Dallas Journals

A Family Experience in Dallas

Best of IgoUgo

A December 2003 trip to Dallas by barbara

White Rock Lake Photo, Dallas, Texas More Photos
Quote: My husband was in Dallas for business, so my son and I decided to join him for the weekend. We had no problem filling up our days with family fun. In fact, we ended up moving to Texas for a wonderful year in a North Dallas suburb.

A Family Experience in Dallas

Best Of IgoUgo

Overview

The Texas Flag Is Displayed Photo, Dallas, Texas
Quote:
Dallas is often accused of having no culture. It is certainly a concrete city, but I think its reputation for being purely a business traveler''s destination is an unfair one. Dallas proper is small compared to many other cities, so finding the nice areas, the neighborhoods with personality, just takes a short drive. Must sees? The JFK memorials and exhibits are a logical place to start, but I''d also suggest driving to some of the exclusive neighborhoods (Turtle Creek, Swiss Avenue) to see beautiful homes in the area. The Dallas Museum of Art is worth a look. Keep your eyes open for sites that speak of the history of Texas. The famous Mustangs of Las Colinas sculpture near Las Colinas Blvd. is ...Read More

Rosewood Crescent Hotel

Hotel | "The Crescent"

Quote:
The Crescent is both luxurious and comfortable. Located in the middle of the Arts District, it offers wonderful dining and an on-site spa. The rooms are tastefully decorated in mahogany and dark oak, and they are all very spacious. This is my husband''s favorite hotel in Dallas, and he often travels to the city for work.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 5, 2000

Rosewood Crescent Hotel
400 Crescent Court
Dallas, Texas 75201
(214) 871-3200

Hilton Anatole

Best Of IgoUgo

Hotel | "The Wyndam Anotole"

Quote:
This hotel caters to the upscale business traveler. It has full service business facilities (copy room, etc.), and it is perfect for large business meetings and trade shows because of its large convention center. The rooms are of an average size but comfortable. The service is good.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 5, 2000

Hilton Anatole
2201 Stemmons Freeway
Dallas, Texas 75207
(214) 748-1200

Omni Dallas Hotel at Park West

Hotel | "The Omni"

Quote:
The Omni is located within walking distance of upscale bars and nightlife in Las Colinas. The rooms are large and comfortable, and the service is excellent. The two presidential suites that take up the entire top floor of the Omni are amazing. If you stay in this hotel, make sure you ride on the river boat that departs from the hotel and tours the small lake behind the hotel.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 5, 2000

Omni Dallas Hotel at Park West
1590 LBJ FREEWAY
Dallas, Texas 75234
972-869-4300

Hyatt Regency DFW

Hotel | "Hyatt DFW Airport"

Quote:
The Hyatt Regency at the Dallas airport offers the ammenities you''''ve come to expect from this chain. It provides good service and is well maintained. There are two restaurants on-site, and with a location in the DFW airport, it is an excellent place to stay if you are a business traveler.

However, because of traffic, it is not as highly recommended for people who will do much downtown travel during rush hours.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on December 5, 2000

Hyatt Regency DFW
International Parkway
Dallas, Texas 75261
(972) 453-1234

Hyatt Regency Dallas at Reunion

Best Of IgoUgo

Hotel | "Hyatt Regency Reunion Tower"

Hyatt Regency Dallas at Reunion Photo, Dallas, Texas
Quote:
The Hyatt Regency near Reunion Tower is a wonderful place to stay if you want to enjoy some of the Big D''s top area attractions. Located next to the Reunion Tower that helps define the Dallas skyline (see picture), the hotel has a huge ballroom, tons of meeting space, and an upscale feel to offer patrons. I stayed in a standard room on the 20-something floor. As a result, I had a marvelous view! The room itself was pretty basic offering the standard ammenities you would expect from a Hyatt. The staff was wonderfully friendly and helpful, though I do have to say that the café of the atrium-style lobby proved to have exceptionally slow service. You can access the Reunion Tower from the main flo...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 6, 2003

