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Best Places to View Fall Foliage in Texas

Leaves are beginning to change in Darling Homes communities in Dallas and Houston, and there are a few hidden gems throughout the Lone Star State where visitors can go to experience autumn’s beauty.

Below are three Texas state parks and natural areas that offer visitors an unparalleled look at fall colors, and this leaf color map from Thrillist is an excellent tool to keep track of when leaves are at their most brilliant.

Lost Maples State Natural Area

Lost Maples State Natural Area, located northwest of San Antonio, is known for its radiant beauty during autumn. Filled with striking maple trees that turn brilliant hues of orange, yellow and red, Lost Maples is renowned for its rugged beauty.

At this park, visitors can indulge in a variety of outdoor activities, including:

  • Over 10 miles of trails meandering along the edge of a 2,200-foot cliff
  • Camping at a selection of over 30 campsites
  • Fishing in the Sanibal River or Can Creek
  • Geocaching
  • Wildlife watching
  • An off the grid weekend – no cell service here!

Tyler State Park

At Tyler State Park, a peaceful retreat nestled in northeast Texas, visitors will delight in seeing the changing leaves from the comfort of the car with a scenic drive or getting an up close view at the vibrant hues from one of many hiking and walking trails.

This beautiful park offers its visitors a plethora of activities, including:

McKinney Falls State Park

Near Austin, at McKinney Falls State Park, visitors will find themselves enchanted by the capital region’s hill country, where Onion Creek flows over limestone ledges to create a breathtaking waterfall. During autumn, this scenic park is brimming with incredible colors.

While visiting McKinney Falls State Park, explore the outdoors by:

  • Camping at one of 81 sites
  • Mountain or road biking
  • Fishing in Onion Creek
  • Bouldering
  • Joining a Ranger Program on birding, geocaching and more

Texas is filled with incredible opportunities to see fall foliage while exploring the outdoors!

Community Fashion

Finding the Best Shopping in Dallas and Houston

For fashionistas, people shopping for new clothes for an event, or those simply looking to enjoy a day out on the town with friends, there are numerous shopping destinations near Dallas or Houston Darling Homes communities with convenient access to today’s best brands.


When it comes to shopping in and around Dallas, there is no shortage of fantastic choices. NorthPark Center provides its patrons with a broad range of shopping, dining and event options. This metropolis often houses special displays inside, such as its current exhibition on ‘The Fabric of Opera’.

Stores at NorthPark Center include:

  • Neiman Marcus
  • Versace
  • J.Crew
  • Express
  • Fossil
  • Williams-Sonoma, and a variety of other shopping options

In Allen, the Allen Premium Outlets are conveniently located near several Darling Homes communities and provide a large, walkable outdoor mall filled with opportunities to get high-quality brands at great prices.

Outlet stores include:

  • Ann Taylor Factory Store
  • Guess Factory Store
  • J. Crew Factory
  • Loft Outlet
  • Armani Outlet and much more!

At the Stonebriar Centre in Frisco, locals can take a day to go to a movie, grab lunch from a snack station or dine in a full-service restaurant, and shop at their favorite stores::

  • Athleta
  • Bath & Body Works
  • Disney Store
  • Vera Bradley and a wide range of other incredible stores


It’s easy for residents of Darling Homes communities in the Houston area to find first-class shopping close to home.

One of the best destinations in Houston is The Galleria, an upscale retail hub that houses delectable dining options including FIG & OLIVE, Nobu Houston, The Oceanaire Seafood Room and more to cater to any craving. This exceptional space is renowned for being the largest mall in Texas and home to extraordinary special features, including an expansive ice rink that is adorned with a giant Christmas tree during the holiday season.

Stores include:

  • Saks Fifth Avenue
  • Sephora
  • Nordstrom
  • Neiman Marcus
  • Lululemon Athletica
  • Armani Exchange and hundreds of other choices

At Katy Mills Mall, a large indoor mall in Katy, near the Darling Homes community of Elyson, shoppers can purchase goods from:

  • Bass Pro Shop
  • Calvin Klein
  • Coach
  • Converse and more popular stores

Market Street, a diverse shopping center situated in The Woodlands, offers its customers a full experience with restaurants, local artworks and an ongoing calendar of social events. Stores here include:

  • Kate Spade New York
  • Francesca’s
  • Tiffany & Co.
  • Lucky Brand and other stylish options

Both Houston and Dallas have incredible, upscale shopping opportunities for residents to enjoy year-round.



Celebrate Labor Day near your Community

Labor Day was created to honor the American labor movement, and the federal holiday provides a much-desired three-day weekend for many workers across the United States. With an extra day off, Darling Homes residents in Dallas or Houston can join in a celebration near their communities to revel in the unofficial end of summer.


Parade of Activities | Garland

Head to Garland to catch a parade starting at 9 a.m. in the historic downtown area. Following the parade, the festivities will continue with a car show, a kids’ BBQ festival and more Labor Day activities.

Truly Texan Labor Day | Plano

For a truly Texan Labor Day, head to The Texas Pool in Plano for a fun-filled day in the sun. The regular snack bar will be open for business, and food trucks for Kona Ice and 5-OHH BBQ will be on location to keep visitors well-fed throughout the day. Modeled after the state of Texas, this community pool features:

  • Diving board
  • Two water slides
  • Island and a wading area for kids


Luau for all Ages | Spring

Wet’n’Wild Splashtown in Spring is throwing a Labor Day Luau for all ages on Monday. Enjoy the incredible fun of a waterpark and stay cool under the hot sun with some added elements, listed below, to make the holiday more memorable:

  • Fire and luau dancers
  • Face painting
  • Balloon art

Restaurant Weeks | City-wide

Foodies in Houston can take advantage of the last 2018 over the weekend. This annual fundraiser gives residents and visitors special deals for exceptional dining throughout the city while contributing to local food banks. With brunch and lunch deals for $20 and dinner options ringing in at $35 and $45, diners enjoy delicious and photo-worthy meals for a good cause.

American History

Military personnel have the opportunity to view a bit of history on Labor Day with free entry for active duty members and their families to all three presidential libraries and museums in Texas.

How will you spend Labor Day?

Community Food

Get a Taste of Texas Coffee

Darling Homes’ communities in Dallas and Houston are situated in suburbs filled with hidden gems from boutiques to restaurants and more. Whether you’re a resident or visitor of the community, take time to explore the surrounding area and enjoy one of these local Texas coffee shops or cafes.


Darling Homes builds an incredible range of homes in several communities in McKinney, which is also home to a series of highly-rated coffee shops and cafes. At the McKinney Coffee Company, a new family-owned establishment in town, delicious varieties of coffee and pastries are on display. That’s not all the shop has to offer the city – this location is filled to the brim with artwork made by friends and loved ones of the coffee shop’s owners, giving it a unique and cozy atmosphere.

Spoons Cafe, also in McKinney, offers its loyal customers all-day breakfast, lunch, comfort foods, snacks and dinner options throughout the day. Nestled in a historic building with sidewalk seating, this cafe has gained a reputation for its friendly atmosphere, including weekly live music, and good food.

At Snug on the Square, locals can indulge in a menu of quick, delicious bites and coffee creations at their McKinney or Prosper locations. The coffee menu offers both coffee classics and specialties, including honey cinnamon lattes and sweetly inspired drinks such as cini-mini mochas, peppermint bliss and snickerdoo.


In Cypress, Darling Homes residents can head over to The Bake Shoppe and Cafe for a refreshing meal and a cup of joe. The homey atmosphere at this cafe provides its customers with fresh drinks, food and dessert and the high-quality care doesn’t stop there – this cafe offers an entire line of frozen lasagnas for patrons to take on the road for a later meal.

The Season’s Harvest Cafe treats its guests to only the freshest ingredients. The restaurant in Cypress is a farm-to-table establishment, utilizing locally-grown and in-season foods for their menu. With meat and vegan options available, this cafe has options to offer every diet.

For impeccably decorated cookies, cake pops, quick bites and savory coffee, Plum Coffee is the place to visit in Cypress. This adorable location has a full range of food choices, but it’s known for its dessert and pastry menu, which are great to take to parties or on-the-go.

What is your favorite coffee shop or cafe near your Darling home?


At Home Community

Hike, Bike and Walk around your Darling Homes Community

In Houston and Dallas, Darling Homes has gained a reputation for incredible, high-quality, gorgeous home designs in ideal locations. For people who love the outdoors, Darling Homes builts within communities filled with hiking, biking and walking trails that create the perfect environment for outdoor exercise.


The Woodlands  boasts more than 7,000 acres of green space and 200 plus miles of trails dedicated to hiking, biking and walking space, putting outdoor exercise at the forefront of every neighborhood. Residents of the community can enjoy both the natural beauty and the architecturally-diverse homes built throughout.

Bridgeland, a community based on the concept of residing within a park, will have over 250 miles of interconnecting trails upon completion. Currently, residents have the opportunity to enjoy the outdoors with the already completed trails which offer fitness stations, wildlife observation areas and educational signs.


