With gas prices and inflation so high, skipping the summer road trip in favor of a summer “staycation” likely seems a lot more appealing. No one wants to give up their vacation, so don’t! Stay close and check out all that a neighboring community like Garland has to offer. In so doing, you might just find you or your family’s next favorite spot (and save a little money while you’re at it!).

While Dallas prices have always been higher, just about everywhere and everything seems to be a lot higher these days, yet Garland is a city with a growing reputation as being the kind of place where you can still stretch your dollar. Not only is it vastly more affordable to live in than other Dallas satellite cities, the unique and affordable entertainment and dining experiences make Garland the perfect place to stay, play, and keep more of your pay.

And when you’re doing more for less, the lifestyle enables you to leave an indelible impression. So, whether you’re planning a visit, or looking to move out of the city (maybe you don’t need to be blocks from the downtown office anymore, considering everyone else has gone remote?), then you should really make your mark in Garland!

Image courtesy of City of Garland

Entertainment Options

Strike + Reel

Make friends, host parties, and become the new “regular” at a one-of-a-kind entertainment venue. Price: $$ out of $$$$.

Appropriately named after its roots in bowling and cinema, the unique party venue Strike + Reel is a 90,000-square-foot entertainment venue featuring luxury dine-in movie auditoriums with large-format screens, luxury recliners, and full bar service. In addition to a luxury movie experience, Strike + Reel also offers state-of-the-art indoor attractions including bowling, interactive video games, a LED-lit rock-climbing wall, high ropes course, laser tag, and bumper cars.

Plaza Theatre

Nerd out with friends, embrace and experience cult-favorite films. Price: FREE!

Established in the 1940s, the historic Plaza Theatre is always giving retro vibes. The theatre has been completely refurbished in the art deco style, enhanced with luxurious velvet seats (350 of them to be precise) and complete with a motorized waterfall curtain to open and close performances. Saddle up your posse or find yourself a nice respectable date, and come pay homage to a glorious bygone era by watching Sharknado, Pulp Fiction, or whatever fine piece of cinema they’re playing.

Sounds of Summer

Head-bob and pocket dance with the best of them as you jam out to some seriously awesome outdoor live music. Price: FREE

At Winters and Audubon Parks, Garland’s “Sounds of Summer” concert series runs from May 12 to July 21. Presented by Veritex Bank and artist sponsor, Jimmy Wallace Guitars, the series features on-the-rise artists and entertainers. Make an afternoon and evening of the event by checking out the many on-site vendors, food trucks, and family-friendly activities.

Image courtesy of City of Garland

Lake Ray Hubbard: The Crowd Recreational Jewel of Garland.

When the relentless heat of the Texas summer draws you to seek out the water, make that water Lake Ray Hubbard. Load up your boat or Jet Skis, grab your fishing rod, or pack a picnic and head out for a full day of fun on the lake. From almost any point in Dallas, you’ll arrive to the shores of the lake in about 20 minutes. From boating, water-skiing, and fishing to sailing and windsurfing, Lake Ray Hubbard redefines relaxation.

Hawaiian Falls: Water Park Fun in the Sun!

A summer favorite, this family-friendly attraction delivers major fun in the Texas sun, located near the Curtis Culwell Center. Whether floating down the Kona Kooler Lazy River, catching a dive-in movie in the early evening, or exploring the Keiki Kove fortress with its rope ladders, geysers, and thousand-gallon dump bucket, there’s something for every family member to enjoy at this 12-acre waterpark. Be sure to buy your tickets online to get the best discount.

Food and Dining Options

Asian Cuisine

From fried rice to noodles to spices and sauces, egg rolls, soups, and other savory side dishes, there’s nothing that can stop the cravings for some good Asian cuisine. Luckily, Garland’s got you covered in that department.

Did you know that Garland is home to more than 20 unique Asian eateries? And that Garland holds the 14th largest Vietnamese population in the USA? We’re being Pho real! Sorry, couldn’t resist. For all ethnic cuisines, check out D Magazine’s, “The Answer to ‘What’s for Dinner?’ is in Garland,” and GarlandPhoReal.com for a list of all Asian cuisine eateries.

The Best of the Rest

Mouthwatering burgers, best breakfasts spots, and everything else in this “Best of the Rest” category is sure to make you visit Garland.

Taste buds telling you something else, other than Asian food? Check out the “Taste the Flavor” tab on VisitGarlandTX.com, and you’ll find a smorgasbord of food options from barbecue to breakfast, burgers to Mexican, Italian and much more.

Image courtesy of City of Garland

Drinks!

Cool down this summer with an ice-cold beer, or better yet, an ice-cold margarita! Not sure where to go? Let the GarlandRita Tour be your guide!

Whether you’re a fan of it slushed, salted, iced, or if you’re just a margarita fan in general, you need to go on the official GarlandRita Tour (or forge your own tour from places we don’t have on our list…but be sure to tell us where you go, because we want to investigate…for science). When you find your favorite drink spot, be sure to share it on your socials. Tag the restaurant and include #GarlandRita and #OnlyinGarland.

Come to Garland enough, you’re going to find yourself saying that a lot: Only in Garland. Only in Garland can you spend this little and still have a great time. Only in Garland can you go into a place and leave having made real friends and connections. And maybe that’s why you belong here. Maybe this is the place you need to be. To make friends in that next chapter of your life or to be the friend someone else needs in their next chapter. Maybe it’s time to invest here. Whatever the case, Garland is the place where you can make your mark. 

For more information, visit MakeYourMarkGarland.com