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Collin County and beyond: the best scenic spots to enjoy the outdoors

For public art, murals, and spectacular views, check out these local treasures. Joshua Wiener's Cloudscape Located in a meadow in Harold Bacchus Community Park, Cloudscape is a work of public art designed to emulate rain ascending from the ground.
Hall Park houses Frisco’s largest collection of public art | Via @hallpark on Instagram

For public art, murals, and spectacular views, check out these local treasures.

Joshua Wiener'sCloudscape

Located in a meadow in Harold Bacchus Community Park, Cloudscape is a work of public art designed to emulate rain ascending from the ground. It’s purpose is to create a sense of immersion, as it allows the beholder to become “one with the rain.”

13995 Main St., Frisco


HALL Park/Texas Sculpture Garden

HALL Park is often hailed as a championing “the art of work,” offering its employees a business center surrounded by sculptures from the curated Hall collection. Guests and employees of HALL Park can navigate the sculpture garden using the walking trails or by renting a Zagster bike.

3201 Dallas Pkwy., Frisco

Futuro House

In 1968, Matti Suuronen created The Futuro House as a moveable ski chalet. Although this Royse City U.F.O. has fallen victim to ruin, it’s an interesting glimpse of a once-perceived future. Not to mention, it makes for a pretty neat spot for an Instagram photoshoot.

9573 TX-276, Royse City

Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden

The Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden is home to 1.4 million plants, adding bright, vibrant colors to the 66-acre space. The Arboretum holds over 700 weddings annually and hosts many events, including wine tastings, outdoor concerts and more.

8525 Garland Rd., Dallas

Dallas Arboretum
Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Gardens

Dragon Park Gardens

Amid the hustle and bustle of Dallas lies a secret getaway. At the end of The Strip on Cedar Springs the Dragon Park Gardens wait, a peaceful mini nature preserve full of statues, benches and other elegant fixtures. Dragon Park Gardens provides respite from the city, even if only for a few hours.

3520 Cedar Springs Rd., Dallas

Lakeside Park

Lakeside Park is better known as Teddy Bear Park or Teddy Bear Crossing. In beautiful Highland Park, Lakeside Park has 14 acres of landscaped grounds along Turtle Creek. Especially kid-friendly, the walking paths wind along the property, dotted with benches in the shade. The Turtle Creek Dam is a great place to take in a view of the tranquil water, including the serene Read Memorial.

Even if they aren’t made of fluff and felt, these bears are stately, yet cuddly. They sit in different places, scattered throughout the park, gazing out over the water. They’re just the right size for kids to climb. Lakeside Park has all the elements of a perfect summer picnic: good views, lovely atmosphere, clear water, and gigantic teddy bears.

4601 Lakeside Dr., Highland Park

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Grapevine Botanical Gardens

The modest botanical gardens in Grapevine might be small, but they’re beautiful and often overlooked. Heritage Park is crisscrossed with trails, streams, ponds, sitting areas and hundreds of varieties of plants, in addition to a butterfly sanctuary.

411 Ball St., Grapevine

The Rose Gardens of Farmers Branch

The Rose Gardens sport over 500 different varieties of roses, planted throughout the city of Farmers Branch in four separate gardens, perfect for an afternoon spent among the flowers. They have everything from traditional varieties to new hybrids.

2610 Valley View Ln., Farmers Branch

The Crape Myrtle Trails of McKinney

The trees are still small, but the Crape Myrtle Trails of McKinney are incredibly promising, with many varieties of trees across 7.2 acres. When the season comes and the flowers bloom, it’s going to be one of the most beautiful spots in the county.

6452 Collin McKinney Pkwy., McKinney

Nasher Sculpture Center

The Nasher Sculpture Center houses the Patsy and Raymond Nasher collection of modern and contemporary sculpture and displays pieces from the personal collection on the 2.4-acre site. See masterpieces by Calder, Matisse, Miro, Picasso and more.

2001 Flora St., Dallas

Dallas Black Dance Theatre at the Nasher Sculpture Center | All photography by Cori Baker
Dallas Black Dance Theatre at the Nasher Sculpture Center | By Cori Baker

Fort Worth Botanic Gardens

Established in 1934, the Fort Worth Botanic Gardens is actually the oldest botanic gardens in the state of Texas. It’s resplendent with 2,501 species of native and exotic plants, which spread across 21 specialty gardens.

3220 Botanic Garden Blvd., Fort Worth

Read more: An empty Collin Creek Mall makes for a cool Instagram photo-op

The best bluebonnet fields

Oak Point Park and Nature Preserve, Plano

5901 Los Rios Blvd., Plano

Arbor Hills Nature Preserve, Plano

6701 W. Parker Rd., Plano

Frito Lay Headquarters, Plano

5600 Headquarters Dr., Plano

International Parkway and Midway Road, Carrollton

Russell Creek Park, Plano

3500 McDermott Rd., Plano

Collin College Spring Creek Campus, Plano

2800 E. Spring Creek Pkwy., Plano

Bluebonnet Trail, Plano

Spring Creek Parkway and Custer Road

Zion Cemetery, Frisco

FM 423 approximately 1 mile north of Eldorado Parkway

Warren Park, Frisco

7599 Eldorado Pkwy., Frisco

Heard Museum, McKinney

1 Nature Pl., McKinney

The Trail at the Woods, Allen

1424 Rollins Dr., Allen

The median in the busy intersection of Bethany Drive and Alma Drive, Allen

Originally published as part of Local Profile's Guide to the Great Outdoors