Explore Arlington Texas: Your Ultimate Guide to Thriving in This Dynamic City

Looking for the heart and soul of Arlington, Texas? This suburban powerhouse within the Dallas-Fort Worth area is more than just a dot on the map. Here, history echoes through its landmarks, and the roar of sports fans resounds in state-of-the-art stadiums. Whether considering a move or planning a visit, this guide walks you through Arlington’s rich tapestry, from demographics and economic cornerstones to cultural and leisure hotspots.

Key Takeaways

  • Arlington has a rich history that includes indigenous settlements, the commercial rise tied to railways in the 1800s, and historical landmarks like the Top O’ Hill Terrace, a spot for famous illegal gambling before its acquisition by Arlington Baptist College in 1956.
  • Demographically, Arlington is diverse and the city’s economy is supported by significant employers like General Motors and the University of Texas at Arlington. The city’s infrastructure promotes a mixed scene of arts, culture, and sports, with facilities like the AT&T Stadium and Globe Life Field.
  • Civic engagement is key in Arlington’s governance with a council-manager system, and transportation advancements include RAPID, an autonomous vehicle service. Local businesses like Integrity Pools exemplify dedicated service, and a variety of dining options reflect the city’s cultural diversity.

The Heart of Arlington: A Glimpse into Its Rich History

Did you know that Arlington was once home to indigenous tribes such as the Caddo, Cherokee, Tonkawa, and Comanche? Yes, before the European settlers arrived, these tribes thrived in the area now known as Arlington. Take a stroll to the contemporary location of Lake Arlington, and you’ll be walking on the land that was once a notable native settlement, the Village Creek area.

Fast forward to 1876, and Arlington was officially founded. A key player in its establishment was the Texas and Pacific Railway, which contributed significantly to the expansion of towns throughout Texas. Following its establishment, Arlington became an important commercial center for the region’s farmers, thanks to its strategic location on the Texas and Pacific Railway line.

Arlington’s Historical Landmarks

One of the most fascinating historical landmarks in Arlington is the Top O’ Hill Terrace, located near the Arlington Highlands. Initially an opulent tea room, it transformed into a nightlife hotspot featuring illegal gambling activities. During the 1920s and 1930s, it was known as ‘Vegas before Vegas,’ attracting celebrities to Arlington.

However, its glitzy era ended in 1956 when Arlington Baptist College acquired the venue, marking the end of its gambling and entertainment phase.

Arlington Through the Decades

Arlington’s past is beautifully preserved in Knapp Heritage Park. This historical corner allows us to relive the city’s early days, with buildings from the 1800s, including a one-room schoolhouse. For nearly 60 years, the Mineral Well, located at the intersection of Center and Main Streets, served as a historical focal point, drawing political rallies and community events.

The post-war era marked a significant population boom for Arlington, with the number of residents skyrocketing from 7,692 in 1950 to approximately 19,000 by 1953.

Fast-forward to March 2021, and Arlington witnessed the launch of RAPID, an innovative autonomous vehicle service enhancing connectivity in Downtown and the University of Texas at Arlington campus. This service is one of the first in the United States to be integrated with an existing public transit system, thanks to cooperative efforts involving:

  • The City of Arlington
  • Federal Transit Administration
  • Via Transportation
  • May Mobility
  • The University

Geographical Wonders of Arlington

Located in Tarrant County, Arlington is an integral part of the Mid-Cities region within the Dallas–Fort Worth–Arlington metropolitan area. The city spans a total area of 99.44 square miles, a blend of both land and water. Sitting 604 feet above sea level, Arlington’s elevation contributes to its diverse geographical character.

The cities that encapsulate Arlington are:

  • Kennedale
  • Grand Prairie
  • Mansfield
  • Fort Worth
  • Dalworthington Gardens
  • Pantego

These cities showcase a blend of urban development and small community charm.

Embracing the Climate

Arlington is located within the Cfa (humid subtropical) region of the Köppen climate classification system. If you’ve ever wondered why May seems particularly wet in Arlington, it’s because that’s when the city experiences its heaviest rainfall. Severe weather is common during April and May.

Winters, on the other hand, are typically mild with snow being an unusual event. However, Arlington has seen some extreme temperatures, with the highest being 113 °F in 1980 and the lowest −8 °F in 1899.

