Arlington, Texas is no Dallas Fort Worth metroplex suburb—it’s a city in its own right. What was once a blip on the map in between Dallas (20 miles to the east) and Fort Worth (15 miles to the west) is now a community of almost 400,000 residents spread across 100 square miles.
If you’re considering a move to the Dallas Fort Worth metroplex, Arlington is an excellent choice. Whether you’ve been a Texan for your entire life or you’re a new resident to the Lone Star State, here are seven things to know about Arlington before moving there.
Arlington is for Brainiacs
Texas may be known for cowboys and queso, but in Arlington, it’s all about hitting the books. Arlington is home to UT Arlington, the largest university in North Texas with an enrollment of approximately 40,000 students. The college offers 180 degree programs and 65 percent of graduates stay in Arlington. We don’t think it’s a coincidence that the US headquarters for MENSA are located right in Arlington.
Get Ready to Tailgate
If you’re a diehard Texas sport fan, start cleaning your jersey and saving for season tickets. Arlington is home to the Texas Rangers and the Dallas Cowboys. You can also cheer on the the Dallas Wings if you’re a WNBA fan or show your spirit on the collegiate level. UT Arlington is home to the Mavericks, who have an NCAA Division I basketball team and one of the most decorated cheerleading squads in the country. High school football is also huge.
Be Prepared to Drive
Moving to Arlington from a city where everyone takes the subway? Three words: lower your expectations. Arlington is the largest US city without public transportation. This means that everyone drives and everyone copes with brutal traffic. Uber and Lyft are an option if you don’t have a car, as is a unique on-demand rideshare program called Via, which utilizes Mercedes Metris vans to provide $3 rides between 6 a.m. and 9 p.m. If you’re not terrified of robots, you can also check out the new driverless car system.
You Just Might Become an Alley Cat
When was the last time you went bowling? If you live in Arlington, your answer is probably sometime in the past week. Bowling has a surprisingly large presence in Arlington. Knock down some pins at one of the area’s bowling alleys and then head to the International Bowling Museum and Hall of Fame to learn about the past, present and future of the game.
Arlington is Home to the Original Six Flags
When it comes to amusement parks, Arlington has serious bragging rights. Residents are lucky enough to have the original Six Flags right in their backyard. The iconic venue opened in 1961 and has the tallest, fastest rollercoaster in Texas. Six Flags should also be on your radar if you’re looking for a job in addition to a day of rides and carnival food. The theme park is the fourth largest employer in Arlington.
The Weather is Perfect (If You Don’t Mind Humidity)
Arlington offers sunny weather and mild temperatures—great news if you’re relocating from up north. Just remember to get your air conditioning checked before those 95-degree summer days are in full effect. When the humidity really gets into gear, you can head to Lake Arlington to cool off. And if you miss ice and snow, you can head to the local mall which features an unexpected amenity in the form of an ice skating rink.
Arlington’s Christmas Lights are Martha Stewart Approved
The domestic goddess herself thinks Arlington’s Christmas lights are some of the best in the country. Recently, Martha Stewart recognized Arlington’s Lake Interlochen holiday lights. The neighborhood has been outdoing itself with over-the-top Christmas displays since 1976. Trust us, the epic decorations have only gotten better over time.