Dallas, Texas

Triple D

Downtown Dallas
Downtown Dallas
Uptown Dallas
Uptown Dallas
Dallas Arboretum & Botanical Gardens
Dallas Arboretum & Botanical Gardens
White Rock Lake Park
White Rock Lake Park

1,382,270

Population

Sunny Days: 234
95100 Affordability
80100 Schools
95100 Diversity
70100 Safety

LookyLOO Review of Dallas

It’s A New-ish City

We think of Dallas as new-ish because it constantly reinvents. Remaking itself from cattle ranch to financial center, or fancy to hipster, or whatever else the times demand. As a result of this ability to remake itself, Dallas has a constant influx of new, diverse people constantly arriving and calling it home. Fresh starts come naturally here so if you’re looking to do the same thing then this is a good spot.

Newcomers will also note that Dallas seems a bit odd and that the source of Dallas’s oddness is because it is one of only two major cities (Las Vegas the other) not built on a body of water. It’s hard to describe but Dallas can feel transient or shallow for those who’ve lived in cities with longer life spans and more persistent physical roots like Chicago or Boston or New Orleans. That history of reinvention means everything looks new: the buildings, the neighborhoods, the shopping centers, and while that can be nice it also means they paved over much of the past, and that gives it a city-wide suburban-type feeling.

Lifestyle

It’s no secret that Texas is becoming the place to move. With the great resignation and remote work opportunities at an all-time high, young professionals and families are looking for somewhere that is more lax than their old cities or towns. Dallas, like many big cities in Texas, has been growing for years, long before the COVID-19 era, so you’re looking at a great city with a ton to do. There are bars and music venues, and with the moderate weather, people are out year-round. It’s also cheaper than most places and renting is easy, so you’re going to get a lot more transplants than other cities. Overall, Dallas is living up to all the hype!

Important to remember in thinking about Dallas is that it is ridiculously large. At 343 square miles, it is 10x as big as New York City and 100+ square miles bigger than Chicago. Hell, the damn airport is bigger than Manhattan. That means there is tons of suburban-style housing in the city limits and super spacious condo complexes, and even though there are no sales or local income tax, real estate taxes are high, which means the public school system is excellent. For families looking for room and great schools, or younger peeps looking for a downtown lifestyle but without the NYC density, it is hard to beat.

If you're curious about what happens in Dallas throughout the year check out the calendar of events.

Worklife

Dallas is considered one of the best cities in the US to find a job. Even during the pandemic, the city lost significantly fewer jobs than other major cities. Several massive corporations call Dallas home including Southwest Airlines, AT&T, and ExxonMobil. And even though the oil industry has taken a hit in recent years, if you’re relocating without a job you stand an excellent chance of finding something here. Healthcare is the other big industry here so expect to hear from a lot of people who are employed by Baylor Healthcare Systems.

Schools

The Dallas ISD has hugely varied performance ratings on the standardized scoring sites, getting a "B" on niche.com. It's a wild district with some of the best public schools in the country and plenty of underperforming schools. Unlike some districts, Dallas is less charter-school-centric for the highest-performing schools and more magnet-school-focused. Magnet schools are not geo-focused so you can focus less on the neighborhood if you're confident your kiddo will land a spot in a magnet but if not then you'll shoot for one of the charters or a private if you're zoned out of reach of a solid high school choice. Generally, elementary schools work out just fine for neighborhoods.

A few of the magnet schools of note include:

-William B. Travis Vanguard for the Academically Talented and Gifted which scores an "A" on niche.com and has students grades 4-8.
-Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing & Visual Arts, which is the #1 high school for the performing arts in Texas and scores an "A+" on niche.com.
-Irma Lerma Rangel Young Women's Leadership School, which has students from 6-12 grades and earns an "A+" on niche.com.

Why You Should Move Here Now?

Growth

No large city or metropolitan area has had higher job growth than Dallas. While the oil industry has suffered there are 18 Fortune 500 Companies in Dallas and tremendous employment opportunities in tech, healthcare, financial services, hospitality, food industry and travel. Because of the space to stretch it’s also a great place to have a home with plenty of room to work remotely.

Reviews of Dallas from Locals

The Vibe

msitarzewski
Living in Dallas
2y ago
✭✭✭✭

Here's the thing… "Dallas" is 1/2 of an area called D/FW (or FW/D if you live on the west side of the line :) ). DFW is 9,800 square miles. Dallas is the name of the county, and a city. The City of Dallas has about 1.3 million people, and is surrounded by a dozen suburbs (from Richardson, Garland, South Dallas (not to be confused with "Southern Dallas"), Cedar Hill, north to Addison, Plano and Frisco.

