Irving is a city in the Prairies and Lakes region of Texas. Part of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, Irving has experienced exponential growth over the past fifty years, and is home to a multitude of attractions of all types, from modern art to major sporting events. Founded in 1902 out of the remnants of the small community of Kit, Irving is now a bustling city of approximately 197,000 residents.
Irving is bordered on the northwest by Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, one of the largest and busiest in the world. Access to the city from D/FW is quite easy, from Texas State Highway 183 (also known as Airport Freeway) on the south, and Texas State Highway 114 (John Carpenter Expressway) and Interstate 635 (Lyndon B. Johnson Freeway) on the north. Dallas' inner loop (Loop 12, or Walton Walker Blvd) borders the city on the east, and Irving is also the current southern terminus for the President George Bush Turnpike.
Additionally, Irving is traversed by Texas State Highway 183 which runs between Dallas and Ft. Worth. It connects to both I-35E and I-35W that lead to other major interstates that lead all over the United States.
Irving's streets are fairly easy to navigate, with most major thoroughfares laid out on a simple grid pattern. Major north-south streets are Belt Line Road, Story Road, MacArthur Blvd. and O'Connor Rd, and east-west include Walnut Hill Ln., Northgate Drive, Rochelle Rd., Irving Blvd. and Rock Island Road. During rush hour most of these streets (as well as the freeways serving the city) can become quite congested, so plan accordingly. For those who prefer to avoid traffic altogether, Irving is also well served by Dallas Area Rapid Transit, or DART.
Irving indeed has become a victim of any typical western Metropolis' urban sprawl, and a car is the best way to get around the city. However, the city is serviced quite well by DART, the local mass transit system in the Dallas area. Recently the Trinity Railway Express has begun operating a rail link between downtown Dallas and Fort Worth. The Trinity Railway Express makes two stops in Irving. While the fares are surprisingly reasonable ($1.25 to Dallas) the stops are infrequent, especially on Saturdays, and there is no Sunday service.
- The Mustangs of Las Colinas, 5215 N. O'Connor Blvd. Located in prestigious Williams Square in the Las Colinas developent of Irving, the mustangs nestled on an artificial river in an urban setting make a beautiful backdrop for photography.
- Irving Arts Center, 3333 N. MacArthur Blvd, ☎ +1 972-252-2787. Lyric Stage and Irving Community Theatre. Live performances of Broadway shows where every seat has a great view. Art exhibits, events and exhibitions. May thru October, 2011, Genghis Khan exhibit arriving from Mongolia and Russia. Call or buy tickets online.
While there is not necessarily anything in Irving that could not be done in an afternoon, there truly is a large mix of cultures from all over the world that fill this suburb. A town that once was an affluent place to be, has turned into a town of immigrants. This fusion has led to the development of restaurants and shopping centers that creates a suburban experience that is uniquely American.
- TPC Four Seasons. The home course for Dallas' PGA Tour event, The Byron Nelson Invitational. A very upscale course, the TPC is typically available only to guests at the Four Seasons Resort.
- Bear Creek Golf Club. The closest course to D/FW Airport. It is very highly regarded and has 36 holes available. Many corporate events are hosted at Bear Creek.
- Years to Your Health, 503 E. 2nd St (On E. 2nd St between Britain Rd and Lucille St.), ☎ +1 972 579-7042. Friday 10AM-6PM, Saturday 10 - am - 6PM, Monday 10AM-6PM. An alternative health store. One can find herbs, incense, crystals, and books on natural healing. This place was converted to a store from someone's small house so it has a unique feel to it.
- Villa's Grill, 137 S Main (Heritage District at Irving Blvd), ☎ +1 972-259-2939. Brazilian Grilled meats and sides served family style. lunch $11.90, dinner $18.90.
- Taboon Grill, ☎ +1 214 596-0908. Serves middle-eastern and Mediterranean food in a very small shop that looks like an ethnic convenience store from the outside. Located near the airport just west of Belt Line Rd and north of SR 183 (the Airport Fwy) in a strip-mall that the 70s forgot.
Beer and wine is now widely available, becoming available for sale in November 2008. In sharp contrast to before the law change, nearly all convenience and grocery stores have a large variety of beers and wines available. Only a handful of bars in the city allow patrons to smoke indoors - although most that do not allow this also have a patio where you can.
- Captain Nemo's, 1426 North Irving Heights Drive at Grauwyler, ☎ +1 972-438-7777. This sub shop has been in Irving forever, serves unique sandwiches, best to get to go although there are tables but not much atmosphere, good food. Call ahead for faster service. cheap.
- Maac's Grill, 8150 N Macarthur Blvd (Las Colinas), ☎ +1 214 496-9464. Small, local bar located just north of I635 & MacArthur Blvd. Serves a wide variety of Americana foods, and has 49-cent wings most nights. $2 Draft beers and $3 mixed drinks. Popular (and packed) Karaoke nights on Tuesdays & Saturdays. Features a large heated, cooled, and covered patio with downtown Dallas visible on clear nights. Tons of TV's visible from any seat in the house, always tuned to various sports. Friendly to an eclectic crowd - young & old, all races, colors, and creeds. Cheap.
