For the last full day of our trip to Dallas we decided to leave the city to visit a couple of other areas close by in Texas. We stopped in Arlington for tours of two big time sports stadiums and then headed to Fort Worth for a late lunch and to check out the Stockyards.
Check out my Dallas Trip Recaps:
Here is a list of some of the things we did:
- Dallas Cowboys Rally Day & Self-Guided Stadium Tour
- Tour of Rangers Ballpark in Arlington
- Lunch at Tim Love’s The Woodshed Smokehouse
- Wandering around Fort Worth’s Stockyards
- Zoli’s NY Pizza
The Dallas Cowboys play in AT&T Stadium which is one of the largest in the NFL. I’ve done a bunch of baseball stadium tours, but never had the chance to tour a football stadium and figured that the home of the Cowboys would be a great one to start with.
I was close to buying self-guided tour tickets for $17.50 per person but before doing so I googled Cowboys Stadium Tour Deal. A Living Social offer came up for the weekend we would be taking the tour. It was actually for an event called Rally Day. Besides the tour there were other things going on like a live DJ, a few former players signing autographs, photo-ops with the Super Bowl trophies & cheerleaders and more. (I don’t remember the exact price, but I believe that we paid $12 per ticket for the event.)
The event was very crowded. Lines for the special events were pretty crazy so we only waited on-line to take a photo with the Super Bowl trophies. We happened to be standing around when the line started forming so we didn’t get stuck on-line for too long. I think the tour would’ve been better had it just been a regular day but we did get in for a cheaper price so it was still worthwhile.
During our self-guided tour we got to visit the locker rooms of the players & cheerleaders, check out a luxury box, a VIP lounge, the post-game interview room and the highlight which was getting to go onto the field.
If not for the field access, I’d say that the self-guided tour was an OK experience.
With the Rangers Ballpark in Arlington just across the way from the Cowboys stadium I couldn’t pass up a visit. Baseball is my favorite sport so this was much more interesting to me.
The ballpark tours are guided and offer access to some interesting behind the scenes areas.
On the tour we got to visit the press box which had great views of the field, the City of Arlington’s luxury suite (nice but not so impressive), the batting cages where I went into the cage itself which was awesome and the best part- we got to go into the dugout. The one rule was no stepping onto the field.
The ballpark was really nice and it was interesting seeing all of these behind the scenes areas. I’d like to go back to the Dallas area during baseball season and get to attend a game in the future.
I really wanted to go to one of chef Tim Love’s restaurants, especially his famous Lonesome Dove which I had originally heard about on Top Chef. By the time we were done with all of our stadium tours, we couldn’t get to Fort Worth in time for lunch.
This turned out to be a blessing in disguise. I had read about another of Chef Love’s restaurants called The Woodshed Smokehouse which also sounded great.
It’s located on a river and most of the restaurant is an open/ outdoor space. The building was very modern and looked to be one of those green & sustainable structures.
The restaurant wasn’t your typical barbecue place. The menu was really interesting and featured some unique dishes. It was more of a BBQ/ Tex-Mex hybrid. We shared the brisket stuffed piquillo pepppers, bone broth & cotija appetizer (shown above). While I like the taste of peppers, I rarely eat them. However, this dish was pretty incredible. The peppers were very thin and had a bit of sweetness. The brisket was really tasty as was the broth included in the dish.
Our other dishes were equally as good but the appetizer is what stands out in my mind.
I’d definitely recommend visiting The Woodshed if you are in the Fort Worth area.
While at the rodeo the night before, we were told that for a better feel of cowboy Texas, a visit to The Stockyards was a must. The area did feel like the Wild West (or at least a touristy version of it) and I wish we had more time for our visit.
We stopped into a couple of the stockyard buildings, some of which are still used to house animals like horses, longhorns and oddly enough a camel (not sure what that was doing there). The area was very busy but we still enjoyed wandering around, seeing lots of interesting buildings. Many people were waiting to get into some of the great restaurants all around the area. We checked out some of the tacky souvenir shops which was definitely fun and Lucas had a blast riding on a mechanical, toy horse.
If we go back to the Dallas area, Kim and I definitely plan to head back to Fort Worth to spend a full day.
After having a late lunch at The Woodshed, we weren’t really hungry for dinner. However, we knew that it wouldn’t be a good idea to go to sleep on an empty stomach. While looking for pizza recommendations I came across Zoli’s NY Pizza. We decided to stop by and share a couple of slices.
When we pulled up, Lucas was sleeping so we took the two slices above, to go. Surprisingly, he woke up when we got back to our hotel and ended up sharing our pizza.
It was late when we got back so I don’t remember many details about the pizza but I do remember it being very good and thinking that it was a solid version of NY style pizza.
That’s it for our Dallas trip although I might write about our last half day in the area in the near future.
Find out where we’ll be heading for our first trip of 2014, tomorrow!