Dallas

Things To Do In The Dallas Arboretum

Dallas Highlights: Dallas Arboretum

In the star of Texas, should-be cowboys wear business suits and rustle up reams instead of livestock. It’s a bustling metropolis that barely sleeps or pauses for a single breath. Tap. Tap. The patter of individual steps against the concrete sidewalk congregates into a drum-like march. Cars swerve unabashedly and honk without restraint or mercy. But in the constant hustle, I promise, there is a respite – a breathtaking collection of gardens. These aren’t the kinds of botanical gardens that spark images of wedding bells or on the other end, scientists probing needled instruments into the soil. No, the Dallas Arboretum is perfect for a short dive into the pages of a Disney-style fairytale.

I’m Wishing

Dallas Highlights: Dallas Arboretum Gardens

Want to know a secret? Promise not to tell? I’m wishing. I’m wishing. For cheap parking. Today. Are you rolling your eyes? Fair enough. Just be warned that I will be bombarding you with more inevitable Snow White references. Anyways, the wishing well (ahem, computer) actually works because we have just gotten a $7 discount on parking. How? Since we purchased our day parking online, it is significantly cheaper than it could have been had we purchased the parking passes on-arrival ($8 compared to $15).

We stroll past the entrance into a burst of colour. The birds are chirping a hum-worthy tune. Squirrels and rabbits plod through the grass, offset by beds of flowers. Statues of prominent historical figures blend into the scenery. We continue our pleasant amble, but this is just too perfect to be true. The thoughts of the huntsman yelling “run” in anguish begin to creep up on us (it might just be me, though).

Far Into The Forest

As a result, we run into a natural walkway that is reminiscent of Snow White’s haunted forest. Crape Myrtle Trees drape over our heads, shadowing hues of blacks and greys together across the paved path. The branches extends outwards like clawed hands scraping each other. The trees in their large, menacing form tower above us. The jarring stature belittles the beauty of the path. But we aren’t going to be stuck in this darkness. There is light at the end of this tunnel (and hopefully a dwarf’s home).

Just Like A Doll’s House

Dallas Highlights: Dallas Arboretum

We walk to and fro, looking for some shade, until we stumble upon several buildings. Some are restaurants, but none flaunting charm (then again, these are tourist attraction restaurants. What is to be expected?), except for one that catches our eye. Is this the dwarf’s home? Unfortunately, it is just an administrative building. But honestly, the prettiest one I have ever seen. Sigh. We’ve been walking for ages and the picnic lunch is really calling me. Let’s find a place to eat (I assure you, I didn’t pack any apples).

Makin’ Pies

The Arboretum is bountiful in picnic spots. There are shaded gazebos scattered in a few select nooks. An ample number of sun-faded cushioned chairs as well as tables are generously placed in several lawns. If we wanted, we could even sit cross-legged on the grass before digging into the food. Would you like a cucumber sandwich? How about a slice of gooseberry pie?

Pleasant Dreams

Walking on sunshine 🌞

A post shared by Anshula 🌎 Loves The World (@passporttoeden) on

As we continue walking, we notice that the attention to detail ever-so-slowly begins to fade. The flower beds are still beautiful and gorgeous beyond compare, but the gardens now lack their distinct taste and gel together. There isn’t a stark contrast between one or the other as was evident in the gardens towards the entrance. The stretch continues in a dream-like haze until we hear the sound of rushing water. It’s new and unusual and we can’t help but expect a very refreshing cove ahead. Let me say, what we see is much more than we expected.

Happily Ever After

This is the last garden we have time for in our visit today (there is an Adventure Children’s Garden ahead that we will skip) – the Lay Family Garden. Think of perennials and wooded plants encasing a 2.2 acre region. Now, within that region, imagine cascading waterfalls against a limestone-walled curve. We are in the midst of immense detail (I can officially say that it is true that all things lost can be found somewhere else). But this isn’t where Snow White’s fairytale-like paradise ends. No, this is just the beginning. We have a whole walk back to uncover new surprises and traverse most of the 66 acres that the Dallas Arboretum is home to. Are you ready?

Address: 8525 Garland Rd, Dallas, TX 75218; Cost: $15 + Parking; Hours: 9AM – 5PM

UPDATE: Oh my goodness, lovelies. Ever since writing this post, the number of questions I’ve recieved regarding living in Dallas and moving to Dallas has been crazy. I love getting emails from all of you about this. I only moved to the Dallas area four years ago but every day, I can see how much the city and surrounding area are growing (and I love that y’all are expressing interest in living here – P.S. If you see me around, say “hi”).

