Whether you're a local or just got to Texas as fast as you could, I've mapped out the perfect Dallas/Fort Worth outdoor itinerary, chock-full of fun activities. Remember to travel safely. Wear a mask, stay home if you feel unwell and keep your distance. Get more information on traveling safely through Texas.
As a native of Dallas, I'm very proud to call this city home. We have a surprisingly diverse landscape of activities, shopping, nightlife, art, culture and entertainment. But what's so often forgotten is that there are many outdoor options in and near the DFW metroplex. Whether you're wanting to get your heart pumping with a bike ride or a hike, leisurely gaze at the funky art scene, explore a historical neighborhood or capture an Instagram shot of the beautiful skyline, it's easy to keep yourself busy. The Dallas/Fort Worth area has 232 days of sunshine year-round! So you'll surely find a day that's perfect to enjoy outdoors.
Dallas/Fort Worth Itinerary at a Glance
Day 1 – See the best of Dallas! We'll spend a full day in Dallas exploring the best this historic city has to offer.
Day 2 – Dallas and Fort Worth. We'll start our day in Dallas, get some fun activities in along the way, then finish off in Fort Worth.
This is a jam-packed schedule of fun and outdoor adventures for any age. Too many things to do? Feel free to take a few things off the daily itineraries.
Day 1 Outdoor Activities in Dallas
While Dallas has plenty of high-end things to do, those often come with a price tag. There are plenty of totally free outdoor activities in Dallas waiting for you. One of my favorite things about my hometown is that it welcomes everyone outside to enjoy the warm Texas weather, even in the heart of the city and no matter the time of year. Even better, exploring Dallas outdoors is an activity that can be done without spending a dime.
Morning at White Rock Lake
White Rock Lake is my favorite park in Dallas. It's beautiful, accessible and provides lots of activities. The 9.5-mile loop allows you to run, bike or walk. With 1,015 acres, you can easily go for a picnic, take photos of the skyline or even go stand-up paddleboarding.
It’s hard to believe you can go fishing, kayaking or sailing so close to downtown, but that’s what makes this park so special. Head to the park during early morning to snap photos of the sunrise against the Dallas skyline. Don't forget, you can also bring your dog to the dog park here or take a stroll around the lake.
Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden
Located on White Rock Lake, you'll find the lovely 66-acre Dallas Arboretum. Filled with beautiful flowers, botanical plants and unique vegetation, this is a great place for all ages. Different seasons and holidays offer new decor, so you might even want to opt for a season pass to see all the different offerings. This is one of the most-visited botanical gardens in the country!
Afternoon at Deep Ellum Murals
The funky and cool area of Deep Ellum is one of the best areas of Dallas to see art for free. There are dozens of murals painted on buildings. You'll see everything from Texas and Dallas history, along with artist's renditions of people, places and influences. The rich cultural ties and artistic roots make Deep Ellum a haven for street art. If you're looking for a great Instagram shot, don't miss Deep Ellum. See the most Instagram-worthy spots in Dallas here.
Klyde Warren Park
A park above the freeway? Yes! And it's meticulously landscaped along with unique features to photograph. Klyde Warren Park is located directly between the downtown and uptown districts. The 5.2 acres of play space for kids and adults is actually constructed above the Woodall Rodgers Freeway, offering a unique escape from the traffic that inevitably comes with city living. Here you can grab a bite to eat at the food trucks, walk your dog or enjoy a different view of Dallas.
Evening at Highland Park Village
This is one of the prettiest areas of Dallas. You can drive around to see the homes and stroll around Highland Park Village, or go window shopping. It's one of the oldest open-air shopping centers in the country, which adds a bit of culture to your shopping adventure. Here, you’ll find names like Chanel, Fendi, Ralph Lauren and Jimmy Choo, as well as younger, trendier names like Anthropologie and Rag & Bone. This is also a great place to grab a coffee or see the historical movie theater.
Trinity Skyline Trail
We're ending day one in Dallas with the perfect view of the skyline and our newish Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge. This 4.6-mile recreational trail is perfect for hikers & bikers, or those that just want a great view. Here, you can see the Trinity River in the Dallas Floodway. Another great place to take a walk in this west Dallas area is the Ronald Kirk Pedestrian Bridge, right next to Trinity Groves, which is a mecca for outdoor patio restaurants.
Day 2 In and Around Dallas/Fort Worth
Morning at Dallas Farmers Market
Dating back to 1941 and founded on downtown’s east side, this market is one of the largest in Texas. It features more than 150 stalls, selling everything from honey, local produce and eggs to artisanal foods, Mexican imports and T-shirts. It’s easy to spend a big chunk of your day shopping and dining in the Dallas Farmers Market, and possibly even longer if you visit during a live musical performance or special event.
Cedar Ridge Preserve
A quick 20-minute drive from Dallas, and on your way to Fort Worth, the Cedar Ridge Preserve covers 600 acres with nine miles of trails, a butterfly garden and lush trees and wildflowers. Dallas is home to a shocking number of mountain biking paths. DORBA (Dallas Off-Road Bicycle Association) shares many great spots for mountain biking trails in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.
Don't want to venture too far from the heart of Dallas? Check out the Katy Trail. This former rail line is a beacon for walkers and joggers near the Uptown and Downtown neighborhoods. This 3.5-mile trail is also near many of Dallas' must-see districts and restaurants.
Afternoon at the Fort Worth Botanic Garden
Just because Dallas has a great botanical garden, doesn't mean Fort Worth doesn't have an equally great one. Started in 1934, this is the oldest major botanical garden in Texas. The beautiful garden is focused on beauty, education and research, as well as the opportunity to observe and admire nature in the 110-acre space. My favorite is the Japanese Garden. Get ticket prices and more information for the Fort Worth Botanic Garden.
Midday at the Fort Worth Stockyards
If you really want to feel like a Texan, head to the stockyards. This is a historic district in Fort Worth, and twice a day, there's a cattle drive that's a must-see! In addition, you can see the historic buildings and walk the Texas Trail of Fame, where the Chisholm Trail began.
Evening at the Drive-In Movie Theater
You've had a busy past two days! Check out the Coyote Drive-In Theater in Fort Worth. This outdoor theater features a big, covered concession area serving local beers and snacks, plus there's a playground.
Now, you've really seen some of the best things to do in Dallas/Fort Worth!
This post is sponsored by Travel Texas. All opinions expressed are my own.