One of the biggest cities in all of the US and one of the liveliest locations in all of Texas, Dallas is an incredible place. Boasting world-famous monuments, fascinating history, a stunning skyline, and so much more, it's a great place to visit and a superb location for a wide variety of activities. Kayaking might not be the first thing one would associate with Dallas, but the city actually attracts a lot of kayakers and has some very interesting waterways for paddlers to navigate. CDC information for travelers. Hours/availability may have changed.
2.Trinity River Kayak Co
3.White Rock Paddle Co
4.Trinity River Expeditions
Best Kayaking in Dallas
- Overview, Photo: teksomolika/stock.adobe.com
- Trinity River Kayak Co, Photo: Khurram/stock.adobe.com
- White Rock Paddle Co, Photo: pirotehnik/stock.adobe.com
- Trinity River Expeditions, Photo: Alex Green/stock.adobe.com
- Cover Photo: Courtesy of Mihail - Fotolia.com
Attraction Spotlight: Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Gardens
The Dallas Arboretum spans 66 acres on the shores of White Rock Lake in Dallas, Texas. The arboretum is open daily and rotates exhibits four times per year according to the seasons. The property includes 19 gardens, a plant-trials program, and an 8-acre children’s adventure garden. Structures on the site include the Alexander Camp House and the DeGolyer House as well as the newly built event venue, Rosine Hall.
Of the two historical homes, the DeGolyer House was built in 1939 in the Spanish Colonial Revival style, and this 21,000-square-foot home was recently renovated to look like it did in the 1940s. The Alex Camp House was completed in 1938 and this 8,500-square-foot home is a combination of Latin Colonial, English Regency and art deco architecture. Both are decorated seasonally and are available for private event use.
The 19 named gardens are the jewel of the property and change with the seasons, while each offers visitors a truly unique landscape and visual experience. The Palmer Fern Dell surrounds a pond and features a lush landscape of ferns, water lilies, and mature trees. The Jonnson Color Garden showcases sweeping colorful ground covers of seasonal flowers and the Nancy Rutchik Red Maple Rill is home to over 80 varieties of Japanese maples, which line the banks of a stream. The Rose Mary Haggar Rose Garden exhibits 16 varieties of hybrid tea roses. In the Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure Garden, children learn to connect to nature with over 150 kid-friendly activities based on the life and earth sciences.
Visitors can pick up a map at the information booth, bring their own food and drink or make a purchase onsite, and spend all day roaming through the various gardens, ponds, waterfalls, and sculptures. With over 66 acres to explore, it is a good idea to plan visits ahead of time. The arboretum website and information office offer resources and maps and can suggest gardens for those visiting with families or those looking for a romantic stroll or health and relaxation, or even just a quick look around. Wagon rentals are available for small children and there is a tram onsite to transport visitors through the grounds.
The Dallas Arboretum began with the formation in 1974 of the non-profit organization, the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Society (DABS). Between 1977 and 1980, DABS began acquiring land with the help of members, donors, and the City of Dallas Park Board, with 44 acres coming from the DeGolyer estate, which the City had purchased from Southern Methodist University, and the additional 22 acres accompanying the purchase of the Alex Camp House. In 1982, construction on the gardens began, and the park opened to the public in 1984. Although relatively young as a botanical garden, the arboretum today sees more than one million visitors annually and boasts an extensive list of accolades for achievements in creating a colorful urban oasis that is also a pioneer in education and research.
Ongoing Programs & Education
The arboretum is host to several annual seasonal events. These include Artscape, a fine art and craft show and fair held each spring, and the popular spring and summer concert series held every Thursday night. Visitors are encouraged to bring blankets and chairs to enjoy the concerts on the lawn. In inclement weather, the concerts are moved indoors to Rosine Hall. In the fall, a pumpkin village is built with several activities for children, including a pumpkin patch maze and hay bale rides. Holidays at the arboretum offer visitors a stroll through the 12 Days of Christmas display, while the gardens are lit up with over 500,000 holiday lights. The historical buildings on site are trimmed for the holidays and a 30-foot Christmas tree stands at the center of the property.
Year-round events and educational programs include innovative programming for children, which make use of the 8-acre Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure Garden and it’s exhibit space. New this year is an Incredible Edibles program about edible plants, and the Texas Native Plant Lab. Several different children’s programs are available, including programming for Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, group and family overnight visits, and summer camps.
For adults, the arboretum offers several different programs for those interested in learning more about their own gardens or planting in north Texas. The Trial Gardens were born out of a need for research, and the lessons learned in these innovative gardens assist home gardeners, commercial gardeners, and retailers. Over 3,000 plants are tested each year from approximately 150 breeding companies.
8525 Garland Road, Dallas, Texas 75218, Phone: 214-515-6615
You are reading "Best Kayaking in Dallas " Back to Top
Attraction Spotlight: Old Red Museum
Old Red Museum of Dallas County History & Culture tells the story of Dallas, Texas through family friendly exhibits in historic Dealey Plaza. The Old Red Museum was constructed in 1892 as the Dallas County Courthouse. The building was constructed to be fireproof, made from steel and stone. The building has been fully restored and is open from 9am to 5pm daily. Admission fees can be found on the Old Red Museum website. There is no parking at the Museum; however, there is an underground parking garage available near the southwest corner of the museum.
