Moving to Dallas
Dallas is one of the country's most exciting cities, particularly for young professionals looking to start their career on the right foot. The Dallas metro area is constantly expanding and is currently home to 1.2 million residents.
Most people who live in the heart of the city are on the younger side, but if you venture out into the suburbs, you'll find a mix of young families, middle-aged people, and retirees who want a quiet life and convenient access to the big city. Dallas is a little more conservative than other major American cities, but that doesn't mean that people who fall on the liberal side of the political spectrum won't feel right at home. Southern hospitality is a big thing in Dallas, so even if you're new to the city, you'll be greeted like an old friend.
Most people who move to Dallas do so for the city's economic opportunities. Many large corporations call Dallas home, and the annual average salary is a bit higher than the national average. Plus, there's no state income tax in Texas, which helps to stretch salaries further than would be possible in similarly-sized cities in other states. If you're interested in planning a move to Dallas, here are a few things you should know about this electrifying city.
Top Dallas Neighborhoods
Because Dallas is such a large city, there are several different neighborhoods that you could choose to move to. Some Dallas neighborhoods are highly walkable, which is perfect for people who prefer not to drive if they can help it. Other areas of the city feature ample employment opportunities, an array of exciting activities, and other big benefits. Here are a few of the top Dallas neighborhoods that you can call home when you move to this thrilling city.
If you're a young professional thinking about moving to Dallas, you'll probably be drawn Uptown. Uptown is easily the trendiest part of the city, offering an urban lifestyle that is highly attractive to young people. In addition to a number of parks where you can enjoy the warm Texas sunshine, Uptown also features top-notch bars and restaurants down almost every street, making it easy for you to have fun after you get off work.
Lake Highlands is one of the most attractive neighborhoods for families relocating to Dallas. The neighborhood provides convenient access to both Plan and Richardson, two of the best job centers in the Dallas area, as well as the Richardson school district, which offers many of the city's top schools. Homes in Lake Highlands can be more affordable than in some of the more upscale neighborhoods, and the area features a portion of the White Creek trail system that snakes its way through the city's top parks.
If you're looking for one of the most elite neighborhoods in all of Dallas, look no further than Preston Hollow. Sprawling estates is what separates Preston Hollow from other neighborhoods, and this area of Dallas is where you can find most of the city's economic and political leaders. Reflecting its name, the streets of this neighborhood are lined with leafy oak trees that provide plenty of shade in the summer. Unfortunately, because of the way the area was designed, not many streets feature sidewalks and bike paths, which means driving is the only way to get around.
M Streets is a historic Dallas neighborhood popular with both young professionals looking to get their start and young families that want to grow and thrive. Tree-lined streets create a laid-back atmosphere, but there is also a lot to see and do here. On Greenville Avenue, the main thoroughfare in this neighborhood, you'll find quaint restaurants with outdoor patios, trendy bars where you can enjoy a drink after work, and cafes where you can grab an afternoon coffee with your friends.
Dallas Food Scene
Dallas is easily one of the best places to live if you're a foodie. The city is filled with high-end restaurants where you can enjoy a tasty meal, but if you want an authentic taste of Texas, you should be sure to stop by one of the city's many excellent taco joints. There's a reason, after all, why Tex-Mex food is so popular.
While Dallas is a sprawling urban metroplex with very few green spaces, it doesn't mean that you won't be able to enjoy fresh food. For example, you can take a trip to the Dallas Farmers Market and shop for locally sourced fruits and vegetables, not to mention 100% Texas beef and other artisan foods. You can also stop by the Coppell Farmers Market to find fresh seasonal products from local farmers.
When you get down to it, Texas cuisine is about big bold flavors. Whether you're in the mood for a juicy steak or a spicy Mexican meal, you should have no trouble finding a restaurant where you can satisfy your appetite. Here are just a few of the top Dallas restaurants where you'll want to grab a meal after you've moved to this city:
- Meso Maya Comida Y Copas: If you're craving authentic Mexican cuisine, this is easily one of the best restaurants to visit in Dallas. This trendy restaurant serves dishes inspired by traditional Puebla and Oaxaca cuisine, and the vibrant atmosphere and bright décor makes every meal an enjoyable experience.
- Pecan Lodge: Nothing satisfies a big hunger like smoky Texas BBQ, and the Pecan Lodge is one of the best spots in the city to enjoy smoked meats. In addition to their mouthwatering BBQ, this restaurants serves up sweet desserts, mouthwatering sides, and an excellent selection of wine and beer.
- Beverley's Dallas: For Dallas residents who prefer upscale cuisine, Beverley's Dallas is an excellent place to visit. Their menu features a number of tasty items that you won't find at other area restaurants, including fresh caviar, savory chicken schnitzel, and matzo ball soup that might have you thinking you're eating at a Brooklyn deli instead of one of the finest restaurants in Dallas.