Hyatt Regency Dallas at Reunion
300 REUNION BLVD
Dallas, Texas 75207
214-651-1234

Sonoma Grill and Wine Bar

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant

Quote:
Located in the charming collection of shops called Parker Square, Sonoma Grill and Wine Bar has made a big name for itself in a small community. Noted by both the Dallas Morning News and the Star Telegram as an elite dining establishment in the DFW 'burbs, Sonoma lives up to its reputation. I've dined there on multiple occassions and have never been disappointed with a meal. Recently, I took care to pay attention to what really works in this restaurant. The narrow dining room to the left of the hostess stand has butter colored walls accented with vivid, original canvases by Richard Nunez. Purple curtains drape the tall windows. Everything has a fine dining feel without a stuffy ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 3, 2003

Sonoma Grill and Wine Bar
380 Parker Square
Dallas, Texas 75028
(972) 899-8989

Rockfish Seafood Grill

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant

Quote:
Rockfish Seafood Grill is a chain restaurant that has retained the quality most often associated with smaller establishments. We dropped into the Irving location one Friday night without reservations. There was a wait at the door, but we were told we could have a seat at the chef's table in the back. This is a bar-like area that looks into the kitchen. Time being more important than scenery, we followed the hostess to the back of the main dining area. The Rockfish is fairly casual, a strange mix between Southwestern---yellow walls and peanuts on the floor---and the decor one would expect in a seafood joint---upside down canoe and stuffed fish on the walls. A bar is to one side of the r...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 22, 2002

Rockfish Seafood Grill
7400 MacArthur Boulevard
Dallas, Texas 75063
(214) 574-4111

Isshin

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant

Quote:
Isshin is a small sushi bar and grill my husband frequents whenever in Dallas on business. On a recent trip to the area, my son and I joined him for dinner. The restaurant is located in a non-descript strip mall near Stein Mart on a busy main street that crosses Las Colinas Blvd. near the LBJ 635. Inside Isshin, the decor feels modern. The boothes are black, matching the dark-tiled floor. A large sushi bar is in the middle of the restaurant with seating arranged around it. We were quickly seated and a friendly waitress took our order. My son always gets yakitori chicken when we eat Japanese. This is a great dish for children. He loves the teriyaki glazed chicken-on-a-stick alm...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on April 19, 2002

Isshin
7600 North Mac Arthur
Irving, Texas 75063
(972) 506-9906

Cool River Cafe

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant

Quote:
The Cool River Cafe is both a fine-dining establishment and an upscale bar. Upon entry to the front lobby, you see a large and welcoming fireplace near the hostess station. A chandelier made from twisted antlers dimly lights the room. Books are stacked on the mantelpiece. Wing-back chairs invite you to sit for a moment while waiting for your table. If you're having dinner, you'll follow the hostess to the left. A large and open dining room awaits you. Another fire is crackling to one side, but the wood accents and the snowy-white tablecloths give the room a luxurious feeling of warmth. A stone wall surrounds a giant painting of a cowboy smoking a cigar at the Alamo, reminding you that the Cool ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 13, 2003

Cool River Cafe
1045 Hidden Ridge
Irving, Texas 75038
+1 972 871 8881

i Fratelli

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant

Quote:
i Fratelli is a popular Italian chain in the Dallas area. One Friday night we had the pleasure of dining in the Las Colinas location as a family. Located in a nondescript strip mall, i Fratelli might be overlooked if you were not aware of the wonderful food inside. We did not have reservations, and there was already a small crowd at the door at 6 pm. Still, we did not have to wait for long. We were soon ushered into the main dining area that seemed warmer for the maroon and green color schemes, the burnt orange tiles on the floor. A mural of the Italian countryside is on one wall near a picture in a gilded frame of Pope John Paul shaking hands with someone I assume is associated with the rest...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 30, 2002

i Fratelli
7750 North MacArthur
Irving, Texas 75019
(972) 501-9700

Grotto a Salerno Steak House

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant | "The Grotto"

