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One Day In...

How to Spend a Day in Rockwall

Lake Ray Hubbard takes center stage in this former cattle town. From scenic boat rides to a slice of pie heaven, here’s what you shouldn't miss on your next visit to Rockwall.
By | |Illustration by Miguel Monkc
rockwall texas map
Miguel Monkc

Following World War II, Rockwall was best known for having the first aluminum plant in the Southwest. It wasn’t until Lake Ray Hubbard was constructed in 1969 that people started to see this former cattle town as a recreation destination. In addition to the lake, where the annual Rubber Duck Regatta happens, the town attracts visitors with its downtown concert series on San Jacinto Plaza (which runs every Friday and Saturday, May through October) and a popular Christmas festival. Maybe while you’re there you can crack open a can of Dr Pepper to pay tribute to its former stature. 

Sail With Scott 

Scott Self* spent two years building his 40-by-25-foot catamaran, Seawolf, and his boat has been taking folks across Lake Ray Hubbard in it ever since. Sail With Scott offers several trip options, but we recommend the sunset cruise for gorgeous views and a chance to blow a conch horn as the sun meets the horizon.  

2055 Summer Lee Dr.

The Harbor Rockwall 

You could easily spend all day at The Harbor along the shores of Lake Ray Hubbard. The mixed-use development has a movie theater, hotels, a handful of spas, and plenty of dining options, including outposts of Gloria’s and Rodeo Goat. But doesn’t a day by the water just beg for seafood? Order the jambalaya or a cup of gumbo at Dodie’s Cajun Diner

2059 Summer Lee Dr. 

Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory 

Before you leave The Harbor, be sure to stop by the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory. The national chain has only three North Texas locations now, but you can still get a caramel apple or large block of fudge here.  

2091 Summer Lee Dr., Ste. 103

The Shoppe on Goliad 

If you’re in need of a vintage hutch, sailboat art, or finishes for your next furniture thrift flip, then pop in here. The antiques store has a distinct country flair, with an extensive range of farmhouse decor.  

115 S. Goliad St. 

Bonafide Betties Pie 

Owner Brittany Hardin (who co-founded the Texas Pie Fest) has been rolling out a short and definitely sweet menu of pies since 2016. Get a slice of the Hott Mess—buttermilk filling with a warm coconut and pecan praline topping.  

109 E. Washington St. 

Oasis Pickleball Club

Sign up for a private lesson with pickleball pro Rich “Thunder” Lopez or show up for an open drill on one of the facility’s 42 courts. Check the website for upcoming amateur and pro events. 

5757 SH-205

This story originally ran in the January issue of D Magazine with the headline, “One Day in… Rockwall” Write to [email protected].

*A previous version of this story implied Scott Self, who died in 2020, still sailed passengers on his boat through his company, Sail with Scott. This has been corrected.


Catherine Wendlandt

Catherine Wendlandt

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Catherine Wendlandt is the online associate editor for D Magazine’s Living and Home and Garden blogs, where she covers all…

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