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.
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!
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.
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.
The Nasher Sculpture Center on Flora Street is a significant landmark in Dallas. The gallery, designed by Renzo Plano, displays works by Rodin and Picasso. This monumental structure with glass ceilings is bordered by a beautiful garden. The works are just as striking as the building itself. Rodin's Eve is an excellent example of how a simple subject can be sculpted beautifully. Picasso's elegant sculpture, Fleurs dans un vase, uses a mix of materials and will mesmerize you.
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.
Dominating the city skyline for over three decades, Bank of America Plaza was and is Dallas' tallest building. Towering at 921 feet (280.7 meters) with 72 floors for commercial usage, this prestigious building is among the finest corporate addresses in the Central Business District (CBD). Completed in 1985, this iconic skyscraper has undergone several name changes in its existence. Its glistening modernist glass and steel facade is not only a landmark during the day but also during the night when it is luminous with colorful LED lights.
Pioneer Plaza is more than just your ordinary park. A bronze ensemble of lifelike cattle punctuates this 4.2-acre (1.6 hectare) park overlooking City Hall and the Dallas Convention Center. Nationally-acclaimed artist and native Texan Robert Summers is the artistic force behind the unique sculptures. The 70 bronze steers memorialize the cattle drives that took place along the Shawnee Trail back in 1854.
Discover a South American rainforest filled with monkeys, colorful toucans, crocodiles, manatees and otters. The aquarium portion of this popular attraction features 85,000 gallons (321,760 liters) of saltwater containing marine life from around the world. Palm tree polyps, Blackeye goby, Harlequin shrimp, Zebra angelfish, Napoleon wrasse and many more are few of the aquatic life on display.
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.
Long the symbol for the Mobil Oil Company, the giant Pegasus sign has become more than just a corporate logo to the people of Dallas. A local landmark, the brightly lit red-winged horse rotates above the Magnolia Building. The Pegasus Project, a local nonprofit effort, rebuilt it at a cost of $650,000 between the years 1999 and 2000, while the original Pegasus sign, taken down while the new one was being built, can still be seen displayed at the Dallas Farmers Market.