The most effective neighborhoods in Dallas – Lonely Planet


Texas has a repute for being huge and daring – typically even brash – however Dallas unveils the state in all its wealthy complexity. Certain, you may discover huge and daring experiences, however you may additionally discover quirky, offbeat neighborhoods that seize the numerous aspects of town’s assorted character.

Downtown delivers on top-flight museums and historical past (together with, in fact, the assassination of JFK in 1963) but it surely’s the much less well-known districts that exhibit the perfect of Dallas. From the historic blues hotbed of Deep Ellum to cosmopolitan, monied corners similar to Highland Park, and from the hip quarter of Trinity Groves to the Hispanic heritage of Oak Cliff, there’s lots to expertise.

In case you’re questioning which neighborhood is best for you as a house base for a visit to Dallas, we have you coated. Listed below are the eight important districts in Dallas for foodies, historical past buffs, artwork fiends, antiquers, consumers, after-hours rockers, and everybody in between.


Greatest for museums and historical past

Downtown Dallas is filled with pioneer heritage, tragic mid-century historical past, up to date structure and public artwork – a heady mix that offers guests a quick snapshot of The Large D’s defining moments within the century and a half because it was included. Bounded by town’s hovering freeways, the neighborhood’s edges are I-345, I-35E, I-30, and Woodall Rodgers Freeway, making a neat central hub that is simple to discover.

Opposite to Dallas’ sprawling repute, that is one a part of town you may examine with out having to hunt round for parking spots. Downtown is simply a few mile sq., and it is well-served by public transportation. The neighborhood has two hubs – the DART Rail Conference Heart Station and Union Station, which receives Amtrak, the Trinity Railway Categorical commuter rail, and Dart – to not point out the McKinney Ave trolley that may get you from museum to museum.

A well-known image of Downtown, the enduring Dallas pegasus was inbuilt 1934 and initially stood atop the Magnolia Constructing © Dorti/Shutterstock

Pioneer Plaza harkens again to Dallas’ days as a cattle buying and selling hub, with 40 bronze steers marking the positioning of an previous rail yard and warehouse that was an important cease on the Texas cattle drivers’ path. Close by is the Pioneer Cemetery, which dates again to town’s basis and consists of graves of town’s first 4 mayors.

To study extra about this era of Dallas historical past, head a mile south of downtown to the Dallas Heritage Village, the place quite a lot of early constructions have been preserved, from an Indigenous tipi and a Civil Conflict plantation home to slave dwellings and Victorian properties. These constructions had been largely rescued from freeway building tasks and the event of the DFW airport, and relocated to the positioning of one of many metropolis’s first parks.

One of many busiest locations in downtown Dallas is, in fact, the positioning the place John F Kennedy was assassinated on 22 November 1963. Vacationers flock to Dealey Plaza & the Grassy Knoll and the Sixth Flooring Museum to study extra about an occasion deeply lodged within the American collective consciousness, and the conspiracy theories that emerged within the many years following.

In amongst the workplace towers, there are some effective outside areas in Downtown Dallas © Trong Nguyen / Shutterstock

Thanks-Giving Sq. is a gentler memorial – this public house opened a yr after the Kennedy assassination in 1964, and invitations guests to meditate, mirror on gratitude, and join with their neighborhood.

Additionally a part of downtown is the colourful Arts District, the place you may discover a formidable clutch of museums. The Dallas Museum of Artwork, Nasher Sculpture Heart, and Crow Assortment of Asian Artwork are all right here, clustered alongside the border of Klyde Warren Park, which caps the Woodall Rodgers Freeway.

Remember to lookup as you stroll downtown, otherwise you may miss Dallas’ iconic structure. Downtown’s well-known neon Pegasus Signal now flies by the Omni Dallas Resort, whereas Reunion Tower connects to the Hyatt Regency Dallas and provides panoramic views from the inside of its iconic, glittering disco ball.

Oak Cliff was the neighborhood the place JFK murderer Lee Harvey Oswald was arrested © D Visitor Smith / Alamy Inventory Picture

Oak Cliff and Bishop Arts

Greatest for Hispanic heritage

Musical and sporting greats similar to T-Bone Walker, Dennis Rodman, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Erykah Badu got here straight outta Oak Cliff, a historically blue-collar neighborhood in South Dallas sure by I-30, Loop 12, I-45, and the Trinity River.

Components of what’s now Oak Cliff, notably the Tenth Road Historic District, have roots in communities based by former slaves after emancipation – certainly, this district has the excellence of being one of many few surviving Freedman’s cities within the US. Oak Cliff was ultimately annexed into the Dallas sprawl and have become a turn-of-the-century streetcar suburb. You possibly can nonetheless see the architectural legacy of this era in areas similar to Winnetka Heights.

By the Nineteen Twenties the Ku Klux Klan had established a Klavern right here, decided to maintain the more and more white neighborhood segregated. Occasions change – a century later and Oak Cliff is extra numerous than ever, with a wealthy and well-established Hispanic neighborhood.

