife
May 20, 2011 7:41 AM   Subscribe

Help me pack in a nice 3 day weekend in DFW with my wife. I've got Rangers tickets for Sunday's game 5/29. I think I want to stay at a Hilton with a nice pool situation. (I've got a boatload of points, so can likely stay at deep discount) I want to do a 5 mile run somewhere scenic on Saturday and maybe Monday morning. Other than that, I love to eat, drink, and spend money.

Is the Arlington area a good spot for entertainment? I'm not looking to do a lot of driving, I mainly want to relax poolside in the afternoons, and then go out to eat / bar hop a bit. I'm in my mid 30's, so I can't handle too much excitement. I've never been to the baseball park, but I'm a huge fan of baseball, and may even try to go to the Saturday game as well, if I can't nail down some other ideas.
posted by eggm4n to Travel & Transportation (10 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: You want the Anatole, in Dallas proper. It's Hilton's nicest property here, and with the most amenities. Excellent pool and spa facilities.

Arlington is not a great entertainment spot, IMO. But, for eating, barhopping and baseball, the Anatole makes a great homebase. You would be extremely close to Oak Lawn, Uptown, and the Design District, all of which are great areas for food and nightlife.

And the Anatole is also very easy access to I-30 which takes you straight to the Ballpark.

I can't help at all on the running. Turtle Creek might be nice for this but I'm seriously stabbing in the dark.

But I'm all about the eating, drinking, and spending money. What do y'all dislike when you travel? re cuisine, atmosphere, and so on. There's a lot to do here so it's easier to make recommendations based on what you don't want.
posted by pineapple at 8:33 AM on May 20, 2011

Response by poster: Thanks pineapple. The Anatole (map) Looks perfect. It even has a jogging trail. This is fantastic. The only things I'm really not into are cheesy chain joints, and "shot" bars. That said, I do enjoy some local flavor. I'm not planning on dressing up either, and ideally I'll be taking taxis everywhere.
posted by eggm4n at 9:22 AM on May 20, 2011

Best answer: The Katy Trail is also a nice jogging trail that's not too far from the Anatole, if you want some variety. It will also allow you to see a bit more of the city.

If you do (or even if you don't) decide to stay at the Anatole and want to have a fancy dinner with the wife, Nana is an great restaurant with an incredible view. The chef there is part of the molecular gastronomy movement, and I had the best pork I've ever tasted there.
posted by Uncle Ira at 9:47 AM on May 20, 2011

Arlington more or less exists to serve the tourist crowd (Ballpark, football, Six Flags, Hurricane Harbor are all huddled together there on 30, surrounded by every chain restaurant on earth) and event days are insane. Get in, watch your game, get out.

Like pineapple said, you're a short trip to Oak Lawn and Uptown. Uptown is a Preplanned Multi-Use Shopping Residential Experience Destination, but there's money there so it has drawn higher-end shopping and restaurants - basically an outdoor mall with townhouses and condos and possibly hipsters. Oak Lawn is the old gayborhood and has some great restaurants and shopping, but is a real neighborhood so is spread out.

White Rock Lake is popular for runners (but google it, there's been some tensions between cyclists and runners and I don't know if the mood has changed), but you'd have to get there and back.

Alternately, there's downtown Fort Worth. I could easily amuse myself downtown on foot for a weekend and only leave for the ball game and maybe a mosey around the Stockyards and/or the museum district (and I think there's a certain amount of trolley/bus transportation between downtown/Sundance Square, the museums, and the stockyards). I don't think they have a Hilton property quite as nice as the Anatole, but I really really love Fort Worth.
posted by Lyn Never at 9:48 AM on May 20, 2011

Best answer: Lyn is dead right about Fort Worth.

Casual local flavor in Dallas near the Anatole...

