Moving to Dallas? Here’s What You Need to Know
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Moving to Dallas? Here’s What You Need to Know

by Team NextBurb 22 January 2021

Moving Guides By City

Whether you’re drawn by the sunny weather or the excellent job market, Dallas is one of the country’s most appealing cities.

Check out our guide to the Dallas area to learn more about this iconic city.

Downtown Dallas
Downtown Dallas

Quick facts about Dallas

  • They say everything’s bigger in Texas, and Dallas is no exception.

    The Dallas-Fortworth metro area is home to over 7 million residents, and it’s still growing quickly.

    That’s great news for the city’s job market, which continues to thrive despite the COVID-19 pandemic, but it has also raised housing prices and increased road traffic.
  • It should come as no surprise that Dallas takes its cowboy heritage very seriously.

    The State Fair of Texas is one of the largest state fairs in the country, and its 55-foot tall mascot, a cowboy sculpture named Big Tex, greets more than two million visitors every summer.

    You’ll find rodeos every month of the year and plenty of honky-tonk bars where you can perfect your two-step.
  • The city’s amenities are hard to beat: the NFL Dallas Cowboys team is lovingly referred to as the American football team, and the city has the largest arts district in the country, spanning 19 city blocks and 68 acres.

What to Know About Dallas

Population & History

Dallas was founded by farmers as a settlement in 1841, four years before Texas became part of the United States.

Railroads were built to Dallas and across Texas in the late 19th century, and the city quickly became a hub for trading and industrial industries in the American South. Today,

Dallas is the largest city in a vast metro area including Fort Worth and Arlington that covers roughly 9,300 square miles in northeastern Texas.

Weather in Dallas

Dallas has hot summers and mild, cool winters. During summer months, high temperatures average at 96℉.

January is the coldest month with average temperatures of 57℉ during the day and 37℉ at night.

Snowfall occurs once or twice during the winter but usually melts quickly.

Dallas is also located at the southern end of Tornado Alley and sees occasional weather phenomena like thunderstorms, hailstorms, and temperature spikes as high as 70℉ during winter months.

Top Attractions in Dallas

It might have its roots in the South, but today Dallas offers diverse entertainment, sightseeing, and dining to rival that of New York City and San Francisco.

While you’ll easily find rodeos and places to buy Western memorabilia all across the city, Dallas is also a hotspot for the arts, global cuisine, and even the film industry.

Places to Visit

  • For the cowboy experience: First things first: to experience the best of Texas, pay a visit to the Fort Worth Stockyards, known locally as Cowtown.

    This historic trading post will take you out of the modern city of Dallas and back into the Wild West, where you can eat at a Steakhouse, visit a shop to buy a cowboy hat, and watch a cattle drive down the middle of the street.

    Head to Billy Bob’s, which claims to be the world’s largest honky-tonk, to two-step to live music or brush up on your bull-riding skills.
  • Visiting world-class museums: Want to see exotic fish in Texas? See all kinds of aquatic animals (including monkeys and penguins) at the Dallas World Aquarium. The Dallas Art Museum is another good choice.

    One of the largest museums in the country, it covers art from as early as the third millennium BC. If you’re game for a more somber experience, visit the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza, which uncovers the history behind the life and assassination of President John F. Kennedy in 1963.

    The museum is located on the same floor where assassin Lee Harvey Oswald shot the president and has collections detailing the context behind the assassination and the president’s legacy in the ‘’60s.
  • Explore the Bishop Arts District: This neighborhood in southwest Dallas is famous for its walkability and vibrant street art.

    There are eclectic shopping and intriguing art galleries, but the real award goes to the area’s collection of restaurants.

    You can opt for a traditional Texan experience at Lockhart Smokehouse for barbeque and smoked meats, or pair thin-crust pizza with local beers and wines at award-winning Eno’s Pizza Tavern.

    The arts district also hosts markets, live music, and festivals throughout the year. It’s the perfect place for brunch or an exciting evening out.
  • Cheering on a game: The Dallas Cowboys play at the AT&T Stadium in nearby Arlington, one of the most expensive arenas ever built in the United States.

    You can also catch an NBA Maverick’s game at the American Airlines Center downtown.

    Other professional sports include the MLB Texas Rangers, WNBA Dallas Wings, and NHL Dallas Stars.
Big Tex, the Texas State Fair’s mascot, stands over 55 feet tall.
Big Tex, the Texas State Fair’s mascot, stands over 55 feet tall

To Eat

All things Tex-Mex: Dallas eateries pull out all the stops when it comes to Tex Mex cuisine.

Whether you order chimichangas from local favorite Mia’s Tex Mex or tacos from budget-friendly E-Bar (which has fantastic happy hour deals), you’ll be tasting perfected flavors and meats cooked to perfection.

Check out Avila’s for the best mole in the city, or try Salvadorian-Mexican fusion at family-owned Gloria’s Latin Cuisine.

Fried everything: The Texas State Fair serves fried Twinkies, butter, and hamburgers, among other rarities, to visitors every summer.

Fortunately, Dallas is known for more traditional (and equally fantastic) fried dishes as well.

Try deep-fried pickles at tavern Angry Dog or fried chicken from Bubba’s Cooks Country. For dessert, pick up crispy sopapillas at El Fenix.

To satisfy the sweet-tooth: Leave any ice cream loyalties at the door: Dallas belongs to Blue Bell.

Founded in Texas in 1907, Blue Bell Creameries makes old-fashioned, creamy ice cream available in any store and in most households freezers across the city.

