Rockin Totality at the Solar Eclipse in Irving, TX

I spent the 2024 eclipse in Irving, Texas, and yes, everything is bigger there. Nine thousand RSVPs were received for the event. While I don’t think that quite many showed up, it was a remarkable way to share a seminal event.

Total Eclipse in the Park

Our group had been a bit dubious about the morning clouds, but the clouds parted. We arrived at Levy Event Plaza for the Total Eclipse in the Park and many others, and we were blessed to have an incredible view with about four minutes of totality. I won’t forget it, and to have shared it with a small group of colleagues was even better. We enjoyed a bite of the World’s Largest Ediable Moonpie. The next eclipse in North America will not happen until August 2044 and will only be visible in Montana and the Dakotas.

Las Colinas Canals and Gondola Rides

There is no better way to spend a Sunday afternoon than a Gondola ride through the Las Colinas canals. It is a relaxing way to enjoy a beautiful day, and your gondolier may even sing you are aria.

The Mustangs of Las Colinas

Mustangs of Las Colinas

The Mustangs sculpture was the brainchild of businessman Ben Carpenter, who created Las Colinas. In 1976, he approached sculptor Robert Glen about creating a sculpture for the area. The site was dedicated in September 1985. There is a small museum about the Mustangs adjacent to the plaza where they are located. Sadly, Mr. Glen passed away in 2023 after a short illness.

Hotels

Westin at the Irving Convention Center

The hotel sits next to the Irving Convention Center, so it sees a lot of visitors. The staff is professional, and it is a first-class property. It’s only twenty minutes from DFW airport. Room 1437 was my home for 24 hours. You can see a brief room tour here. The on-site Mesa Mescal Restaurant makes dining easy. Your morning coffee can be had in the lobby coffee bar. The Westin is also near the Toyota Music Factory. The venue hosts many concerts during the year in an intimate setting.

Omni Las Colinas

Our host had booked a poolside cabana for our group to watch as the eclipse began. We shared some drinks and snacks as we took pictures and made sunflower crowns. We also had a tour of the newly renovated rooms. These will not be available until the fall of 2024, but I was impressed with the attention to detail in the room, not to mention the view of the city and canals.

Ritz Carlton

The Ritz, formerly the Four Seasons, debuted in January 2024 after a multi-million-dollar renovation. The pool and spa area are also under renovation. The hotel also features a championship golf course. We enjoyed drinks in the Juniper Bar before our dinner.

Juniper Bar

Food

Po Melvin’s

Let me tell you about the culinary delight I discovered in Irving, Texas. Po Melvins, a place that serves down-home southern cooking, won my heart. Mel, our host, was down to earth and knew his customers as they sat down. This is customer service at its best. We started with their signature black-eyed peas, a true southern staple. The lightly breaded fried shrimp and catfish were a feast for the palate. All the dishes are cajun-inspired. The bread pudding is sinful and delicious. This is a place I can’t wait to revisit when I’m in the area again.

Argentina Bakery

Although we’d filled up at Melvin’s, we shared a quick ride to the Argentina Bakery. The pastry work here is awe-inspiring, and the cases were filled with delectable treats of all kinds. This is where you can get a magnificent cake for any occasion.

Knife Italian at the Ritz Carlton

We were treated to a fine dining experience for nine in a private room with tableside steak service. Chef John Tesar’s menu does not disappoint. We shared four appetizers, five entries, four salads, and four desserts. The most memorable dish for me was potato gnocchi with truffles. We left more than sated. It topped off a fun day exploring Las Colinas.

Pax and Beneficia Coffee Shop

Turkish Coffee Service

We stopped here for a light snack and coffee on eclipse day. While I am not a coffee drinker, my colleagues said it was excellent and strong. It’s only a brief walk from the Mustangs in Williams Square.

Final thoughts

This was my second trip to Irving in the last two years. I had the pleasure of attending the Southern Travelers Explore conference there in 2023. I was impressed with Irving, especially Las Colonias; it has only improved since then. There is plenty to keep you entertained, and with over 150 restaurants in the area, you will not have trouble finding a place to eat. Visit Irving. I offer my sincerest thanks for hosting the trip. I can only say Irving is one place I will return to and always recommend to travelers.

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