What's the Weather Like in Dallas?
Dallas offers pleasant weather year-round, which is one of the reasons it's one of the most rapidly growing cities in the country. When you live in this vibrant metropolis, you'll easily be able to spend time in the great outdoors, even in the cooler winter months.
Mild winters are one of the best things about living in Dallas. The average temperature in winter is 47.6 degrees, and the rain averages about 2.7 inches. So, while winter is definitely cooler than other times of year, it's also one of the driest seasons.
While Dallas weather in winter is on the cooler side, you should still be able to get outdoors whenever you want. All you need to do is make sure to wear a warm jacket, and you can take a walk through one of the city's gorgeous parks or visit a nearby hiking spot.
Spring in Dallas is very comfortable, with average temperatures that hover around 65 degrees. Although spring is a little bit wetter with an average of 4.9 inches of rain, you shouldn't have to worry about it interfering with your plans.
When the weather is warmer, you can get out of the house and explore the city. Not only does Dallas offer a variety of shopping malls, but it's also home to cultural institutions where you can learn something new.
Summer in Dallas is on the warmer side. Although the average temperature is 84.1 degrees, daytime highs have been known to occasionally hit the triple digits. Summer in Dallas brings an average of 3.8 inches of rain, so you can expect a storm or two during these months.
You can have a lot of fun in Dallas in the summertime, particularly if you simply can't resist the sunshine. If you want to fill your days with excitement, you can visit one of the thrilling amusement parks in the area or take a trip to a water park to beat the heat.
Fall weather in Dallas is very pleasant thanks to an average temperature of 67.4 degrees. Just over 4 inches of rain is the average for Dallas in autumn, which means these months are relatively dry.
During the fall in Dallas, there's no better way to have fun than to cheer on the local football team. Every Sunday during the season, you'll find thousands of Dallas residents rooting on the Cowboys as they compete with some of the National Football League's top squads.
How to Have Fun in Dallas
If you prefer living in a city with lots to see and do, moving to Dallas is an excellent decision. You can enjoy nature in popular outdoor spots, discover shopping centers with top-of-the-line stores, and dance the night away at your choice of nightclubs. There's virtually no limit to the ways you can have fun while living in Dallas.
Dallas is positively gorgeous during the spring and summer, and when the warmest months of the year arrive, you'll want to spend as much time outdoors as you can. Fortunately, there are countless outdoor activities in Dallas where you're guaranteed to have a fun time.
If you love to get outside and walk among verdant plants and colorful flowers, there's no better way to have fun than taking a trip to the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden. Nestled on the shore of White Rock Lake, the Dallas Arboretum features numerous gardens filled with seasonal flowers and other types of plant life. The Arboretum also regularly hosts events open to the public, including festivals, art shows, and much more.
Visiting White Rock Lake Park is another great way to enjoy the outdoors in Dallas. The park is just a few miles outside of the downtown area, an oasis right in the heart of the city. While you can enjoy yourself just walking along the grassy banks of the lake, you can also have a lot of fun grabbing a kayak and paddling around the water with your friends.
On days you'd prefer to just stay indoors, you can still have a lot of fun in Dallas by choosing one of the city's countless exciting indoor activities. If you're in need of a little retail therapy, for example, you can spend the day at the Galleria Dallas, a massive shopping center where you can visit some of the world's top brands or grab a meal at one of the many enticing restaurants.
If you're a movie buff, you can always enjoy one of the city's specialty theaters. At the Alamo Drafthouse, for instance, you can buy a ticket to the latest Hollywood blockbuster and enjoy your film while eating a tasty snack and drinking a crisp, refreshing beer.
Gamers should be sure to plan a trip to the National Videogame Museum. Here, you'll find an enormous collection of retro video games that will make you feel like you've taken a step back in time.
Fun With Your Kids
Dallas offers a wide variety of family-friendly activities, meaning you can easily take your kids out and find something fun to do. If your children are fascinated by ocean life, you'll definitely want to take them to the Dallas World Aquarium. In addition to a menagerie of sea creatures, including sharks and rays, this aquarium also features a number of endangered species that you can see swimming through the water.
The Dallas Zoo is another excellent spot to visit with your children. The zoo features a collection of more than 2,000 animals from countries around the globe, including African animals such as giraffes, elephants, and lions.
If you want to spark your child's imagination, you can take them to the Crayola Experience. Not only will your child learn exactly how crayons are made at the on-site factory, but they'll also be able to participate in a variety of workshops and interactive exhibits that will help encourage their creative side.
Dallas Cultural Institutions
If you want to expand your mind a bit while living in Dallas, you can visit one of the city's many fine cultural institutions. The Dallas Museum of Art is a must for art lovers, as this institution features an enormous collection of contemporary sculptures, classic paintings, and everything in between.
