Downtown Arlington was recently designated by the Texas Commission on the Arts as a cultural district. The Arlington Cultural District is home to long-standing arts organizations including Theatre Arlington, Arlington Museum of Art and Levitt Pavilion.
Downtown Arlington was recently designated by the Texas Commission on the Arts as a cultural district. The Arlington Cultural District is home to long-standing arts organizations including Theatre Arlington, Arlington Museum of Art and Levitt Pavilion.

Local

Arlington among top 6 best U.S. big cities, ‘Money’ says

Star-Telegram

September 19, 2016 10:40 PM

UPDATED September 19, 2016 11:26 PM

The former Arlington mayor who 20-some years ago defended his city as “nobody’s damn suburb” has more backing.

Money magazine has named Arlington the “Best Big City” in the South in a ranking of cities in six regions of America.

The magazine defines “big” as 300,000 residents or more. How it defined “South” is less clear.

The magazine said criteria for “best cities” are that they have “a rich trove of culture, dynamic street life, maybe even a little bit of grit” along with “job growth, affordable housing, good schools, low crime, great quality-of-life factors” and “health of the local economy.”

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“Tucked between Dallas and Fort Worth, Arlington is known as the Entertainment Capital of Texas, and for good reason,” Money wrote. “It’s home to four professional sports teams—Dallas Cowboys football, Texas Rangers baseball, Dallas Wings basketball, and Dallas Charge softball—theme parks, music venues, comedy clubs, and, not least, the International Bowling Hall of Fame. Still, there’s more to this city than fun and games.”

The publication also mentions the city’s job opportunities, UT-Arlington, Levitt Pavilion, Arlington Music Hall, median home price of $169,000 and Arlington’s “investing in transportation alternatives like bike lanes and exploring a high-speed rail line linking Arlington to Dallas and Fort Worth.”

Read more about why the publication picked Arlington here.

Other best big cities named are Boston; Raleigh, N.C.; Columbus, Ohio; Colorado Springs, Colo.; and Portland.

Arlington wasn’t the only Texas city to make a “best” list. Of the Top 50 small cities, Plano was No. 3, Pflugerville No. 12, Euless No. 18, and Spring No. 44.

Money’s Top Big cities

Best in Northeast: Boston

Best in the Southeast: Raleigh

Best in the Midwest: Columbus

Best in the South: Arlington

Best in the Mountains: Colorado Springs

Best in the West: Portland, Ore.

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rmallison@star-telegram.com