Arlington is the quintessentially Texan city, home to gorgeous urban parks, famous festivals and all sorts of unusual attractions. When you're visiting Arlington, the locals will be quick to impress upon you how much they love their city. Once you've spent a bit of time there, it'll be easy to see just why they do. Whether your interests lay in music and partying or science and the stars, Arlington is one of the best American cities to spend your time.

01Become a coffee master at the Texas Coffee School

Barista serving coffee
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Whether coffee is your passion or a hobby, a three-day course at the Texas Coffee School is for you. This acclaimed institution opened in Arlington in 2008, and since then it’s served hundreds of entrepreneurs and coffee lovers alike. It’s filled with all of the tools of the trade, from high-end coffee grinders to pour-over drippers. In just three days, the espresso aficionados at the Texas Coffee School promise to turn you into an expert in all things coffee. Become the star of meet-ups with your friends, or just enjoy the ability to make grade-A coffee for yourself.

02Enjoy the world-class drinks at the Eskimo Hut

Friends with different kinds of beer miodrag ignjatovic / Getty Images

If harder drinks are to your taste, the Eskimo Hut is one of the best places in the world to get an unbeatable drink. Their menu includes thousands of different drinks, dozens of jello shots and a similar selection of beers. If you’re planning to spend some time at the park or visit friends while you’re in town, the Eskimo Hut is an even better destination. You can order all of their drinks in sizable quantities and take them to-go, which makes them a perfect complement to any other activities you have planned.

03Relax at the River Legacy Parks

Path in River Legacy Park in Arlington, TX

If you’re a fan of fun in the sun, you should head over to the River Legacy Parks. It’s a beautiful, 1,300-acre park complex that’s bursting with greenery, right in the middle of the city! You can hike along the miles of sprawling foot trails, or you can rent a bicycle and take the bike trails. There’s quite a bit of wildlife here, too; you might just spot an armadillo or one of the other animals native to the Southwest. With so many trails, picnic areas, and the perfect playground to let any children play, River Legacy Parks is one of the best places in the city for outdoor fun. After you’ve finished your nature walk, the Living Science Center is right on the edge of the park.

04Visit the exhibits at the River Legacy Living Science Center

A docile tarantula in a child's hands tiburonstudios / Getty Images

The Living Science Center is an essential destination for anyone with a love of nature, science, and sustainable design. The building has a gorgeous design that’s meant to be as sustainable as possible; nestled in a preexisting and relatively flat space, the center is surrounded by an urban forest. The tall windows that make up most of the walls reduce the need for artificial light, and the sunlight streaming into the building helps everything feel a bit more alive. The rotating series of exhibits such as “The Art and Science of Arachnids” and “The Nature of Things” are always well-regarded and a popular attraction for visitors and locals.

05Climb the Six Flags Oil Derrick

 Looney Tunes USA water tower and oil derrick tower at Six Flags Over Texas in Arlington, Texas David R. Tribble / Wikipedia Commons

Off East Copeland Road, you can visit the largest land-based oil derrick in the world. It’s an impressive, colorful construction on its own, but the real draw is the 300 ft. high observation tower. It’s open to the public and based on the Six Flags park grounds, and you can take a stunning view of the surrounding area from it. Once you reach the top, you can take some postcard-perfect shots of Arlington and the Texan skyline.

06The International Bowling Museum and Hall of Fame

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This interesting, niche attraction is a fun stop even if you aren’t a huge bowling fan; after you visit you might become one, though. Did you know that bowling is as much as 5,000 years ago, and began in ancient Egypt? The International Bowling Museum uses interactive exhibits and modern touch-screen displays to bring the surprisingly rich history of bowling to life and invites you to cap off your trip by going bowling with a perfectly-sized ball just for you.

07Marvel at the University of Texas Planetarium

UTAPlanetarium EMBaero / Wikimedia Commons

The University of Texas is home to one of the finest planetariums in the United States. Their regularly scheduled shows are popular attractions that kick off with a tour of the night sky. If you haven’t been to a planetarium or ever gotten away from the glare of light pollution, you’ll be shocked by how resplendent the night sky really is. A quick Q&A from the audience turns the planetarium into a one-of-a-kind movie theater, with the entire dome projecting a popular movie.

08Watch a show at the Levitt Pavilion for the Performing Arts

A small show at the Levitt Pavilion Matthew Hatcher / Getty Images

Do you love live music, a laid-back atmosphere and chilling with your friends on warm evenings? If so, the Levitt Pavilion is a must-visit destination. You can watch local artists and famous performers alike at free concerts there from spring to autumn. If you bring some food, a comfy folding chair, and drinks from the Eskimo Hut, you’re all set for a wonderful evening here.

09Visit one of the largest vendors selling all things Texas

Traditional Texas cowboy hats kirkle / Getty Images

Gene Allen’s Gifts is a local, family-owned pair of stores in Arlington that offer all sorts of Texas memorabilia. They carry all sorts of gifts made by small, Texas-based companies, ranging from home-made Texas-shaped fudge to mixed gift boxes filled with Texas memorabilia. No one in America loves their state quite as much as Texans do, and Gene Allen’s is as much a charming curiosity as it is a great destination to shop for souvenirs.

10Pay Respects at the Arlington National Cemetery

arlington national cemetery
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The Arlington National Cemetery stands as one of the most culturally important sites in the entire United States. Monuments of great importance to all Americans such as the Eternal Flame dedicated to John F. Kennedy and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier dot the landscape. Another worthwhile stop is the Memorial Amphitheater. It’s a massive, over-one-hundred-years-old architectural project that stands imposingly against the skyline owing to its stainless, bright white color.