Dallas Blooms - Life's a Picnic and Fiesta!

 A breathtaking trip to the Dallas Arboretum, Fort Worth Japanese Garden, Klyde Warren Park with Tex-Mex and Delta Culinary, and Historical Delights along the way!

people sitting in grass surrounded by tulipsTulips, Dallas Arboretum

Bridge at Fort Worth Japanese GardenJapanese Garden, Fort Worth Botanical Garden

"Southern Living" Magazine has declared the Dallas Arboretum the "best spot this side of Holland to see the beautiful flowers."

Deadline Extended to Register March 8, 2019
Register Online or Call 225-767-6916 or Email hilltop@lsu.edu


Wednesday, March 20 – Friday, March 22

Three Days, Two Nights All Inclusive Trip Pricing!

Double Occupancy: Members $399, Non-Members $434
Single Occupancy: Members $499, Non-Members $534
Non-member rates includes annual membership.

Day One, we drive north to Shreveport for lunch at Wine Country Bistro and a tour of the Louisiana State Exhibit Museum (LSEM) before completing our road trip in the late afternoon to Dallas, Texas.  Completed in 1939 as one of the New Deal’s Public Works projects, the LSEM is an architectural jewel built in the ultra-modern style of the time. Conrad Albrizio, an important figure in American art, painted the four panel fresco on the North portico of the museum during the summer of 1938.  The artist selected two monumental iconic figures – female and male – to represent contrasting Agriculture and Industry of the State of Louisiana.  The side panels illustrate the predominate activities in North and South Louisiana. Today, the value of this art is beyond calculation. The circular building is home to 23 beautifully rendered scale dioramas that portray a snapshot of Louisiana life in the 1940s. Collections include Louisiana Native American artifacts, regional and national history artifacts, original works by local artists, and natural history exhibits.

After driving to Dallas, we will settle into the Hampton Inn, a five minute drive from the Dallas Arboretum. Dinner will be served at Mesomaya.  Mesomaya’s kitchen is led by Nico Sanchez, the executive chef.  His food is celebrated for its complexity, unique presentation, and fresh flavors thanks, in part, to his love of gardening – he grows peppers, tomatoes, squash, and onions. The fare is faithful to the dishes you’ll find throughout the regions of Central and Southern Mexico.

Day Two, begins with the greatest views of the downtown Dallas skyline and White Rock Lake. The Dallas Arboretum is hailed as one of the best picnic spots in the Metroplex, so why not celebrate this theme during Dallas Blooms, the largest floral festival in the Southwest? With more than 100 varieties of spring bulbs and over 500,000 tulip blooms bursting with color, the Dallas Arboretum announces “Life’s A Picnic” as this year’s Dallas Blooms theme.  Our visit will culminate with a picnic lunch of course, surrounded by fields of flowers. 

Next, we take a short bus ride to the Fort Worth Botanical Garden for a tranquil stroll through their 7-acre Japanese Garden and a behind the scene tour of the Begonia Species Bank.  Docents will lead us in small groups through the spring landscape of the Japanese Garden that was completed in 1973. It is a traditional stroll garden with winding paths through the landscape and around ponds.  The Garden is filled with cherry trees, Japanese maples, magnolias, bamboo, bridges, and ponds which are home to over 1,200 Koi fish.  Spring time is the only time you will see flowers blooming in the Japanese garden because of the practice of Mono no Aware. Mono no Aware translates to transient or bittersweet beauty, meaning if the garden was always blooming it would never be special. The Begonia Species Bank is a collection of 370 species and 665 hybrids of the begonia family.  Many of these hybrids are “heritage varieties” – hybrids that cannot be produced again because one or more of their species parents are now extinct. The bank is managed by a group of dedicated volunteers who catalog the collection, maintain the begonias, and even breed new varieties from the plants there.  Inventories of the plants are sent on request to other botanic gardens and private collectors. Through this exchange of information, trades of species and hybrids are arranged to help preserve this colorful family of tropical plants.

After a busy day in the gardens you can kick back for Fiesta time at Chuy’s!  You can’t help but have fun at a restaurant with a festive décor we promise won’t disappoint. Chuy touches you will love include hand-carved wooden fish “swimming” from the ceiling, hubcaps hanging bright and shiny about your booth, and the “Elvis” shrine that will remind you of your Delta roots.

Day Three, after breakfast we make our way to the Klyde Warren Park for a guided tour. Building a 5-acre deck park over a recessed eight-lane freeway took an imaginative and hard-working team of Dallas leaders and a clear vision. Klyde Warren Park creates green space “out of thin air” that connects the vibrant Uptown neighborhood with the Dallas Arts District and downtown. Klyde Warren Park was designed by award-winning landscape architect Jim Burnett, graduate of the LSU Robert Reich School of Landscape Architecture, principal of The Office of James Burnett at a cost of $110 Million. His design is meant to create a sense of discovery as you move to the different “rooms” throughout the 5 acre park. The sustainable landscaping includes 37 native plant species and 322 trees, transforming a former freeway to a beautiful urban oasis.

On our return trip back to Baton Rouge, we stop one more time in Shreveport to reconnect with our Southern food roots at Strawn’s Eat Shop for lunch.  Strawn’s is best known for their famous ice box pies heralded by “Southern Living” magazine as the best in the South.

After lunch, you can sit back and enjoy the spring landscape of Louisiana as we make our way back to the arboretum.

LA State Exibition MuseumConrad Albrizio Fresco, LA State Exhibition Museum
Klyde Warren Park in Dallas, TX Klyde Warren Park, Dallas, TX
Begonia species bankBegonia Species Bank

Spring Garden Trip Details

Wednesday, March 20 – Friday, March 22, 2019

Three Days, Two Nights All Inclusive Trip Pricing!

Deadline Extended to register: March 8, 2019


Questions? Call 225-767-6916 or email hilltop@lsu.edu