You possibly can expertise among the neighborhood’s Hispanic heritage on the Oak Cliff Cultural Heart, the Mercado369 gallery, eating places similar to El Ranchito and La Palapa del Sabor, and alongside Jefferson Blvd, with its outlets filled with quinceanera clothes, elaborate pinatas, and traditional Tejano albums on vinyl and cassette.

Oak Cliff is within the grip of gentrification, nonetheless – particularly on the fringes of the taking place Bishop Arts District, a tight-knit part of northeast Oak Cliff edged by Davis Road, North Tyler, West ninth, and North Zang Boulevard. This vigorous strip has change into a hip vacation spot for bars, eating places, and buying.

Seize a cup of espresso at Oddfellows, browse the stacks on the Wild Detectives indie bookstore, and seize a tasty chew at spots similar to Ten Bells Tavern, Emporium Pies and Boulevardier. There’s loads of good antiquing, too, in addition to classic outfitters, comedian e book outlets, barbers, salons, and even a nostalgic cigar store for stogie aficionados.

Distinctive city artwork in Deep Ellum, a neighborhood filled with arts and leisure venues close to downtown in Previous East Dallas, Texas Alamy Inventory Picture

Deep Ellum

Greatest for music and nightlife

Like Oak Cliff, Deep Ellum bought its begin as a Freedman’s city – however not like its neighbor throughout city, Deep Ellum remained the beating coronary heart of Dallas’ Black neighborhood nicely into the twentieth century. By day, residents labored in factories like Henry Ford’s brand-new car plant, and by night time, Deep Ellum’s nightclubs trailed solely Bourbon Road and Beale Road of their cultural significance on the top of the Jazz Age.

The neighborhood drew musicians similar to Blind Willie Johnson, Lead Stomach and Invoice Neely – in addition to Blind Lemon Jefferson, who finally settled in Deep Ellum. The music rocks on at venues similar to Twilite Lounge, Double Huge and Bushes. Deep Ellum can also be filled with enjoyable eateries for a pre-gig meal – make a beeline for Severe Pizza and Pecan Lodge.

The development of Dallas’ labyrinthine freeways took a toll on Deep Ellum, however the music scene had a powerful resurgence in the course of the Nineties, offering a discussion board for up-and-coming punk, grunge, storage and different bands. Hometown heroes similar to Toadies and Erykah Badu took to the levels of such legendary venues as The Bomb Manufacturing unit and Bushes, and the cultural revival ultimately impressed the Deep Ellum Arts Competition.

Right this moment, that is nonetheless probably the greatest neighborhoods in Dallas for an evening out. You possibly can see all types of native and regional acts – together with bands born out of the College of North Texas School of Music in Denton simply north of Dallas, which produced such stars as Roy Orbison, Meat Loaf and Don Henley.

By day, sift via vinyl whereas sipping a pint at Off the File, get pleasure from a decent ten at Dallas Comedy Home, get a trim with a brew on the Excessive & Tight Barbershop, wander previous dozens of colourful murals, choose up some kicks at Sneaker Politics, or commemorate your go to with a everlasting memento at Elm Road Tattoo. If you wish to keep shut and keep away from shelling out on Ubers after hours, mattress down on the Deep Ellum Hostel.

Earlier than you allow the neighborhood, remember to wave to The Touring Man, a triptych of sculptures of a folksie robotic by native artists Brad Oldham and Brandon Oldenburg. Search for these metallic hobos close to the DART Mild Rail station, on the nook of Gaston and Good Latimer, and the nook of Good Latimer and Elm Road.

The Truck Yard within the Dallas Decrease Greenville neighborhood serves ice cream out entrance and has meals vans and dwell music within the again © D Visitor Smith / Alamy Inventory Picture


Greatest for avenue meals

On both aspect of Greenville Avenue between Mockingbird and Belmont is likely one of the trendiest locations to eat out, store, and calm down in Dallas. About 10,000 Dallasites dwell within the neighborhood, which is cut up into two halves identified colloquially as Higher and Decrease Greenville.

The district is an eclectic mix of latest luxurious condos, historic properties, and tall-and-skinny developer offers, plus loads of inns for vacationers who need to make this district their house base – suggestions embrace the Highland Dallas and Beeman Resort. There’s loads of buying to do too, whether or not you are on the lookout for classic, funky t-shirts, or dependable chains similar to Buffalo Trade.

Because the Forties, the Granada Theater has anchored the neighborhood’s leisure scene. However lots of the hottest sights have a distinctly extra fashionable really feel, from ramen outlets and low homes to a local-favorite beer backyard ringed by a flotilla of meals vans, appropriately referred to as the Truck Yard.

The little sibling (actually) of Deep Ellum’s Double Huge bar is right here – a teensy watering gap referred to as Single Huge. Alternatively, head to Balcony Membership for stellar jazz music, or go barely additional afield to neighboring Lakewood, the place you may discover the Dallas Arboretum & Botanical Gardens, and Goat, one of many metropolis’s most agreeably gritty blues bars.

