I'm not sure whether disjointed TR's posted on each local forum are the best way to cover our trip .... but as we started in Dallas, I will start here .... you can follow our story through Galveston and onto MS and LO if you wish to jump from forum to forum.
After a brief stop at LAX we arrived in Dallas, direct from Brisbane, Australia. It's a long haul and, as expected, we felt pretty wrecked. Finding the shuttle buses to the rental car area was very easy - even for the partly brain dead!
After a practice drive around the car park, to re-acquaint ourselves with driving on the right/'wrong' side of the road we were off, with very clear directions to the Belmont Hotel on Fort Worth Ave researched previously via TA, google maps etc. I had earlier posted concerns about hiring a car off-site from DFW - but we were very glad we decided against that idea. Our Alamo vehicle served us well and we had no issues either on the road or in the collection & return process. Just a word for Aussies and other OS travellers not familiar with US insurance conditions etc. Make sure you know whether your travel insurance covers rental car excess insurance AND liability cover. We knew our excess was covered if the car was damaged, but weren't sure about liability cover, so had to err on the side of caution and pay the extra.
We found the Belmont Hotel and parked in the free parking area up beyond Smoke, the on-site restaurant.
This was easy and the car remained safe. In fact we chuckled to see a parking valet sprinting across the road to retrieve a customer's car from the shopping centre car park, and were glad we went with the free option.
We loved the night time view of downtown Dallas from the Belmont (review posted) and ate at Smoke. Unfortunately I can't really recommend the cool reception when enquiring re booking a table, or the food which made us both ill. However, to be fair we maybe overdid the Texan BBQ flavoors and sauces for our first night. All in all the Belmont proved a very good choice.
Next morning we set off into the city, pleasantly surprised that it was so easy to park near the 6th Floor Museum. We chose the $4 car park at the back, and posted our money in the slots according to the parking space number. A curious system I have never seen before!
Our main reason for a stopover in Dallas was to view the JFK museum and Dealey Place etc, and I highly recommend it. It is difficult to say that a memorial to a great man and such tragic circumstances is a 'must do' experience, but the museum is very well done, and the self guided audio tour both respectful, reflective, informative and interesting. I was moved by some of the original video footage, and we watched every movie - but not necessarily in the exact order. It was fine to move on and come back when the movie started over - rather than joining in mid-cycle.
We had a snack in the museum cafe across the road, which also sold a range of souvenirs. A wander around the grassy knoll area also provided plenty of photo opportunities.
Brief as it was, our time in Dallas was done, apart from a glimpse of the city streets as we found our way onto the interstate that would take us south towards Houston. (next TR posted on Galveston forum)