Deep in the heart of North Texas is Dallas, the ninth largest city in the United States and a mecca for big business. For some, what's sizable about the “Big D” is its swagger; however, the city's stellar track record has earned its residents plenty of bragging rights. More than a dozen Fortune 500 companies, including AT&T, Southwest Airlines and Texas Instruments, are headquartered in the vicinity. Furthermore, this cow town-turned-modern trendsetter is no stranger to astute entrepreneurship, with the origins of such global brands as 7-Eleven, Chili's and Mary Kay all traced back to Dallas-area industrialists.
Since emerging as an agricultural leader in the 19th century and then, in the 1930s, as the hub of the U.S. petroleum market, this settlement by the Trinity River has benefited from a variety of lucrative commercial plums—from the 1936 Texas Centennial Exposition to the ongoing State Fair of Texas. Today, the sprawling metropolitan area flaunts a posh landscape shaped by its financial successes. Palatial mansions along peaceful, oak-shaded streets belong to some of the country's most influential citizens, including former President George W. Bush and Mark Cuban, the billionaire owner of the Dallas Mavericks. And, unsurprisingly, retail opportunities catering to well-to-do inhabitants abound. In a state where Western boots and 10-gallon hats are the norm, Dallasites do their part to fuel the local economy by moseying through their modish playground in high-priced cowboy ensembles bearing designer labels.
Contemporary residents also enjoy a plethora of upscale leisure facilities, such as the high-tech AT&T Performing Arts Center, a highlight of the Dallas Arts District. Super Bowl XLV venue AT&T Stadium opened in 2009 in nearby Arlington, where the region's pigskin-passing MVPs now stockpile their Lombardi trophies (they've won five). You name it, Dallas has it: haute couture, award-winning restaurants and top-notch entertainment, all in one dynamic destination.
By CarMajor highways provide quick access to the city. US 75 (North Central Expressway) and the Dallas North Tollway approach from the north, I-45 (South Central Expressway) from the southeast, I-20 and I-30 (R.L. Thornton Freeway) from the east, and I-30 (Tom Landry Freeway) from the west. I-35 runs northwest to southwest.
Street SystemBecause the streets of Dallas are not designed in the traditional grid pattern, it is wise to refer to a map when driving downtown. Major thoroughfares run from northwest to southeast and northeast to southwest. The principal street is Main Street, which runs southwest to northeast; other key streets include Elm Street, which is one way northeast.
The speed limit on most streets is 35 mph or as posted. Freeway limits range from 40 to 75 mph as posted. Rush hours are generally from 7:30 to 9 a.m. and from 4 to 6:30 p.m. Most signal lights are on the corners, but be alert for signals hanging in the center of intersections. Right turns are permitted on red; exceptions are marked.
ParkingNumerous garages and parking lots compensate for the virtual absence of on-street parking downtown. Rates range from $3 to $5 each half-hour or $10 to $18 a day. For on-street parking, use the Parkmobile app. Prices range from 5c-$2 and there is a 35c convenience fee.
AAA’s in-person hotel evaluations are unscheduled to ensure the inspector has an experience similar to that of members. To pass inspection, all hotels must meet the same rigorous standards for cleanliness, comfort and hospitality. These hotels receive a AAA Diamond designation that tells members what type of experience to expect.
Municipalities may impose additional rates of up to 2 percent on the statewide 6.25 percent sales tax. Sales tax in the city of Dallas is 8.25 percent; rates vary in the suburbs. The hotel occupancy tax is 13 percent.
Time and Temperature
Baylor University Medical Center, (214) 802-0111 or (800) 422-9567; Doctors Hospital at White Rock Lake, (214) 324-6100; Medical City Dallas Hospital, (972) 566-7000; Methodist Dallas Medical Center, (214) 947-8181; UT Southwestern University Hospital–St. Paul, (214) 645-5555.
325 N. St. Paul St. Dallas, TX 75201. Phone:(214)571-1000 or (800)232-5527
Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport
Hertz, (972) 453-4600 or (800) 654-3131, at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, offers discounts to AAA members.
Amtrak's Union Station is at 400 S. Houston St. For train schedule and ticket information, phone (214) 653-1101 or (800) 872-7245.
The Greyhound Lines Inc. bus station, (214) 849-6831 or (800) 231-2222, is at 205 S. Lamar St.; five other bus lines depart from this address.
Taxis are metered. The initial charge is $2.25 plus $1.80 for the first mile. Rates are then $1.80 for each additional mile, and $2 for each additional passenger. Taxis leaving from the airport charge an additional $5 departure fee. Yellow Cab, (214) 426-6262, is the main company serving the area.
The Dallas Area Rapid Transit System (DART) provides light-rail and bus service in the area. Two-hour passes are $2.50 for local routes and $3.50 for system routes including all DART buses and trains. Day passes are $5 for local routes and $7 for system routes. A 7-day pass is available. Exact change is required. Phone (214) 979-1111.