Lake Highlands Station is the newest stop on the Blue Line

The Lake Highlands DART station opened Monday, complete with speeches by Dallas City Councilman Jerry Allen and performances by the Wildcat Wranglers. In our podcast discussion Tuesday, I described my adventure jumping on the train at Walnut Hill & Skillman and visiting sights and restaurants along the way (I had to keep up my strength, you understand). If you’re ready to ditch the parking meter and save money on gas, here are a few ideas on sights to see in your own backyard.

First, parking at the LH station isn’t difficult – there are only 62 paved spots, but if it isn’t rainy there’s plenty of room to park on terra firma. Once the Town Center is built, there’ll be pavement to spare.

Bring some crisp dollar bills – it costs $4 for a Local Day Pass which you purchase via a machine. The pass allows you to hop on and off all day on the red, blue and brand-new green lines. (Save your stub for 15% off a purchase at Half Price Books through Feb. 28.)

Welcome to Lake Highlands!

Our blue line stretches from Downtown Garland, near the Garland Performing Arts Center, past downtown Dallas to the Ledbetter stop. From LH we stop first at the White Rock Station, which ties into White Rock Trail by the lake. There are hanging racks on the train for those who travel to the trail for a ride.

Next stop Mockingbird Station, where you can catch an Indie flick at the Angelika, enjoy an English Ale and watch soccer at Trinity Pub, buy gifts at Francesca’s and Urban Outfitters, and eat at Urban Taco or Vapiano’s (try the Chicken in Cayenne Cream Sauce at this fresh-cooked-to-order Italian joint. It’s not on the menu but they’ll make it if you’re nice). A short walk takes you across Central Expressway to Barnes and Noble, La Madeleine, SMU, and the future George W. Bush Presidential Center.

After the Cityplace stop is Pearl Station, where you can ice skate, dine and shop at the Marriott City Center atrium.

The basement where Ruby shot Oswald isn't open to the public, but when employess arrive or depart you can see down the ramp to this historic site.

Moving on to the St. Paul Station, it’s a brief walk to Main Street to visit the electric lights on the Christmas tree at Main Street Garden. You can treat yourself to the upscale Dallas Chop House in the Comerica Bank Building or enjoy eclectic Tex-Mex at the Iron Cactus. (If it’s rainy or cold, use the underground tunnels beneath Comerica to maneuver all around downtown.) If you’re one of the beautiful people, stop for a drink at the Joule Hotel’s PM Nightlife Lounge. And don’t forget this DART option next time you’re called to the Municipal Building for jury duty. (If you’re there early in the morning or late in the afternoon, you can catch employees exiting the parking garage where Jack Ruby shot Lee Harvey Oswald, otherwise you can’t see through the security gate.)

Just a little farther down Main at Ervay is the delightful window display at Neiman Marcus. This year’s theme is “Big Encounters of the Little Kind,” and the space-themed tube crawl takes children from the sidewalk outside into the store through the big picture window to a magical world and back out again. Check NM for details, but the ride is open most days from noon to 4 pm through the holidays.

Our next stop is Akard, home of Dallas’ Thanksgiving Square. If it’s walking weather, check out the Christmas window display at Renaissance Tower.

The area around West End Station has lots to offer, including the Dallas Holocaust Museum and the Sixth Floor. If you’ve never stood on the white X where President Kennedy was shot or peeked behind the fence above the grassy knoll where conspiracy theorists say a second shooter was stationed, here’s your chance. Restaurants abound from Y.O. Steakhouse to Sonny Bryan’s to Hoffbrau, and you can buy yourself a cowboy hat and boots at Wild Bill’s Western Wear. You can people-watch on the Chipotle patio and enjoy a chocolate scone at Corner Bakery, then vote on your favorite tree at the Deck the Halls exhibit at the Old Red Museum.

The next stop is Union Station, a collecting point for trains which can take you all over Dallas, including Love Field, Fair Park and the Dallas Zoo. You can even jump on the Trinity Railway Express to Ft. Worth for an extra $3 (buy the $7 Zone Pass) all days except Sunday. Beyond that is the Convention Center stop, useful if you’re attending an event or exhibit there.

Dallas is a jewel, and for $4 you can see it all from LH. Happy riding!