Off the shores of White Rock Lake lies the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden. The 66 acres (26 hectares) of lush, perfectly manicured landscapes hold a treasure trove of trees, bushes, and flowers that are sure to make anyone green with envy. The DeGolyer House, a 1940s-style Spanish mansion, is also located on the grounds. Tours of the house and its sculpture garden are offered. The Jonsson Color Gardens, A Woman's Garden, and the Lay Ornamental Garden are all exquisite features of the picturesque grounds.
White Rock Lake sprawls over 1,015 acres (410.75 hectares). It boasts picturesque picnic spots and recreational areas that provide great respite from city life. Numerous waterfront trails are popular among local hikers and bikers as well as those visiting Dallas. A complete loop around the lake takes about three hours. The adventurous can indulge in an array of outdoor activities on offer like fishing, sailing and, horseback riding. Bird enthusiasts have reason to rejoice, as the area attracts beautiful, exotic species. The panorama of verdant landscapes that enclose calm waters is the very definition of tranquility.
The beauty of Texas' nature can be experienced first-hand with a hike through this 630-acre (146-hectare) preserve. With guided and self-guided tours available along the ten miles of wooded trails, outdoor enthusiasts can wander up to the Escarpment Nature Preserve, the highest point in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Along the way you can view ponds, wildflowers and a butterfly garden before arriving at vistas and an observation tower. The trails vary in difficulty. All are natural terrain paved with rock, mulch, or dirt. They are designed for foot traffic only, and bikes or roller blades are not allowed. Hikes can last anywhere from 15 minutes to three hours, depending upon the trail selected. A snack bar, gift shop, and amphitheater are also located on the grounds.
If you're looking for fun outdoor activities in Dallas, head over to Klyde Warren Park. Built over the Woodall Rodgers Freeway, this park gives city-dwellers a much needed green space. Dogs can run free through the water fountains in the dog park to keep cool. Concerts and other events open to the public are held here often. Bask in the sun, play some chess or ping pong, or take the kids over to the playground - make a day of it!
Dallas Zoo encompasses 106-acres (42 hectares) of exotic and traditional zoo animals. Visitors are greeted at the entrance by one of the tallest statues in Texas - a 67.5 foot (20.5 meters) giraffe. The Wilds of Africa attraction includes the chimpanzee forest, the gorilla center and an aviary on a quarter-mile nature trail where six natural habitats are featured: forest, mountain, woodland, river, desert and brush. A 20-minute monorail ride runs the course of the attraction and costs an additional fee. The ZooNorth attraction includes a bird and reptile building, children's zoo with touchable animals, cheetah exhibit, elephants, giraffes, flamingos and other traditional animals.
This historic site sprawls over 227 acres (918,636 square meters) and has one of the nation's largest collections of Art Deco buildings. Built in 1936, Fair Park is registered as a National Historic Landmark. It was built by the WPA to house the Texas Centennial Exposition, celebrating Texas' independence from Mexico. It boasts an inspiring list of museums including the African American Museum, Age of Steam Railroad Museum, Museum of Nature and Science, Music Hall At Fair Park, Dallas Aquarium and Dallas Horticulture Center. You will also find concerts at the outdoor Coca Cola Starplex, college football in the Cotton Bowl, and the annual State Fair of Texas. The Visitor Center shows a 10-minute film about the park and offers walking tours by appointment.
A great testament to urban redevelopment and creating green-space within a city, the Belo Garden is a public park, open for all to enjoy. The former parking lot is now a lively hub of activity in the city and offers a great place to rejuvenate, relax, pursue fitness goals or simply enjoy nature in an urban environment. Especially popular with kids, is the interactive fountain where kids can play and socialize. With a lovely nod to the local flora and landscape, the Texas Grove is a sight to see in the autumn with it's dramatic oranges and golds, and the little gardens populated with local flora interspersed around the park are a lovely place to relax. If you'd like to enjoy a little quiet time and take a break from the chaos, stop by the park and enjoy the greenery in the heart of Dallas.
Located in downtown Dallas, the Main Street Garden is a park that was created as a part of a sort of downtown revamping program of the Dallas Government. Opened in 2009, the landscaped lawns of the garden have since welcomed visitors and locals alike, whether they seek a leisure stroll, or wish to attend a concert at this park. Designed by the Landscape Architects Firm, Thomas Baisley Associates, this park has facilities like a dog run, a playground, a splash fountain, and even a cafe, called Lily Pad Cafe. The park has free Wi-Fi, and its premises are given on rent for a range of events. See the website to know more.
This Dallas landmark has graced the downtown skyline since 1978. Three levels of activity structure, which are encircled in a dome of lights. The triangle formations of the structural cylinders encase the elevators that carry passengers to the top levels in 68 seconds. Over 200 lights add shimmer to the geodesic dome, which can be programmed to form an infinite number of patterns. Some of the more famous include "The Electric Moon," "Texas Raindrops" and "Dallas Disco Fever." The tower opened in 1978, just two years after construction began and only five years after its conception. The Lookout is the lowest of the upper levels and provides both an indoor and outdoor observation area. Visitors can view many points of interest throughout the Dallas area from 360-degrees.
Situated inside the AT&T Performing Arts Center, Sammons Park offers the perfect setting for lazing around on a slow afternoon. Although people visit this park at all times, a large number of people can be seen especially before and after a show being hosted at one of the venues at AT&T Performing Arts Center. The towering skyscrapers in the surrounding, beautiful pool in the center, the well-manicured grass and the many trees make the Sammons Park evermore beautiful.
This impressive brick, limestone and granite arena was built not only as the home of the Dallas Stars and the Dallas Mavericks, but also as a venue for other entertainment. You can come here to watch sports or a concert. American Airlines Center anchors the 72-acre Victory Development, a project that reclaimed an area occupied by an abandoned rail yard and power plant and is in the process of creating a vibrant urban area. Special features include retractable seating and more than USD3 million in public art. Public tours are available and require reservations.