By Vince Mancuso, Storage.com

Storage.com takes pride in helping people move into their new homes, whether that involves providing a storage unit in between or by helping people discover more about their new city.

While it’s not in the name, there is simply no denying that Arlington, Texas, is the true center of the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area. True, the American Dream City is often overlooked and lumped in with its neighbors or mislabeled entirely, but the truth is simple: Arlington has a growing population, affordable living, and attractions that make the city truly set apart from its neighbors.

Here are 9 reasons Arlington is the real heart of DFW.

1. FIRST THINGS FIRST, IT’S “ARLINGTON”.

Cowboys stadium
Photo by bobbyh_80

This list would be remiss if it did not address one crucial point: Arlington, Texas, does not—nor will it ever—equal North Texas. Though you may see this misused phrase or name apply to events in the area, if you live here or plan to live here, you should call the city by its proper name.

As for where Arlington actually is, the city is roughly 100 square miles stretching between Dallas and Fort Worth, making it literally the heart of the DFW metropolitan area, the largest “mid” city in the country, and largest city to hold the name Arlington—chew on that, Virginia.

HOW TO LIVE CHEAPER
IN ARLINGTON

2. PEOPLE ARE MOVING IN, AND WITH GOOD REASON.

2_Moving

If you’re new to the area, you’re certainly not alone. As the City of Arlington is proud to say, Arlington sees continued population growth each year, keeping up with its towering neighbors, and this growth may be due to savings. Ranked among GoBankingRates’ 10 best cities to save money, Arlington residents enjoy a median monthly rent barely over $800. To give you some perspective, the average rent in Fort Worth is around $1,000 a month, while monthly rent in Dallas is higher still at about $1,500.

Millennials find Arlington particularly attractive too, as it it was named second on Vocativ’s top cities for those 35 and under. In addition to the low cost of living, the American Dream City attracts young professionals with great food options, entertainment, and nightlife, not to mention a growing job market. Some of Arlington’s largest employers include General Motors Co. for automotive assembly and J.P. Morgan Chase for financial services. Arlington also has a lower crime rate than both Dallas and Fort Worth, offering a safer environment for singles and families overall.

3. ARLINGTON IS THE REAL SPORTS CITY IN DFW.

Inside cowboy's stadium
Photo by A Vandalay

Remember the bit about “North Texas”? That’s where this is important: sporting teams such as the MLB’s Texas Rangers and NFL’s Dallas Cowboys actually call Arlington home. The city is also set to welcome its first WNBA team in 2016 as the Tulsa Shock relocate to the area. The city has also played host to a number of huge sporting events and championship games, such as the 2010 NBA All Star Game, three games of the 2010 MLB World Series, and Superbowl XLV.

AT&T Stadium, better known as Jerry World, the Death Star, or Cowboy’s Stadium, is among the largest football stadiums in the country both in size and seating capacity. The stadium is also ranked among the world’s most amazing stadiums, as it is the largest column-free room in the world, though it does have a massive retractable glass roof. The stadium is so large, you can see it clearly from five miles away. And don’t forget Globe Life Park, home of the Rangers. Arlington Stadium, the Ranger’s previous stadium, was also the first ballpark to sell gooey and delicious nachos we now all know and love.

4. THE AMERICAN DREAM CITY IS HOME TO REAL MAVERICKS.

mud volleyball
Photo by Tim Dorr

The University of Texas-Arlington is a proud part of the community. UTA has more than 51,000 students from about 100 countries. In fact, UTA is ranked among the top most diverse universities in the nation. These students can be seen around the community through some of their favorite traditions, such as Oozeball, which is one part volleyball and one part mud pit.

UTA also cares about making an impact, as the university states more than 60 percent of its 190,000 alumni live in and contribute to the area, bringing a $12.8 billion economic impact to the region.

5. BOWLING IS BIG HERE.

Bowling museum
Photo by slgckgc

People in Arlington love to bowl, so much so that the city is home to the Bowling International Training & Research Center, a facility with 14 training lanes, bio-mechanical motion tracking, video analysis, and much more. The ITRC is also the only training facility that sends athletes to international tournaments to represent Team USA.

