While the Dallas – Fort Worth is pretty welcoming of tourists and wanna-be Texans, blending in can be harder than it may seem. There are the folks who buy clothes thinking we still have gunslingers roaming the streets and that horses are our main mode of transportation. Still others take the cosmopolitan image a bit too far. Then, of course, there are tourists that can’t begin to fathom the wide-open spaces and entertainment options spread throughout the Metroplex. Here are ways to easily spot a tourist here, but luckily locals are almost always quick to provide a “howdy” and helpful directions!
1. Hanging around Dealey Plaza and taking lots of pictures screams "tourist."
It is the top tourist spot in Dallas, which means throngs of visitors will visit the grassy knoll and the "X" in the street where President Kennedy was assassinated in 1963. Locals understand its history, but hate having tourists step out into the middle of the street and disrupt traffic for photos.
2. Taking an angry selfie in front of the Sixth Floor Museum seems to be a visitor requirement.
Yes, we're also sad that such a tragic event had to happen in Dallas. In case you're fuzzy on the history, Kennedy's assassin hid in the red building that was then the Texas School Book Depository.
3. Walking in and around the JFK Memorial and leaving with a puzzled look.
Sure, we wonder about this memorial too, but it's not as impressive as others in the area. If you want to see a more striking one, head over to Fort Worth's General Worth Square, where JFK made his final public speech just hours before his death.
4. Yeah, we love Dallas - Fort Worth too, but we don't do this.
Apparently no visit to Dallas is complete without a keepsake photo with "The Ball" in the background. We have to admit, the view from Reunion Tower's observation deck is pretty darn impressive, but we prefer decidedly less cheesy photos.
5. This is NOT a cowboy hat.
Unless you using this to block the sun at the lake or beach, this is a big NO. For some reason, tourists parade around Dallas - Fort Worth wearing all sorts of laughable hats that somehow make them feel like a cowboy. Leave the "hand gun" poses at home too, okay?
6. These are not real cowboy boots either.
These are city-slicker, pleather, wanna-be boots that guarantee both blisters and snickers from locals.
7. North Texans do not tuck their pants into their boots.
The only exception is if you are a
real cowboy and need to make sure your pants don't get caught up in a saddle... and even that is suspect. (Note the difference between these genuine boots compared to the fake boots above - these are the real deal!)
8. They are overwhelmed by the Dallas World Aquarium's version of "Tunnel of Love."
Locals have to admit a walk through this aquarium tunnel is really cool, but navigating through it sometimes becomes a challenge with so many shutterbug tourists.
9. They plan a visit to Southfork Ranch, where the hit series
Dallas was filmed.
Tourists flock to the memorabilia rooms and walk through the ranch. It's worth the trip if you haven't experienced a live working ranch before, but most Dallasites and Fort Worthians have seen (or worked on) better ones.
10. They pull over to the side of the road when they see Longhorns in a pasture.
Longhorns are not only found at Southfork Ranch - they're throughout the whole Dallas - Fort Worth area. Yeah, we find them impressive as well, but if we stopped to snap a photo every time we saw one, we'd never get anything done.
11. Waiting to hear Big Tex talk is a tourist requirement.
Some say he is creepy to look at, but that's beside the point. Big Tex is a cultural icon, from his big Texas belt buckle and cowboy boots to his booming voice. If you're in Dallas during fair season, be sure to attend! You'll never look at your state fair in quite the same way.
12. They'll insist on eating at a taqueria, even though they have absolutely no idea of what to order.
Locals love taco shops, but we also know the difference between chorizo, pastor, carnitas, pollo, and cabeza. Clueless looks are dead giveaways you aren't from around here.
13. Yep, every tourist rides - or at least poses - on a mechanical bull.
Maybe it's a Texas rite of passage?
14. They find clever ways to take pictures of the "BIG" signs all over Dallas.
You fill in the missing "I" with images, yourself, your pet, or whatever else you can find to complete your experience in Big D.
15. They fear the high-five interchange.
There's no doubt that traffic in the Metroplex is downright daunting and, to be fair, this can be a particularly intimidating spot. A word of advice, however: keep pace with the traffic flow and don't travel in the left lane... ever... until you earn your racing stripes!
What other things make it easy to spot a tourist in Dallas – Fort Worth? While locals may find some of the wanna-be attire or antics laughable, just know we’re really are truly happy for you to discover what makes the Metroplex so great! Once you experience our Southern charm and discover what the area is like in reality, we won’t even be surprised if you start making plans to make North Texas your new home!