Great Dallas Area Neighborhoods for Every Lifestyle
Moving to or around the Dallas-Fort Worth area provides an amazing array of choices. It’s a unique location mixed with big city, suburban and small town settings that can make this large hot spot inviting for any lifestyle to settle in and call home. And people are moving to the DFW Metroplex in large numbers. According to the latest US Census estimates (2017), the Metroplex was the fastest growing U.S. metro area in the U.S., with a net gain of 146,000 people.
DFW has also seen a major influx of corporations from other states, which created the second highest rate of job growth in the country last year. The most recent announcements include Fortune 500 companies McKesson Corp. and Core-Mark Holding Co. That keeps the phones at re-locators busy with incoming traffic.“[Dallas] is booming in all sorts of ways right now, with an active downtown revitalization and an explosion of all types of cultural activities—microbreweries, film festivals, and more.” (Bellhops.com)
That there is something in Dallas-Fort Worth for every lifestyle and every interest is an understatement. DFW has the right locations for everyone, from students, to young urban professionals, to families, empty nesters and retirees. The trick is getting the right location tied not just to your lifestyle, but all the priorities and interests you have that influence your long-term happiness in that location.
Dallas Neighborhoods By Lifestyle - a Sampling
At LocaLyfe, we pore through mountains of hyperlocal data to identify healthy, sustainable communities. Then we rank those to match your specific lifestyle and individual priorities and interests around how you life your life. Let’s dive into a few neighborhoods in the DFW area oriented around lifestyles to see an example of what makes them a good fit.
Student Friendly Neighborhoods
What Belmont is known for? The Belmont neighborhood in East Dallas is situated near what is considered one of the hipper parts of town, with a high concentration of bars, grills and restaurants nearby. It is an easy bike ride or quick car/bus ride to Southern Methodist University. While mainly single family homes, there are also a number of apartments in and adjoining the neighborhood. Also nearby is White Rock Lake and the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Gardens. The neighborhood is bounded by Greenville Ave, Ross Ave, Skillman Ave and Belmont Ave. Many of the homes are vintage 1910's and 1920's and the neighborhood is part of the Belmont Addition Conservation District, which attempts to preserve the neighborhood's unique character.
What makes Belmont a good fit for College Students*
Getting Around - It is an easy walk or bike ride to nearby shops, restaurants and attractions. And for SMU students, the location is close enough to ride a bike comfortably, or you can take a bus to the Mockingbird Station followed by a short walk.
Food & Shopping - There are plenty of restaurant choices for every budget and taste, from fast food to high-end, from to burgers to Greek to Tex-Mex. Also, you don’t have to go far for daily shopping or those special purchases whether at posh malls like West Village, or strip malls. There are also plenty of choices for groceries, including organic stores.
Fun - Local parks are within walking distance of the neighborhood. And it’s a 15 minute bike ride, or a 5-10 minute drive to White Rock Lake and the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Gardens. For sports or nightlife, nearby SMU provides access to college sports, performance theatre, concerts and the George W. Bush Presidential Center, among others. Movie theaters, bowling alleys, pool halls, clubs and shopping centers also dot the area.
NORTH OAK LAWN
What North Oak Lawn is known for? North Oak Lawn, sitting just north of downtown Dallas, is part of the larger Oak Lawn neighborhood which has more than 31,000 residents. North Oak Lawn sits, as it states, in the northern part of the larger Oak Lawn neighborhood south of the Armstrong Parkway and in between the Dallas North Tollway and Turtle Creek. The neighborhood holds a good mixture of apartments, townhomes and single-family detached homes ranging from affordable to pricey. A variety of parks are nearby and Turtle Creek offer a scenic route for walking, running or riding bikes. Nearby Cedar Springs Road can be particularly busy at night when locals come out to play. The road is the route of the annual Dallas Pride Parade and hosts an annual Halloween Block Party. There is a wide variety of dining and shopping options, particularly to the south as you move toward the Uptown neighborhood and downtown Dallas.
What makes North Oaklawn a good fit for College Students*
Getting Around - Like Belmont, North Oak Lawn is very walkable and bikeable. Shops and restaurants are in abundance throughout the larger Oak Lawn neighborhood so you can leave your car parked at home. For SMU, it’s an easy 15-minute bike ride to campus or a 5-10 minute drive. Public transportation, unfortunately, will take much longer.
Food & Shopping - This entire area, between North Oak Lawn, Uptown and Downtown is a dining mecca. Most options are available, with lots of great joints for bar food on up to swanky dining at places like Nick and Sam’s. If you can’t find your price point or style, you aren’t looking hard enough. For shopping, there is a Whole Foods Market on one corner of the neighborhood, abundant stores up and down Lemmon Avenue, and just a few blocks away the West Village mall area.