If you’re more of a casual bowler, however, you may enjoy the International Bowling Museum & Hall of Fame. This museum offers truly unique bowling artifacts that follow the 5,000 years of history around the sport, which even includes exhibits from ancient Egypt!

6. BIRTHPLACE OF SIX FLAGS.

roller coaster
Photo by Kristy

The massive theme park chain known around the country actually started here with Six Flags Over Texas in 1961. The now 212-acre park has since been the first in many other areas, including having the first theme park with Broadway-style shows, first log flume, and first free-fall ride.

Outside of its normal daily fun, Six Flags Over Texas has a number of events for people to enjoy each year, including Spring Break Out in March, Festival Latino in April, and Fright Fest each Halloween season. These events can include concerts, themed attractions, and festive foods.

7. ENJOY DOWNTOWN ARLINGTON.

outdoor theater
via Arlington CVB

Whether you are looking for a place to eat, a park to enjoy, or a great music venue, Downtown Arlington has what you’re looking for. For instance, locals of all ages enjoy the Levitt Pavilion on Abram Street. This music venue hosts 50 free concerts throughout the year, which include free parking and BYOB for those who are inclined. The pavilion is able to pull this off by hosting one paid event each year to cover the cost of all the others. Just be sure to bring a blanket or chair!

For those looking for a night out with the adults, check out Hooligan’s Pub. Known as the CHEERS of Arlington, Hooligan’s has been around since 1999, but moved to the downtown area with the recent renovations in 2012. People enjoy it for it’s friendly atmosphere, including an outside patio, 25 draft beers, and rotating selection of other beverages. If you enjoy a more active scene, check out Milo’s Bar, which offers pool, ping pong, darts, and plenty of drink specials. And if you’re all about belting out your favorite tunes, check out Sidetracked Pub & Grub, the city’s only nightly karaoke bar.

SAVE MONEY ON RENT IN ARLINGTON

8. COME HUNGRY!

food
Photo by Fork in the Road

Arlington is home to some amazing eateries. Take Fork In The Road for example. Originally a sandwich shop that just kept adding to the menu, this restaurant offers food made fresh daily, with the majority of its condiments made in-house, not to mention cane-sugar sodas. As the owner Josh Hopkins puts it, it’s food done right. Locals love the items like the Crack-A-Roni, a three-cheese macaroni dish with addicting caramelized cheese bits. Or if you are feeling adventurous, sink your teeth into the burger of the week.

If you’re in the mood for pizza, try Mo’s Best Eatery. People say it’s on par with any New York City pizzeria with it’s crispy crust and delicious toppings. Mo’s also has a pleasant mix of other options, from burgers to Middle Eastern food. For those who do enjoy more exotic flavors, try Andalous Mediterranean Grill, home of what many consider the best falafel and pita bread in the area. It’s worth mentioning that all these places have fantastic dessert menus, so be sure to come hungry.

9. ARLINGTON HAS LEGENDS.

Lake
Photo by Zach Durland

True, all cities have their own stories, but not one quite like Lake Arlington, which could also be known as Miracle Lake. Arlington’s population was booming in the 1950s, so a dam was constructed on Village Creek to meet the demand for a water supply. It was expected to take two years for the lake to fill.

Call it fate or just odd weather patterns, but heavy rain fall resulted in the Lake Arlington filling in just 26 days. Now guests can enjoy three boat ramps, fishing, and picnic areas all around Miracle Lake.

Is there anything we missed that sets Arlington apart from the rest of the Dallas-Fort Worth metro? Let us know in the comment section below!

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If you’re moving to Arlington and need storage space to help with the transition, view Storage.com’s directory for self storage in Arlington.

All images have either been provided by a listed organization or are licensed under the Creative Commons.

  • Guru of Time

    Largest city in the country without public transit.

    • David

      That is incorrect We have the MAX and Handi Tran.

      • Jackarons123

        Public transportation not just for the few less face it sucks

  • Cason Corbitt

    Ho ho’s. Nuff said

  • Jackarons123

    Biggest hick town in Texas the city officials are dumb ass