About the Museum
The museum features exhibit that articulate the economic, political and social history and culture of Dallas County. The bell and clocktower that are a part of the Tower are replications of the 19th century tower that was removed in 1919. There are 4 terra cotta Wyverns or, serpent figures, that sit atop the museum. Two of these are original to the museum while the other two were reconstructed in the restoration process in the 2000’s. Both the Grand Staircase and Hatton W Sumners Restored Courtroom have been restored to their 1892 appearance. A vault was also discovered during the restoration process, hidden away behind a bookcase that was used by the Dallas County Treasurer.
The second floor of the Old Red Museum is dedicated to telling the history of Dallas County through the early years of prehistory through modern day.
Early Years Gallery: Prehistory-1873- The first Dallas settlement was in 1841 but this exhibit will go further back than that. Visitors will discover mammoth remains, fossils, Civil War weaponry, and many other artifacts from the early years in Dallas history.
Trading Center Gallery: 1874-1917- The economic explosion in Dallas County is studied in this exhibit that details the arrival of the railroad, the boom of the trade industry, wholesale, and aviation, and the State Fair of Texas.
Big “D” Gallery: 1918-1945- Dallas became very popular between WWI and WWII due to the Texas Centennial Exposition and earned the nickname Big D. Visitors to this exhibit will learn the history behind this name and about the blues musicians from Texas, and the significance of the Centennial.
World Crossroads Gallery: 1946-2007- Dallas after war and how they recovered post tragedy is explored throughout this exhibit that follows the country from the end of World War II into the 21st century and features memorabilia from prominent sport figures, films, and television shows.
Special exhibits are given space on the first floor of Old Red Museum and are curated by the museum for temporary seasons and from items in the museum collection that are not included in the permanent exhibits. Current and upcoming exhibits are detailed on Old Red Museum website.
Renting Old Red Museum
Old Red Museum can be rented for public and private events such as birthday parties, weddings, business functions and fundraising events. The Great Hall is the largest space accommodating up to 400 standing guests. There are also private suites available on the 4th floor for bridal parties.
100 South Houston Street, Dallas, Texas, 7502, Phone: 214-745-1100
Attraction Spotlight: Perot Museum of Nature and Science
When visiting downtown Dallas, Texas, one might find, just northwest of the Woodall Rodgers Freeway, a peculiar concrete cube that rises out of a lush green garden. As its roughly carved sides give way to smooth and crisp angles while they reach nearly 14 stories skyward, its sharp corners are bisected with tubes and glass and steel cable. The Perot Museum of Nature and Science may be an ode to modern design and responsible building practices, but it houses an amazing collection of exhibits that will make any visitors heart swoon for the miracles of our natural world.
The stunning museum offers 11 different exhibit halls within its cutting edge, five-story architecture. While the structure itself is designed to be an impressive exhibit on its own, with ambitious examples of engineering and conservation, inside is an array of knowledge and information that will inspire and awe anyone who arrives with even the slightest bit of curiosity and wonder. The building is plum full of exhibits, displays, kiosks, games, videos, and even interactive 3D computerized animations that beckon guests with life-like simulations. The building boasts a roof deck, a theater, a café, a museum shop and even a giant dinosaur fossil greeting guests at the entrance lobby.
The Perot Museum of Nature and Science started life as a number of disparate organizations. In 1936, the Dallas Museum of Natural History first opened. Later across town, the Dallas Health Museum was opened in 1946 by the Dallas Academy of Medicine, and this museum bore a slew of names throughout its life including the Dallas Health and Science Museum and the Science Place. The year 1995 saw the opening of the Dallas Children’s Museum to great acclaim in the Fair Park area of town. It wasn’t until 2006 when these varying organizations were untied under one flag. At this point the freshly named Perot Museum of Nature and Science was already an impressive source of education and wonder, counting among its exhibits a full planetarium, an expansive IMAX style theater, and even a paleontology lab. In 2012 the organization successfully completed a fundraiser that allowed it to move to its brand new, original building in Victory Park. The Science Place and the planetarium were both closed, while the Dallas Museum of Natural History was maintained as the museum’s second campus.
The building itself is meant to be the first exhibit that visitors see. Even walking through the garden on the way to the lobby, guests are met with displays and signs that offer insights to the design choices and landscaping appointments chosen for the property. The stout, drought-tolerant flora surrounding the museum was chosen to mirror the Dallas landscape and climate, and the sprawling acre of green roof space was designed to evolve over time as it mingles with local grasses and plant life. The building uses a rainwater collection system that captures run off from the building itself as well as the parking areas, and is able to offset 74% of its own non-drinking water needs, as well as the entirety of its landscape irrigation needs.
You are reading "Best Kayaking in Dallas " Back to Top
The building is designed to be as environmentally conscious as it possibly can be; utilizing recycled and repurposed building materials, LED lighting fixtures, skylights, solar powered water heaters, and other off-grid electricity generation technologies that help offset its energy footprint.
