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!
A visit to the Dallas Children's Theater is entertainment for the entire family. Introduce your little ones to the world of live theater by involving them in activities here. Classes are offered here, and are conducted by established artists. A number of excellent plays including Rumpelstiltskin, The True Story of the Three Little Pigs and several musicals have been shown here.
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 third-largest city in Texas, Dallas is a major transit and trade hub in the northeast region of the state. Speckled with a bevy of colorful neighborhoods with distinct personalities, a skyline dominated by modernist and postmodernist landmarks and a dynamic arts scene that is firmly rooted in profound icons like the Dallas Museum of Art, this city epitomizes an incredible balance between austerity and friendliness. Dallas' origin goes back to the time when French and Spanish colonists squabbled over property rights to the land. While the Spanish ended up controlling the territory, little development or settlement occurred until 1841, when John Neely Bryan established the first permanent structures on the land. Despite memorable historic accounts that detail its groundbreaking origin, Dallas is most infamously remembered for being the site of John F. Kennedy's assassination, an event that significantly altered America's course. This heartbreaking past is revisited at the Dealey Plaza Museum, the site of Kennedy's assassination. Dallas' urbane sprawl also strongly favors a robust cultural scene, housed within modern structures like the AT&T Performing Arts Center, the Dallas Convention Center, and an array of vibrant festivals that span arts, films, food and music.
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.
Downtown Dallas is the vibrant heart of Dallas which is not only a business hub but also an entertainment zone for anyone who wants to explore its surroundings. From hip nightclubs, creative restaurants to lively dive bars, the Downtown has a lot to offer for everyone. Choose from any of its fifteen districts such as the Arts District, the Main Street District or the Reunion District, you will just be amazed by its versatility. Don't forget to visit the Reunion Tower which offers magnificent vistas of the city's skyline from its top.
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.
This spiral-shaped chapel was designed by Philip Johnson, the noted American architect, and features stained glass by Gabriel Loire. It honors the spirit of gratitude as it is represented in world religions. The chapel comprises just part of this lovely downtown oasis, which includes the Bell Tower, a garden, walkways with reflecting pools and waterfalls.