The toughest part about living in Dallas is choosing a neighborhood in which to live. Each one brings major perks to the table in the form of food, fun and proximity to one of the country's best big cities. Although the traffic in and around Dallas can be dense and frustrating, most 'hoods enjoy easy access to rapid transit, making typical highway commutes totally optional.
Although it was tough to cull the large and impressive list of Dallas neighborhoods down to 10, we took on the challenge with relish. Check out some Dallas fun facts that are sure to impress and surprise.
The Bishop Arts District is a prime illustration of how big things come in small packages.
Indeed, the neighborhood packs a lot of punch into a small area, with just a handful of blocks home to copious dining, entertainment and shopping options. A subset of the Oak Cliff neighborhood (more on that sweet spot in a minute), the Bishop Arts District offers everything that popular neighborhood has to offer, as well as super close proximity to Downtown Dallas, only a 10-minute drive away.
Five fun facts about Bishop Arts District
- The Texas Theatre, where patrons enjoy films ranging from indies to classics and in-between, features a bar reminiscent of the Prohibition era
- Way back in the 1930s, the neighborhood was Dallas's busiest trolley stop
- The Bishop Arts Theatre Centre is a major gem, programming performances, lectures and art classes. The non-profit also runs an annual New Play Competition, which awards prizes to local playwrights.
- There are more than five dozen restaurants, bars, coffee shops, theaters, art galleries and boutiques in the neighborhood, many of which are independently owned
- The neighborhood holds uber-popular Wine Walks, typically on the first Thursday of the month
Only blocks east of Downtown Dallas, Deep Ellum is a historic area with enough personality to fill a neighborhood twice its size. Largely known as an entertainment district, Deep Ellum can get noisy and crowded, especially on weekends.
Five fun facts about Deep Ellum
- Deep Ellum was pretty much the blues and jazz capital of Dallas in the 1920s. Today, the music scene is more rock-focused, but everyone still knows that its roots lie in hosting greats like Bessie Smith and Blind Lemon Jefferson.
- Street murals are all the rage right now, but nowhere more so than in Deep Ellum, where the 42 Murals project encourages the art form. Concepts range from murals depicting the area's historical significance to buildings made to look like robots.
- The only problem performing arts enthusiasts face in Deep Ellum is choosing what to see. The Undermain Theatre is a popular warehouse basement spot for plays of a dark and unusual nature, while the Dallas Comedy House always delivers a ton of laughs. Or, stop by the Quixotic World Theatre House & Magikal Event Space for a taste of burlesque and other offbeat entertainment.
- If you prefer to make musical magic yourself, hit the trailer-park themed bar Double Wide, which features both karaoke and ambiance for days
- Deep Ellum is so named because it was originally called Deep Elm, but the Texas twang inspired a formal change. It was also once called Central Track because it's near the Houston and Texas Central railroad.
Editorial credit: Philip Lange / Shutterstock.com
With a population of around 2,000, Design District is a quaint neighborhood with a small-town feel, but big-city ambition. Located ever so slightly northwest of Dallas, the neighborhood is the result of organic revitalization, rather than massive planning efforts. If cookie-cutter is what you're after, keep on moving!
Five fun facts about Design District
- The neighborhood gets its name from the area's onetime status as a leading garment manufacturing center
- Big fans of national chains should look elsewhere, as Design District is largely made up of independent stores, restaurants and entertainment venues
- Many shops and restaurants are located in repurposed buildings, which once functioned as wholesale interior design showrooms
- Design District is home to the most significant concentration of art galleries in Dallas, including contemporary art museum the Goss-Michael Foundation
- Continental Avenue Bridge is a must-visit for kids, as it's a picturesque urban playground that actually runs across the Trinity River
Downtown Dallas was a place where people simply stamped the old-time card, but recent years have seen it morph dramatically into an ultra-desirable live/work-play area all its own.
Five fun facts about Downtown
- Despite growing numbers of residents, the area doesn't yet have its own standard grocery store. The city has tried (and failed) to subsidize them. Fortunately, the nearby Farmer's Market helps bridge the gap.
- The Pegasus is the symbol of Downtown because it was originally depicted on a Magnolia Oil Company sign in the 1930s
- Klyde Warren Park is available for those days when living in a concrete jungle just won't cut it. The green space is a popular haunt for people on the prowl for nature, food trucks and outdoor playtime.
- Downtown is something of a cultural mecca, boasting the Dallas Museum of Art, Meyerson Symphony Center and the AT&T Performing Arts Center
- The population of Downtown grew 38.4 percent from 2011 to 2016, and additional growth of 13.1 percent is expected by 2021
Editorial credit: Dorti / Shutterstock.com
Much like Design District, Medical District comes by its name honestly. Situated in an ultra-desirable location between Downtown and Dallas Love Field Airport, the neighborhood is a hub of all things healthcare-related. Some of the prestigious institutions that call Medical District home include Parkland Memorial Hospital, Children's Medical Center Dallas and UT Southwestern Medical Center. Not surprisingly, many of the locals are also employees of such facilities.
