Exploring My Hometown is a blog series about Arlington, Texas. Join me as I explore the city throughout 2020. I plan to turn this blog into my first book.
- 01-08-20 | Introduction
- 01-15-20 | Where and what is Arlington, Texas?
- Where is Arlington?
- Quick facts
- 2010 demographics
- Major employers
- What is Arlington?
- American suburbia
- The present started in the past
Where is Arlington?
You may be asking yourself, where and what is this city? Before I dive too far into exploring the city, let me give you a proper introduction.
One of the best things about Arlington is that it feels like a big city, but it’s much smaller. And if you want a big city, there are some nearby. It’s located in north Texas between Dallas and Fort Worth. Arlington is often in the shadow of its larger neighbors. But, Arlington isn’t a ghost town. With more than 370,000 residents across 99.5 square miles of land, it’s sizable. Not only that, it’s one of the 50 most populated cities in the United States.
Fun fact: There are 15 cities in the United States named Arlington. The one here in Texas is the largest by size and population. Well, they say that everything is bigger in Texas.
- Founded: 1876
- Incorporated: April 21, 1884
- Population: 373,027 (as of 2018)
- Land Area: 99.5 square miles
- Median Age: 32.3 years old
- White or Caucasian: 59%
- Hispanic/Latino: 27.4
- Black or African American: 18.8%
- Asian: 6.8%
- Two or More Races: 3.3%
- American Indian: 0.7%
- Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander: 0.1%
- Arlington Independent School District.
- University of Texas at Arlington.
- General Motors.
- Texas Health Resources.
- Six Flags Over Texas.
What is Arlington?
Arlington is the second largest city in Tarrant County, behind Fort Worth. It’s the third largest city in the Dallas / Fort Worth Metroplex, behind, well, Dallas and Fort Worth. Arlington’s neighbors include the smaller cities of Mansfield, Grand Prairie, and Kennedale. The larger city of Fort Worth is also a neighbor. Arlington completely surrounds the smaller communities of Pantego and Dalworthington Gardens.
Proximity to the Dallas / Fort Worth International Airport. Mild temperatures for most of the year — except for hot and humid summers! A variety of attractions in the city and nearby. These make Arlington is a popular tourist destination in north Texas.
Tourism is significant for Arlington. It goes back to the city’s beginnings, and really took off in the 1930s. It’s part of our past, present, and future. More on that in a later post.
Today, Arlington is known as the Entertainment Capital of Texas. Major attractions in Arlington include the big four:
- Six Flags Over Texas
- Six Flags Hurricane Harbor
- Dallas Cowboys football team
- Texas Rangers baseball
Arlington is more than the big four in our Entertainment District. They’re popular, and icons of our skyline, but there’s more to Arlington than that. It’s some of the lesser known things in this city that gives it charm and personality.
Need more convincing? Arlington also has:
- Professional and college sports.
- Arts and culture.
- A thriving downtown area.
- Craft breweries.
- Plenty of restaurants and shopping.
- Annual events.
- Lake Arlington.
- More than 80 city parks.
All these contribute to making Arlington a nice place to visit and live. And, if that isn’t enough for you, its location offers quick access to Dallas and Fort Worth.
Arlington is a mix of different cultures. Not as much as a place like New York City, but it’s still a mix. Is Arlington a well-balanced representation of America? I wouldn’t say so. But, maybe it’s a decent sampling. Arlington certainly has an Americana feel to it. Would an outsider look at it as an “All American City?” I think they might — but wouldn’t that depend on their definition of America?
Look at what makes Arlington well-known: Amusement parks. A baseball team. A football team. A General Motors assembly factory. All those things certainly feel like America. Arlington even calls itself the American Dream City. Whether by reputation or design, Arlington may in fact be American suburbia.
The present started in the past
Arlington hosts a variety of things to do and has plenty of local flavor. Of course, it wasn’t always that way. Arlington today got its roots from Arlington in the past. Check out my next post where I dive into the city’s history.
City of Arlington, “CITY FACTS,” accessed January 15, 2020, www.arlingtontx.gov/residents/about_arlington/city_facts
City of Arlington, “HISTORY OF ARLINGTON,” accessed January 15, 2020, www.arlingtontx.gov/residents/about_arlington/history_of_arlington/arlington_history