Each of those locations has a feel/vibe all its own. Some are working class neighborhoods, others incredibly wealthy, and of course some where people struggle to make ends meet.

Dallas is a place that offers a lot of practically anyone, but the experience will depend on how much you earn, and the distance between work, home, and play (if you can: bars, sports, concerts, etc.).

For example, if you're in the enterprise scale IT world, lots of those jobs exist in Plano/Frisco/Irving. If you live and work there, that's one experience; very suburban, big homes, malls, chain food, and shopping.

Some people choose to work in Frisco and live downtown. The pay is good in Frisco, but the lifestyle is very different downtown. If you do that, you'll spend 45 minutes to an hour in the car, and most likely on the tollway (adding expenses).

Public transit (DART) is hit or miss depending on where you choose to call home. If you live and work downtown or in a directly adjacent neighborhood, then it'll serve you well. The further you get from that generalization, the more effort you'll have to put into taking public transit.

We've chosen downtown (The Cedars, technically) because it's a mile to downtown proper and we were fortunate enough to find a townhouse with a yard and two car garage (no HOA!). I walk downtown or ride a bike, take the train, and every now and then the bus. This neighborhood feels like a small town.

I know a ton of people that live downtown and work remotely. Main Street has a 96 walk score, which very few people know or will acknowledge. There are parks, museums, music venues, theaters, grocery stores, and everything you need downtown. And you don't need a car - it's one of the only places in the region that this is the case. You can get to and from DFW airport from anywhere downtown via the Orange line (DART) and Love Field with either Orange or Green.

To hear from more locals check out: The Reviews.

Neighborhoods in Dallas

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The Area

Believe it or not, Dallas isn’t the biggest city in Texas. It isn’t even the second largest city, at a whopping 343 square miles it’s the third largest city in Texas and the ninth largest city in the US (everything’s bigger in Texas amiright?). Situated in the northeastern part of the state, you are a bit land locked and out of luck if you’re looking for water. Being so big, Dallas has a ton of great neighborhoods in city limits surrounded by large sprawling suburbs. A little piece of advice, Fort Worth is not a Dallas suburb. It’s more like a sister city and about 35 miles to the west of Dallas. It has its own downtown and vibe and you should absolutely avoid commuting in between unless you want your life to be awful.

University Park

College Students

Dallas is home to a couple of college-ish areas. “Ish” because if you’re in college you’re more than likely headed to Uptown or in Deep Ellum for your late night festivities, but you’ll want to live a little closer to campus. Take University Park, home to Southern Methodist University, it’s centered around the 100-year old campus. Housing is relatively cheap and all on-campus options and closer apartments cater to students. The area feels small and personal within the larger, sometimes overwhelming energy of Dallas.

  • University Park
  • Las Colinas
  • Uptown
  • Deep Ellum

Uptown

Young Professionals

If you’re young and working in Dallas, you’re going to want affordability, friendly neighbors, and decent walkability to restaurants and bars. No area in Dallas encompasses that quite like Uptown. It’s north of Downtown, so close enough if you wanted to venture out on the weekends, but far enough away to have its own vibe. There are tree-lined streets, restaurants, and nightlife as well as being the most walkable area you can find in Dallas. This live/play/work paradise has apartments, townhomes, and more to choose from!

  • Uptown
  • Deep Ellum
  • Lower Greenville

Knox Henderson

Young Families

There are a lot of neighborhoods to choose from if you’re looking to purchase your first home or start a family. Check out Uptown if your commute brings you downtown. If you’re like a lot of people starting a family and don’t want to give up too much of your former city life, check out Knox-Henderson. It’s packed with great Tex-Mex restaurants, upscale Gastropoda and late-night cafes perfect for date night! There is also the Katy Trail that used to be a railroad and now has been converted to a popular jogging and cycling route— perfect for Saturday morning outings!

  • Knox-Henderson
  • Uptown
  • Oak Lawn

Highland Park

Established Families

If you have older kids or a larger family, you’re probably looking for a decent-sized home, great schools, and easy access to daily necessities. If your head is spinning, you’re not alone. There are a ton of neighborhoods in Dallas and it’s hard to know where to start your search. We suggest starting in Highland Park, 4 miles north of Downtown. It’s a beautiful area, but is considered expensive by Dallas standards. If you’re moving from somewhere like San Francisco or New York, ignore that statement. Expensive for Dallas is cheap by your standards. There are some gorgeous homes, great shopping, and the best schools in Dallas!

  • Highland Park
  • Lake Highlands
  • Lakewood