Thursday, July 5, 2018

Texas-Oklahoma Road Trip Part 3: Denton, Texas #TXOKRoadtrip2018 #discoverdenton

I recently shared the Oklahoma portion of our #TXOKRoadtrip2018 adventure with you -- sharing all of the excitement of our 24 hours in Tulsa to catch the opening show of U2's eXPERIENCE + iNNOCENCE tour, then 24 hours exploring Oklahoma City. We explored both cities' food scenes, as well as local attractions. After leaving OKC, we decided to spend an evening in Denton, Texas en route home to San Antonio. Our stay in Denton was hosted at Embassy Suites by Hilton™ and the Denton Convention and Visitors Bureau. Embassy Suites offers its guests a lot of bang for their buck, with tons of great included amenities to make your stay a pleasant one.

Photo provided by Embassy Suites
We arrived in Denton early evening on the Friday of our road trip. We self parked our rental car at the new Embassy Suites Denton Convention Center and made our way inside. The hotel opened in January of this year, and it's absolutely gorgeous! The lobby is spacious and full of light, and the decor is colorful and modern. After checking in, we made our way to our spacious upgraded Premium Suite. The layout featured a mini kitchen, a table that was perfect for in-room dining or working, a living area with a comfy couch, and a sleeping area with a King bed and flat-screen television. Like all Embassy Premium Suites, we received free in-suite WiFi; a Keurig coffee maker and a variety of K-Cups; and complimentary snacks, sodas, and water. Those little touches made our stay especially pleasant, because we were starting to be tired as we neared the end of our 6-day road trip adventure.  

This new hotel property also offers guests a number of cool technological innovations -- including Bluetooth capability and speakers built into the bathroom mirror! I absolutely loved being able to listen to my favorite music via the Sirius XM app while I showered before bed and got ready the next morning. Connecting my iPhone to the Bluetooth was super easy, and the sound quality of the speakers was great. For music lovers, this feature will certainly be a highlight of their stay. As the video below shows, our stay at Embassy Suites Denton Convention Center was wonderful from start to finish!

There is a Houlihan's restaurant location on the hotel's first floor, which makes grabbing a delicious meal very convenient -- they even offer room service daily from 11:00 AM to 11:00 PM! Since our time in Denton was brief, we decided to hop in our rental and explore the neighborhood surrounding the hotel and grab something quick from a drive-through. We quickly discovered the area around the hotel has developed exponentially since we last visited Denton a couple of years ago. The area around the Embassy Suites has tons of new restaurants and retail stores, making it easy to grab a meal or pick up anything you may have forgotten to pack within minutes of the hotel. For movie lovers, an Alamo Drafthouse theater location recently opened directly in front of the hotel. That means hotel guests can grab dinner at Houlihan's, then catch a movie less than a mile from their hotel room!

We came back to the room to enjoy a quick bite before bed -- including complimentary sodas and a sweet treat from our stash of Premium Suite goodies provided by the hotel. We fell into our comfy King bed and enjoyed a great night's sleep. The next morning, we went downstairs for our complimentary breakfast before checking out. We had savory cheese grits with salsa; a made-to-order omelette; oatmeal topped with granola, nuts, and dried fruit; and a bowl of our favorite cereal. Going downstairs for breakfast was a huge time morning time saver!
In addition to a delicious complimentary breakfast, Embassy Suites provides guests complimentary evening appetizers and drinks -- a perfect light bite ahead of a on the town! Before we knew it, it was time to check out. The Embassy Suites Dentin Convention Center is a fabulous home base for exploring the North Texas region. After we left the hotel, we spent the morning exploring to see how Denton had changed since we last visited in 2016. What we found was tons of new home and commercial construction -- a growing city! In 2015, Livability listed Denton among its Top 100 Best Places to Live. 

The city has also been named one of the Top 25 Best College Towns in America. Speaking of college...Michael and I are both proud University of North Texas (UNT) alumni, so it's always fun to see new changes on campus each time we visit. This time, we checked out the campus' new University Union building. It's located on the same site of the Union that was there when we were students. However, it's an entirely new building that includes a Barnes & Noble bookstore and a Starbuck's. Lucky students! As we drove around campus, we noticed construction of a new dormitory as well.

One thing that never changes for us is a visit to Candy Haven Bakery every time we visit Denton. We ordered birthday and other special-occasion cakes from them when we were students, and they're still providing amazing baked goods, candy, and kolaches all these years later.  For us, no trip to Denton is complete without a stop at Candy Haven on our way out of town. This trip was no exception! We picked up a variety of cupcakes for a friend's birthday celebration later that evening...along with a few chocolates for the road. As always, the staff was friendly and helpful. 
With that, our quick overnight visit to Denton was over. If you find yourself visiting the DFW Metroplex, Denton is a quick 35-to-45-minute drive away. You can also jump on a Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) train Monday thru Saturday, Here's how!
  • Take DART’s Green Line to the Trinity Mills station in Carrollton
  • At the Trinity Mills station, transfer to the A-train via a simple cross-platform transfer
  • Take the A-train to the Downtown Denton Transit Center
The A-train will drop you at Denton's historic Downtown Square area. There, you'll find the city's century-old courthouse building. In and around the Square, you'll find tons of amazing locally owned restaurants and shops that are perfect for a fun afternoon/evening of exploring. Whatever you're looking for, the growing city of Denton has it!
    Disclosure: The Denton Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Embassy Suites Denton Convention Center provided an overnight hotel stay to facilitate this feature. All opinions expressed are solely my own.

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