Best Weekend Getaway Lake 2011 | Possum Kingdom Lake | Best of Dallas® 2020 | Best Restaurants, Bars, Clubs, Music and Stores in Dallas | Dallas Observer
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.
Dallas-based organic-gardening, lawn-maintenance and tree-health expert Howard Garrett has been Dallas' own premiere organic guru forever and ever, but now, thanks to a continental radio hook-up, he belongs to the entire nation. If you're traveling and can't miss a show, go to his website for a national list of radio stations that carry him. There are some people who listen to Garrett who don't even care about gardening: They just tune in to hear him rip Texas A&M and the big chemical companies. If you took Rush Limbaugh, made him a nice guy, gave him a brain, put him on a strict diet ... oh, forget it. There's nobody else like Garrett.
DART has problems, sure. Our car habit is deeply ingrained and, let's face it, "DART" is kind of a misnomer because getting around on it is more of a slog at times. But plan your excursion around DART's limitations (i.e. choose a destination at a rail station, like the zoo, Mockingbird Station, the West Village) and enjoy a uniquely urban experience that jumbles together all manner of Dallasites: nurses, teachers, construction workers, businesspeople with their noses buried in e-readers, college students, rowdy high school kids, families with children all jacked up on the novelty of getting out of the back seat of an SUV. And the view out the window is a new perspective of your city. It's oddly intimate, sometimes into people's backyards, without a brake light in sight.
The AT&T Performing Arts Center's Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House and Dee and Charles Wyly Theatre are both lovely venues to enjoy a wide range of highbrow entertainment ranging from ballet to touring musicals to stand-up comedy to opera. While ticket prices can reach the triple digits, one of our favorite ATTPAC features — especially when the temperatures are also in the triple digits — is free. The reflecting pool outside the Winspear, a slab of black granite with perhaps a half-inch of water shimmering over it, just begs for photo opportunities. Walk carefully across it and you can keep the water from soaking into your shoes. Better yet, do like your kids (or your inner child) and go barefoot. It's not quite the same as soaking in a pool or hot tub, but splashing around for a few minutes before or after a show somehow makes the Arts District experience that much more refreshing.

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