The Bishop Arts District in the Oak Cliff area is a 15-minute cab ride from the Anatole. It was a very fashionable area of Dallas in the 1920's then fell into disrepair and is now being revitalized. If you really love food, go here—it's where a lot of exciting things are happening on the Dallas food scene. The food and cocktails at Bolsa are phenomenal. There is also great shopping and music. Very walkable once you get down there.

The Meddlesome Moth (warning, annoying Flash resto website cliche) in the Design District is so close to the hotel that I bet they'd shuttle you over. It's a gastropub but not chain-style. DMN gave them only 2 stars last summer but I hear they've really upped the game, and the menus look fab, especially if you like good beer. This is on my list to try downtown.

Uptown/Oak Lawn are also exceptionally walkable by Dallas standards. You could have the cab drop you on the far end and then take the McKinney Avenue trolley back west. My casual favorites in that area are Bread Winners Cafe & The Quarter Bar (outstanding brunch/lunch spot with adjoining bar so you can get a Bloody Mary while you wait for a table)... Coal Vines (pizza) is getting a lot of chatter right now... sister company Nick and Sam's Grill is good New American food, good wine, no sticker shock... Don't know where you're from but Cyclone Anaya's on Oak Lawn is excellent Mexican if you need some of that, as is La Duni over in Highland Park (which is also high-end outdoor shopping).

Drinking in that area is fun and diverse. The Stoneleigh P is dive-y but not crusty; more like where the rich folks go when they want to slum it a little. As Lyn pointed out, tons of fun gay bars in Oak Lawn. Hunky's is a Dallas hamburger institution. The Library Bar at the Melrose looks ultra-posh but I've gone in jeans (trash!).

Further away but also a good cab-then-walk-it-to-barhop-then-cab-home destination is the Knox-Henderson district just north of downtown, near the SMU campus. Victor Tango's, Fireside Pies, The Old Monk, Barcadia, Vickery Park, are all on the same couple of blocks and offer as much food, drink and entertainment as a mid-30-year-old could want.

If I think of more, I'll come back.

(I purposely left out recommendations on steakhouses and strip clubs, two things Dallas is famous for but which don't seem to fit your trip's purposes.)
posted by pineapple at 11:01 AM on May 20, 2011 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Pineapple hit of a lot of my favorite spots to eat and drink, but let me drop a few more. Of what she listed, my favorites are Bolsa, Meddlesome Moth, and all of the stuff on Knox-Henderson (Victor Tangos, Fireside, Old Monk). The Porch is also on that same strip and has a great burger (The Stodg). Also in uptown is one of my favorite beer bars, Common Table.

Further down on Knox-Henderson is Neighborhood Services Tavern which is a great combo of food and drink.

If you want to drift south of downtown and hit up one of newest places in town, head to Ceders Social. It's a great cocktail bar and restaurant (can't vouch for the food personally, but I've heard as much). They do prohibition style cocktails, so a lot of older, classic drinks. A little pricy, but one of my new favorites.

Other new favorites include Neapolitan pizza joint Cane Rosso, greasy spoon All Good Cafe (across from a kink store, if you're so interested), and Angry Dog. They're all right near each other in an area east of downtown called Deep Ellum.

And if you're staying at the Anatole and want to drop some cash, head upstairs to their restaurant Nana. Great food, a little pricy, but a mix of traditional French and modern. Great views of downtown as well.

PS - Pineapple, we need to hang out, apparently, because we hit all the same haunts.
posted by SNWidget at 12:29 PM on May 20, 2011 [1 favorite]

I was starting to suspect that my husband was pineapple, given the suggestions, but then hubby chimed in on his own. I'll echo their recs, as well as recommending the Katy Trail or White Rock Lake for running. I've never run the Katy Trail, but it's well known in these parts. White Rock Lake is fairly accessible via lightrail, and I've run a portion of it for a race and can recommend it. If wife is going with you for the run, you can also paddle the lake or visit the arboretum when you're in the area.

