Rainy Christmas in Dallas

It rained the day we landed there and every other day until Dec 31 but it was still a fun vacation for us.

Rainy Christmas in Dallas

Member Rating 0 out of 5 by MailaDai on January 2, 2007

If you love the political history of the United States, the main highlight of Dallas would be the Sixth Floor Museum at 411 Elm Street in downtown Dallas from where the President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. Fort Worth Stockyards would be another main attraction and is about a ½-hour drive from Dallas. You will see dressed up cowboys and cowgirls walking around with beer bottles in their hands. It is unique in its way with lots of live bands, bars, shops, and activities.

Steakhouses are another highlight of Dallas. Everywhere you go you will see steakhouses. Texas is famous for world-class Certified Angus Beef; you all need to try that. The one I went is Saltgrass Steak House, which is pretty good.

If you want to gamble, Winstar Casino in Oklahoma is the closest one, which is an hour drive from Dallas. There are more choices in Shreveport, Louisiana, but it is about a 3-hour drive from Dallas.

You can get a panoramic view of Dallas from Antares, a fine dining, revolving restaurant at the Reunion Tower. This tower in downtown Dallas can be seen from anywhere in Dallas and is one of the landmarks.${QuickSuggestions} ${BestWay} If you don't have a car in Dallas, you are literally paralyzed. There is no better public transportation service. Local buses run very infrequently. So the best bet is to have your own car or get a rental car. There are local buses from the Dallas Forth Worth airport to some parts of the city. Tour buses are available for sightseeing.

Saltgrass Steak House

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by MailaDai on January 12, 2007

So it was one gloomy day in Dallas we decide to go for Texas style steak dinner. There are plenty of steak houses throughout Dallas. But the Saltgrass Steak House is just off of Highway 121 North or 114 East.

We found Saltgrass a decent steak house. We got there pretty late, around 9:30pm. The restaurant closes at 10pm. Still they didn't turn us down. We were offered seats and didn't have to hurry.

Saltgrass offers certified Angus beefsteak, which is famous in Texas. The meat is usually thicker but is the best. We ordered Wagon Boss Top Sirloin, Shrimp & Chicken Tenders Platter, Chicken K Bob, Grilled Chicken Breast and Lone Starters Sampler. Everything was so delicious. I loved the Boss Top Sirloin steak. I had asked for medium well and it was so tender and juicy topped with cream gravy. They also have separate menu for kids with the pictures of fancy super heroes.

Atmosphere in the Saltgrass is casual and cozy. Waiters and waitresses were cheerful and friendly. I would definitely recommend this place to people.
Saltgrass Steak House
102 E State Highway 114
Grapevine, Texas, 76051
(817) 329-1900

San Antonio Riverwalk

Member Rating 5 out of 5 by MailaDai on January 13, 2007

On our trip to Dallas, we also made a quick evening trip to San Antonio. From Dallas we drove to Austin to meet some of my college friends, which I had not met for almost 6 years. They suggested us to go to San Antonio Riverwalk. San Antonio is about an hour drive from Austin.

Weather was just fantastic. Not that hot and not that cold. We parked our car in one of the pay parking garages on Commerce Street. Riverwalk is the main tourist attractions of San Antonio. Riverwalk starts at many points but the major point is the one at the intersection of Alamo Street (Alamo Plaza) and Commerce Street. River Center Mall is also located right at that intersection.

It was right after Christmas and the Christmas lights were still in place. The San Antonio River flows calmly through the concrete jungle. Gondolas and cruise boats sailing along the river with tourists flashing their cameras everywhere. Buildings on either sides with restaurants and shops at the bottom, hundreds of tourists walk and enjoy the breathtaking atmosphere of the Riverwalk. There were mariachis playing their traditional music and singing Mexican songs. Restaurant host and hostesses run up and down to find a table for the customers. We were planning to have Mexican dinner that day. We had to wait 45 minutes to get a table in one of the restaurants. We dropped that idea and went to another place called Ibiza also a Mexican restaurant. Food was pretty impressive. Try the margaritas there. It comes in a big margarita glass and was really good.

Other attractions near the Riverwalk are the Tower Life building that resembles Empire State building of New York. Red and green lights were lit in celebration of Christmas. The Alamo is located just couple of blocks from the Riverwalk at Commerce and Alamo Streets. The Alamo has a significant historical value in the history of San Antonio. Built in 1724, it served as a home for the missionaries for almost 70 years. Tower of the Americas is the tallest building in San Antonio.

Drive to Mount Bonnel and Lake Travis in Austin

Member Rating 5 out of 5 by MailaDai on January 13, 2007

We didn’t really do much in Austin, but the things we did were the best part of our trip. Mount Bonnel is one of the main attractions of Austin. You need to drive up there since there is no public transportation available. On our way up there we also found some cyclists pushing their way up to the mountain. People also hike up to the mountain. Roadside parking is available for free. From the parking area we need to hike about 100 feet up the mountain. There are stairs as well as trails.

When we got to the observation point of Mount Bonnel, the sky was clear blue and the visibility was endless. View of the Colorado River below and the surroundings from the mountain was very mesmerizing. Million dollars like mansions lined up the banks of the river. It is a perfect place for people to spend a relaxing and stress relieving moment, a quick getaway from the hectic urban life and also a perfect place for lovebirds to hang around.

After spending about an hour there, we then drove up to the Lake Travis. It was a nice drive up the mountains. You can see apartment buildings and houses on top of the mountains. By the time we reached at Lake Travis, it was very breezy and cold. You need to pay certain park fees if you want to spend some time there for picnic or other recreations like motor boat riding, fishing, jet skiing, etc. We got there late and just spent 30 minutes for free. Blue sky reflected on the Lake and was very clear. Due to the drought in 2006 water level in the Lake has decreased significantly.

I highly recommend travelers to visit these places when you are there in Austin.
Mount Bonnell
3800 Mount Bonnell Road
Austin, Texas, 78702
+1 512 499 6700

Winstar Casinos in Oklahoma

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by MailaDai on January 16, 2007

For those who would like to gamble in casinos, Winstar Casinos is located in Thackersville, Oklahoma, 80 miles north of Dallas. This is the closest casino to Dallas. As soon as you enter Oklahoma on I-35, take exit 1; that will lead you straight to Winstar Casinos.

We were there on 30th December, just after Christmas and before New Year's, and this casino was full. By the time we got there, all of us were starving so we decided to have a buffet inside the casino. It was $11.99 per person. They had a wide variety of items from American, Italian, Chinese, and Mexican. Salad, fruits, sausages, steak, buffalo wings, seafood, tacos, beans, varieties of rice, pasta, and many more. They also had probably 20 to 30 varieties of desserts. Overall, the food was good.

I don’t know how crowded this place usually is but it was on fire that day. Every gaming table was occupied. I had to wait almost 45 minutes to an hour to get a seat in a 3 cards poker table. They have every kind of game that the standard casinos usually have, such as pokers, slot machines, roulette, crap, blackjack, Texas Holdem, etc. Live concerts and shows are available almost every day. BTW, I was surprised to see that you have to pay 50 cents commission every time the dealer deals the cards.

Don’t be surprised to see a sign “No Weapons Allowed.” It is outside of Texas. Maybe casinos in Texas allow you to carry a weapon just in case.
Winstar Casinos in Oklahoma
777 Casino Ave.
Thackerville, 73459


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