During the planning stages of Las Colinas, master developer and visionary Ben Carpenter wanted to preserve the landscape's natural beauty, with a lake being the urban center's main centerpiece. Taking a creative approach to handling nearby storm-water runoff, his plan was to build canals that followed the area’s creeks, let them feed into Lake Carolyn, and then direct the flow into the Trinity River.
Although Lake Carolyn and the Mandalay Canals would become the biggest infrastructure project ever built in Las Colinas, with construction costs significantly higher than conventional floodplain reclamation, his vision was to create something beautiful and lasting, that residents, commuters and visitors would enjoy for a lifetime. What began as a series of functional waterways to control flooding became a beautiful icon of Las Colinas, the Mandalay Canals.
What canal would not be complete without gliding through the waters in an authentic European gondola? With its private inlets and refreshing waterfall views, traveling through the canals in a gondola is the only way to go. Gondola Adventures of Las Colinas offers a variety of cruises, including dinner cruises where the gondolier sings or plays romantic music. And romantically-inclined guest are encouraged to kiss under every bridge.
Various restaurants face the canals and offer open air patio seating, a perfect spot for late-night gatherings, wedding receptions and special occasions. With shimmering lights reflecting off its waters, navigating the canals in an intimate and authentic Italian Gondola creates the perfect romantic getaway.
Lake Carolyn and the Mandalay Canals offer several water sport options as well. Imagine gliding across the water at sunset on a Stand Up Paddleboard, or peddling through the shimmering water on a water trike.
Follow the tree-lined, cobblestone walkway stretching 3-miles around Lake Carolyn and the canals. It’s both peaceful and stirring--the perfect gathering spot for those wanting to take a break from workday stress or get in a morning run.
Several times throughout the year, Lake Carolyn and the Mandalay Canals are host to many community events. With ample parking in nearby office buildings, this area is a perfect place to hold year-round activities, including: