24 AUG 2018: The 16 miles between the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport and each of its namesake cities, Dallas and Fort Worth, are getting smaller as the cities grow bigger. Both cities are booming right now and have formed a tourism bond based on proximity and complementary characteristics. Together, they present a destination combo with a punchy mix of tourism experiences that ranks them among the top travel destinations in the US.

With 250,000 annual visitors, Canada is one of the cities’ most important international markets. Phillip Jones, president and CEO, and Mark Thompson, senior VP of Visit Dallas, together with Sarah Covington, Visit Fort Worth’s assistant director of P.R., visited smoke-hazed Vancouver earlier this week to give us their news.

“There is a real discrepancy between the perception and the reality of what Dallas/Fort Worth is today,” said Mark Thompson. Dallas, once known as a convention city, is urban, sophisticated and cosmopolitan.

Fort Worth, with its cowboy culture, Stockyards and year-round weekend rodeos, is quintessentially Western. “It’s the Texas you think you’re going to get in Dallas,” said Sarah Covington.

Phillip Jones made the partnership message loud and clear. “Together, Dallas and Fort Worth make up the largest urban district in the United States, offering visitors a luxury experience at a moderate price that’s literally a fraction of the cost of New York, Miami or Los Angeles.”

Both cities have seen big changes over the past fifteen years. The Dallas/Fort Worth Airport has its own Emergency Room and occupies an area larger than Manhattan. The city of Dallas alone sprawls over 400 square miles. Eighteen new hotels opened there in the last year and more than 30 are currently under construction. “It’s America’s #2 in hotel development after New York City,” he said.

With 25 billionaires in residence, the city is privileged to have the deep-pocket private funding to build major cultural institutions like the Winspear Opera House, designed by Sir Norman Foster, and the Perot Museum of Nature and Science. Next year, the Texas Holocaust Museum is set to open within walking distance of the Sixth Floor Museum, which chronicles the assassination of JFK. The prosperous Dallas skyline boasts four buildings by I.M. Pei, and general admission to the Dallas Museum of Art is free every day.

Marguerita Mile

The first frozen marguerita machine was invented here in 1971, and this year Dallas declared itself the “official home of the frozen marguerita.” To celebrate, it launched Marguerita Mile, with 17 stops for tasting some of the “best and most brazen” margueritas on the planet – all collected and smartphone-accessible in a colourful app.

“GQ Magazine just named Dallas the hottest new food city in the US,” Phillip Jones told us, “and we’re proud of our entrepreneurial approach to the culinary scene.” Some of the most popular and fun restaurants are in Trinity Groves, an area that operates as an innovative “chef incubator,” helping local chefs realize their restaurant dreams.

Cowboys & Culture

For a different take on Texas, Dallas visitors can ride to Fort Worth on the Trinity Railway Express (TRE) to hike or bike more than 70 miles of trails, many along the Trinity River. Or they can just drink their way along the Ale Trail, where they’ll get rewards for visiting nine different breweries. They can catch live music on the waterfront stage at Panther Island, modelled after Vancouver’s Granville Island, or at loads of other venues and events around town including Billy Bob’s Texas, “the world’s largest honky tonk.”

They can visit the famous Stockyards, a National Historic District established in 1849, and Sundance Square, with 35 square blocks of dining, entertainment and shopping. From barbeque restaurants where you can eat everything grilled and smoked, even apple pie, to the Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame, to the Kimball Art Museum with North America’s only Michaelangelo, Fort Worth has days’ worth of tourism experiences that make it a worthwhile addition to any Dallas trip.

Daily Nonstops from Vancouver

Both Air Canada and American Airlines fly daily nonstops from Vancouver to Dallas/Ft.Worth, and this fall Air Canada is upping its game. According to Edna Ray, Regional Sales Manager, B.C., AC’s flights offer two cabins, WiFi and, starting in October 2018, convenient new flight times. The daily nonstop will leave YVR at 8:40 a.m., arrive at DFW at 2:34 p.m. and return at 3.10 p.m. for a 5.37 p.m. arrival back at YVR.

Air Canada also offers daily non-stops from Toronto, Montreal and Calgary.

email icon facebook logo twitter logo
comments powered by Disqus