By Elaine Glusac
The Big D, as locals call it, does things in a big way -- from its skyscrapers to its hats.
Sights to see: Look but don't touch the waterworks at Fountain Place downtown, which has 172 bubbler fountains that shoot water in different patterns. Then check out Pioneer Plaza Cattle Drive, with its larger-than-life bronze sculptures of steers and cowboys, before moo-ving on to the West End Historic District for world-famous barbecue at Sonny Bryan's Smokehouse (sonnybryans.com).
Family fun: Treat the kids to an overnight at the Great Wolf Lodge indoor water park, opening in Grapevine in late 2007. Then continue on to Dallas' twin, Fort Worth, just 30 minutes down the road. Explore the Fort Worth Stockyards, which has art galleries, clothing stores, and the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame. Twice a day you can see the Longhorn Cattle Drive, when drovers round up a herd through town. On Fridays and Saturdays don't miss cow-roping and trick-riding at Stockyards Championship Rodeo (fortworthstockyards.org). Before you leave, stop for a bite at Bonnell's Fine Texas Cuisine, where chef-owner Jon Bonnell uses ingredients from nearby farms and ranches.
Off the expense account: Kids get a kick out of riding 50 stories up the exterior glass elevator at the Hyatt Regency Dallas. At the top is a revolving restaurant (from $119). Info: 214-571-1000