The Perot Museum of Nature and Science is a great spot for anyone fascinated by the cosmos or the wide range of ecological systems you can find on Earth. When you first enter the museum, you'll see a giant dinosaur fossil surrounded by a variety of fascinating exhibits.
The George W. Bush Presidential Center is another interesting cultural institution that you can visit in Dallas. At this location, you can learn more about George W. Bush's time in office by browsing the presidential library, or you can take a stroll through the 15-acre park that houses the center.
Everything is bigger in Dallas, and the city's sports franchise is no exception. The hometown Dallas Cowboys football team plays eight games a year in AT&T Stadium, a massive football arena that is commonly referred to as “Jerry World” in honor of the team's owner, Jerry Jones.
If you prefer basketball over football, you'll want to head over to the American Airlines Arena, home to the Dallas Mavericks. In 2011, the Mavericks brought home the NBA Championships thanks to the efforts of fan favorite Dirk Nowitzki.
Top Landmarks and Attractions Near Dallas
While you're living in Dallas, you should take the time to check out some of the city's most notable landmarks. Dallas possesses one of the richest histories of any city in Texas, and down almost every street you can find a significant landmark.
Nobody is a true Dallas resident until they've taken a trip to Southfork Ranch, the filming location of one of the most groundbreaking television series of all time, “Dallas.” While J.R. Ewing, the villainous character made famous by Larry Hagman, no longer walks the halls of Southfork Ranch, you can visit this spot and get a feel for what life might have been like for a Texas oil tycoon in the 1980s.
When you visit Southfork Ranch, you can take a tour of the grounds and see spots that you might recognize from the TV show. Once the tour is over, you can check out the museum and its collection of memorabilia from the series that once had everyone gathered around the water cooler discussing the latest Ewing family drama.
Fort Worth Stockyards National Historic District
The Fort Worth Stockyards National Historic District is another Dallas landmark that everyone needs to visit at least once. When you visit the stockyards, you'll feel like you've stepped back in time to the Old West. You may even get some ideas about leaving your office job and becoming a cattle rancher.
When you visit the Fort Worth Stockyards Historic District, you'll find a number of western-themed shops where you can buy your very own cowboy hat or set of leather boots. Twice a day, there is a cattle drive through the streets, and every weekend you can attend an exciting rodeo.
Reunion Tower is perhaps the most iconic landmark in all of Dallas and has dominated the city skyline since the late 70s. The first time you visit this soaring skyscraper, you should be sure to ride the elevator up to the observation deck for a breathtaking view of the city. After you've soaked up the view, you can grab a meal at one of the two exceptional restaurants.
Schools in Dallas
Hundreds of thousands of students attend school in Dallas every year, and if you want your child to get the best education possible, it's important to learn more about the area's school system. Great Schools reports that there is a total of 901 schools in the Dallas area, which include a mix of public, private, and charter schools. Here's a breakdown of the number of Dallas schools at different education levels:
- Elementary Schools: 343
- Middle Schools: 181
- High Schools: 142
Because Dallas is so large, there are several different school districts in the city. Here are the Dallas public school districts from largest to smallest:
- Dallas Independent School District: 239 schools serving 158,604 students.
- Plan Independent School District: 80 schools serving 54,570 students.
- Richardson Independent School District: 54 schools serving 38,738 students.
- Carrollton-Farmers Branch Independent School District: 38 schools serving 25,796 students.
- Duncanville Independent School District: 18 schools serving 12,768 students.
- Highland Park Independent School District: 8 schools serving 7,081 students.
- Here are some of the best schools in the Dallas area according to parent's reviews on Great Schools:
- Elementary: Walnut Hill, George Bannerman Dealey Montessori, Robert S. Hyer
- Middle School: Dallas Environmental Science Academy, William B. Travis Academy, Highland Park Middle School
- School: Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, School of Science and Engineering, Highland Park High School
- Dallas is also home to some of the country's top colleges and universities, making it easy to pursue higher education. A few of the best universities in the area include:
- Southern Methodist University
- Texas Christian University
- University of Texas-Dallas
Dallas Job Outlook
Dallas is one of the most popular cities for young professionals thanks to the wide array of employment opportunities. Large corporation headquarters and small businesses alike call this area of Texas home. Some of the biggest corporations where Dallas residents may be able to find employment include Bank of America, State Farm, and Toyota.
As reported by U.S. News, the unemployment rate in Dallas is 3.7 percent, which is lower than the national average. Workers in Dallas also earn an average of $50,350 annually, which is more than the national average of $49,630. Professionals in the fields of education, finance, and business are highly sought after in Dallas, but there are also a variety of entry-level jobs in the metro area for people just starting out in their careers.
