Over a million people live in Dallas, Texas making it the ninth largest city in the United States by population. The city occupies five different counties in Texas. It is often linked with the nearby city of Fort Worth creating the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area that is home to more than 3 million people. The formal city of Dallas covers 385 square miles of land. It is located along the Trinity River that flows south from the city towards Houston. A system of levees helps to protect Dallas from any flooding that might occur. The waterfront in the city is undergoing a long reconstruction project that is helping to revitalize the Trinity River while also adding new attractions and public parks.
Dallas was officially incorporated into Texas as a city in 1856. It is not clear why the city was named Dallas. Some believe the name was chosen to honor a navy commodore or a politician who became vice president. Others claim the name was the result of a contest that was held in 1842. The city started to become a center for commerce and trade in 1873 when the major railroads that crossed the country in each direction all converged on Dallas. The construction of major airports in the area in the 20th century allowed Dallas to remain a center of commerce. It is currently home to a large number of Fortune 500 companies and is a center for technological innovation. It is also a powerful financial center.
Most visitors will be visiting downtown Dallas and some of the surrounding neighborhoods. There are many different things to do within the city. The unique architecture of the area has traditional buildings like the Old Red Courthouse juxtaposed with more modern glass and concrete skyscrapers like the 921-foot tall Bank of America Plaza. The northern downtown area is the home of the Dallas Museum of Art and the Nasher Sculpture Center. The Dallas Zoo and the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Gardens are popular destinations for families who want to spend time outdoors. Another popular tourist attraction in the city is Dealey Plaza where the assassination of President John F. Kennedy occurred. A museum on the sixth floor provides historical information and exhibits about the event.
Visitors who are coming to Dallas will have no problem finding a place to stay because of the large number of hotels that are located within the city limits. The city is also very easy to get around because of the expansive public transportation system and the ready availability of cabs in the downtown area. The weather is almost always comfortable to warm in the city. A light jacket might be required during the winter although it rarely gets very cold. Visitors who are interested in one of the championship sports teams in Dallas might want to call ahead and reserve tickets for a game during the active season.