Places to stay/visit between the city centers of Dallas and Fort Worth
October 10, 2015 1:33 PM   Subscribe

I'm traveling to Dallas/ Fort Worth with a friend and a six month old for five days this fall. Any recommendations for interesting or even typical places (more like great man-made lakes rather than great nature trails) to stay in or explore that are located between Dallas and Forth Worth but well outside the city centers?

I'll be visiting family in Fort Worth, a friend in Dallas, and a friend in Carrollton and doing some early work on a video project (shooting at another time, but maybe some tests this time) that will involve filming at night on quiet streets.

Had originally thought to stay at a hotel or airbnb in downtown Dallas, but (as I am always in cities) realized it might be more interesting (and even more relaxing) while I'm there to stay in one of the suburbs or smaller towns (?) between Dallas and Forth Worth. Not sure if a great idea, but suddenly seems really fun. Any recommendations or advice? Thanks!
posted by Mayma Hosey to Travel & Transportation around Dallas, TX (5 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Unless you go north to Denton or south to somewhere like Waxahatchie, it is pretty much all freeways and suburbs between Dallas and Ft. Worth. Great Wolf Lodge or the Garlord Texan are fun, but will probably add significantly to drive time. The freeway through Lewisville is miserably under construction right now. Maybe Arlington but again, freeway. The few natural areas like Lake Grapevine and Lake Lewisville were damaged by the floods in May and are just now getting back to normal. Good antique and decor type shopping in Frisco and McKinney. Grapevine has some nice shops in the historic downtown area. Lower Greenville Avenue in Dallas has cafes and vintage shops. Just don't underestimate the traffic anywhere in the metroplex.
posted by tamitang at 4:57 PM on October 10, 2015 [3 favorites]

The smaller towns are definitely outside the suburbs. In between Dallas and Fort Worth is only really Arlington and Grand Prairie. It's only about a 30 minute drive from the west side of Dallas to the east side of Fort Worth (assuming no traffic) so you're not going to find small towns in between. Arlington has the new Cowboys Stadium, the Ballpark in Arlington (where the Rangers play, also has the 2nd largest baseball museum--as in 2nd to Cooperstown), and Six Flags Over Texas.

Getting to small towns doesn't really take that long (30-45 minutes depending on your location) but DFW is a huge place. Here is a pretty good map. Everything within that blue line is going to be a city of at least 50,000 people, getting smaller as you get close to the line. The diameter of the metroplex is about 70 miles.

Lucky for you, DFW is full of man-made lakes!

Lake Ray Roberts: the south side is near Denton, the north side has many very small towns

Lake Lewisville: Just south of Lake Ray Roberts, bordered by large suburbs

Grapevine Lake: Located near Grapevine (north of the airport) which is a very well off small suburb, also just south of Lake Lewisville

Lake Arlington: small lake but pretty much bordered on one side by Arlington and the other by Fort Worth, all residential neighborhoods.

Joe Pool Lake: located in south of Grand Prairie

White Rock Lake: smaller, located in a well-off residential neighborhood in Dallas, right next to the arboretum

Lake Lavon: near Plano (on of the northern suburbs) but has small towns on its north and east side

Lake Ray Hubbard: bordered by suburbs on just about all sides, but is a pretty large lake on the east side of Dallas

Eagle Mountain Lake and Benbrook Lake are on the west side of Fort Worth but I haven't visited those.

Possum Kingdom Lake: Located over an hour west of Fort Worth and has dinosaur tracks!

A little over an hour north of Dallas is Lake Texoma, which is one of the largest reservoirs in the US. It is surrounded on the Texas side by Denison and Pottsboro, which are two small to medium sized towns. There's not much on the Oklahoma side besides a gas station and a catfish restaurant.

All the lakes will have a state park on at least part of their shores so you would be able to actually get to the lake without having to trespass on someone's property.

Weird/interesting things to do? Most of the weird things I've done have been in one of the cities or in the suburbs.
Mickey Mantle's mausoleum is in Plano.

There is a hand museum at Baylor, which was put together by a hand surgeon and has brass casts of the hands of athletes, astronauts, presidents, artists, etc. It's open 24 hours because its just in one of the halls of the hospital.

There's a flight museum in Dallas with alot of old planes, also the American Airlines museum near the airport.

You can also go to the federal mint in Fort Worth, but it is only open during regular business hours.

There's tons of Bonnie and Clyde locations throughout DFW because they were from the area.
posted by LizBoBiz at 9:38 AM on October 11, 2015 [1 favorite]

Agreed. I can't think of anywhere to stay between Dallas and Ft. Worth. My advice would be to Airbnb somewhere in Lakewood, East Dallas, or M Streets (all close to the above mentioned lower Greenville). Lots of things to do, tree-lines streets, and close to White Rock Lake, which is a beautiful park area with walking/biking trails and includes an Arboretum.
posted by incountrysleep at 9:38 AM on October 11, 2015

Dinosaur Valley at Glen Rose has dinosaur tracks. Been to Possum Kingdom Lake many many times but I don't think there are any tracks there.
posted by tamitang at 4:12 PM on October 12, 2015

Ahh yes. You're right. I got a little mixed up there.
posted by LizBoBiz at 7:17 AM on October 13, 2015

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