Top Five Outdoor Adventures in Dallas

Zar Atiqzoy - Dallas Fort Worth
October 31, 2017

Outdoor things to do are aplenty in Dallas, but our favorites are those places where we can move at our own pace and enjoy not only each other's company but also time to take in and explore our surroundings in nature and community. Enjoy these five fall outings while the cool crisp weather is here!

Picnic at the Dallas Arboretum

With a full range of flowers in bloom, the Dallas Arboretum is the place to go to "stop and smell the roses." Hundreds of seasonal flowers stop visitors in their tracks as they snake through more than a dozen gardens. Take a midday break in the Pecan Grove and enjoy your sandwiches and lemonade under a canopy of pecan trees. Then cool off in Toad Corners where a quartet of giant bronze toads spew 20-foot streams of water. Relax, take pictures, or just people watch in the Jonsson Color Garden, where cannas and caladiums surround you while watching the kids run barefoot on the lush green grass. Oh what the heck, go ahead and kick off your sandals and run too!

Hike, Bike, Sail (and more) at White Rock Lake

Whether on foot or wheels, there's much to do around the nine miles of White Rock Lake, now in its hundredth year. The water is not just popular for its view, but also for sailing, kayaking, fishing, and feeding ducks and geese. Winfrey Point and Sunset Bay, both boast great spots to catch the Dallas skyline with a sunset, as well as the spillway at the southeast end, where white egrets hang out and water stampedes after storms. For hiking and walking, go off the beaten path leaving the asphalt for cyclists, who train on the weekends. Don't forget your blanket to stretch out in and watch the sails pass by, or your pup who would have an adventure of his own in the Dog Park at Mockingbird Point.

Go on a Safari at the Dallas Zoo

The Giants of Savanna exhibit, nestled in the Wilds of Africa attraction at the Dallas Zoo, allows patrons to have close visual encounters with African elephants grazing on grasslands, and cheetahs and lions lounging in view. Even closer, feed the hungry giraffes leafy lettuce or crackers, or just sit back and take in the vast "savanna" view from the Simmons Safari Base Camp and Observation Deck. Children can also get their "passports" stamped by answering trivia questions and learn all about these wild friends who now call Dallas home.

Take in the Sights...on Horseback

While there are many things that make us all feel very Texan, there's one thing in particular, in addition to donning a cowboy hat, that is synonymous with being a Texas: horseback riding! Visiting a dude ranch and taking a trail ride outside our city's skyscrapers is a great way to spend some quality quiet time with the family, nature, and new friends. Marshall Creek Ranch in Southlake will help saddle up families of all levels for a 39-mile trail ride through the unspoiled shores of Lake Grapevine. Adventures abound here as you may encounter wildlife, from White Tail Deer to Great Blue Herons and Coyotes.

Road Trip to Fossil Rim Wildlife Center

Just over an hour away is Glen Rose, where a 1,700 acre endangered species research and conservation center awaits. It is said that 1000 animals and 50 different species live at Fossil Rim Wildlife Center. Once you get here, you will instantly wonder: Am I still in Texas? Very much so. The main attraction of this vast landscape is its scenic 9.5 mile self-guided drive amongst free roaming wildlife. Curious ones will poke through your windows (beware the ostriches!), but it's a thrilling adventure that will at least get a squeal or two out of everyone. The view from the café and picnic area is a sight to take in, where your eyes will stretch beyond the hilltops (great photo opportunities!). There's also a children's zoo to pet goats and rabbits, as well as a walking trail to stretch your legs before getting finishing the tour and heading home. 

Remember, it helps to plan ahead, so visit your destination's website and call in advance to confirm opening times and schedules -- but once you're  there, it's time to relax, enjoy, and let the spirit of adventure take you and your family wherever you want to go.

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