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Arlington, TX

Arlington is the epicenter of big thrills and crowd-roaring excitement in Texas.  After all, it is the home of the Dallas Cowboys, the Texas Rangers, and Six Flags Theme Parks.  But amongst these big-ticket items, Arlington also has tons of off-the-beaten path diversions making it a town for all trippers.

Let’s start with the big boys.  I highly recommend visiting Globe Life Park in Arlington for a Rangers game.  And while it is awesome to catch a game or concert at AT&T Stadium (the home the Cowboys), my favorite thing to do is to visit when there isn’t an event.  This is when the stadium opens up for tours.  You get to see many areas of the stadium usually off limits to the public and learn about every nerdy detail of its construction.  Did you know it contains over 1,700 toilets!  Make sure you bring a football, because the field tour is self-guided, meaning you can toss around the pigskin for hours on the actual turf.  And for an entire day trip worth of excitement, Six Flags over Texas can’t be beat.  After all, it was the first true theme park in America, and it’s still the only place you can get “pink thing.”

If you’re a sports fanatic, then don’t miss the International Bowling Museum and Hall of Fame.  The museum here has some fascinating displays of major bowlers and the history of this sport.  If you’re inspired to step up your own bowling game, then head over to the Bowling International Training and Research Center.  It’s the home of Team USA, but also offers private lessons to the public.  Knock em down kiddo!

For some the historic side of Arlington, the Arlington Historic Society has a handful of great stops, but my favorite is Arlington Baptist College which sits on top of what used to be Top O’Hill Terrace, a speakeasy frequented by all sorts of famous characters.  A tour will take you into the tea garden and the original casino with its secret passages.

All this sporting and touring is sure to make you hungry, and Arlington has lots of food choices.  If you are looking for something completely different, let me recommend some Irish Nachos from J. Gilligans Bar & Grill.  More than just an Irish Pub, this local institution had the genius idea to use potatoes instead of tortilla chips on a platter of nachos and this truly authentic dish was born.  For Tex-Mex and a drink of historic importance, head over to Mariano’s Mexican Restaurant.  Not only does this place serve amazing Tex-Mex, but they also invented the frozen margarita machine back in 1971.  They still serve em up cold today, just not out of the original machine – that one is in the Smithsonian.

Finally, if you’re an outdoor type (like me), you’ll want to head to River Legacy Park.  It’s amazing to find so much green space in the middle of the metroplex.  They’ve got tons of paved trails along the Trinity River for hiking or biking.  If you brought your mountain bike, then you’ll definitely want to hit the 10 miles of dirt trails.

PHOTOS