Dallas is known for many things. From its cowboys and unique cuisine to its southern hospitality, fashion and of course, sports. But perhaps what you didn’t know is that it’s home to some of the country’s biggest urban park systems.
It boasts of more than four hundred parks spread on thousands of parkland acres. And this doesn’t even include the 1,300-acre River Legacy Parks in Arlington or the 200-acre Arbor Hills Nature Preserve in Plano.
Our team here at Granite Foundation Repair has made a guide of the 13 best parks to visit on your trip to Dallas, Texas.
1. Klyde Warren Park
Klyde Warren Park opened its doors in 2012. Its purpose was to be a central gathering place for locals and visitors to enjoy as well as to encourage more pedestrian foot traffic to the area.
The 5-acre downtown Dallas park is perched atop a sunken freeway. This nationally acclaimed park is just one of the examples of what makes Dallas’ downtown area so unique.
The stunning space abounds with year-round activities, ranging from children’s entertainment, film screenings and musical performances to fitness sessions, lawn games, and dance lessons.
There is also a variety of food trucks stationed along the side in case you work up an appetite after all the activities.
2. Reverchon Park
Reverchon Park is a municipal park in the Oak Lawn area of Dallas, Texas. It was designed to be the Central Park of Dallas. Its main entrance is at Maple Avenue and Turtle Creek Boulevard.
The park features hiking trails, baseball fields, and tennis and basketball courts. There are also a couple of fun activities for kids. In 2002, the City of Dallas, Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for children and the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons built a modern children’s playground.
The playground is accessible to children of all levels of physical abilities.
3. Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden
The Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden is a state-of-the-art outdoor oasis located minutes from downtown Dallas. It has consistently been named one of the top attractions in the city.
With 66-acres of endless ornamental shrubs, seasonal flowers, trees and exotic plants, there’s plenty to marvel at. The Arboretum features a slew of educational programs for both children and adults. It also hosts a variety of public events, ranging from seasonal festivals to art shows to concerts.
In addition, parents with younger children will want to also explore the 8-acre Rory Meyers Children Adventure Garden. The garden boasts everything from 150 interactive science exhibits to cascading waterfalls.
And the views are as spectacular as the food. So be sure to reserve a spot at the historic DeGolyer House restaurant.
4. White Rock Lake Park
The White Rock Lake Park is arguably one of the most popular parks in Dallas. And guess what? It doesn’t cost a dime. This urban oasis offers everything from a variety of wildlife and vast forests to over nine miles of biking and hiking trails.
Other activities to enjoy include fishing, sailing, kayaking, and paddle-boarding. In addition, there are picnic areas, playgrounds, a dog park and cultural center.
5. Arbor Hills Nature Preserve
Arbor Hills Nature Preserve is a 200-acre park in Plano, TX. It’s a special place left largely undisturbed, where visitors can enjoy interacting with nature. The wildlife found this preserve includes white-tailed deer, owls, armadillos, and rabbits.
This family park in Dallas features an awesome trail system: a 2.8-mile off-road bike trail, 3 miles of unpaved trails and 3 miles of paved trails.
Kids will love the large recreational area complete with an interconnected set of play-structures.
6. Bob Woodruff Park
Bob Woodruff Park is a wonderful place to enjoy the outdoors. The park has a hard surface recreational trail measuring 1.7 miles, a sand volleyball court, picnic facilities, a fishing pier, restrooms, a playground and two pavilions.
7. River Legacy Parks
River Legacy Parks is a 12,000 square foot oasis. It’s the product of a public/private partnership between the city of Arlington and the River Legacy Foundation. The park features eight miles of paved hike and bike trails.
If you’re looking for a fun Dallas playground, youngsters will enjoy house suspension bridges and two treehouses among other things.
Oh, and did we mention wildlife? Along more than 10 miles of some of the best cross-country trails, you’ll see a variety of birds, bobcats, wild boar, raccoons, and armadillos.
8. Trinity River Audubon Center
The Trinity River Audubon Center is located just 10 miles south of downtown Dallas. It was once home to the largest illegal dumping site in the state. Today, the 120-acre nature preserve is now one of the city’s most treasured jewels.
The center is home to an assortment of activities, ranging from bird classes, kayak river adventures, camp-outs and owl prowl to seasonal festivals and guided hikes. The area is also home to a variety of wildlife and over sixty species of birds.
Also, don’t forget to take a two-hour tour guided trip down the river or check out the children’s Discovery Garden.
9. Celebration Park
Celebration Park is a community park that features a variety of activities. Some of these activities include hiking/biking trails, a swimming pool, basketball courts, soccer fields, restrooms, pavilion, a playground and picnic tables.
10. Lakeside Park
Lakeside Park is a 14-acre swath of green space known for its multi-million dollar homes and manicured lawns. It’s nestled inside the Dallas municipality of Highland Park just minutes from downtown Dallas.
It’s a terrific place to feed the ducks, fish for bass and take a stroll or a run.
11. Robert E. Lee Park
Robert E. Lee Park is more proof of the area’s natural beauty. Not only is this 17-acre creek-side park loaded with history, it’s also one of the city’s most inviting spaces.
The Dallas park is named after General Robert E. Lee, a commander of the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia during the American Civil War.
The park hosts a variety of public events, including the beloved annual Easter celebration that comes with a pooch parade. Also, in addition to its rolling lawns and gorgeous trees, the park boasts of Arlington Hall, a replica of Robert E. Lee’s home in Virginia.
12. Ronald Kirk Bridge-Felix H. Lozada, SR. Gateway
This is a 1.2-mile pedestrian-only oasis that once served as a viaduct for vehicles between downtown and West Dallas. Today, this linear oasis is filled with a bocce court, playgrounds, water features, gardens and even human-sized chess boards.
The park also offers a host of free and fun activities. Enjoy the special events, movie screenings, children’s programs, and fitness classes. You can also enjoy sweeping views of downtown Dallas as well as the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge.
13. Dragon Park
Dragon Park is a tranquil space dotted with water features, secret nooks and a variety of eclectic statues.
It’s a privately-owned secret garden tucked away at the corner of Hood Street and Cedar Springs Road in Dallas’s Oak neighborhood. If you’re looking for a quiet reprieve from a city mired in traffic, this is a great option.
Though locating it is the stressful part, this little slice of Eden offers a refreshing respite, whether you’re looking for an ideal spot for a picnic or a quiet place to read a book. A small, ornate pavilion, flowers and butterflies also add to the tranquil ambiance.
There you have it. The best parks in Dallas, Texas. If you’re visiting Dallas or a local looking for some fun time, be sure to check out these spots. And better yet, most of them are absolutely free!