Quote:
Located near Lewisville and Flower Mound 20 min. north of Dallas on I35, Highland Village is an upper-middle-class to wealthy community located on Lake Lewisville. It is no surprise that it hosts one of the finest restaurants in the Dallas suburbs. The Grotto is owned by award-winning chef Morris Salerno. It has a reputation in Highland Village for being the place to go for a romantic night out; however, I think it's worth the drive for anyone in Dallas who wants a fine dining experience. I dined at the Grotto one evening over the Christmas holidays with my family. While this is not normally the type of restaurant where you would take a child, Highland Village is ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 31, 2002

Grotto a Salerno Steak House
2300 Highland Village Road
Dallas, Texas 75077
(972) 318-0515

Blue Goose Fish Company

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant | "Blue Goose Fish Co."

Quote:
The Blue Goose is located about 10 - 15 minutes from the DFW airport, so it might be an especially good place to stop if you''ve just landed (or are just about to hop on a plane) around meal time. It''s located right in front of the gigantic Grapevine Mills Mall, which is a very popular shopping site for tourists. The front of the restaurant sports multicolored picnic-type tables for outside dining: purple, red, orange, etc. The interior is equally casual. There''s a brick fireplace in the back, but deck plank walls are painted in bright colors for festive accents everywhere else. The typical seafood joint decor (the life buoy hanging on one wall, wooden fish "swimming" by your table) is evident. ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on February 16, 2003

Blue Goose Fish Company
2455 East Grapevine Mills
Grapevine, Texas

Medieval Times Dinner and Tournament

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant

Quote:
Every time we have driven by the Medieval Times "castle", our son has shouted and pointed at it. "Let's go there!" Finally, a good grade on his report card inspired us to give into his request.Before dinner, we perused the various medieval items for sale in the castle. We wore paper crowns the color of our "kingdom" that would later signify the color knight we cheered for at the tournament. Costumed characters addressed us by title as we handed over copious amounts of gold for chintzy souvenirs and drinks. We found a "Torture Chamber" museum to walk through (for an extra $2) while waiting to be seated. After choking on the cost of our tickets ($130 for a family of three on a Saturday night...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on December 8, 2002

Medieval Times Dinner and Tournament
2021 North Stemmons Freeway
Dallas, Texas 75207
(214) 761-1800

Mama's Daughters' Diner

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant

Quote:
Mama's Daughters' Diner is a place to go when you want some good home cooking, yet don't want to clean the kitchen. It's a casual diner with red vinyl booths and handwritten signs on the candy beside the cash register.Chalk boards tempt diners with lists of the day's fresh baked pies: coconut cream pies, apple crumb pies, pecan pies, even cobblers!Part of a small chain, the Mama's by Lewisville Highschool seems to always be busy. This is easily attributed to the reasonably priced menu and the good food. There's always a special to choose from, and I eagerly ordered chicken fried steak, mashed potatoes, turnip greens, and candied yams. This is the type of meal that my Granny would have made for din...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 13, 2002

Mama's Daughters' Diner
1288 West Main Street
Dallas, Texas 75067
(972) 353-5955

Dallas Museum of Art

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

Quote:
The Dallas Museum of Art is HUGE! It has an extensive modern art collection. Though I personally am not a great modern art lover, this section was fun to walk through. Our son had a hard time understanding why he couldn't touch the pool table which was one of the pieces displayed! Apart from the modern art, however, the Dallas Museum of Art has extensive collections from every time period. There is also an interesting sculpture garden to walk through outside, though it was cold the day we visited, and we only spent a short time looking at those displays. Our son really enjoyed the kids' section of the museum. Apparently every Saturday in the afternoons, kids are treated to a "drop-in" art projec...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 5, 2000

Dallas Museum of Art
1717 North Harwood
Dallas, Texas 75201
(214) 922-1200

Dallas World Aquarium

Attraction | "The Dallas World Aquarium"

