Mandalay Canal, Irving, Texas

North Texas

MANDALAY CANAL A Well-Kept Secret for Vacationers A cursory glance at the heart of Irving, Texas, might reveal a cityscape created for a futuristic film. Gleaming office towers and a monorail system connecting skyscrapers project a clean and corporate image for the master-planned development known as Las Colinas. Names like Exxon, GTE, TransAmerica/TIG, Quaker State, Caltex and Sprint dot the landscape, and the streets bustle from sun-up to sun-down. But a few steps below the busy streets lies an old world European waterway, lined with trees and cobblestone walkways. City noises dissipate and the gentle lapping of the water against the shore takes over. The Mandalay Canal offers the perfect respite for the 70,000 nine-to-fine residents of corporate Irving, with a discriminating selection of shops and restaurants lining its path. It is also a unique and favorite find for the hundreds of thousands of leisure travelers who visit the Dallas/Fort Worth "Metroplex" (of which Irving sits in the middle) each year. The Mandalay Canal remains a well-kept secret, even to much of the Metroplex, but each month thousands more discover its shores. Some happen upon it during a visit to the awe-inspiring Mustangs of Las Colinas, the world's largest equestrian sculpture, at Williams Square which faces the canal. Nine larger-than-life mustangs galloping across a granite stream have been captured in bronze by African wildlife sculptor Robert Glen. Day or night, the sight is breathtaking and the sculpture is always surrounded by both locals and tourists. Others discover the canal during the annual Canalfest celebration, which offers music, arts, crafts and a variety of entertainment along the canal's shores each June. Now in its second decade, the festival attracts visitors from throughout the Metroplex and from across the country, all enthralled by the glimpse of Europe hiding below the concrete and glass world above. The Mandalay Canal illustrates superbly the planning that went into the world class development of Las Colinas (Spanish for "the hills"). The planners made room for the most satisfying aspects of living--urban excitement, residential solitude, cultural variety-all co-existing on 12,000 rolling acres. To the daytime resident, the gentility of the canal provides a much-needed break from telephones and board meetings. To the vacationer, this unique find offers a taste of Europe without an overseas price tag. For more information about the Mandalay Canal, the Mustangs at Las Colinas, or Irving, Texas, contact the Irving Convention and Visitors Bureau at (800) 2-IRVING.

Bed and Breakfast Inns