Spring was great, and we’re going to miss it a lot, especially because it means summer is here, and, well, it’s summer in Texas. It sucks more or less until October, even though football comes back by late August, which is pretty great.
But that is months away. So, in the meantime, we’ve put together a summer hit list. These are the places, activities and products that will totally turn this into the best summer ever, y’all.
Although summer is definitely slower than the rest of the year, you still have to work every day. And nothing is worse than breaking a sweat on your walk into the office or while catching a happy hour after work.
To that end, we dig Mizzen + Main’s “Marlowe” cornflower blue dress shirt. It’s a moisture-wicking dress shirt with an athletic fit, and it doesn’t need ironing or dry cleaning. It works tucked in with a jacket or with the sleeves rolled up for a casual look. It’ll be your favorite shirt within a week. You can pick one up at WAREhaus or online.
With longer days come more opportunities to play after work. For that, we love the moon tote from Jesse Kamm, an updated take on the classic tote complete with plenty of interior pockets. Available at TenOverSix, it’s big enough to hold a laptop along with a change of clothes or swimsuit, sunscreen and a Kindle — with room to spare.
It might be worth sneaking in a bottle of grapefruit vodka from Deep Eddy or Western Son. It is light and fruity enough to work by itself, but we discovered at the ranch the other week that two parts grapefruit vodka, one part pulp-free OJ and one part Fresca make for a killer little drink.
In fact, it makes the perfect poolside beverage. But you can’t wear your work shoes to the pool, so we recommend Hari Mari flip flops. Are they $60 per pair? You bet. We can’t really defend this too much, but the company does give $3 for every pair purchased to help fight pediatric cancer. Find the color scheme that fits your summer self.
If the pool is a little too boring, then White Rock Paddle Co. rents stand-up paddle boards. You get it all: sun, water, and a strong core and upper-body workout. It’s not surfing, but that’s what you get for living in North Texas.
Whether you’re pool or paddleside, you need a swimsuit. For the ladies, we like Tommy Bahama’s sea schooner bandeau one-piece. It’s simple and sophisticated while avoiding looking like a piece of floss.
For the lads, we like Peter Millar’s tortoise swim trunks. They’re playful and vintage-y without being overly complicated like a lot of designs out there these days. Both suits are available at St. Bernard Sports.
Swimming/paddling/floating/sitting in the sun all work up an appetite, but summer nights practically dictate you eat on a patio somewhere. We’ve got a trio of options for you.
For the family, The Lot offers a beer garden with plenty of space for the kids to run about and play cornhole and horseshoes. We’re wary of recommending this place if you don’t have (or like) kids, though.
If you’re in Exposition Park or Deep Ellum, Sandbar Cantina & Grill is as close to the beach as you’ll get in Dallas. The place is loaded with sand volleyball courts — Teresa Gubbins describes the sand as “the best sand my toes have ever encountered”— plus some big-screen TVs, “Texas-beach fusion” food, and a wall of beer taps.
The Foundry in North Oak Cliff is like a compound, with Chicken Scratch right next-door. Perfect for live music, the giant patio is as laid-back and communal as you can find in Dallas.
Our final spot is in the heart of Fort Worth at the new Coyote Drive-In. Opened last month, Coyote is the essential summer move for anyone looking to recapture the nostalgia of their youth or just make a few new memories.
We tried to give you everything you need for a wet, hot, American summer, but if that’s not enough, maybe you need to go fondle your sweaters.