A while back, I promised that I would post a blog series inspired by my fellow Moon authors' online Q&A's . Well, after various interruptions, from Ronald Reagan's birthday  to Mardi Gras , I've decided to make good on my promise. So, for the next four posts, I plan to focus on the domestic locales featured in four separate Moon travel guides: Moon Dallas & Fort Worth , Moon Phoenix, Scottsdale & Sedona , Moon San Diego , and Moon California Camping . The best part, of course, is that all of these places are ideal getaway destinations at this time of year, when many states are still making the transition between winter and spring temperatures.
While rereading Jonanna Widner's helpful advice about shops, hotels, bars, restaurants, and sporting events in Dallas and Fort Worth , for instance, I couldn't help but consider the outdoor pleasures that await travelers to this vast metropolitan area, especially now, when the daytime temperatures typically fluctuate between the mid-60's and the mid-80's. In fact, three of my favorite outdoor attractions include the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden, the Texas Discovery Gardens, and the Fort Worth Botanic Garden, all of which are open all year round.
Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden: 
8525 Garland Road, Dallas, 214/515-6500, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. daily, closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, and New Year's Day, $12 adults, $10 seniors 65 and over, $8 children 3-12, children under 3 free
Situated beside White Rock Lake, this 66-acre oasis features a variety of gardens, including the kaleidoscopic Margaret Elisabeth Jonsson Color Garden, which, depending on the season, blooms with azaleas, daffodils, tulips, caladiums, and chrysanthemums. Visitors here can also dine inside the DeGolyer Mansion, enjoy afternoon tea, take various art and gardening classes, and attend an assortment of events, including the outdoor concert series, which typically runs from mid-April to late October.
Texas Discovery Gardens: 
Fair Park, 3601 Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, Dallas, 214/428-7476, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily, closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year's Day, $8 adults, $6 seniors 60 and over, $4 children 3-11, children under 3 free
Though a bit smaller than the Dallas Arboretum, this 7.5-acre preserve is still an ideal place to relax amid nature. Here, you'll find a native plant collection, a tranquil butterfly habitat, a colorful rose garden, and a scent garden that was originally designed to be used by the blind. In addition, the two-level Rosine Smith Sammons Butterfly House & Insectarium invites you to stroll amid countless tropical butterflies and other beneficial insects. Just remember that, while photography is encouraged, food and beverages are not allowed inside the building.
Fort Worth Botanic Garden: 
3220 Botanic Garden Boulevard, Fort Worth, 817/871-7686, 8 a.m.-sunset daily, free
Certainly the largest of these three attractions, this 109-acre sanctuary is also the oldest botanic garden in Texas – and home to 23 specialty gardens, which nurture more than 2,500 species of native and exotic plants. The vibrant rose garden and serene Japanese garden (9 a.m.-7 p.m. daily, $4-4.50 adults, $3.50-4 seniors, $3 children 4-12, children under 4 free) are especially popular, as is the tropical conservatory (10 a.m.-6 p.m. Mon.-Sat., 1-6 p.m. Sun., $1 adults, $0.50 seniors and children 4-12, children under 4 free), teeming with vibrant orchids and bromeliads. Here, you'll also find a gift shop, an on-site restaurant, and various workshops and classes.
For more information about the Dallas-Fort Worth area , consult the Dallas Convention & Visitors Bureau  (325 N. St. Paul St., Ste. 700, Dallas, 214/571-1300 or 800/232-5527), the Fort Worth Convention & Visitors Bureau  (111 W. 4th St., Ste. 200, Fort Worth, 800/433-5747), or Jonanna Widner's Moon Dallas & Fort Worth  guidebook.
As always, I’m open to ideas for future posts. If you have any suggestions, burning questions, or destinations that you’d like me to explore in greater detail, please comment below or contact me via laura [at] wanderingsoles [dot] com.
Disclosure: While I occasionally accept free or discounted travel assistance when it coincides with my editorial goals, my opinion is never for sale, which means that everything written in my American Nomad blog and Moon travel guides is my unbiased reflection of the things that I see, do, and experience while traveling across the United States.
Laura Martone is Moon’s American Nomad  and the author of Moon Florida Keys , Moon Michigan , Moon Baja RV Camping , and the upcoming Moon New Orleans, which will be published in Winter 2012.