The insider’s guide to surviving those Texas summers

Yes, Texas has a reputation for scorching summers. And though that may be true compared to most of the nation, millions of Texas residents can attest that summer is a great season — for having fun in the sun or somewhere inside, soaking up all that gloriously cold air-conditioning. The agents of Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty can help you find a home with options for beating the heat, from lakeside properties to homes with pools nicer than many resorts. So, grab your SPF 50+ and read on for the answers to your most (sun) burning questions about summer in the Lone Star State.

How hot does it actually get during Texas summers?

First, some really great news: The hottest temperature ever recorded in Texas — 120 degrees Fahrenheit — was way back in 1936, so anything since then seems cool by comparison. But, here we go: The average high temperatures in the Dallas-Fort Worth area during the summer months are 91.1 degrees in June, 95.4 in July, 94.8 in August and only 87.7 in September. Lows during those months average in the mid to low 70s. In 2021, the month of June kicked off with several mild days in a row where the temperature barely crept above 80. Occasionally in July and August, we get temperatures above 100, but finding ways to enjoy the heat is never a problem (As you’ll read in just a bit).

Where can I cool off in North Texas if I don’t have my own pool?

Getting wet and wild — or just mild, if that’s how you roll — will always be one of the best ways to enjoy the hot sun while staying cool. If your home doesn’t have a pool out back, fear not. You can dive deep, swim up to a bar for a drink or simply float away the day at a variety of pools and water parks. If you want to brag to your friends that you swam across Texas, a visit to the 168,000-gallon, Texas-shaped Texas Pool in Plano should be at the top of your list. After all, it’s listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Indulge in a staycation at a local resort, such as the Hilton Anatole, and get access to incredible pools like its JadeWaters complex.

Several neighborhoods throughout North Texas have their own community water parks or head to Grand Prairie to chill out at Epic Waters, a year-round water park with both indoor and outdoor pools — the latter billed as the largest indoor water park in North Texas — so even if it’s hot and rainy you can still splish-splash your way to a cooler day.

What if I don’t want to be outside in the Texas heat?

If there’s one thing Texas knows better than almost anywhere on earth, it’s how to make indoor spaces icebox-cold no matter how hot it is outside. (One recommendation that might be surprising: You may want to carry a sweater with you because some places are so air-conditioned that your summer ensemble of shorts and a T-shirt can quickly feel inadequate.) Some of our favorite air-conditioned spaces allow you to enjoy art in a variety of formats, shop for the latest must-haves, dine on delish food and run errands, all to the delight of multitaskers and A/C enthusiasts everywhere. The ultimate example? NorthPark Center. When it opened in 1965, NorthPark Center was the largest climate-controlled shopping mall in the United States. It has expanded over the years and remains one of the top destinations in town for luxury goods, first-class restaurants and a contemporary art collection that rivals many an international museum.

Of course, actual museums always keep the temperature at a low level, whether you want to explore the free exhibits at the Dallas Museum of Art or have an indoor/outdoor experience at the Nasher Sculpture Center across the street in the Dallas Arts District. Movie theaters have always provided a respite from the heat and Texas-based Alamo Drafthouse has a number of locations around Dallas-Fort Worth, each with the chain’s famous reclining seats, in-theater dining and strict no-talking-or-texting policy that allows everyone to enjoy the films.

Can you enjoy patios in the summer in Texas?

Absolutely! Most patios across North Texas have some sort of equipment in place to keep customers cool, whether it’s massive umbrellas, giant fans, misting systems or all three. But the best scenario of all happens when you find a covered patio with air conditioning for the best indoor-meets-outdoor experience imaginable. Encina, Toulouse Cafe & Bar, RH Rooftop Restaurant and Malai Kitchen are prime examples of places where you can enjoy some fresh air, some air-conditioned air and some fantastic food and drinks, all in one transaction. 

Is it possible to actually go outdoors during the summer in Dallas-Fort Worth?

Yes! Once you know your own personal tolerance for heat and humidity, it’s easy to find ways to venture into nature without overheating. Our advice would always be to experience the great outdoors in the cooler early morning hours whenever possible. And, always, always take some bottled water for hydration. Some of the best places to get some exercise and find some nice shade trees, too, are the trails in the Great Trinity Forest, the Oak Cliff Nature Preserve, the Dallas Zoo or Fort Worth Zoo, the Dallas Arboretum or the Katy Trail.

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