Touring around the great Lonestar State, your trip through Texas would be incomplete if you didn’t make a stop at the city of Dallas. The city itself is a super fun place to hang out in, with tons of engaging activities to be done and lots of fascinating places to visit. But another great thing about it, like many other cities in Texas and the whole of the United States as well, are the neighborhoods.
From hip and trendy ones with a rich variety of bars and clubs, to quaint ones where older people go to retire and spend their afternoons taking long walks in the beautiful local parks, Dallas has it all. One of the regions of Dallas that has a diverse mixture of neighborhoods is White Rock, a relatively quiet place that might not seem too exciting on the surface, but still has plenty to offer for the discerning eye.
Plenty of Wonderful Neighborhoods
White Rock contains many different neighborhoods, all offering some unique advantages to their residents. Touring through White Rock, the natural beauty isn’t the only thing you’ll get to enjoy. Alongside the eye-catching flora and landscape of the whole region, you will be able to sightsee all kinds of residential and commercial areas with their own distinct look and feel.
Going through White Rock, you will no doubt find a neighborhood whose vibe hits you just right. From the many different architectural styles and the countryside feel you’ll find in the Casa Linda neighborhood, to the large yards and well-reputed schools of Lake Highlands, and from the community-friendly Little Forest Hills, to the culturally enriched Peninsula neighborhood, White Rock is sure to leave you fully satisfied as a tourist.
White Rock Lake
By and large the biggest talking factor of White Rock is actually White Rock Lake. White Rock itself has quite the history; what with it being one of the earliest settlements in the area, and settled by multiple pioneer families. But the White Rock Lake didn’t come around until the year 1910, where it was decided to be constructed in response to water shortages in the region. The White Rock Creek, a much older naturally-formed body of water, was dammed up so that the reservoir of water now called the White Rock Lake could be built. Work on the lake was completed in 1911 and occupies 5.1 square kilometers.
In 1952, further water shortages in the area led to the lake being forbidden for swimmers in an attempt to keep it as a source of clean water. And by 90’s, the lake had become a favorite among the populace as a recreational area, and was supplemented with bicycle paths, jogging paths, and picnic areas for people to spend their days at. As for the pioneer families that once called the whole region home, the only signs of their presence are now found in a cemetery that the families had once co-owned.
As for what you can expect to be able to do if you visit White Rock Lake today, there are many activities available to visitors. You can simply sail around the lake for a relaxing way to pass the time, or take on more engaging activities like kayaking and canoeing instead. Rowing boats however, is what White Rock Lake is most known for nowadays, with opportunities to partake in these events happening on an almost daily basis. And if boating isn’t really your cup of tea, the White Rock Lake Park surrounding the lake might be more to your tastes. You can go running, bicycling, or hiking along a 15 km long track, or even settle down on one of many piers for a relaxing day of fishing.
The Bathhouse Cultural Center
In the same area as the White Rock Lake Park you will also find the Bathhouse Cultural Center. Designed by architect Jon Carsey of Dallas and first opened in the year 1930, the Bathhouse Cultural Center was at first simply a structure that the residents went into to get away from the blazing Summer sun and the sweltering heat outside. Once swimming was banned in White Rock Lake due to the water shortages mentioned above, the beach alongside the building lost its visitors and the structure was abandoned.
It wasn’t until 1980 that the building was renovated and worked on by three different organizations; the Dallas City Arts Program, the East Dallas Chamber of Commerce, and the Park and Recreation Department. It was then that the old bathhouse was converted in to a cultural center, in what would become the first in a series of six different neighborhood cultural centers to follow.
Nowadays the Bathhouse Cultural Center remains busy all year round; serving independent theatres and artists alike. Visiting the Bathhouse Cultural Center will present you with a large art exhibition gallery, a theatre for performances of all sorts, and an outdoor amphitheater among other attractions.
Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden
Also found in close proximity of the White Rock Lake Park, the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden spans 267,000 square meters and contains multiple fountains and gardens with a spectacular view of the Dallas City skyline. The selection of gardens found here is actually quite big, and features gardens like “A Woman’s Garden” – a garden first gifted by the Women’s Council of Dallas and now featuring multiple attractions all dedicated to celebrating women – and “Pecan Grove” – an absolute treasure that has Japanese Cherry Trees decorating it in Spring and pumpkins, gourds, and squash all over it in Fall – alongside many other similarly delightful gardens.
The Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden also features “The Trial Gardens” – a place where research is conducted on growing plants and visitors are provided a ton of interesting and educational facts about plants – and the “Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure Garden” – a fun place specifically designed to engage with kids with over a 150 child-friendly activities that help children learn about and connect with nature. The latter features multiple galleries to cater to children from all age demographics.
The places covered above are just scratching the surface of the what’s available to do in White Rock. These are the most popular activities and places to go, but there are a lot of other things to spend your time on as well. For the best results, make your own path. Tour around White Rock and its many neighborhoods and find something that appeals to you. Maybe it could be a trail through the woods that is extra special, or perhaps a bar or a club that speaks directly to your soul.
With the multitude of neighborhoods and their respective commercial centers, White Rock is simply full of things to do if you know where and how to look. Staying around Dallas a while longer? Why not check out post World War 2 art at Fort Worth’s Modern Art Museum? Or maybe just kick back and read up on some history, specifically of the Dallas International University.