Living in Arlington: Demographics and Lifestyle

Arlington boasts a racially diverse community, with a significant share of its residents born in the United States and a sizable non-US citizen population from Latin America. The city’s poverty rates vary among racial groups, with Islanders experiencing the highest poverty rate and Native Americans the lowest. The average household in Arlington comprises 2.82 individuals, with a homeownership rate of 54.9% and a rental rate of 45.1%.

The demographic statistics for Arlington are as follows:

  • Median household income: $71,736
  • Median income for families: $84,996
  • Marriage rate: 45.3%
  • Men most likely to be married past the age of 65
  • Women most likely to be married within the 35-44 age bracket
  • Percentage of residents over 25 who have graduated high school: 23.61%
  • Percentage of residents over 25 with a Bachelor’s degree: 21.61%
  • Percentage of residents over 25 who have pursued graduate studies: 10.81%

As for languages, while English is spoken by 64.96% of the population, Spanish is spoken by 22.57% of residents.

Population Insights

As of the 2020 census, Arlington’s population stands at 394,266, with a significant racial diversity demonstrated within the community. The labor force participation rate in Arlington is at 70%, although this figure varies among different age groups. Employment rates in Arlington show disparity among racial groups, with:

  • White Non-Hispanic individuals holding the highest employment rate
  • African American individuals holding the second highest employment rate
  • Hispanic individuals holding the third highest employment rate
  • Asian individuals holding the fourth highest employment rate
  • Other racial groups holding the lowest employment rate.

Notably, higher levels of education correlate with increased employment rates, with those holding a Bachelor’s degree or higher being more likely to be employed than those with lower educational qualifications.

Employment Powerhouses

Arlington is home to several major employers. General Motors, one of America’s largest auto manufacturers, operates an assembly plant in Arlington, which serves as a significant employment hub. The University of Texas at Arlington is another major contributor to employment, being one of the top employers in the city.

Texas Health Resources and Arlington Independent School District also stand out as primary employers in Arlington. These employment powerhouses anchor the local economy by providing a vast number of jobs across different sectors. Their presence promotes economic stability and attracts complementary businesses to the area, enhancing the city’s overall economic health.

In addition, these major employers create numerous direct and indirect employment opportunities, contributing to workforce development within the city.

The Pulse of Arlington: Arts, Culture, and Entertainment

Arlington offers a rich arts and cultural landscape with various venues and events contributing to an energetic atmosphere. Some of the key venues and attractions include:

  • Arlington Music Hall: Originally a movie theater, it has transformed into a significant cultural venue for music events in the city.
  • Gallery at UT Arlington: A major art venue that showcases a diverse array of artworks and engages the community with culturally significant exhibits.
  • Arlington Museum of Art: Another major art venue that hosts exhibits and events that contribute to the city’s cultural scene.

These venues and events help create an energetic and vibrant arts and cultural scene in Arlington’s Lincoln Square.

Throughout the year, Arlington’s calendar is filled with an array of events, encompassing sports, arts, culture, and holiday celebrations.

Must-Visit Attractions

When it comes to must-visit attractions in Arlington, the Arlington Music Hall and the Arlington Museum of Art are a must. The Arlington Music Hall, originally a movie theater, has transformed into a significant cultural hub hosting various music events.

The Arlington Museum of Art, on the other hand, engages the community with culturally significant exhibits, playing a key role in the city’s arts scene.

Sports Fever in Arlington

There’s no denying that Arlington is a city of sports lovers. Arlington is home to professional sports teams including the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys, and the city boasts state-of-the-art stadiums such as AT&T Stadium and Globe Life Field. AT&T Stadium, home to the Dallas Cowboys, has the world’s largest HDTV video board and long-spanning arches that significantly enhance the spectator experience.

Globe Life Field, the new air-conditioned stadium, provides Texas Rangers fans with comfortable viewing experiences regardless of the weather conditions. Even if you’re not a fan of major league sports, Arlington hosts various sporting events throughout the year, including rodeo, soccer, and esports tournaments at venues like the Esports Stadium Arlington and Globe Life Park.

Civic Pride: Understanding Arlington’s Government

Arlington operates under a council-manager system, comprised of the Mayor and eight City Council members, who serve as city council representatives. The Arlington City Council is tasked with key legislative responsibilities, including approving the city’s budget, setting tax rates, and amending laws and ordinances. In Arlington’s local government, the City Council members and the Mayor play pivotal roles in governance and policymaking, while the city manager handles the execution of these policies and the city’s daily operations. The city’s legislative processes are currently led by Mayor Jim Ross.

