Arlington is in the Prairies and Lakes region of Texas. With a city population estimated over 359,000 it is Texas' 7th largest. It is third largest city in the Dallas / Fort Worth Metroplex. This city is south of the sprawling DFW International Airport.
The city was founded in 1875 and is named after Lee's Arlington House (of present-day Arlington County, Virginia). After the arrival of the railroad in 1876, Arlington grew as a cotton-ginning and farming center, and incorporated in 1884. The city could boast of water, electricity, natural gas, and telephone services by 1910, along with a public school system. By 1925 the population was estimated at 3,031, and it grew to over four thousand before World War II.
Large-scale industrialization began in 1954 with the arrival of a General Motors assembly plant. Automotive and aerospace development gave the city one of the nation's greatest population growth rates between 1950 and 1990. Arlington became one of the "boomburgs," the extremely fast-growing suburbs of the post-World War II era. U.S. Census Bureau population figures for the city tell the story: 7,692 (1950), 90,229 (1970), 261,721 (1990), and 359,467 (2004 estimate). DFW Airport opened in 1974 which also contributed to unparalleled growth in the region.
All the major American carriers, and many international ones as well, provide scheduled passenger service into the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport , located about 12 miles north of the city on Hwy. 360.
Well served my major highways, if you are coming from Texas or an adjoining state, you will more than likely arrive via a major interstate highway. East/West Interstate 20 is located directly south of town. North/South Interstate 35, which splits to an east (35E) and west (35W) highway near Waco, are within a few miles of the city.
Arlington has a Greyhound bus terminal located in the center of town.
Surprisingly for its population, Arlington has no bus city system, so you will need a car.
Many hotels with shuttle service will offer rides to the closest mall.
Arlington is a generally safe town, though the areas of Dalworthington Gardens, Pantego, and the areas north of IH-30 are MUCH better developed and safer than other parts of the city. Six Flags Over Texas, Hurricane Harbor water park, Rangers Ballpark in Arlington and the Dallas Cowboys' new stadium are situated in a highly modernized, pleasant location along IH-30; as you travel immediately south from there, the area is quite industrialized and deteriorated. One would be wise not to venture through East Arlington on foot at night. The 'danger zone' essentially is surrounded by IH-30 to the north, IH-20 to the south, Cooper Street/FM 157 to the west, and State Hwy. 360 to the east.
Immediately east of 360, however, lies Grand Prairie, a highly industrialized and increasingly 'slummy' part of the Metroplex. If you are going to the horse races at Lone Star Park, or seeing a show at the adjacent Nokia Theater, you will not run into any problems, as these venues lie north of IH-30 and are quite isolated from the rest of Grand Prairie. As with East Arlington, just be very careful walking anywhere at night in Grand Prairie. To the south of Arlington sits Mansfield, which was rated as one of CNN/Money Magazine's "Best Places to Live" in 2007, and notsurprisingly is one of the safest areas in all the Metroplex.
Located on the north side of IH-20, Arlington's main shopping centers - The Parks at Arlington Mall and newly-built Arlington Highlands mall - are very safe zones that are constantly bustling with people due to all the restaurants and commerce in this area.
If you are visiting the campus of UT Arlington during the day you shouldn't run into any problems, though after hours (even before sundown) assault and robbery are not uncommon on the campus outskirts, particularly south and east of campus. As mentioned before, West Arlington (Dalworthington Gardens and Pantego) are by far the safest areas of the city, though they are mostly residential.