Dallas is similar to many large cities in that the healthcare field is one of the top industries. In the social assistance and healthcare field, there are 380,500 people employed in Dallas. The food service industry is also a major employer in Dallas with a total of 322,600 workers. Finally, the waste management and administrative support industry feature 278,400 employees.
Because Dallas is so large, getting around the city can be a little bit daunting to newcomers. Fortunately, there are several excellent transportation options that can help you get to work or school on time.
Traffic congestion can sometimes be an issue with Dallas because of the enormous number of automobiles on the road. Most people choose to get around Dallas in a car, and the average commute time is 27.5 minutes, which is longer than the national average. Fortunately, the city has expanded tollways in hopes of reducing congestion and speeding up commute times.
As you would expect from a major city, Dallas offers a robust public transportation system to help its citizens get around. For people who live and work in the downtown Dallas area, the Dallas Rapid Area Transit (DART) system is the easiest way to travel. DART is a railway system that features more than 60 stations so you can easily get to some of the city's top events without having to worry about driving. The Trinity Railway Express (TRE) runs from the center of Dallas to downtown Fort Worth, meaning you can work in one city and live in another.
Dallas is also served by two major airports, making it easier for residents to plan a vacation whenever the mood strikes. Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport is the largest airport and offers flights to popular destinations across the world. Dallas Love Field is a smaller domestic airport that people can use to fly into and out of the city. A number of bus companies offer routes from the airports to Dallas proper, and both airports also feature train stations.
Annual Dallas Events
To help its citizens have fun year-round, Dallas offers a variety of annual events. Here are a few of the events you should be sure to visit if you're ready to dive into Dallas culture.
Christmas Boat Parade and Bonfire: Dallas offers several annual events that can fill your holiday season with fun, including the Christmas Boat Parade & Bonfire. On the lake at Lynn Creek Park, you can see boats floating on the water decked out in Christmas decorations, and at night, you can marvel at an eye-popping fireworks display.
Martin Luther King Jr. Parade: This parade is one of the biggest annual events in Dallas. In the middle of January, marching bands and floats make their way down the streets of Dallas in celebration of the iconic civil rights leader.
Dallas Bloom: Every spring, the Dallas Arboretum celebrates the blooming flowers with this popular event. Here, you can see more than 300,000 bulbs blooming, including thousands of gorgeous azaleas.
Deep Ellum Arts Festival: If you're a fan of the arts, you'll definitely want to attend the Deep Ellum Arts Festival. At this event, you can immerse yourself in culture by browsing breathtaking works from some of the top artists in all of Texas.
Taste of Dallas: This festival is one of the most anticipated annual events for food lovers who live in North Texas. The finest chefs from across the state flock to this Dallas festival to demonstrate their skills, and if you attend, you can get your fill of delectable cuisine.
Riverfront Jazz Festival: The Riverfront Jazz Festival is an exciting event that every music fan in Dallas should attend. On top of some of the best jazz music you'll get to hear, this festival brings a variety of vendors and artisans to the city.
State Fair of Texas: Easily the most anticipated annual event in Dallas, the State Fair of Texas brings a lot of fun to the city. At the fair, you can ride the rides, try to win a prize at one of the many exciting games, or chow down on fried treats.
Red River Showdown: This annual football game pits the University of Texas Longhorns against the Oklahoma Sooners and is one of the city's most thrilling events. Before the game, you can enjoy a little tailgating or take advantage of the rides and games at Fair Park.
Interesting Facts about Dallas
- When you move to Dallas, you'll learn a few fun facts about the city. Here are a few little-known facts about Dallas that everyone who lives in the city should know:
- When most people think of art, they imagine a gallery in New York or L.A., but Dallas is actually the home of the largest arts district in the country. The Dallas Arts District sprawls over 19 city blocks, featuring distinguished galleries, museums, and performing arts venues.
- If you love sweets, then you'll be interested to know the German chocolate cake was invented in Dallas. Most people assume that this type of cake is named after the country of Germany, but in reality, it gets its name from Samuel German, who invented the cake that later rose to popularity in Dallas in 1957.
- The State Fair of Texas is one of the city's most popular annual events and has been held almost every single year since 1886. The fair has only been canceled twice, both times for the World Wars.
- While the Dallas Cowboys are often called America's Team, there are a few facts that you may not know about this popular franchise. For one, the team wasn't always called the Cowboys. In its very first year of existence, the team was called the Steers. They didn't start using the “Cowboys” moniker until their second season. The Cowboys were also the first football team to ever have a professional cheerleading squad.
Dallas is quickly becoming one of the country's top cities, offering a great place to live whether you're a young professional or someone who's a little more established in their career. Start planning your move to Dallas today so that you can enjoy all the benefits of calling this Texas city home.