Dallas - Fort Worth area offers Wildcat nation plenty to see & do

By Javier Gonzalez

When the Sugar Bowl snubbed K-State, it did Wildcats fans a big favor. Sure, New Orleans would have been fun, but the Dallas-Fort Worth area has plenty to offer K-Staters in town for the Cotton Bowl on Jan. 6 in Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

Take it from a transplanted Dallasite, whether you are staying in Fort Worth or Dallas, each city offers plenty to do.

Let’s start with Fort Worth because Fort Worthians suffer an inferiority complex from living next to their more famous or infamous neighbors, who never miss an opportunity remind them that it’s D-FW not the other way around.

If you go to Fort Worth, there are several must-see places for visitors:

• Sundance Square: This area of downtown is full of shops, bars, restaurants and entertainment venues. K-State fans are sure to find something to please even the pickiest Wildcat.

• The Stock Yards: This part of town gives visitors a glimpse of old Fort Worth. Be sure to check out the longhorn cattle drive through the stockyards daily at 11:30 a.m. and 4 p.m.

• Billy Bob’s: It is billed as the world’s largest honkytonk. No mechanical bulls here. Billy Bob’s has its own indoor bull-riding arena. And you never know who will drop in for a jam session. Country star Pat Green brought down the house during a Willie Nelson concert by joining the country legend on a version of Nelson’s “Whiskey River.”

• Kimbell Museum of Art: If you had to see one museum during your visit, go to the Kimbell. It is smaller than others in the area, but it is free to see its permanent collection. Its size provides an intimate setting, so much so that a certain journalist proposed to his girlfriend in the museum’s small garden. Eight years later she is still his wife.

If you’re staying in Dallas, Big D offers plenty of places to see and be seen.

• The Galleria: This three-level mall has its own ice rink. Shop ’til you drop in stores from Ann Taylor to Zara. You never know who you might run into. Celebrities such as music legend Sir Elton John and reality TV actress Kim Kardashian have been known to drop and shop. Have your cellphone camera ready.

• Victory Park: This area of town is fairly new and attracts a hip crowd. It is centered around the American Airlines Center, home of the NBA champion Dallas Mavericks. Attractions include the House of Blues and the Ghost Bar in the Hotel W.

• Deep Ellum: For the more adventurous Wildcats. This funky neighborhood, which has undergone a transformation over the years, attracts a local crowd to its bars, art galleries, tattoo parlors and restaurants. Pepes and Mitos Mexican Cafe is a local favorite. Top off your night of partying or sober up with a cup of Joe at Cafe Brazil.

• West End: If you want to play it safe, go to this part of downtown with its chain restaurants and chain bars. You’re sure to find something for everyone here.

• Dealey Plaza: The city’s elder natives don’t like to talk about it. But no visit is complete without seeing where President Kennedy got shot. Every Nov. 22, the plaza is filled with flowers and cards. The grassy knoll is gone but the nearby JFK Museum is worth a look.

If you want to see sights in both cities, you can. Both have made big strides in public transportation. Fort Worth and Dallas are connected by train. The Trinity Railway Express is a convenient way to avoid traffic and get back and forth between both cities. A word of caution: Although Dallas and Fort Worth have public transportation, the game is in Arlington, which has none. And the train doesn’t stop near the stadium.

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