On the Road
Small-town charm permeates lakeside Rockwall, just 30 minutes east of Dallas
Picturesque sunsets at the lake, great golf, and small-town charm are par for the course in Rockwall, which is just 30 minutes east of Dallas. Live music is also big — there’s a reason why Rockwall was voted the Free Live Music Capital of North Texas.
From unwinding at the water to savoring the local dining and music scene, discover these summer-perfect possibilities in Rockwall.
Discover — and dine in — Historic Downtown Rockwall
As a designated Texas Main Street City, Downtown Rockwall is a revitalized, historic gem that’s home to shops and boutiques, a majestic Art Deco courthouse, and must-try restaurants, all perfectly set within old-fashioned brick storefronts.
The Book Club Cafe specializes in down-home food with a twist, like sweet and savory takes on waffles and the best scratch-made biscuits and CFS (chicken fried steak).
Look for artisan-style wood-fired pizza and a solid wine list at Zanata; street tacos on hand-rolled tortillas and craft beer at Charlie’s; and an impressive array of burgers and all the fixins’ at the rancher-owned Wells Cattle Co. Word to the wise: Get the PBJ bacon burger for a delicious twist on the norm.
Downtown also hosts a charming Farmers Market from May through September, along with the San Jacinto Plaza Music Series on Friday and Saturday evenings from May through October.
Get a lake life
For beautiful sunsets, Lake Ray Hubbard views, and dining and entertainment, The Harbor is another district that’s not to be missed.
Thursday nights mean Concerts by the Lake, a free series that’s held through July 28. The 2022 lineup includes bands like Dunn & Brooks (a Brooks & Dunn tribute), Back in Black, (AC/DC tribute), Desperado (Eagles tribute), Escape (Journey tribute), and Warehouse (Dave Matthews tribute) along with party bands like crowd favorite Limelight.
While you’re there, grab food and a ’rita or beer to-go at Dodie’s Cajun and creole restaurant.
If it’s not Thursday but you still are craving some music, you can often catch a band or karaoke night at Sideways BBQ, where they sling the smoked goods in a casual, lakeside setting.
Or BYOB for a relaxing night on the lake. Sail with Scott’s 40-foot-long sailing catamaran has starlight cruises along with family-friendly daytime options.
Or book a sunset cruise on one of DFW Boat Ride’s two double-decker boats like the Harbor Lights.
Line up your tee shot down a lush, rolling fairway lined by magnificent trees at Buffalo Creek Golf Club, one of North Texas’ top public golf courses. Designed by Jay Morrish and former PGA Tour player Tom Weiskopf, the course features a challenging layout and an abundance of sand and water hazards.
Or for a different kind of golf game, head to the Harry Myers Disc Golf course. The 18-basket course wanders through open prairies and dense thickets of trees, creating a challenge backdrop for pros and amateurs alike.
Taste the good stuff
Neither a trip to Tuscany nor even the Texas Hill Country is required to sample some authentically Texan sips at Rockwall’s Rosini Vineyards, which crafts its dry and semisweet reds and whites with grapes grown in the Texas High Plains.
Just outside of town, San Martino Winery & Vineyards offers tastings of seasonal wines that change by the month, with options that could include an Albarino, Montepulciano, and Cabernet.
On Friday and Saturday nights, VineCrafters hosts a live music and wood-fire pizza night to go with their pours.
If a beautifully hopped IPA or a dark and flavorful porter is more your drink, you’re in for a treat at Siren Rock Brewing Company ,where the beers have big personality with creative characters and flavors like The Prima Diva (an American blonde ale), The Magnetic Muse (chocolate milk stout), and The Loyal Fool (blackberry cobbler sour).
There are more innovative beers to try at Hemisphere Brewing Company, including a Starburst Strawberry summer beer and Hula Girls, a blonde ale made with toasted coconut.
Hit the trail(s)
For some off-road action, ride, hike, or jog the single-track looping pathways of the Squabble Creek Mountain Bike Trail. Consisting of six loops, the trail offers six miles of space to explore, as well as a picnic area where you can rest and recharge before heading out for more adventure
The one-mile trail at the Pettinger Nature Preserve also provides an escape to nature, and they have a butterfly garden, too.
And over in the family-friendly (and dog-friendly!) Harry Myers Park, there are walking trails along with barbecue areas, a swimming pool, and a Sprayground for summer chilling.
Find more to love about this lakeside town at Visit Rockwall.