One of the most coveted perks at Travelzoo is the Travelzoo Experience, in which Deal Experts and other employees take advantage of the same travel, entertainment and local deals we publish to our subscribers and report back on their experience.
My husband and I travelled to Texas in November 2012 for my Travelzoo Experience after getting some very competitively priced flights through Qantas. The flight is one of the longest in the world, coming in at over 15 hours, and being stuck in a middle seat was not particularly fun! In Dallas, we stayed at The Adolphus, a 4-star historical hotel located downtown. The hotel itself certainly has a lot of charm and character and we especially enjoyed the fact that free Wi-Fi was supplied (and, in fact, it was included everywhere we stayed during our trip). Time to catch on Australia!
We didn’t over-plan our four days in Dallas, as we wanted to give ourselves time to recover from any jet lag. However, we did make a trip to the Sixth Floor Museum located at Dealey Plaza near where JFK was assassinated in 1963. Being a bit of a history buff, I found the museum to be well laid out, with lots of information about the events surrounding JFK’s assassination, along with the conspiracy theories that still surround his death to this day.
On a more lighthearted note, we also went along to a Dallas Mavericks NBA game at the American Airlines Center. In order to fully immerse ourselves in the American experience, we went for some wings and beer beforehand at a nearby bar. The game was really enjoyable and easily accessible from our hotel -- in fact, there was a town car waiting to drive us there after we had told the concierge we would be heading to the game.
After Dallas, we travelled by Greyhound to Austin, a brave move we were told by some locals! Considering it's only $20 a ticket for a 3-hour bus ride though, it seemed a no brainer to us. The bus was extremely comfortable with reclining leather seats -- even if there were some interesting characters on board.
Austin has a totally different vibe to Dallas and seems more like a big town than a city. The University of Texas is located there and has over 50,000 students, so this gives Austin a great relaxed student feel. It prides itself on being a bit ‘different’ from the rest of conservative Texas and the city’s tag line is ‘Keep Austin Weird’.
On Thanksgiving, we attended a Texas Longhorns game. The Longhorns are the beloved American football team of the University of Texas and their games regularly have attendances of up to 100,000 people, which is pretty awe-inspiring stuff for a college team.
Austin has a great bar and music scene (no doubt due to the huge number of students) and we did a few bar crawls along Sixth Street, a great way to take in the eclectic mix of what’s on offer. For fans of Tex Mex, the food is also excellent and reasonably priced. There are just too many bars to name but pretty much all of them are good fun and, if you find yourself in one you don’t really like, just go next door!
After a few too many bar crawls, we decided to take it easy and go to the movies on our final night. We attended The Ritz, which was very different from any other movie experience I’ve had. At The Ritz you are given a menu and can order anything from a bucket of popcorn to a grilled steak salad, plus some impressive drinks from a menu that even has frozen margaritas. Even better is the table service; the waitresses were very good at making sure no one is disturbed when watching the movie.
Click here to see the photos from this trip.