The online home of The Group Travel Leader, America's leading publication for the group travel industry. Articles on hot destinations, attractions, news and travel trends from across the country and around the world.
Issue link: http://digital.grouptravelleader.com/i/791388
1 9 GROUP TRAVEL LE ADER T H E B Y E L I Z A B E T H H E Y THERE'S AS MUCH TECH AS TACK L ong associated with cowboy heritage, modern Texas embraces its legacy but goes beyond that image with its sophis- ticated culture and cuisine. The Dallas- Fort Worth metroplex, where one-quar- ter of all Texans live, boasts iconic architecture and museums as well as top-tier sports. Towns near the metroplex have much to offer groups, too. Charming Grapevine, bookended by Dallas and Fort Worth, was settled under the Lone Star flag in 1844, a year before Texas joined the states. Waco, 90 miles south of Dallas-Fort Worth, is enjoying notoriety tied to the popularity of HGTV's hit show "Fixer Upper" and its stars, Chip and Joanna Gaines, who are building a decorating empire there. In Tyler, an hour and a half east of Dallas, groups can explore the gardens and historic homes of "America's Rose Capital." D A L L A S Big D is known for many things: iconic sports teams — the Cowboys have five Super Bowl championships — prominent architecture and culture, and the third-largest concentration of Fortune 500 companies in the nation. The Dallas Arts District contains 19 city blocks of ingenious design: museums and performing arts venues created by architecture masters such as I.M. Pei and Rem Koolhaas. All can be seen on a 90-minute, docent-led tour by the Dallas Center for Architecture. The Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden will open A Tasteful Place in the fall of 2017. This $8 million farm-to-table vegetable, herb and fruit garden will showcase views of the Dallas sky- line; its patios overlook White Rock Lake. The 3,600-square-foot Garden Pavilion will include a dining room and a teaching kitchen to host local chefs preparing garden-to-table cuisine against 270-degree views of the garden. Groups will be able to go into the garden with the chefs to learn how to pick, clean and prepare the produce. The burgeoning calendar at the AT&T Performing Arts Center covers all the bases, from Broadway to comedy, opera and dance. This architectural gem encompasses 10 acres within the Dallas Arts District. The center includes the Winspear Opera House, home to the Dallas Opera and Texas Ballet Theater; the Wyly Theatre, home to the Dallas Theater Center, the Dallas Black Dance Theatre, and Anita N. Martinez Ballet Folklorico; and Annette Strauss Square, an outdoor performance space. For a classy night out, dinner at the stylish Five Sixty by Wolfgang Puck affords a 360-degree view of Dallas at the GeO-Deck. Both are in the Reunion Tower, nicknamed "The Ball." The sphere-topped tower is Dallas' most iconic struc- ture and was featured in the opening credits of the hit 1970s TV show "Dallas." F O R T W O R T H The heart and soul of Fort Worth can be found at the city's historic Stockyards. This year marks the 150th anniversary of the Chisholm Trail, which was used to drive cattle from Fort Worth to rail- heads in Kansas. The new Stockyards Adventure Pass covers all the Chisholm Trail sites around the city. The Stockyard's honky-tonk, Billy Bob's, boasts a 127,000-square-foot dancehall, outfitted with more than 30 bars. Groups can see live indoor professional bull riding every Friday and Saturday night and participate in the rodeo culture them- selves with two-step lessons, concerts and photo ops on a faux bucking bull. Cow Camp takes place Saturdays, Memorial Day through Labor Day, but special weekday arrangements can be made for groups. The audi- ence watches on risers while cowboys sit on their horses in the pens and walk through the ins and outs of herding cattle and branding and discuss I N T E X A S AN ARTIST CREATES A COLORFUL GLASS PIECE AT VETRO GLASSBLOWING STUDIO IN GRAPEVINE.