White Rock Lake and Park

White Rock Lake and Park picture
Courtesy Dallas CVB

Key Info

Price & Hours

Free

Details

Parks and Gardens, Recreation, Free Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend

Travelers can embrace nature at White Rock Lake and Park, which is located about 10 miles north of downtown Dallas. Bird-watching, fishing, biking, rollerblading and picnicking by the lake are just a few of the activities people can enjoy. Active visitors and locals love to sail on the lake, as well as rent stand-up paddleboards and kayaks from a nearby rental company, White Rock Paddle Co. Keep in mind that swimming in the lake is prohibited. But with local attractions nearby like the White Rock Lake Museum, Bath House Cultural Center and Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden, and amenities like a picnic area, dog park and pavilions for rent, you can find entertainment rain or shine.

Visitors often report wildlife sightings, such as different kinds of birds throughout the year. Families note that it's a dog-friendly park as well, with plenty of space for kids and pets to run around. And many recommend visiting at off-peak times, like in the afternoon and evening, to enjoy fewer crowds and take in the colorful sunset. Active travelers also say it a great spot to run, hike or bike.

White Rock Lake and Park is open daily from 6 a.m. to midnight. Because of the park's size (it spans more than 1,000 acres and has more than 9 miles of trails), visitors caution that if you're planning a rendezvous with friends you should agree on a central meeting point ahead of time. Driving is the most direct route and there are several parking lots on-site; the No. 60 bus or the DART's Blue line light rail from downtown Dallas are two public transit options. Visit the park's website for more information.

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#1 Fort Worth Stockyards National Historic District

If you only have a day in Fort Worth, head straight to the Stockyards. This living museum pays tribute to Fort Worth's Wild West heyday with daily cattle drives and plenty of restaurants serving up cowboy cuisine. Start your visit at Stockyards Station at the heart of this historic neighborhood – from here, you can join a guided walking or Segway tour or hop on a stage coach. If you're interested in the district's history, pay a visit to the Stockyards Museum, which is housed in the former Livestock Exchange building and now contains an extensive collection of documents and artifacts from Fort Worth's Old West era. Meanwhile, the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame and the Texas Trail of Fame will also offer insight into Fort Worth's most notable residents. If you have kids in tow, take a twirl through the Cowtown Cattlepen Maze or a ride on the Grapevine Vintage Railroad.

Recent visitors strongly recommend visiting the Stockyards on a Friday or Saturday night for the Championship Rodeo. Starting at 8 p.m., talented cowboys will show off their riding, roping and racing skills in the Cowtown Coliseum. Afterward, you can test your dancing skills at Billy Bob's Texas – at 3 acres, Billy Bob's claims to be the world's largest honky tonk. While many reviewers said this was a great activity for first-time visitors, they also cautioned that it is quite touristy.

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