Introduction to Grand Prairie, Texas
Grand Prairie is a Texas city located in Dallas County between the cities of Dallas and Fort Worth. Only 14 miles west of Dallas and 15 miles east of Fort Worth, the city is bisected by the western fork of the Trinity River. Interstate Highways I-20 and I-30 service Grand Prairie, which is also accessible to Texas State Highways 161 and 360. Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport lies just five minutes north of Grand Prairie.
Originally an Indian Trading Post and a stop on the stage coach line from Dallas to Fort Worth, the community founded in 1863 was known as Dechman, named for its founder Alexander McRae Dechman. In 1877, its name was changed to Grand Prairie and in 1902 Grand Prairie became incorporated as a city. A significant milestone in the city's history occurred in 1928 with the construction of Hensley Field on 300 acres two miles east of Grand Prairie's city limits. The field became the site for all army operations in Dallas and led to the arrival of the Naval Reserve Aviation Base in 1940 and a federally operated defense plant, North American Aviation, in 1941. In the ensuing decades, prominent industries included the production of aircraft and aircraft parts, plastics, and machine parts. Tourism also rose in prominence as an industry because of the Grand Prairie's proximity to popular attractions in the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area.
Grand Prairie Points of Interest
One of Grand Prairie's most notable attractions is Lone Star Park, a horse racing track which first opened its doors in 1997. The track offers both thoroughbred and quarter-horse racing and is home to Lone Star Million Day, a thoroughbred event held each Memorial Day with seven stakes races. Adjacent to Lone Star Park is the state-of-the-art Nokia Theatre, a 28.5-acre live entertainment venue which hosts numerous concerts, musical acts, shows, and family events annually. One of Texas' newest lakes is Joe Pool Lake, a popular venue for fishing, boating, and swimming set among the hills of south Grand Prairie. The lake’s Lynn Creek Park is ideal for picnicking and also includes beaches and a playground.
Within minutes of Grand Prairie are several area attractions which regularly attract tourists to the region. Among these are the following:
- Six Flags Over Texas
- Sharkarosa Wildlife Ranch
- Dallas Zoo
- Fort Worth Stockyards
- Conspiracy Museum
- Dallas Arboretum
- Cavanaugh Flight Museum
- Grapevine Mills
- Dallas Museum of Art
- Thanks-Giving Square
Sports fans can catch major league baseball action at the Rangers Ballpark in nearby Arlington, where the American League's Texas Rangers play their home games. The neighboring city of Irving is home to the National Football League's Dallas Cowboys. Other Dallas pro teams include the NBA's Mavericks (basketball), the NHL's Stars (hockey) and FC Dallas (Major League Soccer). Fans of arena football can root for the Dallas Desperados of the Arena Football League. Minor league baseball is also prominent in the area. The Frisco Roughriders are a Class Double-A affiliate of Major League Baseball's Texas Rangers, and the Fort Worth Cats are an independent minor league team belonging to the American Association.