Do you know the difference between Dallas and Fort Worth? Well, they are very different.
The Difference Between Dallas and Fort Worth.
While many people outside the “Metroplex” see Dallas-Fort Worth as one huge area, there are many unique differences and many smaller communities between the two cities. Dallas and Fort Worth are located in North Texas, and both have great opportunities from a travel perspective, but each town has its own unique culture and vibe—different from night and day (some of us Texans think so).
What’s The Difference Between Dallas And Fort Worth?
It’s been said that “everything is bigger in Texas,” including our cities. It’s approximately 33 miles from downtown Dallas to downtown Fort Worth. But it will take much longer than that to drive it. It could take up to an hour with traffic and construction either way. Dallas is in Dallas County and is known to be more of the uppity of the two, and Fort Worth, located in Tarrant County, has always been considered more of a laid-back city – come-as-you-are type place.
Dallas boasts a population of around 1.3 million people and ranks the ninth-largest U.S. population. Fort Worth’s population is about 935,000, ranking as the thirteenth-largest U.S. city according to the U.S. Census QuickFacts. Fort Worth has a smaller population but had more considerable population growth between the 2010 and 2020 censuses.
While Dallas is a modern Southern city, Fort Worth blends modern events with “Western” heritage and is often called “Cowtown.”
Now that you know about the population, let’s talk about travel options, hotels, things to do, major events, top attractions in Dallas, places to eat, shopping, and transportation in both cities.
Travel Options In DFW
The Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW Airport) is right smack in the middle of both cities, with a drive of around 20+ minutes each way – give or take a few miles. The airline services both cities with all major airlines – American, Delta, United, Air Canada, Alaska, and more. Dallas Love Field – hence the name, is in Dallas but is a smaller airport that services Southwest Airlines.
The Difference In Hotels For Dallas And Fort Worth
Dallas has some great hotels, depending on your taste and budget.
The Omni Dallas Hotel, The Ritz Carlton Dallas, and the Hilton Anatole are on the luxury end. The Hilton Anatole includes the Jade Waters Resort Pool Complex that features a lazy river, two water slides, and a splash pad for kids.
The Homewood Suites by Hilton Dallas Downtown, the Hampton Inn and Suites Dallas Downtown, and the LaQuinta Inn and Suites by Wyndham Dallas Love Field may be more moderately priced. Still, they may offer the opportunity to get free meals and save money for other parts of your vacation.
Fort Worth has many name-brand hotels all over the city.
The Worthington Renaissance Fort Worth Hotel and Omni Fort Worth Hotel offer more of a luxury experience. The Worthington Hotel is a great place to view the Fort Worth Parade of Lights during the winter. It is in a great location and is one of the oldest hotels in downtown Fort Worth.
The Embassy Suites by Hilton Downtown, SpringHill Suites by Marriott Fort Worth Stockyards, Hampton Inn and Suites, and the Hilton Garden Inn Fort Worth Medical Center are more affordable and offer complimentary breakfast.
Military-connected families with base access may consider the Navy Lodge at the Naval Air Station – Joint Reserve Base. From the Navy Lodge, military-connected families can access all of what Fort Worth has to offer.
Things To Do In Dallas, Texas
Dallas attractions will suit the family and include:
- Medieval Times
- Dallas Zoo
- Dallas Aquarium
- Perot Museum of Nature and Science
- Dallas Museum of Art
- Dallas Arboretum
- African American Museum at Fair Park
- Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza
- George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum
- Dallas Farmers Market (one of the best)
- And many places to enjoy the Dallas nightlife scene
Things To Do In Fort Worth, Texas
Fort Worth attractions and activities include:
- Dream Park (free family fun)
- Fort Worth Zoo
- Worth Museum of Science and History
- Art Museum
- Museum of Modern Art Fort Worth
- Sundance Square
- Bass Hall Performance Center
- Fort Worth Botanic Gardens & Fort Worth Japanese Gardens
- Fort Worth Stockyards and the Fort Worth Herd (daily cattle drive)
- Cowtown Cattlepen Maze in the Stockyards
- Bureau of Engraving and Printing
- American Airlines CR Smith Museum
- Tandy Leather Museum and Gallery
- SeaQuest Fort Worth
- National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame
- Fort Worth Water Gardens (free to roam)
Major Events In Dallas And Fort Worth
Dallas events include Dallas Blooms at the Dallas Arboretum, Fourth of July Parade, Taste of Dallas, St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Festival, Dallas International Film Festival, and (of course) the State Fair of Texas in October of every year.
Fort Worth events include the Main Street Arts Festival, Mayfest, Fort Worth Fourth, Juneteenth, Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo, Tarrant County Harambee Festival, Alliance Texas Aviation Expo, Lone Star Film Festival, National Day of the American Cowboy, Van Cliburn International Film Competition, Red Steagall Cowboy Gathering and Western Swing Fest, and the Texas Indy 375 at Texas Motor Speedway.
Where To Eat In Dallas/Fort Worth
You’ll find many upscale, family diners and 5-star restaurants in Dallas and Fort Worth. No one will go hungry in either city.
Notable eateries include Hawaiian Bros, Sadelle’s Highland Park, Thunderbird Pies, the Exchange Food Hall, and the Origin Kitchen & Bar for those with food allergies.
Significant restaurants that put Fort Worth on the map are Cattleman’s Steakhouse with excellent steaks, Riscky’s Barbeque, Goldee’s BBQ, Belenty’s Love Mexican Vegan Restaurant, Heim Barbecue, Fort Worth Food Works, Crockett Row Food Hall, and HG Sply to name a few.
Shopping In Dallas/Fort Worth
Dallas shopping centers include North Park Center, Galleria Dallas, Southwest Center Mall, and Uptown Plaza Dallas.
Fort Worth shopping centers include Sundance Square, The Shops at Clearfork, The Shops at Chisholm Trail Ranch, and Hulen Mall. I imagine you’ll find more western wear at the Fort Worth Stockyards.
Transportation In Dallas/Fort Worth
Dallas transportation options include the DART (Bus and Rail), TRE Commuter, Uber & Lyft.
Fort Worth transportation options include The Dash (Downtown to Museum District Bus), Molly the Trolley (Downtown Bus), TexRail, and Amtrak (Fort Worth Central Station and Fort Worth T&P Station).
The Trinity Railway Express (TRE) provides transportation to and from Dallas and Fort Worth.
What is your perspective on the difference between Dallas and Fort Worth? We would love to know!
If you have never been to Dallas, read this first to know where to go for first-timers. This article was written by a Midwesterner – Top Sites To See In Dallas For First-Timers.