Tucker Hill is a community on the rise, with plenty of outdoor space and more hiking and biking opportunities still to come. Acres of natural space back up to creeks, mature trees and featured ‘green centers’ situated no more than 5-10 minutes from each home. The community also has plans for a paved hiking and biking trail that fits within the city of McKinney’s master plan.

The Tribute is an ideal space for outdoor lovers, situated on a peninsula interspersed with incredible hiking, biking and walking trails. With more than 10 miles of trails meandering through the community and along Lake Lewisville, residents can enjoy perusing educational signs and taking in extraordinary, scenic views.

If hiking, biking and walking is an important factor for you when searching for a home, be sure to check out Darling Homes communities with outdoor spaces built for beautiful living, or get outdoors and explore options in your current neighborhood.


Take a Walk Down Memory Lane in Dallas

The city of Dallas, the site of many incredible Darling Homes communities, is also home to a multitude of historical sites with significance to Texas and the United States. From presidential monuments to Bonnie and Clyde, this beautiful city has something to offer history buffs.


Presidential Tours

Dallas has connections to several presidents and is home to multiple sites with historical significance. President John F. Kennedy’s assassination remains a fascination for Americans, and companies such as Fun Dallas Tours offer  visitors the opportunity to view the site of the shooting, as well as other locations tied to the assassination including admission to The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza. Want more presidential memorabilia? A tour of The George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum displays documents, artifacts and more from Bush’s first and second terms.


Bonnie and Clyde

Two of the most notorious outlaws in the U.S. to date, Bonnie and Clyde, had deep ties to Dallas. The Dallas Historical Society and DFW Historical Tours put the couples’ lives and crimes on display all the way to their deaths. Stops include Bonnie and Clyde’s:  

  • Schools
  • Homesites
  • Places of employment
  • Locations of crimes
  • Gravesites


Architecture, Arts and More

Dallas is a city with an incredible range of history, arts and architecture. The Dallas Center for Architecture provides options to take a walking tour through different districts and soak in the sites. Starting at the Dallas Museum of Art entrance, The Arts District tour features buildings from the 1890s to present day. The center also has tours for the Main Street district and the West End District, presenting a varied look at the city’s architecture.

Whether on bus, by car or on foot, a tour is a great way to experience the city and explore more of Dallas’ rich history.


Getting Ready to go Back to School

Summer break is winding down in most school districts, and Darling Homes’ residents in Dallas and Houston communities are preparing their children to go back to school for the year.  

From getting ready to do homework to preparing for early mornings, the school year can bring big changes in the daily routine for all of your loved ones, but PBS offers a series of tips and tricks that can help everyone feel prepared for the new schedule.

Think Ahead

Meeting the teacher, touring the school, getting any necessary books and school supplies ahead of time is a great place for students to start.

Go Shopping

From pencils and notebooks to textbooks and locker decor, each child’s school list will vary depending on the school, grade and specific classes. Setting aside time for a shopping trip is a fantastic way to meet individual needs before the semester starts.

In addition, shopping for nutritious snacks, signing up for extracurricular activities and planning ahead for difficult classes or subjects can make a large difference heading into a new year.

Another important tip is to take time to adjust to the new schedule. A steady timetable for each day can help children feel more ready for the year.

Setting aside time for exercises at home like reading, writing or other educational activities can also help students get back into the swing of everyday learning.

Heading back to school with the proper materials and preparation is made easy by all of the incredible schools and shopping areas surrounding Darling Homes’ communities in Dallas and Houston.


Community Music

Celebrating Jazz in Houston Style

Fans of jazz music in the Houston area will delight in the chance to attend the annual Houston International Jazz Festival on August 4, near many Darling Homes Houston communities.

Held at the House of Blues, this event brings together musicians and jazz enthusiasts eager to celebrate various styles of the music. The 28th annual event has tickets ranging from $45-$60 and features international, regional and local jazz musicians.

With two-time Grammy Award nominated artist Mindi Abair performing with the band The Boneshakers and other artists including Althea Rene and Ashleigh Smith, this year’s festival is bringing in talent that jazz fans won’t want to miss.

Doors open at the House of Blues at 7 p.m., with the show beginning at 8 p.m., with options including standing room and cabaret tables. While this annual event draws some big acts to Houston, the local jazz scene continues throughout the rest of the year.

Jazz Houston offers locals of all ages music lessons throughout the year and hosts events and concerts to help connect city residents to jazz as well. Restaurants and bars, including the House of Blues, help spread the music through the city.