Fun - There are plenty of local parks around, such as Oak Lawn Park, William Dean Park, Lakeside Park and Craddock Park. And you can spend a day hanging out around Turtle Creek and enjoying the scenery. The nightlife along Cedar Springs Road and in Uptown provides plenty of entertainment, as does nearby SMU with access to sporting events, performance theatre, concerts and the George W. Bush Presidential Center, among others. There are several movie theaters in the area, along with other indoor fun, such as bowling, billiards, karaoke and more.
Noisy nightlife - Nearby in the Cedar Springs Road area the nightlife can get raucous at times, all in good fun. What might be a noisy nuisance for families with children, however, could be just what college students are looking for when it’s time to blow off some steam and have fun.
Family Friendly Neighborhoods
What Preston Highlands is known for? Preston Highlands is a popular community in Far North Dallas bordered by major thoroughfares providing easy access via the President George Bush Turnpike, Preston Road, Hillcrest Road and Frankford Road. The Dallas North Tollway is also close by. Its population of approximately 1,500 has access to the well-regarded schools of the Plano Independent School District and the University of Texas at Dallas. The neighborhood is primarily single-family homes and mostly owner-occupied, with a median home value of approximately $340,000. Residents are minutes away from shopping districts and a mix of dining options making this an all-in-one convenient spot for those that don’t want to venture far from the neighborhood after work. For nature lovers, the beautiful White Rock Creek and its adjacent green belt and parks provide a nice escape from the city. And for fun with the kids (including the big kids), check out Adventure Landing Dallas, an amusement park just a 5-minute drive away.
What makes Preston Highlands a good fit for Families*
Getting Around - The neighborhood is conveniently located to the President George Bush Turnpike and the North Dallas Tollway, providing easy access to nearby cities such as Plano, Richardson, University Park and downtown Dallas. There are a number of casual dining options and shops available, including groceries, within walking distance. Some schools are bikeable. And it’s a short drive to community and 4-year colleges, as well as shopping malls such as The Shops at Willow Bend in Plano.
Enrichment - Residents can attend schools in the highly regarded Plano Independent School District. Also check out the charter schools in the area with various focuses, such as science and business. For those graduates not wanting to move away for college, check out the University of Texas at Dallas and the Collin Community College Spring Creek Campus. Both can be reached in 15-20 minutes on bike and 5-10 minutes by car from Preston Highlands.
Fun - The beautiful White Rock Creek and its adjacent green belt and parks, including Katie Jackson Park with numerous hiking trails, can be reached in 10 minutes by bicycle, while both the Brentwood and Frankford Parks are within walking distance. Also nearby is Adventure Landing Dallas for family fun.
Healthy Living (Crime) - Preston Highlands is removed from higher-crime downtown areas and is a relatively safe neighborhood compared to national statistics and on a local level. Most of its reported crime falls in the car and home burglary categories.
What North Arlington is known for? North Arlington is an expansive residential neighborhood of over 40,000 residents in the city of Arlington, Texas, that is conveniently located along Interstate 30 and other major highways about midway between Dallas and Fort Worth, making this area centrally convenient to other major cities in the area. It is a picturesque, lush neighborhood, home to Lake Viridian, the West Fork Trinity River, creeks and several parks including the sprawling River Legacy Parks and River Legacy Parks East. This neighborhood is great for family fun with AT&T Stadium, Globe Life Park and amusement parks close by. The median home price in North Arlington is approximately $260,000, with a mixture of single-family detached homes, townhomes, condominiums and apartments. There are plenty of shops and commercial businesses along I-30, and a business/shopping area in the center of the neighborhood anchored by a Whole Foods Market, accompanied by a variety of shopping and dining options. A water treatment facility is located outside the neighborhood on the western edge. In 2018, Arlington was ranked #1 on a list of Best Cities to Raise a Family by SmartAssets.com.
What makes North Arlington a good fit for Families*
Getting Around - North Arlington provides convenient commute access whatever your direction, with I-30 running through the city providing east-west access to Dallas and Fort Worth. At the eastern edge of the neighborhood, State Highway 360 and the President George Bush Turnpike provide north-south access, including to the DFW International Airport. There are plenty of dining and shopping options nearby and are walkable depending on where you live in this large neighborhood. As you move north or east, you are more likely to want to drive.
Enrichment - There are numerous strong schools throughout North Arlington and the greater Arlington area. Some perform better than others, depending on the rankings you use. As with any large city, access to what you decide are the best schools depends on where you choose to live. You can look to resources like GreatSchools.org and the Arlington Independent School District to help pinpoint the right location for you in this area. Also nearby is the University of Texas at Arlington (UTA).\
Fun - Part of what makes North Arlington unique are the River Legacy Parks and River Legacy Parks East that run alongside the West Fork Trinity River. It’s a beautiful, lush area for walking, running, biking and family fun. For those looking for entertainment, this area is conveniently located to the nearby Rangers Ballpark Stadium, Cowboys Stadium, UTA’s Planetarium, and Six Flags Over Texas (to name a few).
