Attractions You Need to See in Las Colinas, Irving TX
Las Colinas is Spanish for “the hills.” Las Colinas, Irving is full of rolling hills, both of green grass, busy streets, and beautiful attractions. Las Colinas is home to art pieces, beautiful displays of nature, and some truly great food. There are many reasons to love this pocket of Irving, and many places to visit once you get there. Whether you’re driving in from out of town or staying at one of the many five-star hotels in the city, here’s a visitor’s guide to all the main attractions and hidden gems of Las Colinas, Irving.
Mustangs of Las Colinas
The Mustangs of Las Colinas bronze sculpture, as well as its adjoining museum, are one of the cornerstone attractions of Las Colinas. This sculpture, constructed by Robert Glen, is among the largest horse statues in America, at 400 feet (120 m) long, and is surrounded by water fountains to give the illusion of water splashing at the horses’ feet. This statue commemorates the horses which once roamed wild in Texas, and which were so important to Texas’ pioneering days. The museum connected to the statue showcases the creation of the sculpture, as well as the life of its artist, whose passion has led him to sculpt many other breathtaking equestrian statues.
Alamo Draft House
Ever since the opening of the Alamo Drafthouse in 1997, they’ve described themselves as “Good food, good beer, and good film, all in one place!” The Alamo Drafthouse is a beautiful restaurant and bar, as well as an immersive movie theater, all wrapped into one. Moviegoers can have food and drinks delivered straight to their seats, including a curated selection of cocktails and local draft beers. If you’re just visiting for the food or drinks, the Alamo Drafthouse has indoor seating in the lobby, as well as an open-air patio for you to enjoy. Unlike most theaters, The Alamo Drafthouse only shows high-rating films, curated by their Drafthouse Recommends program.
Mandalay Canal Walk
The Mandalay Canal Walk is a breathtaking little pocket of Las Colinas, great for a morning jog or a calming evening walk. Surrounded by lush trees and the warm glow of streetlights on cobblestone bridges, this walkway has a much more old-world feel than the rest of the city. Walk along the canal and watch the local waterfowl swim by to take a break from life’s stress for a while.
Fritz Park Petting Zoo
A petting farm is something you wouldn’t expect to see in an otherwise urban area, which is a part of the unique charm of Fritz Park Petting Zoo. This quaint little petting farm gives children and adults alike the opportunity to see and interact with farm animals, and even pet and hold them. From cows and horses to pigs and goats, the Fritz Park Petting Zoo gives you an up-close experience with animals in a peaceful environment. This is a popular destination for school field trips, as children just can’t get enough of the adorable animals at the farm. Fritz Park Petting Zoo is a fun and educational place to bring your children, and the friendly staff also offers guided tours of the farm.
Las Colinas Flower Clock
The Las Colinas Flower Clock is a fully-functional clock sculpture made almost entirely of beautiful pink, purple, and white flowers, with the city’s name trimmed into hedges below it. These flowers are in full bloom year-round, and whether you stop by during the day or at night, it makes a beautiful backdrop for a family portrait, so you can remember your travels.
Lake Carolyn is, in many ways, the heart of Las Colinas. This gorgeous lake is surrounded by walkways and blooming flowers, and is home to a diverse ecosystem, including ducks, blue herons, turtles and fish. The way the sunlight strikes the water is just stunning, and the cool air that drifts off the lake makes for a peaceful place to take a stroll. The beauty of Lake Carolyn can also be enjoyed with the city’s gondola service. Whether you choose to take a brief ride or to have dinner and live music on the lake, these gondola rides are a great way to fully appreciate the beauty of this lake. Lake Carolyn is also home to services like paddle boarding, aqua-cycle rides, and full boat tours of the lake. There’s plenty to do and even more to love about Lake Carolyn, so be sure to drop by this beautiful site during your visit to Las Colinas.
Irving Convention Center
The Irving Convention Center is home to many events in Las Colinas, including conventions, weddings, and festivals. With a stunning unique building design and delicious in-house catering, this is a great place to plan larger events. The exterior itself is breathtaking, especially at night when the multi-colored neon lights illuminate the modernized, asymmetrical design of the building. If you’re looking to plan an event in Las Colinas, business or otherwise, the Irving Convention Center is a great place to get the space you need for it. This center takes health and sanitation seriously, so you can feel safe hosting an event here. The in-house catering offers menus for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, as well as snacks and cocktails, and can make meals that meet almost any dietary requirements.
The Ranch is a restaurant in Las Colinas that offers “The taste of Texas” with a menu combining the best of classic southern and Hispanic cuisine, including vegetarian and vegan options. The design of this restaurant really captures the rustic feel of southern life, from its wooden exterior to the cacti growing out front. The Ranch has live music in the patio section, performed by local country artists, every Tuesday to Saturday night. This restaurant’s warm southern design ensures a cozy dining experience, and the quality of the food is all the rage on Yelp. The Ranch even offers private and off-site dining options to suit any event you might have planned.