These efforts are well applauded by the conservation community, and the building was awarded four Green Globes from the rigorous Green Globe Initiative, an achievement few buildings in the nation have been able to secure.
Wrapping around its exterior is a glass tube housing a 54-foot escalator that flows continuously along the museums façade.
The Perot Museum of Nature and Science features 11 different exhibit halls, each offering visitors of all ages, from toddlers to the elderly, a unique list of displays, technologies and intriguing examples of the natural world.
The Moody Family Children's Museum on the lower level was designed specifically for children 5 and younger, and offers kids a number of ways to stay engaged. The floor itself is a graphic representation of the Trinity River that guides guests though the exhibit. It contains a miniature and interactive playground recreation of the Dallas skyline, complete with the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge and other local landmarks like the Neiman Marcus building and the Magnolia Hotel. The Children’s Museum even offers public viewing of staff feeding the numerous animals in the terrarium exhibit. The hands-on dinosaur dig is built to introduce young learners to the real life digs in and around the Big Bend area of Texas. There’s even an art lab with drop-in programs available.
The Lamar Hunt Family Sports Hall is an exhilaratingly interactive hall that features a 55-foot Sports Run video exhibit where visitors can race various speedy contestants including the NFL’s Dallas Cowboy star Felix Jones, WOGA Level 10 gymnast and athlete Emily Richardson, a 3D simulation of a true to life-size tyrannosaurus rex and even a simulated cheetah.
The Discovering Life hall at The Perot Museum of Nature and Science offers a glimpse into the Texas ecosystem across the scale, from single celled organism to the complex landscapes of the Piney Woods and Blackland Prairie.
The Being Human Hall poses the question to visitors: What does it mean to be human? Visitors have explored the different forms of life we interact with in previous halls, but this one examines the unique experience of being human. It invites guests to examine cross sections of actual human tissues and samples, to test out a prosthetic hand, to launch a ping pong ball using only the mind, and even learn the ways the human body moves by using motion capture displays to mimic the moves of tai chi practitioners and dancers.
The Texas Instruments Engineering and Innovation Hall allows visitors to create music in the museum’s sound studio or to build a functioning robot to learn about machine languages and programming instructions.
The Rees-Jones Foundation Dynamic Earth Hall contains a thrilling earthquake simulator and features footage from actual tornadoes that have hit Texas.
Lyda Hill Gems and Minerals Hall features the world’s largest gold nugget and the Grape Jelly Geode, a 1.5 ton mineral.
The Tom Hunt Energy Hall lets visitors travel virtually through a nine-thousand-foot gas well, and experience natural gas fracking, and teaches guests about the different types of oil drilling as alternative fuels in use today.
T. Boone Pickens Life Then and Now Hall shows viewers the evolution of life on Earth over the course of its 4 billion year journey. It has on display an actual alamosaurus skeleton and a model of a 35-foot malawisaurus.
The Expanding Universe Hall uses high definition screens and immersive visuals to take visitors through a recreation of the Big Bang and formation of the Solar System.
The Rose Hall of Birds allows visitors to use the displays to build a bird out of a selection of wings, beaks and other bird features and then put on a pair of 3D glasses and fly a simulation of their own custom built bird.
The museum’s theater, dubbed The Hoglund Foundation Theater, A National Geographic Experience, is a 298-seat, ADA-compliant multimedia facility with a 4K and RealD 3D digital projection system and surround sound that offers theatrical educational programs including documentaries and independent films and covering times form before life began on earth to worlds far away from our own.
The Museum Café is operated by the celebrate Wolfgang Puck and offers guests a refreshing moment to take a break and refuel with dishes focusing on local Texas ingredients. The café overlooks the outdoor plaza.
The Perot Museum of Nature and Science also offers guests a Museum shop located in the atrium with gifts, mementos and ways to take the learning experience home with them.
The Perot Museum accommodates rentals in a number of its halls, auditoriums and lobbies with on-site and approved caterers to service any event needs.
Visitors to The Perot Museum of Nature and Science will find it easy to access, located right off the 35E in downtown Dallas. It is located conveniently near the Dallas Arts District, the West End, and Uptown and easily accessible from a variety of public transportation offerings including the DART Katy Trail for pedestrians and bicyclists.
The Perot Museum of Nature and Science support a number of research initiative to better understand its mission and the world around us. Much of their research centers on the work of the museum’s vice-president of Research and Collections, the vertebrate paleontologist Dr. Anthony Fiorillo. The research program at the Perot Museum also operates the largest and most active laboratory for fossil preparation in all of northern Texas. Achievements for the lab include overseeing the preparation of the Alaska skull of the Pachyrhinosaurus perotorum, and the naming of the oldest bird fossil in North America, the Flexomornis howei. The giant neck vertebrae on display at the Perot Museum, from the massive Alamosaurus sanjuanensis discovered in Big Bend National Park was prepared in this lab.
2201 N Field St, Dallas, TX 75201, Phone: Phone: 214-428-5555
You are reading "Best Kayaking in Dallas " Back to Top