As the 8th largest city in the United States, the City of Dallas carries on the Lone Star State’s reputation for “Big” everything. That’s probably why it draws over 29 million visitors each year to bask in its 232 days of sunshine, stroll through the "largest urban art district" in the U.S. or explore the miles of bike and jogging trails within over 17,000 acres of urban parklands. With so much to do in such a diverse city, it’s hard to nail down the best, but there are three cool free things to do in Dallas you won’t want to miss.
The Dallas "M-Line." Dallas’ McKinney Avenue Transit Authority, known to the locals as the "M-Line," offers free rides through the uptown area of Dallas on one of their old-fashioned 1909 trolleys. While these are antique trolleys, “Rosie” and “Winnie” are temperature-controlled to keep you comfortable during those hot Dallas summers. The 27-stop route takes you within walking distance of a variety of cool spots, including the historic Arts District. You can also get off at the W Hotel (2440 Victory Park Lane) in Victory Park for the great view of the Dallas skyline on the 33rdfloor. If you cross the river, stop at the Belmont Hotel (901 Ft. Worth Ave.) or a different view of the skyline or hit the Bryan Street Tavern (4315 Bryan St. between Peak and Carroll) on a Sunday when they open their pool tables for free.
White Rock Lake Park. This historic "Urban Oasis" —a former World War II training camp—is the site of the White Rock Lake Park reservoir and nearly 10 miles of hiking and biking trails, as well as an Audubon Society bird-watching and wetlands site. The Bath House Cultural Center, a free museum with historical and Texas wildlife exhibits, is open Tuesday through Saturday from noon to 6 p.m. The 3.5-mile Katy Trail, that includes both a paved bike path and a dirt jogging trail, is a popular commute route for those outdoor types who wish to bypass the Dallas traffic. The trail starts in the north Dallas near the Southern Methodist University and ends in Victory Park. The trail has various entrances and "plazas" along the route that connect you to a number of neighborhoods and other parks. The one thing this park doesn’t have is public restrooms along the Katy trail.
The Mustangs of Las Colinas. What’s Texas without wild horses?Located at the stone and granite plaza of Williams Square at 5205 N. O'Connor Drive, North of Highway 114, you’ll find an awesome collection of nine larger-than-life bronze mustang sculptures displayed as if they are thundering through a Texas stream. This is the Mustangs of Las Colinas Sculpture & Exhibit. Make sure you check out the adjacent Exhibit Center just across the plaza in the West Tower to view a 20-minute video about the making of this sculpture and what’s up with wild mustangs in Texas today. The Center is open Wednesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and you can get more info at mustangsoflascolinas.com.