Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, otherwise known as DFW (or if you want to pronounce like one of the locals, “Dee-Eff-Dub”) is one of the largest, if not THE largest airport in Texas and the world. Spanning over 17,200 acres, the DFW Airport is situated between two counties, Dallas and Fort Worth. As of 2019, the airport offers service to almost 250 destinations globally. It is home to American Airlines, the largest airline in the world, which is headquartered adjacent to the airport in Fort Worth.
At first glance, DFW appears to be so vast that it feels like you’ve stepped foot in another city in itself. The airport has 5 terminals and will be adding a new 6th terminal (Terminal F) that is expected to be in operation by 2025.
A Good Night’s Sleep
If you’re on a 24-hour layover, you’ll probably decide to venture out and explore the area outside DFW airport. There are plenty of time-consuming attractions near the airport that will make your long layover pass in no time at all.
First things first, you’ll want to figure out where to stay. If you want to stay close to the airport but not on the tarmac, Hyatt Place Fort Worth/Hurst is about a 15-minute drive to and from the airport, each way. As a bonus, the hotel does offer shuttle service to DFW. You can enjoy 24/7 dining, which will satisfy your hunger no matter what hour you check-in. Best Western Plus DFW Airport Suites is just one mile away from DFW and offers 24/7/365 shuttle service to the airport. It’s known for fast service and affordable rates, in case you just want a place to rest while waiting for your flight.
So, you’ve booked your hotel room and now you’re ready to explore. If you’re looking to go shopping, Grapevine Mills Mall is about a 10-minute or 6-mile drive from the airport. The mall comes standard with your favorite stores like American Eagle, Bath and Body Works, Coach, a movie theatre, and plenty of food options. What makes this mall unique is that you can go shopping, eat, and also visit attractions all under one roof. For instance, the mall has an aquarium called Sea Life. If you purchase tickets on their website, you’ll get a discount. Otherwise, standard entry for an adult begins at $22.95.
If you love playing with Legos when you were a kid, then Legoland Discovery Center is the place for you. Located in the same mall, just across from Sea Life, Legoland Discovery Center brings the fun of being a kid, out of you. An adult entry for this attraction costs $19.95 if purchased online. There is a combo ticket that allows entry to both Sea Life and Legoland attractions at the online price of $34.95. Other area attractions outside the mall, but near the airport, include Gaylord Texan Resort and Great Wolf Lodge.
The easiest and the most flexible way to get around is by renting a car. However, if you are uncomfortable to venture further out for fear you’d get lost somehow, there is a mass transit system that will take you to Fort Worth and or Dallas and the surrounding areas. TexRail, TRE, and DART are the three mass public transit options from DFW airport.
Tip: If you want to just sightsee the entire day, I recommend purchasing a DART Regional Day Pass. A DART Regional Day Pass costs just $12.00. The pass allows you access to all DART buses and trains, GoLink, Flex service, all TRE service, Trinity Metro in Fort Worth, TexRail, DCTA, and the A-train.
So, what are you waiting for? Don’t just sit in your terminal trying to catch some fitful rest on a long layover. Go have fun! Go, go, go explore the Dallas/Fort Worth area.