Quote:
We spent a very enjoyable morning exploring the Dallas World Aquarium. They had many exotic animals that I had never seen before! After looking at the fish in the aquarium, we were able to explore the "rain forest" section of the building. This area is full of exotic and beautiful birds as well as other interesting animals. Various types of monkeys swing in the trees, and glass containers hold interesting creatures such as poison dart frogs that one does not normally encounter. There is a small cafe in the Aquarium that proved to have good food. Be sure to walk outside to see the penguins.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 5, 2000

Dallas World Aquarium
1801 North Griffin Street
Dallas, Texas 75202
(214) 720-2224

White Rock Lake

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

White Rock Lake Photo, Dallas, Texas
Quote:
White Rock Lake is the place to go running, rollerblading, or cycling on a sunny afternoon in Dallas. Not only do you have to drive through a beautiful neighborhood to get to the lake to begin with (we're talking mansions here), the course is sprinkled with water fountains for the thirsty runner or walker. The loop around the lake is just above 9 miles long, mostly on flat land, but there are a few ups and downs around the water control facility that add variety for a distance runner. I love to go to the lake with my son and husband on the weekends. My son rides his bike in front while my husband and I run a few yards behind him. The paths are wide enough to accommodate all of us...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 5, 2000

White Rock Lake
8300 Garland Road
Dallas, Texas 75218
+1 214 670 4100

Science Place

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "The Science Place"

Science Place Photo, Dallas, Texas
Quote:
The Science Place located in Fair Park is a wonderful museum for children. There are a ton of educational, fun exhibits like the television screen that will only turn on when a child spins pedals fast enough to create the needed energy... or the giant spider maze in one corner through which children must climb without tripping a warning bell... or the loop the loop wooden tracks that children roll golf balls on to demonstrate the force of gravity... or the vortex a child can create with propellers in water by pressing a button.... or.... the list goes on and on. In addition to exhibits, we saw a free laser light presentation sponsored by Lucent Technologies the day we visited the museum. A you...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 24, 2002

Science Place
1318 Second Ave
Dallas, Texas 75210
+1 214 428 5555

American Museum of the Miniature Arts

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "American Museum of Miniature Arts"

American Museum of the Miniature Arts Photo, Dallas, Texas
Quote:
The American Museum of Miniature Arts is offering an exhibit of miniature houses in Dallas’s Hall of State through 2004. After 2004, the exhibit will move to the Children’s Medical Center in Dallas. In the meantime, I found this display of perfectly replicated homes to be the most interesting thing to see in the Hall of State, but I have always loved doll houses. A student of architecture would enjoy looking at the painstaking detail put into old Victorians and Texas homesteads, but the little girl’s heart is easily entranced by the tiny bag of groceries sitting on a kitchen counter, a mini-person''s canvas in the miniature studio, and the tiny baubles in the jewelry box on a saloon girl’s dres...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 19, 2003

American Museum of the Miniature Arts
2001 North Lamar St
Dallas, Texas 75202
+1 214 969 5502

Dallas Aquarium at Fair Park

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

Dallas Aquarium at Fair Park Photo, Dallas, Texas
Quote:
The Dallas Aquarium at Fair Park is a very small affair. Housed in a building on the fair grounds, the aquarium is little more than a long hall lined with living exhibits. However, the exhibits are high quality, and the aquarium takes advantage of every inch of available space.When you pay the small admission fee, you go to the right and find various marine life that live in fresh water locales all over the world. There are long-nosed gar, gold tetra, piranha, African striped barb, and more. My son and I stood in front of a school of striped bass for several minutes. These medium-sized fish kept opening and closing their mouths as if yelling words at us from behind the glass of their tank. We count...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on December 8, 2002

Dallas Aquarium at Fair Park
1500 Marilla Dr
Dallas, Texas 75201
(214) 670-8443

Dallas Museum of Natural History

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

Dallas Museum of Natural History Photo, Dallas, Texas
Quote:
Located in Fair Park, the Dallas Museum of Natural History is a wonderful place to spend an hour or two with the family. With two main floors to cover, visitors will find several permanent exhibits that highlight the natural history of Texas. We started our self-guided tour of the museum on the second floor in a temporary exhibit called Things that Scare You, which involved live snakes and spiders. Then we hit the permanent exhibits in the dinosaur rooms. Big and little kids alike seem to be fascinated with the great, extinct creatures of prehistoric times. The skeleton of an acrocanthosaurs atolkensis (high spine lizard) is an impressive sight until you see the T-Rex or the ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on December 8, 2002

