Best Of Sports & Recreation

  • Best Yoga Studio

    Karmany Yoga

    Going to a yoga class should, above all things, be stress-free, which is why Karmany Yoga, with its welcoming vibe and no-strings-attached policies, is our pick for Dallas' best yoga studio. Karmany is a donation-based studio and there are no packages, plans or contracts to navigate. Simply show up, sign...

  • Best Civic Yoga

    Yoga on the Bridge

    March 1 of this year marked the only day of 2014 that one could safely do yoga on the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge, a place that is more or less just a giant freeway decorated by an expensive arch. The event was put on by the Trinity Commons Foundation as...

  • Best TV Sports Anchor

    Dale Hansen

    After more than three decades at Channel 8, Dale Hansen is the sportscaster who gets away with wearing Hawaiian shirts and shorts when covering Cowboys training camp, bashing his own station and issuing smart-ass wisecracks. But he also has a more thoughtful side, too. His famous Michael Sam commentary, which...

  • Best Bowling Alley

    Bowlounge

    Years ago, Don Carter's and Jupiter Lanes were the epitome of cool old-school bowling alleys. They looked vintage even then, reeked of cigarette smoke and cheap concession food, and the glove-wearing teams of bowlers proved these lanes were the real deal even if they were pretty affordable. Alas, they are...

  • Best Mountain Bike Trail

    Big Cedar

    Find the big hill off Mountain Creek Parkway and Eagle Ford Drive. Climb through the pearly white gates. Ignore the sprawling evangelical complex/prayer center up top. Park in the clearing beneath the electrical transformer. From there, follow the signs to 22 miles of some of the best off-road biking trails...

  • Best Step Toward Bike Friendliness

    Legalized Wheelies

    From a policy standpoint, the Dallas City Council's decision to repeal an ordinance requiring adult cyclists to wear helmets was the most important step toward bike friendliness, since it sliced through the problem of how users of a future bike share system would protect their heads. Symbolically, it was the...

  • Best Public Golf Course

    Tenison Park

    Once upon a time, a young Lee Trevino launched his professional golf career at Tenison Park by hustling any player foolish enough to challenge him. A half century later, any budding PGA legends are probably refining their game elsewhere, though Tenison Park, particularly the Highlands course, is a solid choice...

  • Best Sports Renaissance

    SMU Basketball

    There was a time in the not too distant past when one could walk up to the Moody Coliseum box office at game time, buy a ticket and pick a seat from the thousands of empty ones that ring the arena. No longer. Larry Brown has lifted the Mustangs into...

  • Best Bike Ride

    Dallas Critical Mass

    Few political movements have been more successful yet under-the-radar than Critical Mass, an unofficial bike ride held in cities nationwide on the last Friday of every month. The point is to remind motorists that bicycles are vehicles entitled to use city streets, so please stop running them over. Dallas' Critical...

  • Best Person in the World

    Dirk Nowitzki

    Every player claims he'll do whatever it takes to help his team win a championship. But would they put their money where their mouths are? Dirk Nowitzki did, accepting a three-year, $25 million deal — a whopping cut from making nearly that much in a single season last year —...

  • Best Trail Improvement (In Progress)

    Kiest Park

    Kiest Park had a fine tree-lined, shaded running and biking path, a favorite spot for South Oak Cliff residents to exercise and people watch. In fact, it was becoming so popular that it would be uncomfortably crowded on good-weather days. The asphalt was cracked, buckled and even missing in a...

  • Best Bike Shop

    Transit Bicycle Co.

    A good local bike shop is like a good local coffee shop. Other than the coffee, people go for the atmosphere and the staff, who should know the best time of year for Peruvian beans but don't rub it in if you can't taste the difference between brewed and pressed...

  • Best Running Store (Tie)

    Luke's Locker and Run On

    Serious runners have a choice: Run On or Luke's. Both provide expert evaluation of one's running style and foot structure. Both offer a comparable selection of gear. Both are locally based and have outposts at Mockingbird and Central Expressway. Both are wonderful. Which one runners patronize is entirely a matter...

  • Best Canoe Rental

    White Rock Paddle Co.

    White Rock Paddle Company offers several ways to get out on White Rock Lake without the expense and enormous bother of owning a canoe, kayak or paddle board (when looking at them to buy in the store, always ask yourself, "And I store this where?"). You can rent a single...

  • Best Park for Nature Lovers

    Cedar Ridge Preserve

    Formerly the Dallas Nature Center, the Cedar Ridge Preserve occupies 600 acres of relatively untrammeled hills in southwestern Dallas County blanketed by native wildflowers and, of course, cedar trees. It boasts an extensive network of hiking trails, which connect ambitious walkers to the Dogwood Canyon Aububon Center and Cedar Hill...

  • Best Sports Bar

    The Owner's Box

    It's not in a particularly great neighborhood — in fact it's actually pretty isolated — but for pure game-watching nirvana, there isn't a better sports bar in Dallas than the Omni Convention Center's The Owner's Box. A 16-foot screen for the biggest games of the day and private tables with...

