by Johnny Elbow and Karen Ptacek, DART Marketing & Communications
Gone are the days when the automobile was practically Dallas’ mascot and a visit here meant taking taxis or renting a car. Whether you’re in Dallas for business or visiting as a weekend getaway, much of Big D is surprisingly transit-accessible and pedestrian-friendly. The best place to stay is in the heart of downtown Dallas, which is served by all four light rail lines of Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART), the region’s public transportation system.
Every hotel in downtown Dallas is within blocks from a modern DART Rail station. Sleek trains arrive every few minutes to whisk you to the city’s most popular dining, shopping and entertainment destinations.
And here’s the best part; you can ride just about anywhere DART goes – all day long – for as little as $5.
With the recent opening of the Orange Line, DART now offers 85 miles of light rail service reaching 61 stations, complimented by a vast network of buses, operating seven days a week, plus commuter rail connections to Fort Worth and Denton. DART Rail will serve DFW International Airport directly in 2014.
You can access online trip planning and much more information at DART.org,
From your cell phone, go to DART’s Mobile site: m.dart.org.
DART also has a Spanish language site: TransporteDart.org
You can also visit Google Transit at maps.Google.com.
You can also call DART customer service at (214)979-1111. Telephone customer service is available every day (Central Time), Weekdays: 8 a.m.-8 p.m., Saturday and Sunday: 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
The easiest and most affordable way to use DART for your visit is to buy a Day Pass for $5, which is good on all DART trains and buses and the TRE as far as CentrePort/DFW Airport Station. Two-hour and midday passes are also available, but the $5 Day Pass is probably the best choice.
For a complete list of available fares, go to: http://www.dart.org/fares/fares.asp.
You can purchase your $5 Day Pass (remember to buy one for each day you will be here) on local buses and at the ticket vending machines (TVMs) located on every station platform. Signs on the TVM and instructions on the touch screen will help you and answer most of your questions about how to pay. Your day pass is good on the day you purchase it until 3 a.m. the next morning.
Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport
Passengers arriving at DFW Airport can catch a DART bus on Route 500 from Terminal A connecting to
the Belt Line Station. http://www.dart.org/riding/dfwairport.asp, http://www.dfwairport.com/transport/public/p1_007747.php
Dallas Love Field Airport
Passengers arriving on Southwest Airlines and other carriers to Dallas Love Field can catch a DART bus on Route 39 connecting to Inwood/Love Field Station. http://www.dart.org/riding/lovefield.asp
Serves Dallas’ Union Station, which is also a transfer point for the DART Red and Blue Lines and the Trinity Railway Express to Fort Worth. http://www.amtrak.com/home
Now serves “Dallas” from Austin, Houston and San Antonio. Be sure to select trips that arrive at and depart from the DART East Transfer Center and not Grand Prairie, Texas. The East Transfer Center is located at the corner of Pearl and Live Oak streets, a few blocks from Pearl/Arts District Station. http://us.megabus.com/
The Dallas Greyhound Station is located on Lamar Street, approximately three blocks from the West End Station. http://www.greyhound.com/
After You Arrive
Stay downtown while you are here. All four DART light rail lines serve all 4 Transit Mall stations: Pearl/Arts District, St. Paul, Akard and West End. You can switch lines at any of tese stations. Most people seem to transfer at Pearl/Arts District, West End or Union Station (where the Red/Blue lines meet the TRE).
The best station to begin your exploration of Dallas is the DART light rail station closest to your hotel.
Where to Stay Downtown and the closest light rail station to each hotel:
Adolphus Hotel http://www.hoteladolphus.com/
Crowne Plaza Hotel – Downtown Dallas
West End Station
Dallas Magnolia Hotel http://www.magnoliahotels.com/dallas/magnolia-hotel-dallas.php
Dallas Marriott City Center
Pearl/Arts District Station
Fairmont Dallas Hotel http://www.fairmont.com/dallas/
St. Paul Station
Hotel Lawrence Dallas http://www.hotellawrencedallas.com/
Hyatt Regency Dallas http://dallasregency.hyatt.com/hyatt/hotels/events/meetings/index.jsp
Dallas Convention Center Station
The Joule, Dallas http://www.thejouledallas.com/
Omni Dallas Hotel
Dallas Convention Center Station
Sheraton Dallas Hotel http://www.sheratondallashotel.com/
Pearl/Arts District Station
SpringHill Suites Dallas Downtown/West End—best station: West End Station
Here are some neighborhoods and attractions worth exploring.