- Blue Fish, 925 West John Carpenter Freeway (Las Colinas at 114 & MacArthur Blvd), ☎ +1 972 385-3474. 2AM. Blue Fish is a Sushi Bar. A more expensive, more impressive option for drinks and food. Mid-Range.
- Cool River, 1045 Hidden Ridge (MacArthur Blvd & Hidden Ridge), ☎ +1 972-871-8881. 2AM. Cool River is upscale fine dining and drinks. Their bar is long and impressively deep - there is hardly anything you can not get from the bartenders. Drinks are expensive compared to the rest of Irving. Several very nice, high-end pool tables. Friday's and Saturday's expect a cover after 8PM of usually $10-$20. This is usually because of a live band playing. Food is excellent, but also pricey. Can smoke inside. Offers Valet Parking. Expensive.
- Dallas Irving Backpackers, 214 West 6th St, ☎ +1 214 682-9636. This hostel is a TRE train ride away from Union Station. It feels more like a student flat than a hotel, but the staff are friendly and the price is right. $21/night.
- Jefferson Street Bed and Breakfast Inn, 512 S Jefferson Street, Irving 75060, ☎ +1 972-253-2000. Located in quiet residential neighborhood. AAA approved, handicap accessible, private baths and air conditioning. Rates start at $85. 10 suites including a private cottage.
- DoubleTree by Hilton DFW Airport North, 4441 W. John Carpenter Freeway, ☎ +1-972-929-8181. Complimentary 24-hour DFW airport shuttle. Complimentary high-speed wireless Internet access and in-room refrigerators & microwaves.
- NYLO Las Colinas Irving Texas Hotel, 1001 W Royal Ln, ☎ +1 972-373-8900. NYLO Dallas Las Colinas features urban loft accommodations, hotel packages and free shuttle to Las Colinas area restaurants and boutique shopping.
- Courtyard Dallas DFW Airport South/Irving Hotel, 2280 Valley View Ln (2 miles SE Driving directions: South Exit, merge left on 183 East. First Exit, Valley View Lane. Turn left on Valley View, hotel on right.), ☎ +1 972-790-8990 ext 7604. Check-in: 3PM, check-out: 1PM.
- Courtyard Dallas DFW Airport North/Irving, 4949 Regent Blvd, ☎ +1 972-929-4004. Check-in: 3PM, check-out: 1PM. This DFW Airport hotel offers amenities including on-site dining at the Courtyard Cafe, outdoor swimming pool, 24-hour fitness center, and free wireless Internet.
- AmeriSuites, 333 W John W. Carpenter Frwy (in the Las Colinas technology corridor), ☎ +1 972 910-0302.
- Dallas/Fort Worth Airport Marriott, 8440 Freeport Parkway, ☎ +1 972 929-8800. The Marriott DFW Airport hotel offers complimentary shuttles to and from the airport.
- Embassy Suites Hotel - DFW International Airport South, 4650 W Airport Freeway (Just off Highways 161 and 183, and I-35), ☎ +1 972 790-0093.
- Harvey Hotel - Airport, 4545 West John Carpenter Freeway, ☎ +1 972 929-4500.
- Harvey Suites - Airport, 4550 John Carpenter Freeway, ☎ +1 972 929-4499. An all-suite hotel.
- Hawthorn Suites - Airport, 5000 Plaza Dr, ☎ +1 972 871-1412. All-suite hotel, full of efficiency kitchens, exercise facilities, video cassette players and on-site guest laundry and valet service.
- Hyatt Summerfield Suites Irving, 5901 N. MacArthur Blvd, ☎ +1 972 831-0909.
- Holiday Inn Express Suites DFW Airport, 4235 W. Airport Freeway, ☎ +1 972 659-1272. All suite hotel.
- MainStay Suites Irv/Mall, 2323 Imperial Dr, ☎ +1 972 257-5400. Offers guests free wireless high-speed Internet.
- Westin Dallas Fort Worth Airport, 4545 W. John Carpenter Freeway, ☎ +1 972 929-4500. 506 spacious guest rooms and suites.
- Residence Inn Las Colinas, 650 Walnut Hill, ☎ +1 972 580-7773.
- Four Seasons Resort and Club Dallas, 4150 North MacArthur Blvd, ☎ +1 972 717-0700, fax: +1 972 717-2550. This upscale luxurious resort opened up in 1986 and has hosted elite golf tournaments such as the EDS Byron Nelson Classic.
Irving is nestled deep in the heart of the Dallas/Ft. Worth metroplex. Drive an hour or two in any direction to get out of the city and experience the real Texas in basically any small town you find. The Texas people read about and see in movies is still alive and well, but unfortunately not in the fifth largest urban area in the United States.