You might think that booking your hotel in Downtown Dallas is the ideal way to experience the Big D. But, as any experienced road-tripper will tell you finding a home base outside the city that offers the same amenities you’d pay extra for downtown is actually the way to go. This hub-and-spoke approach to vacationing saves you time and money, and you may even discover local hangouts not listed in the guidebooks. The next time you visit the Dallas/Fort Worth Metro Plex area stay right outside the city in Mesquite, Texas. Here is why Mesquite makes a perfect home base to see the sights of the region.
Location, Location, Location
Staying overnight in downtown Dallas sounds great until you find yourself spending valuable sightseeing time stuck in traffic. With five highways radiating out from Mesquite in every direction, you can keep your vacation itinerary on schedule. Interstate 635 runs through Mesquite, giving you a direct route to points north and south of the Metroplex. Highway 80, part of the historic, coast-to-coast Dixie Overland Highway, connects Mesquite with downtown Dallas and Fort Worth, while Highway 30 is your quickest route northeast to the shopping, dining, and watersports on Lake Ray Hubbard. Interstate 75 and 20 connect Shreveport, LA and points beyond to Mesquite and Dallas before heading northwest to Grapevine and DFW International Airport.
In-Town Shopping and Dining
With the adventures you’ll find in Mesquite, you may not want to hop on the highway every day. Visit during the Mesquite Championship Rodeo for an authentic Lone Star State experience. Go shopping in the historic downtown or at Town East Mall. Live like the locals with an evening concert or community festival at the Mesquite Arts Center and City Lake Park. No matter what time you roll in, you can grab a bite to eat at more than 140 restaurants in town and find plenty of stress-free parking at your hotel and all over town.
Less Expensive Than Staying in the City
Another advantage of staying in Mesquite is the cost savings over hotels in the middle of Dallas. A well-appointed, four-star property, like Courtyard by Marriott, with amenities like free high-speed Internet, a fitness center, in-room coffee and microwave, and express check-out, will run you anywhere from $50 to $100 more per night in downtown Dallas than in Mesquite. Top that off with the daily valet parking fee downtown and costs really start to add up. Wouldn’t you rather spend those vacation dollars on an extra tour or show while you’re in town?
Budget hotel savings are similar, with additional amenities to reduce your travel stress. You’ll save up to $30 a night at the Sure Stay Plus by Best Western instead of a Best Western in the center of Dallas, while enjoying all the same amenities, like in-room microwave and fridge, full breakfast, outdoor pool, and hot tub. If you’re looking for an extended stay property or a hotel that welcomes your four-legged travel companions, Mesquite’s got you covered there too. From Hampton Inn & Suites to Towneplace Suites there’s plenty of places you can stay longer and your pets are welcome. La Quinta Inn & Suites also allows pets for a fee.
Hop on the highway in Mesquite and you can be touring top Dallas attractions in about 15 minutes. Of all the things to do in Dallas, Dealey Plaza, the site where President John F. Kennedy was assassinated, is the most visited and should top your list. Take an audio tour at the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza, then spend some time in the Plaza reading historical markers and contemplating the sombers events of January 1961. Explore the sites and theories surrounding this national tragedy on the JFK Assassination Tour. Be sure to walk down the block to visit the John F. Kennedy Memorial in Dallas County Historical Plaza while you’re there.
Another can’t-miss presidential experience at the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum takes you back to the historical events around the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Other exhibits give you behind-the-scenes access to the Oval Office and what it’s like to live in the White House.
History runs deep in Texas, but don’t stop there. There’s sports, science, wildlife, outdoor adventure, and more to pack into your trip. Start at the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Gardens, a 66-acre oasis of trails, gardens, and historic homes on the shores of White Rock Lake that consistently earns top honors for their festivals and lush landscape. Stop by Klyde Warren Park, the city’s equivalent to a town square, for chess, ping pong, zumba, yoga, food trucks, concerts, and more. You can spend an entire day at the Dallas Zoo, meeting the keepers, visiting the animals, and eating lunch on Picnic Ridge.
More natural wonders await at the Dallas World Aquarium and Perot Museum of Nature and Science. Take your sports fans to tour the largest domed structure in the world on the Dallas Cowboys stadium tour. At the end of the day, visit the revolving observation deck at Reunion Tower for an unforgettable dinner as the sun sets over the city skyline.
Wherever your road trip adventures take you, Mesquite provides a wonderful spot to stop and stay for an evening or two at an affordable price with all the necessary amenities needed wind down from a long day in the car as well as easy access to day trips at all the nearby attractions when you are ready to take to the road again.
Written by Ann Gibson for Matcha in partnership with Mesquite CVB.