Dallas, TX became my home just two short years ago when I signed on to work for the LUV airline.  After two years, I have all the special spots to hit and where you can skip. 

If you are like most weekend warriors, you have little time to explore a city. With such a small amount of time on the ground. It is important to have a game plan to see all the important spots. To help get the most out of your weekend, we bring you the 411 on multiple cities. Check back for updated cities and if you have any requested spots, please drop them in the comment section! In each post you will find the following:

  • Flight/airport information
  • Transportation
  • Best places to stay
  • Top Attractions
  • Any other tips from the location

How to non-rev to Dallas


Dallas, TX is home to both American Airlines and Southwest Airlines. The first piece of information to note is that there are two airports located in the DFW (Dallas Fort Worth) area. American Airlines hub is located at DFW airport which is in-between Dallas and Fort Worth. American Airlines alone has 900+ departures each day! While that is a lot of flights, keep in mind that there are also lots of American Airlines non-revs. The best thing to do is frequently request staff traveler information as loads to change rapidly! However, most American based non-revs are leaving DFW on Friday and returning on Sunday so residents of other cities may have better luck as your travel pattern is opposite of them. DFW has a light rail located outside of security in the A terminal and it will take you to downtown Dallas. Making many stops along the way (See transportation section below for more info).
Next, we have Dallas-Love Field (DAL). This airport has only 20 gates but is a powerhouse for Southwest Airlines. Located right next to their HQ, they have 100+ flights a day, including 20 to Houston Hobby (HOU). While Southwest controls 18 of the gates, Alaska Airlines owns the other 2 spots. Much like American at DFW, the nonrev game is harder leaving Love Field on Friday and returning on Sunday. This airport is closer to Downtown Dallas. If arriving from DAL airport, a quick Uber ride is your best option as there is no rail service directly at this airport.
Whichever airport you choose, try to commit to one or the other. They are about 30-40 minutes from each other with traffic on a normal day. Dallas Love Field is easier to navigate and security wait times are minimal, but DFW airport has a plethora of options to and from.

AmsterdamAmerican Airlines
DubaiEmirates
FrankfurtAmerican Airlines & Lufthansa
Hong KongAmerican Airlines
LondonAmerican Airlines & British Airways
Los AngelesAlaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Spirit Airlines & Southwest Airlines
MadridAmerican Airlines
New YorkAmerican Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Spirit Airlines, Southwest Airlines & Untied Airlines
ParisAir France & American Airlines
RomeAmerican Airlines
ShanghaiAmerican Airlines
Seattle
Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Spirit Airlines & Southwest Airlines
SeoulAmerican Airlines & Korean Air Ways
SydneyQuantas
TokyoAmerican Airlines & Japan Airlines
TorontoAir Canada & American Airlines

Transportation


Dallas has a light rail system called the DART.  Tickets can be bought at each station or online through the “GO Pass” app.  Tickets range from $2-$5 depending on the time frame that you want.

PRO TIP: Bring your student ID (college or under) and receive a discount.  The DART is not the cleanest transportation, but it is efficient. Click here for the DART route map as well as times.  Please note that weekend times are different from weekday. Like many forms of public transportation, taking after 10pm is not advisable in this city.  Uber/Lyft’s are abundant throughout and normally cheap. 

Text continues below the map

Where to Stay


A cool travel shot of the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge in Dallas Texas

Uptown

Dallas has a few different areas that I would recommend. First up is uptown, this is your upscale party area with lots of shops, restaurants, and activities. Hotels in this area range from boutique to chains such as Hotel ZaZa or Hotel Crescent Court and due to location are a little pricier. Deep Ellum is your hipster area with lots of great breweries and wall art. Recently revitalized, you will find many outside bars and restaurants with a certain feel. For places to stay, head over to Downtown Dallas to pick from your 2-5 star dreams.

Downtown

Downtown Dallas has many high rise hotels if you want to stay in the heart of it all. Close to the American Airlines center which boasts sports teams such as the Mavericks or large concerts. Depending on what is going on that weekend, hotels can be expensive or under $100 for a nice 3-4 star hotel.

Airport hotels

Probably your cheapest option are the airport hotels. DFW has many located around the airport and most have free airport shuttles. Please be advised of hotel shuttle hours as some are not 24 hours (We see you coming in at 1 am ☺ ). Dallas Love has fewer options, but the closest hotels are The Doubletree at the end of the runway, and a combined Aloft/Element by Westin located within 5 minutes from the airport. Both are safe and usually at a decent price.

