Tuesday, January 25, 2022 Jan 25, 2022
47° F Dallas, TX

Andrew Schendle: A Newcomer’s Guide to Dallas-Fort Worth

I would like to take this opportunity to help our new friends from California, Illinois, Massachusetts, and beyond with their transition in relocating to North Texas. This blog will serve as a “greatest hits” of what our area has to offer.
By  |
Andrew Schendle
Andrew Schendle

I would like to take this opportunity to help our new friends from California, Illinois, Massachusetts, and beyond with their transition in relocating to The DFW Metroplex.  This blog will serve as a “greatest hits” of what our area has to offer.

Like many cities, Dallas and Fort Worth hold a majority of their history downtown. To uncover all of the historical and pop culture gems in downtown Dallas, get the free Pegasus Urban Trails App. While visiting either central business district, Klyde Warren Park and Sundance Square are a “must do.”

You may notice a slight temperature difference during our summer months. The best advice anyone can give you is to find someone with a pool and/or lake house and become best friends with them immediately. You can find some other tips for staying cool here.

You will find that driving in Dallas can be a “unique” experience. You can save yourself and others a great deal of stress by following one simple rule: Slower traffic keep right. This is for your safety and the sanity of others. This is also the law and should be followed on all interstates, highways and tollways. Your cooperation is appreciated.

As you venture out make sure you hit the following spots for shopping and sightseeing: In Fort Worth, don’t miss the Fort Worth Botanical Gardens, the Fort Worth Zoo and the Fort Worth Stockyards (tourist trap).  In Dallas, see Shops at Legacy,  Northpark Center, Highland Park Village, Bishop Arts District, Dallas Arboretum (at some point go during “Dallas Blooms”), Katy Trail, Deep Ellum, Dallas Design District and 6th floor Museum.  For some of the most impressive homes in Dallas, visit Lakeside Drive, Strait Lane and Swiss Avenue.

North Texas has some of the greatest museums, performing arts and music venues in the world. While in Fort Worth, check out The Kimbell, The Amon Carter, and Bass Hall.  While in Dallas, make sure you visit as many of the Arts District venues as possible. (Don’t forget about the adjacent Perot Museum.)  The Kessler, Granada Theater, the recently redeveloped Bomb Factory (and the soon to be completed Music Factory in Irving) are some of our best music venues.

It’s well known that we Texans like our football.  There is no better insight into this fixation than reading Friday Night Lights, or you can even watch the movie or TV show.

While we don’t expect you to immediately adopt the Cowboys, Rangers, Stars and Mavericks, you should still attend a few games.

As far as sports and everything else that is DFW, give The Ticket radio station a listen for your daily goings-on.  Some additional media staples include The Fort Worth Star-Telegram, The Dallas Morning News, WFAA Channel 8, Texas Monthly (they also just released a great guide for newcomers, and they’ll be hearing from my lawyers), D Magazine and D CEO aren’t bad either. (You’re welcome, Christine.)

As you may have noticed, DFW (and Texas in general) has a small weight problem. This is because we love our cars (please reread comment above) and we have some of the greatest food in the world. My personal favorites by category are as follows:  Italian Food Store: Jimmy’s, Meat Market: Kuby’s or Rudolph’s Market. Steak: Pappas Bros., Neighborhood Restaurant: The Grape. (These folks can make a mean hotdog as well.) Variety: Trinity Groves. BBQ: Pecan Lodge in Dallas and Railhead Smokehouse in Fort Worth. Pizza: Campisi’s (go to original “Egyptian Lounge” on Mockingbird). Seafood Market: TJ’s. Tex-Mex (see definition here): Mia’s. Special Night: The French Room. Southwestern (that’s code for Texan): Smoke in Dallas and Reata in Fort Worth. Breakfast/Brunch: Café Brazil.

Annual events you can’t miss are The State Fair (experience this during the TX vs. OU football game at least once), Deep Ellum Arts Festival, Main Street Fort Worth Arts Festival, Oktoberfest, Byron Nelson, Crowne Plaza Invitational, Greenville Avenue St. Patrick’s Day Parade (Bostonians can probably skip this, as it may embarrass you), Scarborough Renaissance Festival (leave me alone, my kids love it), Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo and Addison Kaboom Town.

There is no doubt that many of you will become homesick at some point. The ultimate cure is to venture out and explore our region as much as possible. (I know this as my wife is from Boston.) Go to Austin and the Texas Hill Country every chance you get, making sure you hit Gruene and Fredericksburg. For convenience, take advantage of one of our greatest Texas-born companies—Southwest Airlines. A short flight can take you to New Orleans, Sante Fe, Big Bend, Destin, or the Ozarks.

I leave you with a quote in a futile attempt to provide some understanding of this place:

“I have said that Texas is a state of mind, but think it is more than that. It is a mystique closely approximating a religion. And this is true to the extent that people either passionately love Texas or passionately hate it and, as in other religions, few people dare to inspect it for fear of losing their bearings in mystery or paradox. But I think there will be little quarrel with my feeling that Texas is one thing. For all its enormous range of space, climate, and physical appearance, and for all the internal squabbles, contentions and strivings, Texas has a tight cohesiveness perhaps stronger than any other section of America. Rich, poor, Panhandle, Gulf, city, country, Texas is the obsession, the proper study and the passionate possession of all Texans.” – John Steinbeck, 1962

Welcome y’all.

Andrew Schendle is director of business development at Hunt Construction Group, an AECOM company. Contact him at [email protected]