Downtown Dallas/Main Street; Closest Rail Stop: St. Paul and Akard Stations
From here, you’re steps away from Main Street’s bustling restaurants and nightlife, including Dallas Fish Market, Charlie Palmer’s, The Chesterfield and. Shopping doesn’t get any more stylish than at the landmark original location of Neiman Marcus and its Zodiac Room restaurant. Need a breather? Thanks-Giving Square at Akard Station is an oasis of trees, flowing water and exhibits, while Pegasus Plaza and Main Street Garden are popular gathering place for live music and festivals.
Head the opposite way from the Akard Station down Field Street a half mile, and you’ll arrive at the new Perot Museum of Nature and Science, filled with hands-on learning experiences, interactive digital displays and lifelike simulations of the natural world.
- Downtown Dallas, Inc. www.yourdspot.com
- Perot Museum http://www.perotmuseum.org/
- Neiman Marcus Dallas Downtown: http://www.neimanmarcus.com/stores/store.jsp?storeId=01/DT
- Main Street Gardenhttp://www.mainstreetgarden.org/
- Thanks-Giving Square http://www.thanksgiving.org/
Dallas Arts District; Closest Rail Station: Pearl/Arts District and St. Paul Stations
The Dallas Arts District is a unique 68-acre, 19-block neighborhood that is the centerpiece of the region’s cultural life and home to some of the finest architecture in the world. The AT&T Performing Arts Center’s impressive venues — the Winspear Opera House, the Wyly Theatre, the Annette Strauss Artist Square, the Dallas City Performance Hall and Sammons Park — join a thriving collection of cultural landmarks, including the Dallas Museum of Art, Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center, Nasher Sculpture Center and Crow Collection of Asian Art. The new Klyde Warren Park creates an urban oasis at the district’s outer edge. The arts district also is home to more than a dozen fine restaurants and bistros, including two Stephan
Pyles’ restaurants on Ross Ave.
- Dallas Arts District thedallasartsdistrict.org.
- AT&T Performing Arts Center
- Dallas Museum of Art
- Nasher Sculpture Center
- Crow Collection of Asian Art
- Klyde Warren Park
- Stephen Pyles and Samar http://www.stephanpyles.com
- One Arts Plaza http://artsdistrictdining.com/
West End Historic District; Closest Rail Stop: West End Station
The West End — a historic district of red-brick warehouses — offers a variety of cuisine, from Texas-style barbeque at Sonny Bryan’s to fine dining at The Palm. You can shop for unique gifts and Texas fashions, take in the marine life and natural rainforest exhibits at the Dallas World Aquarium or get a taste of local history at the Old Red Museum of Dallas County History and Culture, which is located inside the county’s landmark 1892 courthouse. Of course, few make a visit to the West End (or Dallas, for that matter) without stopping at the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza where JFK was shot and, nearby, the infamous grassy knoll.
- Dallas West End dallaswestend.org
- Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plazahttp://www.jfk.org/
- Dallas World Aquarium
- Old Red Museum
Victory Park; Closest Rail Station: Victory Station
When you want high-voltage sports and entertainment, head to Victory Park. Just a short ride from downtown, Victory Park is the home of American Airlines Center, the House of Blues and unique dining such as the fresh sushi and Pan-Asian fare of Kenichi and the artisanal dishes of the celebrated Craft Dallas in the W Dallas-Victory Hotel. Victory Park is also the home of two organizations that know a few things about the word “victory” — the Dallas Mavericks and Dallas Stars.
- Victory Park victorypark.com
- American Airlines Center
- House of Blues Dallas
- Hard Rock Café Dallas
For More Information
For information about Dallas attractions, places to stay, and shopping, go to www.visitdallas.com, or call the Tourist Information Center at (214) 571-1316.
For information about DART routes, schedules, fares, and getting to where you want to go by public transportation, visit www.dart.org, or call (214) 979-1111.
Steve Atlas enjoys hearing from readers. To contact Steve, share feedback about this or other “Car Free Journey” columns, or suggest destination for future columns, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.