Healthy Living (Crime) - North Arlington is a relatively safe neighborhood compared to national statistics and on a local level. Most of its reported crime falls under property crime categories.
Empty Nester Neighborhoods
What University Park is known for? University Park is a small, affluent city with more than 25,000 residents surrounded by Dallas, Texas. It takes its name from Southern Methodist University (SMU) sitting to the south-east. At the center is Snider Plaza, conveniently populated with unique shops, bars and restaurants. You also have your choice of over 10 nearby city parks (including Caruth Park with a fishing pond) making this a dream for outdoor lovers. The median value of homes in University park is approximately $1,280,000, comprised of homes, townhomes and apartments (the latter are mostly closer to SMU). The latest U.S. Census estimate (American Community Survey) pegs University Park as the 2nd wealthiest city in the U.S. with median household income of $198,438. University Park is commonly known as the northern “twin” neighborhood of the Park Cities (the other being Highland Park to the south).
What makes University Park a good fit for Empty Nesters*
Getting Around - University Park is straddled by the Dallas North Tollway and US Highway 75 offering convenient access to downtown Dallas and northern suburbs like Richardson and Plano. The area is very bikeable, while walkability depends on which part of the neighborhood you live in. But it is only about a 5-minute drive to most amenities.
Food & Shopping - There is no shortage of cafes, bars, restaurants and shops in University Park, from the tony Highland Park Village with upscale shopping and dining to the eclectic sort more typical of college communities. Some may be crowded at times due to proximity to SMU, but other options usually await. Groceries include organic and health food stores, as well as the local Saint Michael’s Farmers’ Market.
Enrichment (Culture) - With its proximity to SMU, University Park is chock full of cultural activities. For those interested in arts and recreation, this area houses various libraries and museums, such as the McFarlin Auditorium, a stately theater for concerts and high-profile lectures, the Meadows Museum, and the George W. Bush Presidential Center.
Healthy Living - While some areas around SMU may get busy or noisy at times, University Park is a relatively quiet community with commercial activity mostly congregating around the edges. It also ranks well for crime, both in comparison to national statistics and other localities.
What Hollywood-Santa Monica is known for? For a more affordable choice, Hollywood Santa Monica is known for its elegant houses, manicured lawns and sidewalks, an abundance of trees in a clean, well maintained location and historic small town feel. The neighborhood sits along Garland Road at the southern tip of White Rock Lake. It dates from the 1920’s and was declared a local Conservation District in 1989, offering a historic natural setting, old charm architecture and Tudor cottages. “No other American neighborhood is home to a larger intact collection of stone-embellished brick tudor cottages than is found in Hollywood Heights.” (DMagazine). For nature lovers, a series of walking friendly parks and White Rock Lake are easily accessible to the neighborhood’s 2,000 residents. Other must-see options include the nearby Texas Discovery Gardens, particularly in October-November when the Monarch Butterfly migration reaches its peak. Median home values in Hollywood/Santa Monica are approximately $400,000 with median household income of approximately $100,000.
What makes Hollywood/Santa Monica a good fit for Empty Nesters*
Getting Around - Hollywood/Santa Monica is close to I-30 offering quick and direct access to downtown Dallas. It is a pleasant place to bike and walk around, and there are a range of coffee shops, casual/semi-elegant dining and shops (including groceries) nearby. Access to major shopping or downtown areas makes this area car dependent. However, it is a walk or quick bike ride to White Rock Lake and the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Gardens.
Food & Shopping - To the north-east and south-west of the neighborhood are groceries, shops, and a limited range of dining and bars. Heading south-west takes you toward Deep Ellum and a broader range of choices.
Enrichment (Culture) - The neighborhood itself is a piece of culture with its unique stone-embellished tudor cottages. Establishment of the Conservation District ensures that this slice of history won’t be lost. The nearby Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Gardens are lovely. And Shakespeare Dallas’ Shakespeare in the Park is held in the adjacent Samuell-Grand Park. Also close by is the Cotton Bowl Stadium, the home of Fair Park which hosts more than 1,200 activities annually, including festivals, fairs, concerts, theatrical productions, art exhibits, sporting events and more. In addition, the neighborhood hosts an annual Home Tour, Art in the Park and a Chili Cook-off.
Healthy Living - Hollywood/Santa Monica, given its distance from central hubs and proximity to the lake and Samuell-Grand Park, tends to be a relatively quiet community. It also ranks well for crime, both in comparison to national statistics and other localities.
Get information on more than 1,000 neighborhoods in the DFW Metroplex at Localyfe. Start your home search with better information, make better decisions and find better destinations.
**The subcategories listed above are based on some of the scoring categories used by LocaLyfe in ranking neighborhoods and homes.