Arlington History

Arlington, Texas has an infamous history, home to many firsts, and has a long history of innovation. This growing city isn’t the same as it was 100 years ago or even 10! Take a look back and see how far we’ve come and how we got here.

Arlington history goes way back, as in waaay back to the dinosaurs. The Arlington Archosaur Site has uncovered 2,000 individual fossils since 2008 and excavation continues today. It’s one of the few major fossil excavations in an urban setting, even the dinosaurs knew Arlington was the place to be!

Known as the “Vegas before Vegas,” Top O’ Hill Terrace was a secret hub for gambling, drinking and all things scandalous in the 20s and 30s. Attracting high-rollers from famous to infamous, like John Wayne, Mae West, Frank Sinatra, and Bonnie and Clyde, the illicit casino had a tea room that served as a cover. Get a guided tour and explore the underground tunnels used to escape police raids.

People say everything’s bigger in Texas, but we do it best and first, too. The original Six Flags theme park opened in Arlington in August 1961 as the first regional theme park in the country. Not to name drop, but a few talented folks started off at Six Flags Over Texas, including Broadway star Betty Buckley, American Idol winner Kelly Clarkson and singer/choreographer and Taylor Swift bestie, Todrick Hall, just to name a few.

Thirsty after a day of sightseeing? Think of the last frozen margarita you had. That delicious cold sip during happy hour melts away the day. You can toast to inventor and restaurateur Mariano Martinez for your Tex-Mex go-to. His invention of the frozen margarita machine was even inducted into the Smithsonian’s Nation Museum of American History. Stop by Mariano’s Hacienda and cheers to the invention that saved happy hour!

Arlington has always been a place worth visiting, even the dino’s did it – and we haven’t slowed down! Since 2009, the Entertainment District added Dallas Cowboys’ home AT&T Stadium, the International Bowling Museum & Hall of Fame, the restaurant and entertainment hub Texas Live!, Texas Rangers’ new home Globe Life Field, and the luxury hotel Live! by Loews Arlington. After a country-wide search, Arlington is the future home to the National Medal of Honor Museum, and we’ll soon add an 888-room Loews Arlington Hotel with a new Arlington Convention Center. We’re always adding something new to our World of Wonderful.

A jam-packed weekend of family fun in Arlington, TX. Cool of at Six Flags Hurricane Harbor. Catch a game at the Rangers or Cowboys stadiums. Share a meal at Babe's Chicken Dinner House. Have a family movie night at Levitt Pavilion.  The perfect family vacation awaits in Arlington, TX.

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