If you visit Dallas in July or August and wonder why the city is FULL of pink cadillacs or red Grand Ams, it is because of Mary Kay convention. The flights are full of Mary Kay women and the streets and restraunts are also full of beautiful women.
Driving in Dallas can be hazardous to your health...maybe it is where Road Rage starts...please be cautioned.
This of course is a postcard, not real traffic, altohough I do remember a time when a semi full of cattle got in an accident and they had to round up the herds.
Alright, if you're coming from the South you're going to be taking Interstate 45. When you get close to Dallas you're going to want to merge onto Interstate 35. Just pay attention to the green freeway signs and it's easy. HOWEVER, make sure you're taking I-35EAST towards DENTON. Yes, you might be staying in Dallas but the signs will be directing you to Denton (which is just more north on 35E). 35E is Dallas...35W is Fort Worth so please make sure you know which one you need.
If you are coming from the North you will be taking Interstate 35. When you get to Denton it will split to I35East and I35West. Again, if you want Dallas take I35East and if you want Fort Worth take I35West. It really isn't very difficult. I35E is a straight shot with exits clearly marked. Don't let all the big roads and bridges scare ya!
If you are traveling on I35 or 635 (or anywhere I suppose) be prepared for traffic. I don't know what it is about this city (maybe the millions of people out and about) but when an accident happens it's a big deal. EVERYBODY has to look at it. Even if blood is everywhere they still need to slow down and examine whatever they can from their cars. Maybe some are just checking out how cute the firefighters, I don't know. My advice is.....if you have somewhere to go with a specific time you may set out half an hour before hand. If the Stars or Mavs are playing, downtown will be busy. If you're going for some very important meeting, please give yourself enough time to get there with time left over, maybe to get some coffee.
*Check the website below with up to date traffic reports.
The poster above is correct about it being a single unified rental car shuttle bus for all on-site agencies. All the major vendors are there, Alamo, National, Hertz, Avis, Yada-Yada.
Please do bear in mind that if you are renting a car, you will be put out on the south side of the airport, so if you have business/pleasure north of DFW, you will want to carry some cash or credit card to pay the toll out of DFW after going north (otherwise you will spend 20 minutes getting around the airport).
Definitely also allow plenty of time on return to drop the car off and get to your check in location, as the on-airport rental facility is a good 10 minutes away, and you will likely have to wait for your terminals bus.
I am not sure, but I think this is at the site of the "High Five" project which is the Texas Department of Transportation's (TXDOT) master plan for unsnarling the tangle that has been created over a period of three decades at the interchange between the IH635 east/west loop and US75, the major north/south freeway running through the Dallas metroplex. The project is the largest of its kind in TXDOT history and the largest currently underway in the country.
Dallas is a city of highways and cars. While there is a rapid transit system [mostly buses with a not very extensive light rail] the only way to really get around Dallas is by car.
Even if you are going to be in Dallas a short time, I recommend renting a car. Dallas is very spread-out and so taxis can get expensive.
10 different rental companies operate out of one location at DFW airport. All are listed with phone numbers and websites from the page link below.
Driving in Texas, you need to know certain things so you don't get run over...
Really it's mostly about mindset...
Whether in the country or in an urban center like Dallas, we have places to be and things to do, and we drive like it. We have by far (and I've lived and traveled lots of places in the states) the best highway and roadway system in the country, if you know how to navigate it.
The mind-set here is "don't get in people's way". It's rude. Rarely will you get cut off in Dallas traffic. People may pull in front of you with less than a car-length to spare, but generally you won't even have to touch your brakes because they'll be going faster than you.
In other places, or drivers from other places, drivers will get mad when they see someone speeding past them. They take it as a personal offense that someone has the gall to do 25 mph over the speed limit. Well, everyone down here is generally doing 10 or 15 over. (I have a LOT of speeding tickets in Kansas because I'm use to cops having something better to do than bother me.) We don't hold it against them if they blow by us, unless they actually force us to change our velocity to avoid an accident. More power to 'em if they don't get a ticket, and if they do, well, sucks to be them. It's *them* taking a chance, and unless it actually affects me, why should I care?
If a road has two lanes (one in each direction) and a full shoulder (you can put your car on it and not obstruct traffic), you are expected to pull off onto the shoulder when you're making a right hand turn off the road. This is VERY IMPORTANT because if someone is turning left onto the crossroad a lot of people will blow by them at 70+mph on the shoulder to the right. So if you are turning right from the main lane of travel, instead of the shoulder, you may kill someone because of your yankee driving habits. Use the shoulder, our taxes paid for it, it's there for a reason.
Be aware of what is behind you. Nothing is more frustrating than to be driving home from town and there be someone with an out-of-state license plate who has no where to be and is just putting along at 55 mph in a 70mph zone. (Other states the zone would be 55 mph, I know, I've lived there. Here the limit is 70, even if there's no division between the opposing directions of travel.)
Sometimes I'm just driving around enjoying the day (usually Sundays =P) and don't have anywhere to be, so I won't be doing 10 over the speed limit like usual. In these cases, if someone comes up behind me, I move over onto the shoulder to let them pass. Most people here will.
As long as you keep in mind how you're affecting people behind you, you'll be fine. When you're getting on the highway, accellerate so people in the right-hand lane don't have to slow down for you. That can cause a traffic jam that goes back for miles, even if you don't get your fool ass run over. If you're turning onto a country road that has a shoulder, if there's someone coming up behind you get on the shoulder so they can pass you.
If you're uncomfortable going the speed limit (some people are, it's cool, whatever) or other people are wanting to go faster than the speed limit, if you can, get out of their way. Pull over on the shoulder (while still maintaining your current speed) so people with places to be can get there sooner.
In Texas when you exit the Freeway (closed-access) you will exit onto a Frontage Road. (In urban areas this will almost always be a one-way street.) This frontage road will take you to the stoplight at the crossroads, and in urban areas lots of these stoplights have a dedicated U-Turn that will go underneath the highway and will put you on the other side of the highway, to access the stores and other things on the frontage road going the other direction. Everything is built-up around the spectacular highway system here. (Don't believe me about spectacular? One look at the now-completed 635/75 interchange will change your mind.) Almost everything can be accessed from the frontage roads, which means that once you get to a highway, any store is only 20 minutes away. (Barring it being rush-hour.)
If you need to get around Texas...I mean it IS a BIG state...you might want to consider renting a car. Initially I planned to rent a compact car, but since everything's big in Texas....they convinced me to rent this Jeep. It was a wise choice because there are a lot of semi-trucks, SUVs, and just regular trucks that block your vision in traffic.
If you are looking for a way to save money on a rental, then I would highly recommend E Z Rent-A-Car (they are not as famous as the big companies, but they are just as good or even better). I looked at the travel websites to compare prices (Travelocity, Expedia, Orbitz, Priceline, etc.) and they beat them all.
The counter is located at the rental car facility and the employees are very helpful. Their fleet of vehicles are just as new at the other folks, and if you are lucky, you may even get a free upgrade like we did (rented a compact/Ford Escort but ended up with a brand new mid-size/Kia Optima).
1 Review and 272 Opinions WORDS do not express how wonderful and elegant this hotel is! The people are absolutely wonderful...
1 Review and 362 Opinions In downtown Dallas -- The Melrose Hotel. In the 'burbs, I highly recommend the Westin Stonebriar in...
The Magnolia Hotel Dallas Dallas
2 Reviews and 1752 Opinions I have not stayed here and probably could not afford to. I was interested primarily in the...