Though the creatures on display at Dinosaur World don’t need much space to roam, plenty of care has been taken to furnish them a comfortable habitat. They peer imposingly from the hillsides of Kentucky, crane their necks up through native trees, and stomp through prairie fields. Although a life-size mammoth or T. rex might be hard to miss, little visitors might still jump with delight at noticing a baby dino suddenly appear from behind a bush. Giant brachiosaurus necks arch high above treetops, while toothy meat-eaters and spiny stegosauruses roam the world below. The fiberglass, steel, and concrete models reach up to 80 feet in length, and are built according to the latest scientific discoveries about what dinosaurs looked like and what styles were trendy in the Mesozoic era.
The first Dinosaur World location was a former alligator farm in Florida and five years later another one was opened in Kentucky. As Swedish-born Christer Svensson began to fill it with statues, he consulted with experts around the world to not only create realistic reptiles but to surround them with fun, educational activities. Kids can sift through sand to find shark’s teeth, gastropod shells, and trilobites in a fossil dig, get to know some lizards a little better on the playground, or examine ancient eggs and raptor claws in the museum.
A patio extends from Bluff Dale Vineyards's tasting room, presenting an expansive view of the sun-drenched grapevines and sloping foothills that D Magazine called "impressive." This swath of land grows the succulent grapes used to make the winery's fruit-forward selection of silken reds and aromatic whites. In addition to an oak-aged cabernet sauvignon, crisp chardonnay, and sweet muscat, the tasting room features a Texas cream sherry that is blended with the traditional—and time-intensive—solera system instead of with an industrial-sized cocktail shaker.
Owners David and Theresa Hayes also host live bands at their winery from time to time, inviting visitors to attend for free, bring a picnic, and tap their toes to the melodies of such groups as the Double J-R Band or the jazzy Pearl Street 4.
The course at Canyon West Golf Club pays homage to Texas’s frontier days through vintage accoutrements and an Old West vibe. Golfers set off on an anachronistic excursion as they herd golf balls over 419 Bermuda fairways and Champion greens carpeting the foothills of Parker County. During searches for runaway balls, they may happen upon one of the 21 Western scenes strewn about the course, complete with rustic wagons and tack. Though lakes and plenty of bunkers also lie about the course ready to snag errant shots, the terrain was designed to help golfers keep the ball in play rather than allowing it to roll out of bounds or hitch a ride on a passing tumbleweed. The terrain’s natural undulations hoist golfers up for panoramic views from eight elevated tee boxes, where they can see four counties stretching out toward the horizon.
Course at a Glance:
Chef Jerrett Joslin orchestrates a symphony of sizzling sounds and blooming flames while grilling certified-Angus steaks at The Wild Mushroom Steak House & Lounge. Here, guests are seated at tables draped in white linens, which offset the dining area's coffee-colored walls, and tuck into plates piled with juicy carnivorous morsels such as the prime filet. The Chilean sea bass, one of Fort Worth, Texas magazine's top 25 dishes, delights taste buds with three varieties of mushrooms beneath black-truffle-cream sauce. To wash down the rich and hearty bites, a selection of more than 260 wines from the Wine Spectator's Restaurant Wine List awaits, ranging from California cabernet sauvignon to Australian shiraz to German riesling. The Wild Mushroom has even won an Award of Excellence from WineSpectator.com for their extensive wine lists. The dining room’s dim lighting adds romantic ambience and kindly prevents dates from noticing third and fourth eyebrows.
Thousands of years before yoga became a fitness craze, healers used it as a preventive form of physical therapy. The yoga instructors at Indra’s Grace still tout the practice’s healing effects through Hatha-style classes. Hatha takes a slow, meditative approach to yoga that links asanas with breathing. The postures stave off stress, pain, and depression as bodies strengthen and participants lengthen from head to toe, as if they were dangling from monkey bars with two kids grasping their ankles. The uplifting practice works best when coupled with holistic-nutrition counseling, which promotes natural, well-rounded eating habits. For those struggling to overcome a specific health issue, private yoga therapy can help alleviate afflictions such as arthritis, headaches, asthma, and the inability to stop barking.
Outside the Doss Heritage and Culture Center, a rough-hewn wooden windmill stands in stark contrast to the facility’s sleek horizontal bands and overhanging eaves. This anachronistic scene hints at the Center’s dual mission to pay homage to the region’s history and to spotlight its contemporary cultural luminaries. Within the 23,000-square-foot space, relics and artifacts tell the story of the cattle barons, cowboys, indigenous peoples, political heavyweights, and celebrity tumbleweeds that shaped Parker County’s identity. In addition to historical exhibits, three galleries display pieces by local and international artists.