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the English are coming

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Manchester
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the English are coming

My husband has always been interested in JFK and for his 50th birthday next year we are planning a trip. He has always wanted to visit Dallas. We live in Manchester, England so its a once in a lifetime trip, any advice welcome but especially what area should we look to stay in and would car hire be the best way to get around.

Thanks in advance for your help. Regards Karen

Vidor, Texas
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1. Re: the English are coming

What time of the year? Would your family be interested in a Dallas Cowboys game? Or stay in Dallas itself?

Manchester
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2. Re: the English are coming

We were thinking of June want nice weather but can be flexible on dates, his birthday is march but think it would be better to wait for the warmer months. Would like to be in an area where car hire is not essential but we can drive so will hire a car if its necessary. Think eating will be high on the agenda too, we watch man v food.

Aubrey, Texas
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3. Re: the English are coming

The latter part of April sees the trees in N Texas all green again and wildflowers in bloom all around the state. If you have time, you could drive down to the Hill Country north of San Antonio. Outside Johnson City is the LBJ Ranch which is open to visitors. How long will you have in Texas and is this part of a larger itinerary?

Houston, TX
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4. Re: the English are coming

March and April will be much better than June. June will be hot, not warm (think 90 degrees F--about 30C) each day. Spring is better for most activities here in Texas with temperatures being more moderate but still plenty warm for you. (I lived in England for 5 years so I am familiar with the weather in spring there!)

Obviously you will want to visit the museum about the Kennedy assassination in Dallas. As texhills suggests, if other presidents are of interest lots of things about LBJ in the Hill Country. If you visit the ranch you can tour parts of his house, recently opened to visitors as well as other sites. You could also visit the LBJ Presidential Library on the campus of The University of Texas at Austin, which is not that far from San Antonio. The George W. Bush Presidential Library is opening this week on the campus of Southern Methodist University in Dallas.

Take a look at The Stockyard Historic Distric in Fort Worth. Well worth a visit--lots to see and do.

While Dallas does have some public transportation, your best bet to get around will probably be to rent a car, especially if you decide to go to some of the places that have been mentioned.

Edited: 2:47 pm, April 21, 2013
Grapevine, Texas
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5. Re: the English are coming

Man v Food... Hate that program and "atypical" of the "typical" restaurant in the Dallas-Fort Worth area - only know of one local that does the "challenge" and it's a college town 30 miles north of Dallas. That said, while many chain restaurants do serve oversized portions, if I were you, I'd steer clear of the chains and search for quality over quantity. I'm providing a link that will give you a start to a number of options - dining and otherwise. http://www3.dmagazine.com/best-of-big-d

Don't forget Fort Worth is only 30 miles west - well worth a drive. FWIW.... Fred's Texas Cafe might be just what you're looking for with a bit of the Man v Food edge without the Man v Food edge. :) Enjoy and happy birthday to the hubs! http://www.fredstexascafe.com/

Plano TX
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6. Re: the English are coming

If you are looking for warm, balmy days, I would suggest May or June. March and April can still see some cool temps. Fort Worth might be fun for you. Lots of things to do and Dallas is not a far drive at all. Have fun!

Arlington, Texas
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7. Re: the English are coming

I'm with the first couple posters. Plan a mid-April trip. June will be too warm. (It's true our April has been very cool this year, but that is not the norm.) The wildflowers will be prime in mid-April.

A car will be necessary. Dallas is very spread out and Fort Worth is 30 miles away with limited public transportation. (And yes, DO plan on visiting Fort Worth, also. They are two very different cities. Think "Dallas=Oil" and "Fort Worth=Cattle". :)

If you tell us what your other interests are besides JFK and food, we can offer other suggestions. If you like nature, then the Dallas Arboretum is a must. Stunning, seriously stunning gardens.

If you like art and history, etc., some other suggestions might be the Perot Museum, the Dallas World Aquarium, the Nasher Sculpture Center, all in Dallas. In Fort Worth, there would be the Stockyards, Bass Hall, Kimbell Art Museum. In between, if you are into American football at all- then a must would be a tour of the Cowboy's Stadium in Arlington (an easy hop on/hop off of the Interstate highway).

The Sixth Floor Museum will surely be having some special things going on for the 50th anniversary. It's a wonderful museum and I expect it is already on your list.

Do please let us know what else you might be interested in. (Great shopping in Dallas, fyi.)

Have a wonderful trip!

S N
Texas
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8. Re: the English are coming

Texas is ridiculously hot in summer.

Texas
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9. Re: the English are coming

If you can, spend a day in Fort Worth. There is a nice free public JFK memorial in downtown Fort Worth - at the location where JFK stepped out and gave an unplanned speech to the crowd who had gathered to catch a glimpse of him and Jackie at their hotel. The memorial is at 8th and Main next to the Hilton. The Hotel Texas where JFK & Jackie stayed is now the Fort Worth Hilton. While downtown check out their heritage trail - map can be found online with markers at various historic locations -like where the famous old west photograph of the Wild Bunch -Butch & Sundance - was taken during the hey days of the Chisholm Trail cattle drives in Fort Worth. Check the schedule for Bass Hall. They may have a show you'd like to see.

For some western flavor (more play acting than real but still fun) we take visitors to the Fort Worth Stockyards. We try to get there for one of the Fort Worth Herd two daily cattle drives - cowboys drive longhorns on a short walk through the Fort Worth stockyards at either 11:30 am or 4:00 pm daily. If you can’t make those times – you can see the longhorns in the stockyard pens. Climb in the saddle atop a Texas longhorn for a photo opp ($5?) to pose - using your own camera). Weekends have wild west show and rodeo - ticket info online. Free entertainment we’ve seen on weekends includes singers/bands, roping demonstrations, miniature ponies, Native American dance & drums. You never know what you might see there – last time we saw a cute baby camel being walked to the petting zoo.

There is a short film (5 minutes?) on the history of the stockyards at the visitors center if you need a break in the a/c. You can buy cowboy boots, hats, clothing and Texas souvenirs. Look for the White Elephant Saloon which may look familiar as CD's Saloon on the Walker Texas Ranger TV series. Hotels: There are a couple of hotels right at the stockyard – a newer Hyatt Place and the restored historic Stockyards hotel –where Bonnie & Clyde stayed once. Get out of the heat at Billy Bob's – world’s largest honky tonk - open during the day. There are plenty of restaurants in the stockyards area. Two longtime Texas traditions are Cattleman’s Steak House and Joe T Garcia’s is a favorite Mexican restaurant near the stockyards.

Other places to consider: Southfork Ranch – if you were a fan of Dallas - original or the new series is just north of Dallas.

Grapevine Texas near Dallas Fort Worth airport and about halfway between Dallas and Fort Worth has a couple of popular hotels – Great Wolf Lodge and Gaylord Texan. There is a train that runs from Grapevine to the Fort Worth stockyards on weekends.

You'll probably have to rent a car. There is train service but not sure it would go everywhere you'd want to go- check www.dart.org for maps.

Arlington, Texas
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10. Re: the English are coming

If you are into the "American West", there are two other places in Fort Worth you should put on your list.

The National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame is in the arts district.

The Amon Carter Museum of American Art is nearby. It has over 400 Frederic Remington and Charles M. Russell pieces. Many people know Remington for his wonderful sculptures, but he was also a prolific painter. This museum is free and really worth a visit.