Person enjoying a swim during Memorial Day weekend

Dive into Summer: How to cool off in DFW this Memorial Day weekend and beyond

Water activities are aplenty in Dallas this season.

As temperatures rise and the Texas sun beats down, taking a dip in cold water can be a refreshing way to beat the heat. Luckily, Dallas-Fort Worth has numerous water-related activities to help you stay cool and have fun this summer, especially during Memorial Day Weekend and beyond. Whether you’re a thrill-seeker searching for aquatic adventures or simply looking for a place to relax, the DFW area has something for everyone. Let’s dive in and explore some of the best places to cool off this summer. 

Waco Surf

Ever dreamed of catching the perfect wave in the heart of Texas? Look no further than Waco Surf, one of the largest inland surfing facilities in the area. This resort, which is a short drive outside of Dallas, offers a wide variety of water activities for the entire family. From surfing in the two-acre surf lake with PerfectSwell® technology to enjoying the world’s longest lazy river and thrilling water slides, Waco Surf has something for everyone. Whether you’re an experienced surfer or a beginner looking to catch your first wave, grab your board and hang ten. 

The Texas Pool

For a truly unique swimming experience, head to The Texas Pool in Plano. This historic pool, shaped like the Lone Star State, is not only a refreshing oasis but also a legendary landmark steeped in history. Built in 1961, The Texas Pool offers visitors a chance to swim across Texas while supporting community initiatives and historic preservation efforts. With free life jacket rentals and membership options available, The Texas Pool is the perfect place to cool off while making memories with family and friends this summer in DFW. 

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Ice Skating at The Galleria

When the Texas heat becomes too much to stand, why not head indoors for some ice skating fun at The Galleria? (Ice is frozen water, after all!)  The enormous mall offers public ice skating sessions for all ages and skill levels. Whether you’re a figure skating pro or a beginner on the ice, the rink provides a cool escape from the summer heat. With group rates available for parties and events, ice skating at The Galleria is the perfect way to escape the scorching temps. 

Bahama Beach Waterpark

Escape to the tropics without leaving Texas at Bahama Beach Waterpark in Dallas. This tropical-themed waterpark offers a wide range of attractions, including water slides, lazy rivers, and splash pads, guaranteed to keep you cool and entertained all day long. Whether you’re looking for high-speed thrills on the slides or a relaxing time in the wave pool, Bahama Beach Waterpark is the ultimate summer destination for those looking to chill out. The waterpark offers season passes and group ticket options, making it easy to enjoy the waterpark all summer long.

The Cove at The Lakefront

Located in Little Elm, The Cove at The Lakefront promises fun for the whole family with its FlowRider® Double Surf Machine and thrilling water slides. The Cove offers something for everyone, from catching waves or simply catching some rays as you relax poolside. With annual memberships and private event options available, The Cove is the perfect place to cool off in DFW this summer. 

Great Wolf Lodge

At Great Wolf Lodge in Grapevine, you’ll never run out of fun, thanks to the resort’s expansive 80,000-square-foot indoor water park. The park offers a range of attractions, including water slides, lazy rivers, splash pads, and wave pools, making it an ideal destination for every member of the family. Additionally, the water park is maintained at a comfortable 84 degrees year-round, allowing you to escape the Texas heat regardless of the season. After a day of excitement in the water, unwind in one of Great Wolf Lodge’s renovated suites. These suites come equipped with modern amenities and cozy furnishings that make them the perfect base for your DFW adventure. Whether you’re traveling with family or friends, there’s plenty of space for everyone to relax and recharge for another day of fun.

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Smol Girl Picking Strawberries in a Field

These are the best U-pick farms for summer fruit picking near Atlanta

Embrace your inner homesteader with these top spots for fruit and veggie picking, no garden required!

There are so many things to love about summer in the South and one of our favorites has to be biting into farm-fresh produce, like juicy tree-ripened peaches or sweet strawberries plucked right off the vine. Luckily, Atlantans are surrounded by farms that are open to the public during their picking seasons so you can enjoy a true farm-to-table experience without actually being a farmer!

Southern Belle Farms

Southern Belle Farms, located in McDonough Georgia, is open all 4 seasons of the year, but their berry picking is what they’re best known for. Starting in April, their u-pick season extends into summer where you can pick strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, peaches, and even flowers! As with any farm, it’s best to check their website for current hours but Southern Belle advertises that they are open “as long as they have fruit,” and currently that means 7 days a week. You’ll pay a small entry fee and then can pick your way through, paying by the pint, peck, quart, or more. There are also loads of family-friendly activities ranging from pedal karts to gem mining so you can really make a day of it; however, be advised that admission to the activities is extra. Don’t miss the Country Market on your way out to stock up on local jams, honey, and homemade ice cream. 

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Mercier Orchards

If you want to combo your day of U-pick fun with a real change of scenery from the city, head North to Mercier Orchards located in Blue Ridge, Georgia. Best known for their fall apple picking, we have it on good authority that Mercier has some delicious summer fruits you can self-pick as well. With tractor rides, a bakery, a market, and even a winery, there’s something for everyone at this popular family-run farm. While they do advertise that they are open daily, be sure to visit their website for any updates on the U-pick fields.

