Although Dallas is not a coastal or mountainous locale, it still affords plenty of options for getting outside and soaking up the faithful sunshine. For starters, the region offers 125 miles of hiking and bike trails, a handful of lakes and river trails and more than 22,000 acres of parkland to choose from.
Kayaking in White Rock Lake Park
Twice the size of Central Park in New York yet still within the Dallas city limits, White Rock Lake is the perfect escape for urbanites. Paddling a kayak across the lake is a great way to take in the scenery. White Rock Paddle Co. provides kayaks and paddleboard rentals lakeside.
8300 E Lawther Dr., Dallas, dallasparks.org
Horseback Riding on Widowmaker Trail Rides
Not all Texans own horses anymore, but you can still saddle up and explore the terrain outside the city on horseback. Widowmaker Trail Rides carves through 1,000 acres of breathtaking Western landscapes along the shore of Lake Grapevine. The excursions are ideal for smaller groups and typically take about two hours.
904 Quail Creek Ct., Southlake, dallashorseback.com
Hiking Cedar Ridge Nature Preserve
A short drive south of downtown, Cedar Ridge Nature Preserve boasts nine miles of hiking trails that wend through verdant terrain populated by native wildlife. The park is accessible to all paces, with several trails organized by degree of difficulty. After ascending nearly 800 feet to a panoramic view of the region, you might realize that Dallas' topography isn't so flat after all.
7171 Mountain Creek Pkwy., Dallas, cedarhilltx.com
Birding at Trinity River Audubon Center
The Trinity River Audubon Center serves as an entry point to the 6,000-acre Great Trinity Forest, the largest urban bottomland hardwood forest in North America. There's no shortage of activities at the award-winning, LEED-certified center, but bird watching is chief among them. Whether hiking, kayaking, or camping, you'll want to look out for stunning species such as the eastern bluebird and northern cardinal.
6500 S. Great Trinity Forest Way, Dallas, trinityriver.audubon.org
Experiencing Dallas Running Tours
For those who favor efficiency over dawdling, Dallas Running Tours lets you make the most of your time. During your trek around the city, you can soak in all of the history and architecture while also burning calories. All of those mouthwatering restaurants you're hankering to try should be all the incentive you need.
1201 Marilla St., Dallas, dallasrunningtours.com