It’s that time of year when the editors create driving mix tapes, load up on sundries, and proceed to put hundreds of miles on their cars. Vacation, you ask? Not exactly. We’re running the roads in search of pretty houses. Despite the occasional screaming match, we always have a blast coming up with our annual list of the 10 Most Beautiful Homes in Dallas. For the uninitiated, it’s a beauty contest as shallow as any—what’s happening on the inside doesn’t concern us. This is all about the outside. In the past, we’ve been accused of ageism, and we cop to the fact that we’re attracted to maturity over minors. But this year, we’re going younger—way younger. Barely legal, in fact. The result is a collection of 10 great houses—none of which was built before 2003.

But don’t you worry—we haven’t completely abandoned our pretty-on-the inside sensibility. Not only do we take you behind the doors of two gorgeous and glamorous residences, we also spend time with the incredibly nice people who live in them. If you like fine invitations and pretty things, you probably know all about Bell’Invito and Nest owner Heather Wiese-Alexander. She and her husband, Scott, have created a romantic retreat—complete with a greenhouse perfect for parties—in the heart of University Park. A few miles down the road, we pop in for a visit with two of our favorite people, Garry Cox and Don McDermett. The gracious hosts reside in an apartment that mixes outstanding views, Maccassar Ebony paneling, a zebra run, white marble busts, and more.

We also spend time at Central Market. Executive chef Patrick Tarantino gives us the skinny—and even provides a recipe—on what we should bring to the tailgate this fall. And speaking of parties, we admit to looking for any reason to celebrate. So in a continued nod (and with another splash of Champagne, thanks), we ask 10 of our favorite creative types to tell us where in Dallas they go for inspiration.

From there, it’s up to you. Make your own mix tape, load up the cooler, and go for a drive. Make a day of it. Visit our new construction picks, and see if you’re amazed or appalled. Go check out where photographers such as Kevin Marple and Danny Piassick go for inspiration, and see if you’re moved to pick up a paintbrush or finally finish that novel. Once your mission is accomplished, let me know your thoughts. Maybe we missed a great house or overlooked the best thinking spot. You can let us know.