Jaemor Farms

At Jaemor Farms, you can start off the picking season as early as March (so mark your calendar for next year!) with bright and beautiful tulips. Head back in April/May for their strawberry season, followed by peaches in June and July. Located just north of Gainesville, Jaemor also has a full-scale market where you can pick up seasonal produce like tomatoes, cucumbers, okra, squash, and much more. This season, a $5 entry fee gives you access to the U-pick fields and a tractor ride. Strawberries are sold by the bucket for $16. Check their Instagram for current pricing and hours. 

Pearson Peaches

If your schedule won’t allow for a day of fresh fruit picking, then Pearson Farm was made for you. This fifth-generation family business has been growing peaches and pecans for over 100 years, and they are one of the best-known local Peach suppliers around. Pearson’s Peaches can be found all over the metro area at various farmer’s markets, or you can order their fresh peaches and pecans to be sent directly to your door via their website either as a one-time order or as a summer subscription. That’s right, fresh peaches on autopilot all summer long. We can’t think of anything sweeter than that!

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Walking trail with trees and pond.

Walk this way: 7 best scenic urban walking trails in Phoenix

Keep it on the beaten path in and around PHX.

Phoenix has earned itself a reputation as a day hiking destination. With easy access to scenic spots like Piestewa Peak, Papago Park, South Mountain Park and Preserve, and Lost Dutchman State Park, all just a short drive from downtown, it’s certainly easy to see why the Valley is a hotspot for hikes. 

Sure, our backyard is brimming with backpackable treks and rugged terrains. But the Valley’s urban walking trails are just as plentiful — and accessible. From the Greenbelt to Gilbert, here’s where you can get your steps in, without lacing up your hiking boots.  

Indian Bend Wash Greenbelt 

Spanning 11 miles, Scottsdale’s Indian Bend Wash Greenbelt isn’t just one park. Instead, think of this expansive green space as a park connector. Indian Bend Wash Greenbelt connects North Scottsdale’s Mountain View Park to South Scottsdale’s Vista Del Camino Park via its windy urban pathways and 24 grade-separated crossings, which means you never have to step into traffic to get to your next destination. There’s lots of shade along this urban trail. Plus, plenty of parks and recreation areas, plentiful photo points, lush lakesides, two city libraries, and a golf course or two, to boot.  

Encanto Park 

There’s no shortage of room to roam at Phoenix’s Encanto Park. Built in the 1930s to resemble Balboa Park in San Diego, this city park standout spans 222 acres and boasts amenities like a fishing lagoon, swimming pool, historic boathouse and clubhouse, sports complexes, two golf courses, and it even has its very own theme park. Encanto’s paved walking trails, which are surrounded by towering palm trees, twist and turn around the lagoons and lakes and provide up-close views of the urban city skyline and mountain ranges in the not-so-far-off distance.

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Phoenix Canal Trails

The Phoenix Canal Trails stretch across the entire Valley, from the West Valley cities like Peoria and Glendale to the East Valley suburbs such as Mesa and Gilbert. The canals of the Salt River Valley date back centuries and were built and used for agriculture by the ancestors of present-day Salt River Pima-Maricopa and Gila River Indigenous communities. Basically, the ancient canals served as the blueprints for Phoenix’s modern canal systems. In 1964, the first recreational path along the canal was built. And since then, over 80 miles of explorable urban pathways have been developed. Arizona Falls, a hydroelectric plant in the Arcadia neighborhood, is a popular walking spot. So is the Scottsdale Waterfront, which hosts the annual art festival, Canal Convergence each November.  

Riverview Park 

Riverview Park in Mesa isn’t just the home base for the Chicago Cubs when they’re away from The Windy City (although it does home the teams’ spring training facility and their ballpark, Sloan Park). The expansive city park is a homerun with East Valley locals, too. Ideal for families, Riverview Park features ample amenities such as splash pads and “sprayground” areas for kids, playgrounds with climbing towers, shaded picnic areas and ramadas, and most notably, miles of paved urban walkways to enjoy.  

Tempe Town Lake and Tempe Beach Park

From biking to boating, Tempe Town Lake, near downtown Tempe, is a hotspot for outdoor recreationists and urban park enthusiasts. Tempe Town Lake comprises various urban park sites, like Tempe Beach Park, and other noteworthy stops such as the Tempe Center for the Arts and Town Lake Marina along its paved and walkable shorelines. And even though Tempe Town Lake is hours from the nearest ocean, it does have its own beach — you can dig your toes into its sandy boat beach or play a game of scrimmage in the sand volleyball courts. Check out the 6.3-mile Hayden Butte and Tempe Town Lake Trail for scenic views from ASU’s “A” Mountain.

Fountain Park 

Fountain Hills’ Fountain Park is best known for its world-famous fountain that spouts off every 15 minutes from the center of a 29-acre lake. But you can’t forget about the 1.7-mile urban walking trail that winds around the massive water feature. These urban pathways connect visitors to sites around the park, which ranges from public art pieces and playgrounds to an open-air amphitheater, 18-hole disc golf course, kid-approved splash pads, and the park’s picnic-friendly great lawn. 

Freestone Park 

Built in the late 1980s, Freestone Park is among Gilbert’s best city parks. In total, the East Valley park encompasses an impressive 120 acres. Freestone Park features a paved walking path that clocks 3.4 miles, or 8,000 steps if you’re counting. In addition to its very own lake and undeveloped green spaces, the park also has basketball and tennis courts, picnic tables and ramadas, playgrounds, batting cages, a skate park, and the Freestone Railroad, complete with amusement park-style rides and a snack bar; great for when you walk-up an appetite. 

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