Garland, a northeastern suburb of Dallas, boasts the slogan “Texas Made Here.” If you’re wondering what that means, why not head on up for a visit?

Get to town before 7 p.m. and find Meshack’s BBQ Shack, a roadside joint near downtown with succulent, pecan-smoked brisket. Get your order from the little window and take it to go.

Garland’s shopping complex, Firewheell Town Center, features more than 100 shops and restaurants, and is a great place to dine al fresco. Houlihan’s has live music on the patio, which pairs nicely with their delicious menu. On Fridays, there are food trucks from 5-8 p.m. After dinner, enjoy a movie or go to Lunar Mini Golf.

Looking for something a little more active?

Spring Creek Forest Preserve’s trails are perfect for a morning hike. The trees are hundreds of years old, and thriving.

The Garland outpost of retail mecca Bass Pro Shops, includes a restaurant with panoramic views of Lake Ray Hubbard.

From there, you can walk across the parking lot to enjoy lunch at Primo’s Tex-Mex Grille. Sit on the back patio for a relaxing lunch beside the nearly 23,000-acre lake. Brisket enchiladas, stuffed avocados and frozen margaritas await.

Lakewood Brewing Co. is a fun afternoon activity for any beer lover. Year-round brews include the Lakewood Lager. If you’re in the mood for something seasonal, their Zomer Pils is available only between May and July. The brewery’s humorous website says it pairs well with aged Gouda, Tex-Mex and air conditioning. Tours of the brewery are free on Saturdays.

Got the kids with you during the summer? Hawaiian Falls Waterpark is H2O-based fun for the whole family. Experience thrills on the waterslides or relax in a private cabana.

Downtown Garland is the place to go when your tummy starts to rumble later in the day. Intrinsic Smokehouse and Brewery has a super-cool outdoor patio and a hip interior filled with barbecue smells. Other dining options include the Generator, Dos Banderas, State Street Pub and Grill and Main Street Café, which all frequently have live music on the weekends.

For an evening of entertainment, a ticket to Garland Civic Theater won’t disappoint. And if you’ve got the energy after a busy day, a self-guided historic walking tour of downtown Garland is both fun and educational.

Tell it like it isTweet @TexasStandard or leave a comment here