Dallas /ˈdæləs/ is the ninth-largest city in the United States and the third-largest city in the state of Texas. The city's prominence arose from its historical importance as a Center for the oil and cotton industries, and its position along numerous railroad lines. The bulk of the city is in Dallas County, of which it is the county seat. However, sections of the city are located in Collin, Denton, Kaufman, and Rockwall counties. According to the 2010 United States Census, the city had a population of 1,197,816. The United States Census Bureau's estimate for the city's population increased to 1,241,162 as of 2012.
Preceded by thousands of years of varying indigenous cultures, the Caddo people inhabited the Dallas area before Spanish colonists claimed the territory of Texas in the 18th century as a part of the Viceroyalty of New Spain. Later, France also claimed the area but never established much settlement. In 1819 the Adams-Onís Treaty between the United States and Spain defined the Red River as the northern boundary of New Spain, officially placing the future location of Dallas well within Spanish territory. The area remained under Spanish rule until 1821, when Mexico declared independence from Spain, and the area was considered part of the Mexican state of Coahuila y Tejas. In 1836, the Republic of Texas, with majority Anglo-American settlers, gained independence from Mexico to become a distinct nation.
Dallas is the county seat of Dallas County. Portions of the city extend into neighboring Collin, Denton, Kaufman, and Rockwall counties. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 385.8 square miles (999.3 km sq), 340.5 square miles (881.9 km sq) of it being land and 45.3 square miles (117.4 km sq) of it (11.75%) water. Dallas makes up one-fifth of the much larger urbanized area known as the Dallas–Fort Worth Metroplex, in which one quarter of all Texans live.
Dallas is known for its barbecue, authentic Mexican, and Tex-Mex cuisine. Famous products of the Dallas culinary scene include the frozen margarita. Fearing's restaurant at the Ritz-Carlton Dallas hotel in Uptown Dallas was named the best hotel restaurant in the US for 2009 by Zagat Survey. The Ritz-Carlton Dallas hotel was also named 2009 best US hotel by Zagat, and 2009 No. 2 hotel in the World by Zagat, trailing only the Four Seasons King George V in Paris, France. A number of nationally ranked steakhouses can be found in the Dallas area, including Bob's Steak & Chop House, currently ranked No. 1 according to the USDA Prime Steakhouses chart.
The Arts District in the northern section of Downtown is home to several arts venues, both existing and proposed. Notable venues in the district include the Dallas Museum Of Art, the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center home to the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and Dallas Wind Symphony, The Trammell & Margaret Crow Collection of Asian Art, the Nasher Sculpture Center, and The Dallas Children's Theater. Venues that are part of the AT&T Dallas Center for the Performing Arts include the Winspear Opera House home to the Dallas Opera and Texas Ballet Theater, the Dee And Charles Wyly Theatre home to the Dallas Theater Center and the Dallas Black Dance Theater, and City Performance Hall.
The most notable event held in Dallas is the State Fair of Texas, which has been held annually at Fair Park since 1886. The fair is a massive event, bringing in an estimated $350 million to the city's economy annually. The Red River Shootout, which pits the University of Texas at Austin against The University of Oklahoma at the Cotton Bowl also brings significant crowds to the city. The city also hosts a series of bowl games including the Heart of Dallas Bowl at the Cotton Bowl, the Cotton Bowl Classic held at AT&T Stadium, and Armed Forces Bowl held at Amon G. Carter Stadium owned by Texas Christian University.