Victoria Park’s unique design makes it the perfect spot for a scenic picnic with friends and family. This park is full of luscious green hills that surround a beautiful duck pond, and walking trails for you to follow to your heart’s content. If you’d rather relax in the shade, take advantage of one of the open pavilions in the park. If you have children, they’re sure to love the beautiful castle design of the park’s expansive playground. Victoria Park is the perfect cost-effective place to take some down time during your trip.
Ruth Paine House Museum
The house of Ruth Paine played a crucial role in the investigation following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. The house, which belonged to suburban housewife Ruth Paine, was where the alleged assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald, stayed the night before the attack in Dealy Plaza. This house has since been restored and re-modeled into a museum, giving visitors a rare, immersive glimpse into history. Among the genuine 1960 decorations and artifacts, visitors can watch actors play out real interactions between the Paine family and Lee Harvey Oswald, with scripts based on historical records. This charming little museum is just one of the many JFK related historical sites in DFW, and is as educational as it is fun.
Irving Arts Center
The Irving Arts Center is a gorgeous 10-acre theater and art museum, with events and new exhibits being shown year-round. The Irving Arts Center was named “Best in the Burbs” by D Magazine, and is a Smithsonian Affiliate, meaning they have access to the 136 million artifacts in the Smithsonian Collection. This center contains two fully-equipped theaters with a good view no matter where you sit, four galleries, and countless rooms available to rent for meetings, classes, parties, weddings, and more. Outside the center is a beautiful sculpture garden, perfect for an afternoon stroll. Be sure to check the Irving Arts Center’s website to see what attractions are showing while you’re in town. Whether you go for a play, concert, conference, or just to see the art galleries, there’s a lot to love about the Irving Arts Center.
Heard Natural Science Museum and Wildlife Sanctuary
The Heard Natural Science Museum and Wildlife Sanctuary states on their website that their mission is “To connect visitors with nature in hopes of inspiring within each person a deeper appreciation for the environment.” With 289 acres of nature and wildlife to explore, as well as a museum, there’s plenty to do at this stunning sanctuary. Heard Natural Science Museum is dedicated to the conservation of nature and the ecosystems within it, and accepts donations to help keep their sanctuary running and their animals fed. Aside from exploring the grounds for yourself, you can also catch one of the many events they host, including night hikes, canoe trails, zipline days, and scouting hikes. You can also join various programs at the sanctuary, like birding, scouting, or even their ropes course. The Heard Natural Science Museum even hosts events like birthdays and weddings!
American Journey Experience
The relatively young American Journey Experience houses a massive collection of artifacts from America’s history, from Christopher Columbus to the Space Race. The mission of the American Journey Experience Museum is to “Educate, enlighten, inspire and engage all Americans and people seeking information about the birth, background, history, and unfolding of America’s journey.” Visitors of the museum can see an expansive collection of artifacts from the many ages of American history. The museum also has various vaults for historical artifacts, which visitors can interact with. This museum hosts a wide range of guest speakers, from historical experts to political groups, as well as regular speaking events from the founder of the museum, Glen Beck. The American Journey Experience Museum also does far more than tours and events. 18–25-year-old students can enroll in the institute’s two-week summer program for a rare chance to learn about American history through hands-on interaction with artifacts and documents. The American Journey Experience Museum puts education first, and this museum is a great way to experience American history up-close and personal.
Spontaneous travelers will love a walk down Water Street. Right off the banks of Lake Carolyn, this street is home to some of the best local cuisine the city has to offer. The street itself is gorgeous, combining modern and old-fashioned design in a unique and memorable way. From the water fountains adorning the street to the view of the lake below, this is a great place to get a glimpse of the beauty of Las Colinas. If you get hungry during your walk, there are plenty of local restaurants to choose from. Whether you choose pizza, tacos or ice cream, you’re sure to love whatever you choose to eat on this bustling, beautiful street.
The Omni Las Colinas Hotel
The Omni Hotel of Las Colinas sits on the Mandalay Canal, offering a beautiful view for your stay. This upscale hotel takes pride in the services they provide. On top of the beautiful room you’ll be staying in, The Omni offers a spa, pool, fitness center, and private cabanas, so you can turn your hotel stay into so much more. The Omni Las Colinas Hotel is home to three restaurants, all with their own unique menus and five-star reviews: LRH Restaurant and Bar, The Lakehouse Waterfront Lounge, and Flossie’s. For a quick snack or a place to work, The Omni’s Over the Counter market is the perfect spot, offering everything from coffee and baked goods to sandwiches and beer. The Omni is also a popular wedding venue, and offers plenty of options for conferences, meetings, and events.
Las Colinas is a unique piece of Texas that balances the modern, bustling feeling of a business district with the warm Southern charm of this beautiful state. Whether you’re visiting Las Colinas for business or pleasure, you’re sure to find something to love about this unique city. While visiting, be sure to slow down and enjoy everything Las Colinas has to offer.