By the way, don’t worry about the construction, you’ll get used to it. While on the blog, I typically share my personal tips on things to do here and personal experiences (you know, like spending a day in the arboretum 😉) , I do want to direct you to an excellent resource for house hunting in Dallas since I am no real estate agent. If you are looking for homes in Dallas, I highly recommend Redfin. Of course, use your caution when looking for homes. I wish I read this article (I typically don’t link to news outlets that are politically biased but the article is a really good, objective resource) before apartment hunting my junior year of college. It would have saved a lot of trouble and scares.

Did you enjoy Dallas Highlights: Dallas Arboretum Edition? How about my Snow White references? Have you ever been to the Dallas Botanical Gardens? Let me know in the comments below! As always, I love to hear from you. 
Disclaimer: The Dallas Tourism Board kindly sent me a free city pass. No review was expected in exchange, I just really loved the Arboretum! As you can tell, all thoughts and opinions are very much my own. 

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21 Comments

  • Reply
    Heather Cole
    July 23, 2016 at 10:01 AM

    Looks like a beautiful place to escape the bustle of city life, what a hidden gem! Loved your fairytale theme too, makes for a great read!

    • Reply
      Anshula
      July 23, 2016 at 3:31 PM

      Thank you so much! It definitely is my go-to to escape all the bustle! 🙂 xx – Anshula

  • Reply
    Travel Pockets
    July 23, 2016 at 1:00 PM

    OMG these are stunning photos and I must go here! Great job on your writing, as always 🙂

    • Reply
      Anshula
      July 23, 2016 at 3:31 PM

      Awww….thank you! I’m so glad you liked the photos and my writing! xx – Anshula

  • Reply
    Jenny
    July 23, 2016 at 7:47 PM

    Looks like a really beautiful and peaceful place to go for a walk and a picnic!

    • Reply
      Anshula
      July 24, 2016 at 2:38 PM

      Yes, Jenny! It is the perfect place to just find a quiet spot and watch the birds while snacking on a picnic lunch! xx – Anshula

  • Reply
    MakeUp Fun
    July 23, 2016 at 8:48 PM

    Stunning pictures! I am going to follow you immediately 😀 Congrats on such a blast.

    • Reply
      Anshula
      July 24, 2016 at 2:37 PM

      Thank you (I’m blushing)! I’m glad you like my Instagram 🙂 xx – Anshula

  • Reply
    the_mindful_mermaid
    July 23, 2016 at 10:55 PM

    Looks Gorgeous! I will check it out if I am ever in Dallas!

    • Reply
      Anshula
      July 24, 2016 at 2:36 PM

      Yes! If you ever get the chance, it is a great place to check out! xx – Anshula

  • Reply
    Vanessa @ cuttingedgekid.com
    July 24, 2016 at 8:44 AM

    That looks like a dream 🙂 Thank you for sharing – I really like your style!

    • Reply
      Anshula
      July 24, 2016 at 2:36 PM

      Thank you! I definitely agree that the arboretum seems to be straight out of a dream! 🙂 xx – Anshula

  • Reply
    Nelu
    July 24, 2016 at 9:44 AM

    Your pictures look brilliant! Do you take them yourself?

    • Reply
      Anshula
      July 24, 2016 at 2:34 PM

      Thank you! I took some of them myself, but most were taken by my wonderful photographer 🙂 xx – Anshula

  • Reply
    Ana De Jesus
    July 24, 2016 at 10:00 AM

    Wow Dallas is beautiful, it looks like something out of a fairytale which I love. Perfect escape.

    • Reply
      Anshula
      July 24, 2016 at 2:33 PM

      Yes! A lot of Dallas is mostly a juxtaposition of buildings, but there are some wonderful pockets of fairytale-like beauty! xx – Anshula

  • Reply
    Nya
    July 24, 2016 at 11:28 AM

    It’s hard to believe that beautiful house is nothing more than an administrative building. Looks like a doll house indeed:) I love the dress in your last picture, and all of the pictures are stunning!

    • Reply
      Anshula
      July 24, 2016 at 2:32 PM

      Thank you! I was actually really hoping to go inside and tour the building, but it sadly wasn’t open to the public! xx – Anshula

  • Reply
    nicopuegher
    July 24, 2016 at 4:06 PM

    What a place! The reading was amazing I can learn a lot from your writing. I love the way you take the photos, isn’t just random photos, each picture show exactly what you want to write and that’s awesome.

  • Reply
    Courtney Connolly
    July 24, 2016 at 8:43 PM

    Oh my gosh, I am such a sucker for gardens and places that are overgrown and just so organic. I would LOVE to visit the arboretum!

    La Belle Sirene

  • Reply
    Marteen Lane
    July 25, 2016 at 5:00 PM

    This is just like something out of a fairytale! The Lay Family Gardens sounded wonderful.

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