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.
Rather like Dallas, it is divided into a highly affluent northern half and less affluent but highly diverse southern half. It is bounded to the east by the northern fork (Elm Fork) of the Trinity River and to the northwest by the sprawling D/FW International Airport.
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.
By public transportation
Irving is served by DART's Orange Line, the TRE, and a number of DART bus routes. From D/FW Airport, take the airside SkyTrain to Terminal A, then follow the signs to the DART rail station and board any train. Alternatively, you can head to the end of the platform and take a bus. From Love Field, take the LoveLink DART shuttle bus to Inwood/Love Field Station, then take the Orange Line bound for D/FW Airport Station.
As in its larger neighbor Dallas, by far the fastest and most convenient way to get around Irving is by car. Several rental companies are available at each airport. 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.
By public transportation
For those who prefer to avoid traffic altogether, Irving is also served by Dallas Area Rapid Transit, or DART, and the Trinity Railway Express, a rail link between downtown Dallas and Fort Worth, also passes through Irving. DART's Orange Line has six stops in Irving including the terminus at the airport and a local bus hub across the street from Irving Convention Center Station. The TRE makes two stops in Irving, and while its fares are surprisingly reasonable ($1.25 to Dallas) the stops are infrequent, especially on Saturdays, and there is no Sunday service. Getting around on DART and the TRE is covered more thoroughly in the Dallas article.
- The Mustangs of Las Colinas, 5215 N. O'Connor Blvd. Located in prestigious Williams Square in the Las Colinas development of Irving, the galloping mustangs nestled on an artificial river in an urban setting make a beautiful backdrop for photography.
- Lake Carolyn, 5215 N. O'Connor Blvd. A miniature imitation of San Antonio's Riverwalk, this small lake is home to a modest collection of single-location restaurants, a large convention center and music venue, and a small high-end shopping center. It is also surrounded by a jogging path and an elevated people-mover for commuters which begins at the DART station. Seasonal gondola rides are available for reservation.
- Irving Arts Center, 3333 N. MacArthur Blvd, ☏ . Lyric Stage and Irving Community Theatre. Live performances of Broadway shows where every seat has a great view. Art exhibits, events and exhibitions.
- 1 [dead link] National Scouting Museum, 1329 W. Walnut Hill Ln., ☏ . Exhibits on history of the Boy Scouts of America for adults, interactive camping- and scouting-themed activities for kids, and a large collection of Norman Rockwell paintings, most of them with Scouting as their subjects. Located across the parking lot is the organization's national headquarters. Free.
- Mercury Radio Arts (Mercury Studios). Irving is home to Mercury Radio Arts, production company for TheBlaze TV, a conservative news/entertainment network founded by businessman Glenn Beck. The studios are located in the formerly titled "Movie Studios at Las Colinas".
While there is not really anything in Irving that could not be done in an afternoon, this suburb is filled with a wide mix of cultures from all over the world. What started as a handful of affluent subdivisions has also become a city of immigrants. This fusion has led to the development of restaurants and shopping centers that creates a uniquely American suburban experience.
- 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.
- Campion Trail. A system of two unconnected hiking and biking trails loosely following the Trinity along Irving's southeastern and northeastern border.
- Years to Your Health, 503 E. 2nd St (On E. 2nd St between Britain Rd and Lucille St.), ☏ . 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.
- 1 Irving Mall. A shopping mall.
- Villa's Grill, 137 S Main (Heritage District at Irving Blvd), ☏ . Brazilian Grilled meats and sides served family style. lunch $11.90, dinner $18.90.
- Mattito's, 1001 MacArthur Park Dr Irving, Texas 75063 (At I-635), ☏ . Mon-Thu: 11AM-9:30 PM, Fri-Sat: 11AM-10:30PM, Sun: 10AM-9:30PM. Experience authentic Tex-Mex food and happy hour margaritas. $10 - $15 per person.
- Via Réal, 4020 N MacArthur Blvd #100, ☏ . "Gourmet Mexican with Santa Fe Style." Probably the highest-end Tex-Mex (not Mexican) restaurant in the Metroplex. Located next to the Four Seasons, across Byron Nelson Way.
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, ☏ . 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), ☏ . 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), ☏ . 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), ☏ . 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, ☏ . 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, ☏ . 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, ☏ . 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, ☏ . 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.), ☏ . Check-in: 3PM, check-out: 1PM.
- Courtyard Dallas DFW Airport North/Irving, 4949 Regent Blvd, ☏ . 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), ☏ .
- Dallas/Fort Worth Airport Marriott, 8440 Freeport Parkway, ☏ . 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), ☏ .
- [dead link] Harvey Hotel - Airport, 4545 West John Carpenter Freeway, ☏ .
- [dead link] Harvey Suites - Airport, 4550 John Carpenter Freeway, ☏ . An all-suite hotel.
- [dead link] Hawthorn Suites - Airport, 5000 Plaza Dr, ☏ . 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, ☏ .
- Holiday Inn Express Suites DFW Airport, 4235 W. Airport Freeway, ☏ . All suite hotel.
- MainStay Suites Irv/Mall, 2323 Imperial Dr, ☏ . Offers guests free wireless high-speed Internet.
- Westin Dallas Fort Worth Airport, 4545 W. John Carpenter Freeway, ☏ . 506 spacious guest rooms and suites.
- Residence Inn Las Colinas, 650 Walnut Hill, ☏ .
- Four Seasons Resort and Club Dallas, 4150 North MacArthur Blvd, ☏ , fax: . This upscale luxurious resort opened up in 1986 and has hosted elite golf tournaments such as the EDS Byron Nelson Classic.
- Omni Mandalay Hotel at Las Colinas, 221 East Las Colinas Blvd, ☏ .
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.