North Texas Discovery Guide: Sports, Nature, and the Great Outdoors


Texas mapDallas lives up to its big reputation, thanks to its NBA team, the world champion Dallas Mavericks, Stanley Cup winning hockey sensation, The Dallas Stars, both of which call the American Airlines Center home. But there’s more to games in Dallas, thanks to the recent opening of Klyde Warren Deck Park, the park topping Woodall Rogers Freeway in the Dallas Arts District, a 5.2 acre urban green space with daily programs ranging from chess, backgammon, boot camp, yoga, tai chi, Zumba, and ballroom dancing to author readings and films.

Just a short drive west, Grand Prairie brings in its share of sports fans for the AirHogs, an independent minor league baseball team; and for onsite Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racing, as well as simulcast racing from across the country, at Lone Star Park. It’s just another few miles beyond to Arlington, home to the grand stadiums where Americas Team, the Dallas Cowboys, compete in NFL action, and where the Texas Rangers play major league baseball; look for $10 million in renovations happening at Rangers Ballpark in 2013.

Immediately north in Irving, the Four Seasons at Las Colinas is home to the TPC gold course that hosts the annual HP Byron Nelson Championship, a favorite stop on the PGA tour. Also in Irving, the Las Colinas Equestrian Center & Polo Club rests alongside scenic canals, adjacent to 62 woodsy acres for horseback rides. You can enjoy polo matches at the center, too.

 Equestrian fans will want to head up to Denton, as well, to take the Horse Country Tour in the area known for its 300 farms and ranches, many with breeding and training facilities. Horse lovers can also book rides along the Trinity River from stables inside Fort Worth Stockyards, a national historic district, and watch for the magnificent cutting horse competitions that come to Fort Worth’s Will Rogers Memorial Center three times each year. Rodeo naturally, is a popular sport to watch in North Texas, as well: Mesquite is home to Mesquite ProRodeo and Fort Worth hosts rodeos every weekend at Cowtown Coliseum in the Stockyards, and the world’s largest and oldest indoor rodeo at the annual Stock Show, every January- February.

Nature’s beauty is always on parade at the revered Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Gardens, of course, as well as at Fort Worth’s Botanic Garden and at Fort Worth Nature Center. You can walk along forested riverside pathways at Irving’s Campion Trails and Arlington’s River Legacy Parks, run on waterside routes around Lake Grapevine and fine beautiful hiking trails at Cedar Hill State Park near Cedar Hill and Dinosaur Valley State Park near Glen Rose.

By June Naylor

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