Voter Engagement and Taxation

When it comes to taxation in Arlington, the adopted tax rate will raise taxes for maintenance and operations by approximately 14.77%. The notice of tax rates provides adopted tax rate information about two tax rates: the no-new-revenue tax rate and the voter approval tax rate. Additionally, the year’s tax rate plays a crucial role in understanding the overall tax impact on residents.

The voter approval tax rate, which is based on the property value as reflected in the current taxable value of properties, is integral to allowing citizens to have a say in how their city’s tax policies affect governance and public services.

Connect and Move: Transportation in Arlington

Arlington has made significant strides in developing its transportation options for locals and visitors. Whether you’re a resident or a visitor, you can use the Arlington Transportation app or call a specific phone number to book rides with RAPID, a service that demonstrates the city’s advancement in transportation flexibility.

Integrity Pools: Enhancing Arlington’s Backyards

Let’s take a moment to appreciate the work of Integrity Pools, a family-owned business known for operating with core values of Love, Service, and Excellence. Serving over 60 municipalities in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, Integrity Pools customizes expert pool services to meet the needs of a diverse client base.

Creating Oasis at Home

Integrity Pools offers the following services to enhance the beauty and functionality of residential pools in Arlington:

  • Custom pool installation
  • Pool Remodeling
  • Thorough cleaning services starting at $175 per month, including cleaning, chemical adjustments, and preventive care
  • Various service plans tailored to pool maintenance and expert chemical balancing

Moreover, Integrity Pools also assists in maintaining the longevity and integrity of pool equipment through professional repair services.

Shop, Dine, and Revel: Arlington’s Commercial Hotspots

Arlington offers a wide array of dining options, ranging from casual bites to upscale culinary experiences. Some popular restaurants include:

  • The Tipsy Oak
  • Bone Daddy’s
  • Vault Seafood and Steakhouse
  • Piranha Killer Ramen

These restaurants cater to different preferences, with options like sandwiches, burgers, barbecue, gourmet seafood, steak, and sushi.

Additional establishments such as Pappasito’s Cantina for Tex-Mex and Babe’s Chicken Dinner House for comfort food enrich the local dining scene with diverse flavors.

Staying Informed: Upcoming Events and Meetings in Arlington

Staying informed about the city’s happenings is crucial, especially when it comes to the decisions made by those we elect city council representatives. New suppliers can meet with City purchasing staff at the Arlington Monthly Supplier Meeting, held on the second Friday of each month from 11 am to 12 pm at the Parks & Recreation Administration Building. This provides an opportunity to pick up information packets and speak with the MWBE Coordinator about current and future contracts. Additionally, the commissioners meeting is another event to stay updated on city affairs. To engage the youth in these important matters, the city has established the Young Adult Advisory Council.

The North Central Texas Regional Certification Agency also provides representatives to discuss the DBE and M/WBE Certification process during the monthly supplier meetings.


From its rich history and geographical wonders to its vibrant lifestyle, Arlington is a city that promises an enriching journey. Whether it’s exploring historical landmarks, cheering on professional sports teams, or enjoying the diverse culinary scene, there’s something for everyone. Let Arlington’s charm captivate you, and make it your next destination to explore, live, and revel in!

Frequently Asked Questions

Who are some of the major employers in Arlington?

Major employers in Arlington include General Motors, the University of Texas at Arlington, Texas Health Resources, and Arlington Independent School District. These companies and organizations create a significant impact on the local economy.

What are some must-visit attractions in Arlington?

You should definitely visit the Arlington Music Hall, Arlington Museum of Art, and the sports stadiums AT&T Stadium and Globe Life Field when in Arlington. Enjoy your trip!

What is RAPID in Arlington?

RAPID in Arlington is an autonomous vehicle service that improves connectivity in Downtown and the University of Texas at Arlington campus. It’s an innovative initiative that aims to enhance transportation options in the area.

What services does Integrity Pools offer?

Integrity Pools offers pool installation, remodeling, maintenance, and cleaning services. Get your pool needs covered with them!

How can I stay informed about upcoming events and meetings in Arlington?

You can stay informed about upcoming events and meetings in Arlington by attending the monthly supplier meetings on the second Friday of each month at the Parks & Recreation Administration Building, and also by joining the City of Arlington Civil Service Commission meetings on the third Wednesday of each month. This way you can stay up to date with the latest happenings in the city!

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