by Steven Doyle
An hour northwest of Dallas you will find the sprawling community of Pilot Point which is home to Ray Roberts Lake, Isle Du Bois State Park, over 300 horse ranches, Western Son Distillery and Whistle Post Brewing Company. Oh there’s more and it all makes for the perfect quickie road trip and weekend get-a-way.
Where To Stay: The Lone Star Lodge and Marina is situated on a high ridge in Jordan State Park. This 500-acre park contains breath-taking views of the 30,000 acre lake, pristine forest and “Lost Lake” – a hidden lake. Unmatched natural scenery and dozens of activities in every season make for a truly unique atmosphere. These activities include boat and jet ski rentals, with slips available for daily rent, stables for your own horse with 27 miles of equestrian trails throughout the area for you to enjoy on horseback with rentals also available.
The rooms have recently been remodeled with full amenities and terrific views of the lakes and woods.
What to see: Western Son Distillery might be the single most delicious reason to visit Pilot Point with both the distillery and brewery on campus. There you will be able to take brewery and distillery tours each Saturday, taste their Western Son Texas Vodka, Western Son Texas Gin and Red River Texas Whiskey.
They now have products in 24 states produced in their 30,000 sq. ft. campus. With almost 50 employees selling a projected 100,000 physical cases in 2017.
On our recent visit we enjoyed an evening of music, food trucks and plenty of the new brews and whiskey. The Whistle Post Lizard Scorcher IPA is a heady, delicious beer that curled our toes. We also thoroughly enjoyed the whiskey and vodkas. We will be writing more about Western Son very soon. Look for another major event at Western Son October 21, 2017.
Bonnie and Clyde Days is a festival that elebrates the filming of the famous “bank robbery scene” in the 1968 movie “Bonnie and Clyde” starring Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty. Additionally, Pilot Point (and neighboring towns and counties) was actually the stomping-grounds of Bonnie and Clyde and their cohorts, as well as other well-known outlaws (the James Gang, the Younger Brothers, Quantrill’s Raiders and others). There are many events and fun things to enjoy October 14, 2017.
In June Pilot Point also hosts the North Texas Singer Songwriters Festival.
Where to Dine: There are plenty of restaurants in Pilot Point and we enjoyed a few unusual spots on our visit. For those looking for the unusual we selected a few choices that will be sure to make you smile.
Bebo’s Cafe is open all day, every day, serving a fantastic breakfast, and a huge lunch and dinner. Look for an all-you-care-to-eat catfish option which is served fresh and is an excellent option served with fresh veggies. But for those wanting something truly delicious to speak about at the water cooler Monday morning, order the enormous plate hanging chicken fried steak. It is truly one of the best Texas has to offer.
The Bear’s Den in an unusual pizza joint that feature a few live brown bears. They sit in their little den and munch on Cheetos while you and your family nosh pizza. Pretty good pizza at that. They also feature live music making this a fun stop. The indoor and outdoor ovens not only produce our amazing pizzas but many other incredible entrees. The 180 seat indoor/outdoor restaurant is located on the 126 acre Sharkarosa Wildlife Ranch, home of Barnaby and Bailey, our rescued black bears that have dinner with you.
Pilot Point is also home to an amazing tulip farm where you are invited to pick your own.