A large, sprawling city of more than 180,000 residents, Grand Prairie stands among the larger communities in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. However, it still manages to retain a bit of small-town charm and attitude of the smaller communities that surround it. Downtown Grand Prairie has tons of opportunities for shopping, dining and entertainment, while easy access to Joe Pool Lake makes the city perfect for lovers of the great outdoors.
Grand Prairie provides residents with easy access to both Dallas and Fort Worth, which sit 20 minutes to the east and west, respectively.
Restaurants & Nightlife
Diners can find all the staples in Grand Prairie. Down-home southern cooking, Texas barbecue and burger joints sit alongside Asian, Italian and Mexican cuisine. Nightlife options tend toward the casual, with plenty of bars and intimate clubs to enjoy.
While foodies can easily find restaurants throughout the sprawling Grand Prairie area, key centers include the downtown area and Main Street. Fans of Tex-Mex can get their fix at Beto's Mexican Restaurant, which features menu items such as tacos al carbon with tender marinated steak and served with Mexican rice and charro beans.
Head to Mixed-Up Burgers, and try the Joe Schmoe, which comes topped with sharp cheddar, savory bacon and a heaping helping of mushrooms. For the real Mixed-Up Burger experience, visitors should be sure to top off their meal with a cold beer while watching the big game.
The Olive Branch Express has a sampling of great Mediterranean fare and great menu options for vegetarians. Try the gyro meal, a traditional pita stuffed with juicy lamb and beef and drizzled with cool tzatziki that comes complete with a feta salad, rice pilaf and rich hummus.
No bigger venue for concerts exists in the Dallas area than Verizon Theatre at Grand Prairie, which hosts the world's biggest musical acts along with numerous other live shows. Smaller, more intimate venues featuring local and regional acts can be found throughout the area as well.
Sports fans love Theo's Grill and Bar, a local favorite. Head here to catch the races or cheer the Rangers on to victory. For a rocking good time, visit Thirsty's Roadside Bar on karaoke night and jam out to the latest pop hit or classic rock anthem of your choosing.
History & Culture
Originally called "Dechman" after its founder, Grand Prairie was first established in 1863. The name Grand Prairie was the result of Post Office confusion, which resulted in the town officially being named after the "grand prairie" designation on the state map of Texas. From World War II to the present, Grand Prairie has maintained strong ties with the defense and aviation industries.
The most prominent museum, and one of the biggest tourist attractions, Ripley's Believe it or Not showcases tons of oddities and curiosities. Artists, actors, musicians and other artists find that Grand Prairie hosts a small but exciting art scene supported by its proximity to Dallas, Fort Worth and Arlington. Festivals and events include a Holiday Market and movie events on the beach of Joe Pool Lake.
Be sure you have a car if you need to get anywhere in Grand Prairie and the surrounding neighborhoods. However, the city does offer a transit option to those over 60 years of age or who have a disability. A few taxi companies serve the area, and Uber has expanded into Grand Prairie with its services.
Find parking readily available throughout Grand Prairie for free, with paid parking available outside larger venues, such as Verizon Theatre. Drivers find entry to the major cities in the area made even easier with ready access to both I-20 and I-30. The area does not cater to either pedestrians or cyclists, though both find the main areas of Grand Prairie easier and safer to navigate.
The cost of living in Grand Prairie comes in at slightly higher than the average for Texas. However, it provides renters more affordable options than some neighboring areas around Dallas and Fort Worth. The cost for a one-bedroom apartment in Grand Prairie averages around $620 per month, and the average cost of a beer at a neighborhood bar runs you about $4. Gas prices in Grand Prairie tend to come in at 13 percent lower than the national average and slightly lower than in cities such as Dallas, which makes for savings in the tank.
Grand Prairie Premium Outlets makes up the central shopping locations in the city. The outlet mall location includes numerous high-end shops, including Coach and Saks Fifth Avenue. Grand Prairie also hosts a vast outdoor flea market with numerous different shops. Think big, as this location has been called the largest weekend flea market in America. In addition to all kinds of shopping opportunities, Trader's Village hosts special events year-round.
For designer items at discount prices, check out Upscale Xchange. This consignment shop features both new and used accessories from some of the biggest brands on the market. Meanwhile, fans of comics and collectibles should be sure to stop by Cosmic Comics. The shop has a stock of thousands of issues of comics, including rare items dating back to the Silver Age.
For groceries, shoppers can head to Tom Thumb, Save-A-Lot, Albertson's or Aldi, just to name a few available locations. Meanwhile, shoppers can take a trip to Grand Prairie Farmers Market for fresh produce and homemade items, including salsa, tamales and much more.
With so many great parks to choose from, finding a spot to enjoy the great outdoors in Grand Prairie proves an easy task. Numerous smaller parks and playgrounds prove perfect for picnics and relaxation. Meanwhile, the larger parks surround Joe Pool Lake and smaller Mountain Creek Lake. These include Britton Park, Lynn Creek Park and Loyd Park. Visitors should take into account that the lake parks require a small entry fee, though one can visit other neighborhood parks for free.
The parks provide great opportunities for camping, fishing and much more. A large number of parks in Grand Prairie offer playgrounds for kids as well. While your furry friends must wear leashes at most parks in the area, Central Bark dog park provides your four-legged pals with 3 acres of play area. Numerous trails also make for great exercise opportunities. The parks host special events year round, including holiday events and Fourth of July fireworks displays.