Granted, the wildfires earlier this year may have charred some of Possum Kingdom's charm, but with its soaring, chalky cliffs, roughly 20,000 acres of clear water and its setting in the canyon country of the Palo Pinto Mountains, we'll still take this lake over any of the other reservoirs within an easy drive of Dallas. Possum Kingdom State Park, west of Mineral Wells in Palo Pinto County, offers 1,500 acres for camping, hiking and boating. Rugged, hilly views from trails among the junipers and cactus sweep away city stress and lead the mind to think of happier places with more natural beauty than you're likely to see this far east of New Mexico. More important, Possum Kingdom has something that no other North Texas getaway offers us — an in-law with a lakeside cabin and a spare set of keys. Don't have one of those? Well, it's a good place to pitch a tent too.