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Dallas / Fort Worth Metroplex Introduction

Located in the heart of North Texas, Dallas and Fort Worth are separated by thirty miles, yet joined together by a variety of cities, suburbs, and small towns, which combined, become "The Metroplex." This metropolitan area is the #1 visitor destination in Texas and it encompasses over twelve thousand square miles with more than 5 million residents. If you enjoy dining out, shopping, sports, and hot weather-- you'll love the Dallas / Fort Worth Metroplex!

Even though Dallas and Fort Worth, aka "Big D" and "Cowtown", are just down the road from one another, they are miles apart in attitude. Dallas, the eighth largest city in the United States, is a much more pretentious and image conscious city. Fort Worth, on the other hand, which is proud of its Chisholm Trail heritage, tends to be much more laid back, less formal, and country.

Dallas was first settled in 1841 and was named in 1845 in honor of U.S. Vice President, George M. Dallas. Today, the Dallas skyline is one of the most recognizable in the world--made famous by popular television shows, such as "Dallas" (intro) and "Walker, Texas Ranger." Those living in "Big D" seem to consider themselves as being more sophisticated than those in Fort Worth. Unfortunately, sometimes style subverts substance. Dallas tends to celebrate what's fashionable, sleek, new, and contemporary. Dress tends to be more "preppie" and formal, never sloppy.

Fort Worth, which began life as a military camp at the close of the Mexican War, was named for General William Worth and later became a major center of cattle drives in the late 1800's. Today, this spirit of the Old West has been recaptured in the renovated Stockyards National Historic District just north of downtown. In Fort Worth, cowboy hats, faded jeans, and boots are more in style. But, there is one item that almost every Dallas / Fort Worth resident won't be seen without--the wireless digital phone, such as Sprint PCS.

Considering its entirety, the Dallas / Fort Worth Metroplex is a dynamic metropolis characterized by numerous restaurants, shopping malls, modern businesses, high-tech companies, large corporate headquarters, and wholesale trade markets. Seventeen Fortune 500 companies have headquarters located in the Metroplex. The Telecom Corridor, along U.S. 75 in Richardson, has resulted in Dallas being nicknamed "Silicon Prairie."

DFW International Airport, larger than the island of Manhattan, is located less than four hours from any major city in the continental United States! Also, DFW airport is truly a global gateway, offering approximately 60 non-stop international departures and serving destinations in Canada, Mexico, Central and South America, the Caribbean, Europe and Asia. Since Dallas / Fort Worth is located in the center of the United States, it is truly the perfect location for corporate headquarters and businesses that have a national market-- and for businesses that have a need for national or world travel.

Dallas / Fort Worth is often rated as one of Forbe's best places to do business. Once you've arrived here, you might be interested in reading our Traffic Tips and Things to Do on the Weekend guides. Some of the Metroplex prosperity may be due the fact that Texas has no State personal income, corporate, or property taxes.

Dallas / Fort Worth weather is best described as being hot, dry, and windy-- especially hot and windy. In the summer, one can routinely expect scorching-hot days, with temperatures reaching over 100 degrees Fahrenheit. The winter is fairly short and will usually produce no more than one week of hard freezing temperatures and a day of snow. Additionally, Dallas is, on average, windier than the "Windy City" of Chicago. The winds that often occur in the Spring and Fall, sometimes visit in the winter, and as a result, a North Texas winter can feel very cold. The old timers used to say during these windy winter cold snaps, "There ain't nuthin but a barbed wire fence tween Texas and the North Pole.. and it's down!" If you visit in the Spring, one will see acres of bluebonnets and assorted wildflowers blanketing the highway medians. Also, one will probably experience some of the local Spring storms.

Dallas / Fort Worth is located on the southeast tip of Tornado Alley. The Spring weather tends to change very rapidly on the North Texas prairies. The weather is best described by an old Texas saying, "If you don't like the weather, wait a little while... it'll change." In a matter of hours, a clear sky can become overcast and produce storms. These Spring storms often become violent. Especially from March to May, the local storms will often produce very high winds, heavy rain, large hail (sometimes as large as baseballs and softballs), flash floods, severe lightning, and tornados. The best time to visit (for the area's best weather) would probably be in the fall (mid October). However, in both the Spring and in the Fall, the Metroplex has an abundance of local festivals-- which often offer Texas-sized helpings of barbecue, live music, art, rodeo, and fun for the whole family.

