If gas prices and high airfares have affected your summer travel plans, there is a nice alternative just 15 minutes east of downtown Dallas on I30. Rockwall Harbor is a new development on the east shore of Lake Ray Hubbard that consists of a harbor, retail stores, lake front restaurants, a Cinemark movie theater, fountains with waterfalls that flow into the lake, a pier with a lighthouse, an amphitheater with grass seating where they host concerts, and a brand new Hilton where I spent last weekend. They also offer tours of the lake on a large catamaran for only $25 per person. We ate at several of the restaurants and I thought the best was Agave. I had the Asian kobe ribeye and it was wonderful. Here is a link to the Rockwall Harbor website.
The Hilton was fabulous and offered rooms with breathtaking views of the lake. It is an upscale hotel, so I was a little worried about bringing the kids, but when we got to the pool it was about 75% families with small children. It has a resort style pool with great pool bar. When I sat at the pool bar and looked over the pool and lake, it almost felt like I was at a resort in Cancun. The only thing missing was the white sands and turquoise blue water, although to its credit Lake Ray Hubbard is the largest, cleanest, and clearest lake in the D/FW area. When we arrived my 7 yr old asked which ocean it was...that is how big it is.
The food and beverage, housekeeping, and management staff were very friendly and organized for such a new hotel. The only weak point was the front desk. I won't get into details but we had incidents both checking in and checking out. It is a shame since that is where you get your first and last impressions of the hotel. Still, it was not enough to ruin all the great things that happened in between. I would highly recommend this hotel to everyone. The normal price for a lake front room was $269, but they have recently dropped to $159.
Here are some pictures I took of the hotel and harbor.