Dallas Museum of Natural History
3535 Grand Ave
Dallas, Texas 75210
+1 214 421 3466

Lake Lewisville

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

Quote:
My family and a few friends decided to enjoy the water one weekend afternoon, so we started calling around for a boat rental facility. Boating is very popular in Texas, and Lake Lewisville is one of the most popular lakes in the Dallas Fort Worth metroplex. It's located north of the city, about 40 minutes from Dallas. Lake Lewisville is also very busy---life jackets are a must---but it is a large enough body of water to allow plenty of room for waterskiing. We rented a boat, skis and a wakeboard (equipment rental is extra, charged per hour) and slathered on the sunscreen for an early, exciting afternoon. Even with choppy conditions due to the wind, we could not have thought of a better way...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 6, 2003

Lake Lewisville
1801 N. Mill St.
Dallas, Texas 75057
(972) 434-1666

StoneWorks Indoor Climbing Gym Inc.

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "StoneWorks Indoor Climbing Gym"

Quote:
StoneWorks bills itself as the world's tallest indoor climbing gym, and this claim is easy to believe once you've seen it. The facility is impossible to miss from the interstate. Its rainbow-colored silos reach up, up, up into the sky. Pull over and go visit! The gym is near some quaint shops (for any non-climbers in your group) in Carrollton just north of Dallas. Anyone who wishes to climb at StoneWorks must take a safety course and know how to belay. This is the standard practice at every indoor climbing gym I have ever visited. Call ahead to check on course availability (972/323-1047) though I had no problems signing up one afternoon when I just walked in to climb with my husband. The c...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 12, 2003

StoneWorks Indoor Climbing Gym Inc.
1003 4th Ave
Dallas, Texas 75006
(972) 323-1047

Trinity Hall

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

Quote:
I went to Trinity Hall near SMU late on a Friday night with a small group of intimate friends. We were looking for a laid-back pub in which to extend the evening and celebrate a special occasion. This place fit the bill nicely. While Trinity Hall attracts quite a crowd, our waitress was wonderful in commandeering us a table on the second floor deck (smoking is not allowed inside the pub.) It was a beautiful Texas evening, the kind that makes you want to be outside under the stars. We quickly ordered a round of drinks. My friend was absolutely delighted to find Murphy's Stout on the menu as opposed to just Guinness. If you're hungry when you visit, you might want to also try some t...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 7, 2003

Trinity Hall
5321 E Mockingbird LN
Dallas, Texas 75206
(214) 887-3600

A Word on Dallas Nightlife

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

Quote:
When you leave the kids at home, where do you go and paint the town? Depends on what you like when it comes to music and atmosphere. Even ballroom dancing is popular in Dallas! Here''s a brief rundown on some of the hot nightlife districts in the Big D: Deep Ellum: This is the place you''re going to hear the most about if you ask someone where to go bar hopping. The crowd here is a mix of ages but tends to be college heavy. If you get away with the "grunge" look anywhere in Dallas, it will only be here or in Lower Greenville. But that is a bar-to-bar sorta thing, so try to at least make sure there are no holes in your jeans! After all, Dallas is known for its pretty people. What t...Read More
Quote:
What is Fair Park, you ask? This is where the State Fair is held each year in Dallas. That's such a big deal for Dallasites that kids get a day off from school just to attend it! The rest of the year, however, Fair Park is still worth a visit. Located just a few miles away from the major JFK attractions downtown, Fair Park is maintained as a place to explore Texas history with the kids. Many of the museums, such as the Natural History Museum and the Science Place, are interactive. Some of the attractions are free such as the Hall of State where you can see the statues of some famous Texans. Most of the museums charge a modest entry fee. My suggestion? Pack a lunch for the kids and eat...Read More