Swish Highland Park is house to some attractive parks, together with one excellent for a teddy bear’s picnic © Sakura / Alamy Inventory Picture

Highland Park

Greatest for residing the excessive life

Highland Park has been well-known as one of many metropolis’s bougiest neighborhoods because the Nineteen Eighties, when the cleaning soap opera Dallas was filmed there. 4 many years have handed however the district continues to be very prosperous and the consumers on the chichi Highland Park Village mall are draped in designer duds.

Nonetheless, Highland Park has its whimsical aspect – with youngsters in tow, pack a picnic and go to the large teddy bear sculptures in Lakeside Park, a favourite spot for snapping pictures. Seize a chew at Javier’s, a darkish and old-school Mexican steakhouse with valet-only parking.

Or head to Abacus for the lobster shooters – should you time your go to proper, you may encounter particular menus similar to four-course wine dinners. To return again right down to earth, go for a stroll or run on the Katy Path – a 3.5-mile pedestrian greenway that runs from Highland Park to Uptown.

The Katy Path Ice Home in Uptown is a well-liked place to chill down from the Texas warmth © Alamy Inventory Picture


Greatest for a hipster vibe

Uptown is an agreeably walkable discover on this car-loving metropolis but it surely’s something however pedestrian. Whereas the district is not fairly as fancy as Highland Park, Uptown was based as a Freedman’s city after the Spanish American and Civil Wars and has since advanced right into a hip district for younger professionals who respect having city facilities proper on the doorstop.

Right here you may discover juice bars, eating places devoted to “clear consuming,” cool coworking hubs the place you may hotdesk, and grown-up video arcades similar to Kung Fu Saloon. Amidst the brand-new house buildings and apartment towers, you may additionally discover hip boutique inns such because the maximalist Resort ZaZa and the modern Crescent Resort Dallas.

In true millennial trend, Uptown additionally reaches out to dog-lovers – simply ask the oldsters at Mutt’s Canine Cantina, a bar, restaurant, and dogpark in a single. If the warmth is on, seize some Vitamin D and a drink on the Katy Path Icehouse, a favourite spot for locals to chill off with big margaritas below the mist followers on the finish of the eponymous strolling and biking path that begins in Highland Park.

There are many buying alternatives alongside Knox Road (which turns into Henderson Avenue) in addition to within the West Village. Between Uptown and Downtown, you may catch a Dallas Mavericks or Dallas Stars sport on the American Airways Heart, too.

Exterior of the Large Mango Buying and selling Firm Retailer within the Dallas Design District © PBH Photos / Alamy Inventory Picture

Design District

Greatest for an arty angle

Simply west of Uptown, the Design District is flush with a mixture of artwork galleries, classic outlets, and extra suburban fare similar to old-style bowling, water parks, the Renaissance Faire chain Medieval Occasions, and an unlimited wholesale emporium referred to as Dallas Market Heart. Condos and breweries have steadily been trickling into the neighborhood, together with a Richard Phillips sculpture that used to sit down within the west Texas desert, the considerably notorious Playboy Marfa.

The Design District is attempting to catch as much as Uptown with pedestrian tasks such because the Trinity Strand Path, a 2.5-mile strolling and bike path that follows the paved-over mattress of the Trinity River. The Design District continues to be rising and ultimately, the trail can be about so long as the Katy Path.

Within the meantime, seize a burger at Rodeo Goat or the venerable Mama’s Daughter’s Diner (it has been open because the Fifties), or gas up with a flat white from the Aussie-style Ascension espresso store. You may want your power ranges excessive for an extended day scouring this buying district for decor, antiques and different treasures. The Design District continues to be evolving – and has a lot left to find.

View of Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge at daybreak with the Dallas skyline within the background © Scott E. Allen / 500px

Trinity Groves

Greatest for locating the reinvented Dallas

Trinity Groves is much less an organically-grown neighborhood, and extra a strategic improvement, but it surely’s nonetheless one of many trendiest locations to spend a day or night time out. Wedged right into a curve of the Trinity River simply south of the Design District, Trinity Groves sits on the base of the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge, which crosses the river to connect with downtown.

Reclaimed from Dallas’ previously fickle flood plain, these 15 acres have been put to make use of incubating eating places and studio areas for artists, and making a sculpture park and strolling trails. A part of Trinity Groves is the Tin District, as soon as a melting pot for Dallas’ immigrant communities – at present, it is a melting pot of entrepreneurial ideas from trapeze studios to tattoo outlets to artwork galleries.

Come for the nice views of the Dallas skyline and its most recognizable towers, from the Financial institution of America Plaza (higher identified to locals because the ‘Jolly Inexperienced Large’ due to its neon define) and the sparkly knob of Reunion Tower. Keep for the eats and drinks, which mix present tendencies with Texas constants similar to barbecued meats, beer and burritos.

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