Text continues below the image

Top Attractions


Although in Texas, Dallas itself does not feel very western. It is more known for its outside bars and Instagram-able drinks. To keep your Instagram game on par, I’ll recommend a few different bars/restaurants.
Katy Trail Icehouse is my personal favorite spot in Dallas. It is all outside and features a huge outdoor patio with tons of lights and TVs. In the wintertime, they bring out a lot of heaters so it is never too cold to be at the Ice House. They serve Margarita sized glasses of beer for around $6 (that is a great deal in Dallas). Also featured at the Icehouse is a ton of doggos! The Ice House is located right on the Katy Trail, which is a 28-mile bike/walk trail throughout the city. Many locals stop to grab a drink here while on their evening exercise. You have to visit yourself to experience the ambiance of the Ice House!

PRO TIP: If you have a car, they have free valet service. I always just bring a dollar or two for a tip and away you go.

The Rustic is another spot in the Uptown area with live bands and corn hole. They have a large bar and well, a very rustic feel. The outside is covered in hay (Finally Texas) with a good-sized stage and lots of places to sit. It is built on a hill so there are many viewing spots when bands are playing. There is no cover here at night, but please be advised drinks are expensive. If you are lucky you will see a celebrity as many frequent this bar! Check out Demi Lovato’s Instagram.

As I mentioned previously, Deep Ellum is a great spot if you are looking for trendy bars and restaurants.  Dots is a local favorite with a large outdoor patio and an odd chandelier for your enjoyment (where is Sia)?   If you plan on hitting the town at night I would highly recommend starting in Deep Ellum or over in Uptown.  They back right up to each other and Ubers between the two are cheap.

If you enjoy museums or #History, you might enjoy the 6th Floor Museum, aka where JFK was shot.  Located in Downtown Dallas, you can also stop at Reunion tower which is the giant ball on top of a tall structure that overlooks the city.  You can have an expensive dinner at the top if you would like.  Speaking of a giant ball, Dallas has a giant eyeball in the middle of downtown.  Try to find it!  Some other great sights around the area are Kyde Warren Park which is a grass area with tons of food trucks and places to chill right above a freeway.  It sounds weird but is a great place FOR THE GRAM.  Finally, if you want to escape the city and see nature, take a visit to the Dallas Arboretum and botanical gardens.  You will leave impressed and rejuvenated.

If you have a car and want to really want to jam-pack your weekend, Waco, TX is only a 1.5 hour drive from Dallas.  If this sounds familiar, it is because Waco is the hometown of HGTV’s hit show Fixer Upper starring Chip and Joanna Gaines.  Although Waco is a small town, the Gaines have transformed it into a rustic Texan paradise.  Top attractions here include Magnolia Silos which has a large AstroTurf lawn where you can Insta away, food trucks, bakery, and store.  They built it as a gathering place for locals, but now hundreds of thousands flock every year to visit!

PRO TIP: There is free parking behind Magnolia in a gravel lot.  Look at the aerial map of the area to find it.  Many don’t know it’s there and choose to park on the street, which can be hard to come by.  Once you are done with Magnolia, you can head over to their restaurant.  Please note that it becomes crowded fast and they will turn people away when the wait gets too long.  I have heard people quoted three hours! They are extremely organized and nice, but best you get there early or you may miss out.  I have found many “Fixer-upper” guides online that have addresses of houses they have flipped and also their home.  Please click here for more details, but also respect the privacy of those living at these locations!

Departure


Now that you are very tired and not rested, it is time for you to head back to the airport and use your Non-rev StaffTraveler app to get you home. Remember if you are flying out of DFW, please leave yourself enough time to go through security as wait times can belong. While Dallas might be a large city, it has its niche for all different groups of people. Take it all in and come back often.

If you visit Dallas and visit an awesome spot please let us know so we can add so we can include it here for future travelers!

Dallas is an amazing city for a weekend or for a day trip! If you haven’t gone yet, download the StaffTraveler app to get the seat availibility for your non-rev to Dallas!

Receive updates by email

Subscribe to get occasional updates on new posts

We respect your privacy. Read more here.

Hotel rooms & rental cars


Log in to StaffTraveler to get access to exclusive member deals with discounts up to 60%

Log in to StaffTraveler