Off the shores of White Rock Lake lies the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden. The 66 acres (267,093 square meters) 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.
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.
The historic Dallas Heritage Village at Old City Park features lush, manicured gardens and a recreated Victorian-era town. Nestled near downtown, the expansive park is accentuated with beautiful homes and establishments. Volunteers demonstrate weaving, cooking and welding among other activities from that time period to those looking for an insight into Texan history. The site is an official history museum and is affiliated with The Dallas County Heritage Society. The society plays host to several events throughout the year; the annual Candlelight Country Fair and Old Fashioned Fourth of July draw major crowds.
Your family will enjoy the great outdoors at Arbor Hills Nature Preserve. It provides a tranquil place to escape the hectic city life for an afternoon. You will find untainted woods, meadows, a collection of native Texas trees, and a habitat for birds, fish, and wildlife. This preserve is connected through a series of bridges and ramps leading to a covered pavilion. You will find climbing structures and slides, plus a torpedo-shaped track ride, and a wonderful fake rock to climb.
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.
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!
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.
Beer-making is a fine art form at the Deep Ellum Brewing Company. The business prides itself on the use of top-quality ingredients and have their hops freshly shipped from Portland. The bittering agent infused with host of innovative flavors gives way to a variety of ales, stouts and lagers. Try the classic Deep Ellum IPA or opt for more adventurous concoctions like the Cherry Chocolate Baltic Porter or the Farmhouse Wit.
Connecting Downtown to West Dallas, the Ronald Kirk Bridge was first built in 1933. Initially, when it was inaugurated, the bridge did carry vehicular traffic. However, having overgone multiple renovations and restorations over the years, the local government decided to make the bridge a pedestrian street and by 2014 the bridge was reopened to the public. Children can now spend their time goofing around in the splash park, playing on the slides and swings in the playground or even participating in a human-sized chess game.Shaded areas and a few hiking trails surround the bridge.