Located close to the city of Dallas, Garland in Texas is known for being a vibrant and diverse place to come, with many all-American Texan features to enjoy, as well as some gorgeous outdoor scenery and some fun indoor attractions. Many visitors won’t know that Garland is actually a manufacturing hub in the United States, and apparel from this region is exported all over the world. With that in mind, don’t miss the chance to get straight to the source, and there are a huge number of places to shop until you drop here, as well as the famous Resistol Hat Plant where you can buy your very own cowboy hat as a souvenir of your time here.
When it comes to getting outside, you will find over 2,000 acres of park land here, so you will certainly have a lot of choice, and should you visit in the Texas summer, there are two different water parks to choose from if you want to go for a dip.
Lets explore the best things to do in Garland:
1. Bass Pro Shops
Visitors flock to Bass Pro Shops, not least of all for its gorgeous location nestled along the leafy banks of majestic Lake Ray Hubbard. The Bass Pro Shops however also offer not only great views, but an impressive 120,000 square foot store that is complete with a 13,000 gallon aquarium full of saltwater aquatic life.
There is also an arcade here and there are live demonstrations held throughout the day. If you get hungry here, then you can dine at the onsite restaurant or bar and there is even a private sand beach here for patrons to enjoy. As if all of this wasn’t enough, you can also pick up any fishing tackle that you need, as well as camping and other outdoor equipment.
2. Surf and Swim
Nestled in the middle of Audubon Park, itself a beautiful and serene spot in the city, Surf and Swim is a premier water park in the Garland area.
The park is most famous for its wave pool that means that visitors here can take part in a range of activities on the waves such as surfing or body boarding.
There is also a water play area designed for younger visitors that is slightly more gentle, as well as a secluded cave area called Wally’s Cove and a party deck where you can relax in the sun.
3. Landmark Museum at Heritage Crossing
If you want to learn more about the history of Garland then you need to head down to Heritage Crossing where you will find a Santa Fe depot from 1901. Inside is the Landmark Museum, which has one of the largest collections of artifacts and period memorabilia related to Garland.
On a visit here you can expect to find diverse items such as vintage newspapers, farm tools that would have been used in years gone by, as well as antique textiles such as quilts. Many of the items date from the 1800s, and offer a fascinating view of how Garland would have been in the days of old.
4. Resistol Hat Plant
If you want to fit in with the locals, you might want to buy a cowboy hat, and you can see exactly how these are made at the Resistol Hat Plant here in Garland. The plant has been making these iconic cowboy hats since the 1930s, and so they definitely know what they are doing.
The secret to making these cowboy hats has been passed down from generation to generation over the years, and you can take a tour which lasts a little over an hour and will take you through the plant so that you can see each part of the process for yourself. You can then go next door to the onsite store and pick up your own hat as a souvenir.
5. Duck Creek Golf Club
For anyone who likes a game of golf, the Duck Creek Golf Club is known as one of the best outdoor destinations in all of Garland.
The course itself is serene and is encircled with gorgeous trees that have been here for decades, and there are also majestic views of the picturesque nearby Duck Creek from which the club takes its name.
Visitors can play at the club on a daily basis using a day pass, so you don’t even have to be a Garland resident to enjoy the idyllic scenery here as you improve your golf game.
6. Firewheel Town Center
If you want to shop until you drop then look no further than the Firewheel Town Center which is actually an open air shopping complex in Garland.
There are over 100 shops for you to choose from here that range from major well known brands like Macy’s to other smaller boutique style outlets.
As well as shopping, you will also find a great number of places to eat here and there are also entertainment options including a large cinema.
7. Rowlett Creek Preserve
One of the best loved parks in Garland, the Rowlett Creek Preserve has all you could want for a day out communing with nature.
The park has gazebos and picnic areas if you are looking to relax, and there is also a lush trail here that stretches over 15 miles where you can take in some prime Garland scenery.
The trail is popular with those looking to ramble or hike as it is mostly flat and you can customize the route depending on how far you feel like venturing. If you don’t want to walk then you can also off-road bike here.
8. Lakewood Brewery and Taproom
For anyone who enjoys craft beer, the Lakewood Brewery and Taproom is not to be missed. The beers are crafted on site and you can go for a free tour at the weekends to find out exactly how the beer is made.
Once you have learned about the history of the brewery, you can head to the beer garden that can sit up to 200 guests and spans an impressive 4,000 square feet.
The brewery often makes special seasonal and limited edition beers, so make sure you find out what is in stock when you visit.
9. Spring Creek Park
Nestled in the northern part of Garland, Spring Creek Park is not to be missed, as it is one of the most idyllic green spots in the city.
The park actually consists of several distinct sections, and depending on what you want to do there is something for everyone here. Part of the park is the Spring Creek Greenbelt which has playgrounds, picnic spots, and even a pond and fishing pier and is great for families with young children.
If you are feeling more active, then the Spring Creek Park Preserve has a 0.8 mile walking trail that is perfect for taking in the local flora and fauna and has trees that are known to be over 300 years old.
10. Lake Ray Hubbard
Lake Ray Hubbard spreads over 21,000 acres of water, and can be a great place to come if you want to get out of central Garland and get away from it all for a while.
The lake is known in this city as the perfect place to relax, and if you like fishing then you can have a go at catching catfish, striped bass, and white bass here.
You can also indulge in a range of water sports here that include boating, water skiing, or even sailing and windsurfing.
11. Cali Saigon Mall
For a taste of something a little different in Garland head to the Cali Saigon Mall which is known as the place to come if you are looking for Asian food, restaurants, or products.
The mall evolved thanks to the Chinese and Vietnamese community here and there is a large Vietnamese supermarket located in the mall where you can stock up on Asian ingredients and snacks.
If you fancy a bite to eat and enjoy Asian flavors, there is also a food court inside the mall where you can try something other than the usual Texas fare.
12. Hawaiian Falls Waterpark
If you happen to be in Garland in the summer months then consider cooling off at the Hawaiian Falls Waterpark, which is a great place to bring the whole family.
The park is close to the Curtis Culwell Center and has a huge range of attractions depending on what you fancy doing. If you want to take it easy then there is the Kona Kooler Lazy River that you can drift serenely down, or you can explore the Keiki Kove Fortress where you will find a thousand galleon dump bucket if you are feeling adventurous.
The park is spread across 12 acres, so whatever your preferences, there is sure to be something here for everyone to enjoy.
13. Urban Air Trampoline Park
For something a little different, make sure not to miss the Urban Air Trampoline Park in Garland. This trampoline park is the perfect place to come on a rainy day, especially f you are travelling with a family and looking for some activities to do with children.
At the indoor park you will find a huge range of trampoline based games such as open jump sections, dodge ball courts, volleyball matches, and even fitness classes.
14. Downtown Garland
Locals will tell you that no trip to Garland is considered a success until you have visited the downtown area of this fair city. Many of the buildings here are historical gems, and there are a range of little boutiques and shops that focus on homemade or specialty items.
If you are feeling hungry then you will find a range of local cafes and restaurants here, many of which are family businesses that have been in operation for years. During the day you can shop and eat at your leisure, but at night the downtown area really comes alive and you can enjoy live music here at one of the many bars or cafes.
15. Firewheel Golf Park
Spread over 600 acres, Firewheel Golf Park is the place to come if you want to improve your golf game in a beautiful setting.
There are three courses here that you can try out, many of which are dotted with grassy knolls, decorative streams, and majestic tress, and there are several places to stop for a bite to eat if you feel hungry.