Summer is coming and that makes us want to splash in the surf. If you can’t make it to your favorite beachside paradise, you just gotta bring the balmy vibe to where you are. Swizzle Luau Lounge will be opening soon in Dallas, with everything you could want in a tiki tavern. But we’ve found a few places in DFW to hold you over until its debut. Get ready to hula dance, sip umbrella drinks, nosh on roti or coconut shrimp, view some equatorial animal life, and generally enjoy as many tropical delights as possible.

Bonus Fun Stuff: Frightened Rabbit Rocked The Granada Theater.

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Hula Hut in Little Elm

Bamboo walls, tiki torches, and surf music all set the scene for some delicious….Mexican food? Well, Hula Hut in Little Elm calls it Mexonisian, but no matter what you call it, you’re gonna love eating it. The Kawaikini Stuffed Avocado is a local favorite and Hawaiian Fajitas beg to be tasted.


210 E Eldorado Pkwy Little Elm, TX | Route Map TURF:  Frisco area Website


This lakeside location has three bars, so your favorite drink is always close at hand. Sip on a Rip Tide, or try the house drink – a Hu-La-La for two. If you can pronounce it, order a Haleakalada.

Texas Discovery Gardens Butterfly House in Dallas

The Butterfly House at Texas Discovery Gardens in Fair Park also plays home to a rainforest. Theirs has hundreds of tropical butterflies, beneficial insects, and aquatic life. Nature lovers (and photographers) will find all sorts of amazements to catch their eyes.

Texas Discovery Gardens Butterfly House in DallasTexas Discovery Gardens Butterfly House in Dallas

Photo Credit: DeanieMichelleEvents


3601 Martin Luther King BlvdDallas, TX | Route MapTURF: South DallasWebsite


The butterfly release and talk (at noon daily) is included with general admission. Inside the butterfly house, lists with photos and descriptions help you identify your favorites.

Rainforest Café in Grapevine

We don’t think there’s a single thing wrong with kitsch. You’ll find plenty of that along with loads of fun (and probably bunches of kids) at Rainforest Café in Grapevine Mills. Kids of all ages can enjoy the animatronic monkeys and tigers, indoor tropical rainstorm, mesmerizing fish aquariums, and the giant mushroom that houses the bar. That’s right – don’t forget the bar. This place is perfect for a party.

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3000 Grapevine Mills Pkwy Grapevine, TX | Route Map TURF: Mid-Cities Website


Part of Landry’s Select Club, members earn Welcome and Birthday rewards. Cleverly named dishes like Jungle Safari Soup and Tropical Island Chicken Salad keep the theme going.

Dallas World Aquarium

If you want to see a real rainforest, head over to Dallas World Aquarium. In addition to the sea life exhibits, you can experience the eight-story Orinoco rainforest exhibit full of birds and small mammals in natural habitat surroundings. There’s also a 20,000-gallon walk-through tunnel with sharks, and dozens of other creatures from Borneo, South Africa, and the Mayan Peninsula.

A photo posted by dallas_world_aquarium (@dallas_world_aquarium) on Aug 24, 2015 at 5:30pm PDT

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1801 North Griffin StDallas, TX | Route MapTURF: Downtown DallasWebsite


Selfie-ready sloths, playful penguins, and adorable otters deliver cuteness in an out-of-this-world environment. Prefer the creepy and crawly to cute? There’s no shortage of reptiles and amphibians either.

Bahama Bucks in Plano

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With more than a dozen DFW locations, Bahama Bucks is ready to help you chill with shaved ice and other sweet treats. Choose from 91 flavors for your “sno” treat or try some tropical-themed smoothies, juices, and sodas.


909 W SpringCreek PkwyPlano, TX | Route MapTURF: Plano



All of the island-inspired locations (more than a dozen in DFW) offer dessert all day. Join the Surf Club for up-to-the-minute news about events and savings.

Glass Aquatics

Glass Aquatics Hurst TXGlass Aquatics Hurst TX

Photo Credit: Glass Aquatics Facebook Page

Offering a selection of fresh and saltwater sea life, Glass Aquatics in Hurst also offers aquarium design, built-in services, and aquarium maintenance and troubleshooting. Bringing the ocean to you with colorful fish and advice on how to care for them, this is so much more than a fish store.


542 W. Harwood Rd Hurst, TX | Route Map TURF: Hurst Website


Lots of beautiful live coral in this lovely store, and they often host special events including (four-legged) Pet Adoptions.

Angie’s Bikkles in Fort Worth

Angie’s Bikkles in Fort WorthAngie’s Bikkles in Fort Worth

Photo Credit: Angie’s Bikkles in Fort Worth

Located near John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth, Angie’s Bikkles restaurant will transport you straight to the Caribbean. The owner and servers are as warm as the sun, and you can eat your fill of island style entrees offered in small, medium or large portions. Try the Jamaican juice and herb-flavored beverages too. Alcohol is BYOB.


1704 Galveston Ave Fort Worth, TX | Route Map TURF: Fort Worth Website


Authentic Jamaican food – jerk chicken, callaloo, roti, plantains – they’ve got everything you’d expect, and a little bit more. Save room for Jamaican Fruit Cake or Sweet Potato Pudding for dessert.

Have you found paradise at any of these spots? Where do you go for a taste of the tropics? 

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