Biking, In-Line Skating & Jogging
White Rock Lake, 5 miles east of downtown Dallas (off Loop 12), is the most popular area for cycling, skating, and running (and, of course, walking). A 12-mile loop traces the banks of the lake. The park is open from 6am to midnight, though I wouldn't advise hanging about too long after dark falls. Nearby bike and skate shops offer rentals.
North Texas, where such golf legends as Byron Nelson, Ben Hogan, and Lee Trevino hail from, has a huge number of golf courses, from challenging championship courses to comfortable courses suited to players of all stripes. TPC at the Four Seasons Resort and Club (tel. 972/717-2400; www.fourseasons.com/dallas/golf; greens fees $150), home of the PGA Byron Nelson Classic, is the best and most spectacular course in the area -- but you'll have to stay at the Four Seasons to play. Another hotel golf course, rated among the top 50 resorts in the United States, is Bear Creek Golf Club, 3500 Bear Creek Court/DFW Airport (tel. 972/456-3200; www.bearcreek-golf.com; greens fees and cart $25-$69, with twilight reduced rates available), featuring two nicely designed championship 18-hole courses on 355 acres of rolling hills.
The City of Dallas operates several courses open to the public. The newest addition is Keeton Park Golf Course, 2323 Jim Miller Rd. southeast of downtown Dallas off I-30 (tel. 214/670-8784; www.keetonpark.com), which has pecan tree-lined fairways and numerous ponds. Greens fees are $16. Tenison Golf Course, 3501 Samuell Blvd. (tel. 214/670-1402; www.tenisonpark.com), just 5 miles east of downtown, has two 18-hole courses divided by White Rock Creek. Greens fees are $14 to $34, on weekends $17 to $42.
Local duffers (as well as football fans) rave about the Cowboys Golf Club, 1600 Fairway Dr., in Grapevine (tel. 817/481-7277; www.cowboysgolfclub.com; greens fees all-inclusive VIP package $140, twilight play $75), which is certainly unique: Not only does it boast huge changes in elevation, but it claims to be the "world's first NFL-themed golf course." The clubhouse is packed with Dallas Cowboys memorabilia and Super Bowl trophies, and markers along the course pay tribute to key moments in Cowboys lore. Named among the "Best Places to Play" by Golf Digest (and rated one of the top five public courses in Texas) is Buffalo Creek Golf Club, 624 Country Club Dr., Rockwall (tel. 972/771-4003; www.buffalocreek.americangolf.com), near Lake Ray Hubbard, a healthy drive from Dallas. Greens fees, including cart and range balls, are $69 Monday through Friday, $89 Saturday and Sunday. One of the most difficult courses is Sleepy Hollow Country Club, 4747 S. Loop 12 (tel. 214/371-3433), just 10 minutes south of downtown, which is private but allows the public to play as guests. Greens fees (with cart) are $27 to $42, $13 less to walk.
Golf fanatics who like to imagine themselves winning the Masters or British Open may want to venture north of Dallas and Fort Worth, to Flower Mound, Texas, where the Tour 18 Dallas course reproduces 18 of the best-known holes in golf (from courses such as Winged Foot and Augusta National). The course, 8718 Amen Corner, Flower Mound (tel. 800/946-5310 or 817/430-2000; www.tour18-dallas.com), is west of I-35E and 121. Greens fees are $65 to $140.
Even though tennis in Dallas is mostly confined to swank (and off-limits) private tennis clubs, there are several public courts where visitors can play a few sets. The following are city-owned but have privately run pro shops: Fair Oaks, 7501 Merriman Pkwy. (tel. 214/670-1495), near White Rock Creek (4 miles north of White Rock Lake), has 16 lighted courts; Fretz Park, 14700 Hillcrest (tel. 214/670-6622), where I took lessons as a kid, has 15 lighted courts.
Packin' Heat, Texas-Style
The right to own, use, and brag about firearms is a protected birthright in Texas. I'm not necessarily advocating this -- I mean, personally I think it's a little odd that the local concealed-gun law allows Texans to take their pistols to church on Sunday, and museums have to post signs that warn "No Firearms" -- but heaven knows I wouldn't dare offend gun owners. If you want to play Texan while in Big D, what better way than to fire off a few rounds? If that's your idea of R & R, the DFW Gun Club & Training Center, 1607 Mockingbird Lane (tel. 214/630-4866; www.dfwgun.com), operates the DFW Gun Range for a little indoor shooting. Featured hilariously in the film about Borat, the fictional reporter from Kazakhstan, the club offers shooting instruction and even concealed handgun license classes.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.