At Catbirds, visitors can enjoy cocktails and scrumptious bites while indulging in jazz events. Martini Blu, a jazz cafe, not only offers up drinks, food and incredible music, they also hosted their first Jazz & Wine Fest earlier this year and continue to host music events.

Whether you’re a music enthusiast, a jazz lover or a local wanting to explore more of Houston’s concert scene, the city’s restaurants, bars and festivals provide plenty of opportunities to explore the area and its culture.


Discover the Best of Texas at Local Museums

Looking for an escape during the hot summer months in Texas? You don’t have to travel far from your Houston or Dallas Darling Homes communities to find fun, educational and entertaining venues at local museums.


One can’t-miss museum in this region of Texas is the Space Center Houston. Known as the gateway to the NASA Johnson Space Center, this incredible space allows people of all ages to get a firsthand look at space exploration, with attractions including a Mission Mars exhibit, opportunities to meet astronauts, historic mission control and artifacts from trips to outer space.

The Houston Museum of Natural Science offers visitors an incredible range of interesting and educational displays. From an exhibit showcasing Sherlock Holmes artifacts to Death By Natural Causes and wildlife photography, this museum provides unique perspectives on the world with its wide-ranging, fascinating content.

Last, but not least, art lovers living or visiting the area will enjoy touring The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. With changing content, current exhibits include selections of Indian art from nearly four centuries, European art from 1500-1800 and designs from the digital age. Fans will delight in seeing fresh displays and art pieces as new artwork comes through the museum throughout the year.


Dallas is rich with presidential history, and the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum is the perfect place to kick off an educational tour of the city. With archives showing millions of records from the Bush administration to 9/11 Memorial materials and a replica of the Oval Office, take a dive inside the office of the president at this incredible museum.

A piece of American history is commemorated in Dallas with The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza, marking the assassination and surrounding events of President John F. Kennedy. Materials center around JFK, painting a picture of his life, death and ongoing legacy in the United States.

Museum-goers of all ages will revel in the exhibits at the Perot Museum of Nature and Science. With Ultimate Dinosaurs as the current temporary exhibit and permanent displays including gems and minerals, dynamic earth and engineering, this museum is sure to pique any visitor’s interest.

Don’t miss out on the chance to visit a local museum in Houston or Dallas this year!

At Home Community

Soaking up the Sun at Darling Homes Communities

Splash pads, resort-style pools, clubhouses, lakes and trails… what more could you ask for? At various Darling Homes communities throughout Houston and Dallas, residents can make the most of sunny days by indulging in all the communities have to offer.


Connect with Nature in Cypress

The Bridgeland community is a part of the natural Texas area surrounding it, with over 900 acres of lakes and waterways woven between more than 400 acres of parks. This community was built for those who love the outdoors with activities and opportunities to spend time outside around every corner.

Amenities worth highlighting:

  • Trails for hiking and biking
  • Opportunities for water sports such as kayaking
  • Resort-style swimming pool with an accompanying spray park
  • Disc golf
  • Tennis courts
  • Basketball courts

Active Lifestyle Awaits in Missouri City

In Missouri City, in Avalon at Sienna Plantation, adult and youth residents have the chance to be a part of sporting leagues in this community, which places an emphasis on outdoor recreation.

  • Miles of hiking and biking trails along the water
  • Lit tennis courts
  • Resort-style pools
  • A sports complex, soccer and baseball fields
  • 16 playgrounds
  • A semi-private golf course


Lakeside Living in The Tribute

At The Tribute community in The Colony, residents are never far from a scenic space. Stationed on a peninsula, lakeside living is a staple of this community, with paddle boarding, kayaking and more. Intertwined with miles of picturesque trails for exercising and playgrounds throughout the community, residents have no shortage of outdoor activities. This gorgeous community also features a resort-style pool and a splash park.

The amenities at The Tribute are continuing to grow, with future plans including:

  • Volleyball court
  • More lakeside activities
  • Event lawn

Preserving Nature

In Allen, a sustainable and natural feel can be found throughout the expansive Montgomery Farm community. Near the Connemara Conservancy, Montgomery Farm is filled with relaxing greenways and trails. Residents will delight in walking along the peaceful creekside areas and open spaces. Montgomery Urban Tree Farm has over 100 acres of natural preserved space, adding another element to this community, which provides a unique opportunity for locals who enjoy living close to nature.

Whether you like to wander along nature paths or spend a day splashing in the pool, Darling Homes’ communities in premiere locations give residents the chance to enjoy life to the fullest in the outdoors.