  • Best Actual Sports Team

    Dallas Stars

    Bear with us here. Your Cowboys are at best average, the Rangers are apocalyptically bad and FC Dallas are no great shakes either. That leaves the Mavs and the Stars, and the Mavs are relying on a somewhat-past-his-prime Dirk. The Stars, however, have the two most promising young players in...

  • Best "Non-American" Sports Bar

    Trinity Hall Irish Pub

    Free your mind, America. Cast off the shackles of American Sportsball and embrace the weird shit the rest of the world came up with while you were perfecting rounders and ruining rugby so there could be more commercial breaks. At any given time in Trinity Hall you can see sports...

  • Best Entirely New Sport

    Footgolf

    Yes. It's a real thing. Basically, it's golf, on a real golf course, but you replace the club with your foot and the ball with a soccer ball. Obviously the holes are much bigger, otherwise the whole thing would be a Sisyphean endeavor. The first course in Texas just opened...

  • Best Hiking Trails

    Isle du Bois Unit Trail

    It's the perfect summertime date trail, with a fantastic view of the lake in the evening. Isle du Bois has a fancy French name, which makes it feel just a little more exotic than other local trails. It is part of the Lake Ray Roberts State Park and runs along...

  • Best Sports Columnist

    The Dallas Morning News' Tim Cowlishaw

    He may not be gray yet, but he's the old wolf of the Morning News' sports section. Labeled as the "lead sports columnist" since 1998, Cowlishaw's conversational writing style invites readers in. They know that in several hundred words they will get a reasoned and interesting take on the day's...

  • Best Sports Radio Station

    KESN-FM 103.3 ESPN Radio

    Sure, many might object to this choice. That one station, the one that just turned 20, inspires such rabid passion among its followers that it's hard to fathom that sports fans might tune their radios to anything other than that other station — you know, the one that's won this...

  • Best Old New Player Who Gives Us Hope

    Mavericks center Tyson Chandler

    Just for a few blissful seconds, let your mind wander back to the 2010-2011 Mavericks season. Remember the blue "The Time Is Now" shirts. Remember getting back at the Miami Heat (particularly Dwyane Wade) for 2006. Most important, remember Tyson Chandler, the other 7-footer of Dallas' dreams. For one amazing...

  • Best Place to Work Out and People-Watch

    Katy Trail

    The Katy Trail, a 3.5-mile paved path that stretches from Uptown to Highland Park, has a lot to offer — dense trees and foliage that keep summer temperatures to a modest 105 degrees, a wide track for walking your dog or walking slowly abreast with three friends. (Gotta remind those...

  • Best Gun Range

    DFW Gun Range

    We may be hippie pinko lefties here at the Dallas Observer, but we're Texas hippie pinko lefties, which means many of us are comfortable with guns. (Except the British guy, of course.) That means that when we look for a gun range, we want someplace that makes us feel welcome,...

  • Best Place to Be One with Wildlife

    Sunset Bay, White Rock Lake

    OK, so at its namesake time of day, it might be more appropriate to say Sunset Bay is the "best place to be one with wildlife and 20-plus other people," but at any other time one can pretty much kick back with ducks, geese and any number of other waterfowl...

  • Best Boot Camp

    Camp Gladiator

    The words "boot camp" don't really inspire visions of fun or happiness. Ass-whipping or voluntary sweat torture? Absolutely. Camp Gladiator, however, combines all four of those things for one of the most satisfying group workouts possible. Led by one or two trainers, Camp Gladiator offers a four-week camp each month...

  • Best Sports Radio Personality

    Bob Sturm

    One third of the noon-to-3 show BaD Radio, Sturm is The Ticket's resident Sports Encyclopedia Brown. Fellow Ticket host Norm Hitzges, himself known for his vast reservoir of sporty information and his work ethic, is in awe of Sturm's commitment to watching as many games as he can. It allows...

  • Best Supported Bike Ride

    Bike MS: Sam's Club Round-Up Ride

    Bike MS, previously known as the MS150, is a major annual fundraiser for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and a two-day cycling event in various cities. For DFW's iteration, the Sam's Club Round-Up Ride in May, route options vary from 48 to 163 miles. Because of these varying levels of...

  • Best-Looking Bike Ride

    Lancaster Country Ride Rally

    When Greater Dallas Bicyclists and the city of Lancaster host the Lancaster Country Ride Rally, they get a major assist from Mother Nature. Just minutes from downtown Dallas, the April ride offers three route lengths (23, 42 and 62 miles), with the longer two guiding participants onto the hills of...

  • Best Play-by-Play Guy

    Ralph Strangis

    If you haven't watched a local broadcast of a Stars game in the last 19 years, you might not be aware of Strangis, which is a shame, because he's amazing. Every game he seems to come up with a memorable and at least partially bonkers phrase. A favorite from last...

  • Best In-Game Entertainment

    The Well Creative Productions

    Though they never played a minute or called a single play, Jason Seely and Cash Sirois, with help from Cash's brother Mike, are responsible for some of the most memorable moments of the Dallas Mavericks' 2011 championship run. The two put together a video featuring encouragement from Dallas sports legends...

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