With more than 10,000 restaurants in the Metroplex, residents tend to eat out quite frequently. Actually, the typical Dallas resident eats out more than four times a week, which is third highest in the nation! Also, Dallas has four times more restaurants per person than New York City and more shopping centers per capita than any other major U.S. city. This area is indeed fortunate to be home to some of the nation's finest restaurants and shopping centers.

When driving around Dallas / Fort Worth, one will notice that some brands and types of vehicles are more popular than others. And, that most of the cars and trucks are new or clean. A few models seem to be more in vogue than others. These include BMW, Lexus, various sports cars, full-sized trucks, minivans, and sport utility vehicles (SUVs), such as the Dodge Durango and Toyota Land Cruiser. DFW residents have a strong attachment to their "wheels" and often use them as a fashion or financial statement. Often, on the weekends, one will see middle-aged couples riding Harley Davidsons around town; and on Sundays, one will probably see bicyclists trying their "luck" on the main roadways as well as on the service roads. Also, some of local motorist drive a bit too fast and a little too risky on the local freeways (as well as through the parking lots) and often motorists will drive in your "blind spot." As a result, some of the most dangerous U.S. intersections are located in this area.

Most natives enthusiastically support the local sports teams by proudly displaying their team's posters, bumper stickers, and by wearing team jerseys of the Dallas Stars, Dallas Cowboys, Texas Rangers, and the Dallas Mavericks. Additionally, it is not uncommon to see offices at work with sports calendars and other sports memorabilia. Televised games of these teams are extremely popular on Sunday afternoons. If blacked out locally, there is a mass exodus to a house or an apartment with a satellite. Frequently, local television and radio stations will provide extensive post-show coverage and analysis of various sports events.

Dallas / Forth Worth is located in the "Bible Belt." To the contrary, this region leads the nation in divorces - the divorce rate here is fifty percent higher than the national average. Often, it appears that many of the local residents have gone through at least one divorce and that first marriage has produced at least one dependent. Also, since DFW is located in the "Bible Belt," many of the local communities are "dry" (serve no alcohol), produce large Baptist churches, cars have fish emblems on their trunks, and numerous "Bible" Christian radio stations are to be found on the radio and television dial. However, this doesn't seem to inhibit a lot of the locals from having several beers, or margaritas, after work. Often a "Unicard" is required when purchasing an alcoholic drink at a local restaurant or night club. This card allows residents to get around the alcohol laws in "dry" communities. Lastly, one might notice that a significant number of Metroplex residents aren't native to Texas. A large number of residents have recently moved to the area; as a result, many residents are from all over the nation, as well as the world. Needless to say, it is not uncommon to hear other languages spoken instead of English.

Despite its size, Metropolitan Dallas is relatively safe. But several neighborhoods should be avoided after dark. These include those near downtown and the major tourist attractions. Other areas include parts of South Oak Cliff near the Dallas Zoo, the neighborhoods around Fair Park, and South Dallas.

In Fort Worth's much underrated downtown, modern skyscrapers tower above quaint renovated Victorian buildings. Sundance Square, named after the Sundance Kid, is a unique sixteen-block downtown entertainment center. The area features picturesque tall-windowed buildings, brick paved streets and sidewalks, magnificent landscaping, popular restaurants, nightclubs, storefronts, boutiques, museums, live theaters, coffee bars, and art galleries. Visitors must experience Sundance Square! It's an excellent choice for an afternoon or evening out on the town.

As the old saying goes, "You pay your money and take your chances." But, there is little chance that one will lose in the Metroplex. From a sophisticated Dallas in the east, to the easy going down home style of Fort Worth on the western boundary, life and living in this part of Texas is righteous. The Metroplex rises out of the Texas prairie like a shimmering mirage, tall buildings made of concrete, glass, and steel, attracting travelers to the flame of success.

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