Five fun facts about Medical District
- Parkland Hospital gained dubious international fame when it treated President John F. Kennedy when he was assassinated in November 1963. It has since been completely revamped via a new build in 2011.
- Lovers of wholesale shopping outlets appreciate the convenience of the World Trade Center, Dallas Market Center and the Apparel Mart
- The average rent price for a place in Medical District is about $1 per square foot
- As it's so dominated by medical industry employers, Medical District doesn't offer much in the way of nightlife. Fortunately, it's a stone's throw from other hopping neighborhoods, like Downtown, Oak Lawn and Uptown.
- Around 3 million people visit the emergency rooms and clinics in the Medical District every year
Oak Cliff (southwest of Downtown, across the Trinity River) is on the radar of up-and-coming neighborhoods and projected to continue along that path for the foreseeable future.
Five fun facts about Oak Cliff
- Oak Cliff's renaissance is extremely recent, with major development beginning in 2009
- The restoration of the Belmont Hotel, now a top wedding site, helped spur Oak Cliff's resurgence. Prior to the 2000s, it was shabby and practically falling down around itself.
- A developer named Monte Anderson is credited with kicking off the process. His vision for Oak Cliff involved returning historic properties to their former glory as community gathering sites.
- The recently closed farm-to-table restaurant Bolsa helped usher in a new era of fine dining in Oak Cliff
- The historic Kessler Theater, built in 1941, was shuttered following a fire in the 1960s. It was restored and reopened in 2009, much to the delight of music-lovers in the area.
Any member of the LGBTQ community should feel right at home in Oak Lawn, known as the epicenter of the Dallas gay community. Of course, straight counterparts are just as welcome to enjoy this popular area's many amenities, including restaurants and clubs to suit all tastes.
Five fun facts about Oak Lawn
- Cedar Springs Road in Oak Lawn is the site of the annual Dallas Pride Parade
- Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek is a beautifully restored historic home, turned five-star luxury resort
- Rosewood is also credited with helping develop modern Southwestern cuisine. Yum.
- Oak Lawn plays host every Halloween to Dallas's most over-the-top costume party
- Arlington Hall at Turtle Creek Park is a picturesque throwback mansion on a 20-acre site that's one of the city's most popular spaces for events
Pleasant Grove offers a range of housing options for renters of almost any budget. Located in Southeast Dallas, the neighborhood is also lauded for its diverse, multicultural feel, while also being full of enthusiastic Texans (whether native or transplant).
Five fun facts about Pleasant Grove
- Local kids of the 1930s dubbed themselves the “Grove Rats," and the moniker is still in use today
- Crawford Memorial Park is a gem of local green space, with more than 266 acres of fields, facilities, picnic space, playgrounds and gardens. Not surprisingly, it's a hotspot for local joggers, walkers and cyclists, as well.
- The neighborhood takes its name from the many beautiful trees native to the area
- Pleasant Grove is known as a mecca for volunteerism and good old-fashioned neighborliness
- The convenience factor in Pleasant Grove is high. It's extremely close to multiple highways, not far from Downtown and with easy access to the DART bus and light rail system.
Are you a young professional? If so, it's likely that you'd feel right at home in the Uptown neighborhood of Dallas, located just north of Downtown. The upscale area tends to cater to singles and couples, given that most of its housing consists of apartments and condominiums.
Five fun facts about Uptown
- It has a booming LGBTQ community, with one of the city's best nightlife scenes. Don't miss the drag show at Station 4!
- The name “Uptown" dates to the area's revitalization in the early 2000s. Before that, it was pretty much an extension of nearby Oak Lawn.
- Uptown is a shopping draw, thanks to the boutiques that line McKinney Avenue, as well as the West Village, which is also known as “Uptown's Downtown." Knox/Henderson shopping is also a highlight.
- Uptown is home to Victory Park, where the Dallas Stars and Dallas Mavericks may or may not actually achieve victory
- Cars are totally optional in this most walkable of Dallas communities. In addition to the DART system, the area boasts the whimsical M-Line trolley, as well as the efrogs shuttle service, an environmentally-friendly option that uses emissions-free, electric vehicles.
The Victory Park neighborhood of Dallas is a planned live/work/play community with tons of housing, entertainment and dining options, particularly suited to young professionals. A son of former presidential candidate and Texas tycoon Ross Perot came up with the concept, envisioning it as a mecca for urban living.
Five fun facts about Victory Park
- Still very much under construction, the area eventually will boast some 4 million square feet of retail space, as well as more than 4,000 residences
- The focus of Victory Park is the American Airlines Center, which plays host to major sporting and entertainment events year-round
- There's a one-acre park on-site, but the popular 3.5-mile Katy Trail is also nearby
- The Sweet Tooth Hotel is billed as an “immersive art experience," featuring many DFW-area artists. Clear out phone space for a whole lot of selfies if you hit this spot.
- Residents appreciate the daily view of the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge, a landmark that spans the Trinity River
Looking to move to Dallas? Check out your options of apartments for rent and homes for sale in the city today!