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Whether you stay at the Texican Court or not, be sure and visit the cantina. Courtesy Two Mules

One of the great things about North Texas is the number of municipalities that welcome tourists and locals alike. You can staycation almost anywhere, including Irving. What I look for in a getaway is a nice hotel, great food and drinks, and a seasonal entertainment event to pull it all together, a purpose, if you will. In the fall, the Irving/Los Colinas area checked all those boxes for me.

When the weather cooperates, which is most times of year in Texas, there are free concerts at Texas Lottery Plaza (340 W Las Colinas Blvd, Irving, 972-810-1499). It was a bit chilly during my visit, but the band shell at Toyota Music Factory (316 W Las Colinas Blvd., Irving, 469-840-9730) was quite cozy at the Queens of the Stone Age show I attended. The venue is within walking distance of food and drinks, and we stayed at a vintage-style hotel called Texican Court.

The retro-chic rooms at Texican Court (501 W Las Colinas Blvd, Irving, 833-839-4226) feature colorful bespoke furniture, minibars in vintage-style refrigerators, and designer toiletries of the upgraded rooms have shared wraparound porches. At the same time, suites provide living/dining areas or separate living rooms. Other perks include fire pits in the courtyard, a circular outdoor pool, and complimentary parking. Loaner bikes are available if you›d like to ride rather than walk Irving›s new cocktail trail.

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Visit Irving has a new app called Irving on the Rocks, which guides you through (and earns you points from) more than a dozen restaurants and bars near the Toyota Music Factory and its two adjacent hotels. As for us, we began our journey down the trail with drinks at the hotel’s restaurant, a Tex-Mex eatery called Two Mules Cantina (501 W Las Colinas Blvd., Irving, 469-577-4599). My mock prickly-pear margarita was as delicious as it was pretty.

The specialty cocktails at Two Mules are delightful to see and drink.
Courtesy Two Mules

Then, we ventured to Reservoir at Toyota Music Factory (330 W Las Colinas Blvd, 469-351-7112) and tried the Angry Pigs in a Blanket before the show. For $11.79, you get a Louisiana sausage wrapped in house-made dough, fired in a brick oven, finished with garlic-parmesan and green onion, and then served with our fresh-made, stone-ground mustard sauce. I’m a big fan. Sometimes, the menu changes on event nights, but this item is always available. As for drinks, keep an eye on ReservoirMusicFactory.com for updates, as a drink menu overhaul is in the works.

Time was limited, but the various businesses on the trail have my attention and will be worth visiting soon. Among the other Irving on the Rocks participants in the 300-ish block of West Las Colinas Blvd, you will find Blaze Brazilian Steakhouse, The Blue Fish, Gloria’s, Kitchen 101, Mama Tried, Mercy Bar & Lounge, Mesa Mezcal, Pacheco, Pop Factory, TCBY, and Vetted Well.

As I drank only a mock cocktail and a slew of sodas, my hangover was the post-concert kind, easily remedied with coffee the next morning. Mmm, coffee. While the hotel was cute and welcoming, my recovery mode involved getting clothed and hitting the Starbucks as the hotel’s wifi wasn’t compatible with the flying brick that is my laptop. (I think this falls under #ItsNotYouItsMe.) After I was sufficiently caffeinated and caught up on work, I went back to the hotel and enjoyed lunch, exactly where we started. The street tacos at Two Mules didn’t disappoint.

Ready to get started? Simply download the free Irving on the Rocks app on your smartphone or tablet. Then, use the app when you check in places up to twice daily, earn points, and check out the featured cocktails. Your first perk will be a “Rock Star Kit” you can have mailed to you or pick up at a vending machine near the TCBY. The kits include essentials like hangover remedies, mints, and wet wipes, plus a few lucky winners will win free concert ticket vouchers to upcoming Toyota Music Factory shows.

The April/May calendar at TMF includes the likes of Black Crows, Blue October, Riley Green, Social Distortion, and one I›d like to check out: SESSANTA featuring A Perfect Circle, Primus, and Puscifer. It›s a #MaynardFest. Count me in!

 

For more promotional information from Visit Irving, including a guide to Texas bluebonnet season, where to hop around for Easter eats and treats, having fun at Lake Carolyn, and where to eat at DFW International Airport, go to VisitIrvingTexas.com.

Read about the primo spots for a bite and some sounds around town in Tasty Licks in Music.

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