I know Dallas better than FW, but if you opt for FW, I can recommend Lonesome Dove Bistro (upscale ranch food) and Brownstone as great restaurants.
posted by Terriniski at 2:54 PM on May 20, 2011

If you go for the Fort Worth side of things, I recommend running on the Trinity Trails. It's something like 30 miles worth of (mostly) dirt trails along the banks of the Trinity River there in Fort Worth. A good place to park is in Trinity Park, which can be accessed by taking the University Drive exit on I-30 (map here). There's a 3 mile jogging loop in that park also. Trinity Park is where I normally park when I go running. The trails are nice & wide, and mostly flat. Unless you're there in the wee hours of the morning, you'll see plenty of other joggers/cyclists/dog walkers/kids in strollers/etc. Also, most of the streets in this park are one-way.

Being a local, I can't really tell you much about where the Hiltons are. I know there's one in Arlington on Lamar & 360. If you like chain restaurants, that may not be a bad choice. If you do dine in Arlington, try to go to Prince Lebanese grill. They're on Randol Mill road just east of Cooper street (about a mile or two due west of where the Cowboys stadium is, map here). The food there is pretty damn good (plus, they got featured on Diners Driveins & Dives). Only bad part about them is they're closed on Sundays.

There is a fairly big park in Arlington called River Legacy park. It's at the north intersection of Cooper & Green Oaks (map here). This park has somewhere on the order of 10 miles of trails. It's not bad, but I don't like it because most of the trails are concrete, and I've had waaaaay too many foot problems after running there. There will be plenty of fellow joggers & cyclists at this park. Plus, if you run past the big open grassy area, you'll likely see a pickup soccer game or three going on.

For other restaurants in Fort Worth:
Kincaid's Hamburgers (map) - They're a little pricey, but damn are they good
Riscky's BBQ (map) - They're decent at barbeque (This is the downtown FTW location, I actually ate there last night).
Flying Saucer (map) - This is a downtown bar that has something like 200 beers on tap. If you like obscure beers, this is a good place to go.
Magnolia Motor Lounge (map) - Their food is pretty decent, but this is also a good place to go if you want to tie one on & possibly hear a live band. This place is in the West 7th street development, and there are a good number of places to eat, get drunk, and listen to live music all in walking distance.

If you do go out in this West 7th area, it would be a good idea to make sure you have an emergency $20 or $40 in your sock. The last thing you need after a night of having fun & getting drunk is a DUI. You need that like you need a hole in your head.

Also, your profile doesn't say where you're from, but be prepared for it to be a little warm.

Finally, expect to see a ginormous number of Arlington cops around the stadium.

Welcome to north Texas!
/Tarrant county resident

posted by AMSBoethius at 4:51 PM on May 20, 2011

Save yourself a bunch of money and parking headaches for the game by parking/eating at Lincoln Square (Coulter's BBQ/Hooters/whatever, just have a beer there before the game and they shuttle you for free). Getting in and out of that stadium's parking is nuts.

If you have a night to spend around Fort Worth, do Sundance Square and the Stockyards! IMO Fort Worth is a lot cooler/more cultured/unique than Dallas is.

Nthing Kincaid's - and I don't really think it's pricey at all - my husband and I can share an order of fries and each get a burger (usually only the small size is needed) and get out of there for $14 or so.
posted by getawaysticks at 7:06 AM on May 23, 2011

Response by poster: Just got back in town last night, and must say I had a great time. The Hotel Anatole was very nice. The Verandah Pool has a great bar, and we really enjoyed the drinks. The Rangers game was a lot of fun, cabs were easy enough to find to and from the ball park.

@AMSBoethius, I did see a lot of Arlington cops, and good god it was was hot. I'm from Houston though, so the lack of humidity was welcome.

The Katy Trail was perfect. We drove about 2 miles to the the park behind Scottish kids hospital, and hopped on the trail from there. It felt good to sweat out all that booze and grease on out 5 mile run.
posted by eggm4n at 9:01 AM on May 31, 2011 [2 favorites]

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