For a true Dallas homage, try it in a float with Dr. Pepper, another Texas-born label. While ice cream doesn’t pair naturally with Tex Mex, there’s another drink from a Dallas invention that will: the frozen margarita.

Ever since frozen margarita machines were invented from soft-serve ice cream dispensers in 1971, Dallas has claimed ownership of the refreshing, frozen cocktail.

Tex Mex cuisine originates from Dallas
Tex Mex cuisine originates from Dallas

Outdoor Experiences in and around Dallas

It can be challenging to get away from the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area’s urban sprawl, but you’ll still find several places to hike and enjoy nature without having to drive too far from the city.

White Rock Lake is a beautiful reservoir only a 20-minute drive from downtown and has 9 miles of walking and biking paths, rentals for kayaks and paddle boarding, and a fantastic view of the Dallas skyline.

Dallas is also working to improve and expand its green spaces with projects such as the Trinity River Audubon Center, where conservationists cultivate local plant life and encourage wildlife growth. You’ll have to pay a one-time fee or sign up for a membership, but it’s an excellent option for an afternoon outdoors and is accessible via public transit as well.

Sunset over Texas plains
Sunset over Texas plains

Living in Dallas

Top employers in Dallas

The Dallas economy has beginnings in the manufacturing, trading, and oil industries from the early 1900s.

Despite economic downturns and severe drops in oil prices, companies in Dallas have recovered and continued to grow. So many tech companies have relocated or expanded into Dallas that it’s often referred to as “Silicon Prairie.”

Today, Dallas is believed to have one of the largest concentrations of corporate headquarters in the country and holds the greatest concentration of Fortune 500 companies in the country, including AT&T, ExxonMobile, Texas Instruments, Southwest Airlines, American Airlines, and Energy Transfer Equity.

Other house-hold names in the Dallas area include 7-Eleven, Neiman Marcus, Dave & Busters, and Mary Kay Cosmetics. The Dallas metro area is also a test market for many fast food and household brands and products.

Working from home in Dallas

With strong footholds in almost every major industry and with a culture that promotes networking and entrepreneurial spirit, Dallas is a smart choice for those relocating or working from home.

When you need a change of pace from the home office, Dallas has a wide variety of coworking spaces.

Check out The Common Desk in the Deep Ellum neighborhood for a social open-air workspace (from $250/month), or Wax Space in Wynnewood North, which offers $20/day passes or monthly plans from $200 (high-speed WiFi included and yoga classes).

For reliable internet in your home, AT&T offers conventional and Fiber plans from $49.99/month.

If you don’t need super-high internet speeds, Frontier offers more affordable plans from $29.99/month.

Cost of Living

The cost of living in Dallas is surprisingly low when taking into consideration its competitive housing market and population growth.

Costs for housing and healthcare are less than in other major U.S. cities, although Dallas transportation costs are a little higher than the national average.

The median home value of a two-bedroom home is $198,363, and the average rent for a two-bedroom is $2,386.

The combined sales tax in Dallas is 8.25%, which is 1.13% above the national average of 7.12%.

Property taxes in Dallas are lower than national average, and the state of Texas does not have an income tax.

Transportation & Commute

For a sprawling, suburban metro area, Dallas has decent and reliable public transportation options.

The DART (Dallas Area Rapid Transit) light rail and bus system has four lines that run throughout downtown Dallas and to DFW airport and surrounding suburbs. In addition, Trinity Railway Express connects Dallas to Fortworth and suburbs in between.

The McKinney Avenue Trolley is a system of restored trolley cars that provide free transportation downtown and throughout the arts district: a great way to see the city free of charge.

The Dallas metro area is served by the Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) International Airport, one of the busiest airports in the country.

DFW is so big (bigger than the island of Manhattan) that it has its own zip code and police force. It is the largest hub for American Airlines and provides connecting flights to over 200 destinations throughout the world.

The airport is an hour away from downtown Dallas via public transportation and only a 20-minute car ride via 1-35E.

Best Places to Live in Dallas

Best neighborhoods for families with kids

  • Coppell: One of the best suburbs of Dallas, Coppell has one of the top-ranking school districts in the Dallas metro area, with excellent theater, arts, and athletics programs.

    With expansive parks and a diverse array of restaurants and bars, Coppell’s median home price of $406,892 is very reasonable.

    In addition, it’s only a 23-minute drive north of downtown Dallas, providing quick city access when you need it.
  • Southlake: For a small-town feel, consider Southlake. 28 northwest of the city, this suburb provides a spacious, clean environment for residents with good schools and great community outreach.

    Median home prices are a little higher than average here at $747,046.
  • Frisco: While Frisco is a little further north of Dallas than other suburbs, this charming town has a top-rated school system and award-winning parks with walking trails.

    Frisco is a 31-minute drive north of Dallas, and the median home price is $368,371.

Best neighborhoods for young professionals:

  • Addison: Only 23 minutes north of downtown Dallas, Addison is a fantastic place for both city access and local appeal.

    You’ll find eclectic bars and restaurants with all different types of cuisine and reliable public transit via the DART train.

    The median home price in Addison is $369,382.
  • University Park: For an upscale neighborhood with college-town energy and well-funded parks and recreational centers, check out University Park.

    Home to Southern Methodist University, this suburb is practically within Dallas city limits and is only 17 minutes north of downtown.

    The median home price here is $1,473,982.
  • Richardson: The suburb has a little bit of everything: a thriving business district, excellent schools, and trendy neighborhoods for shopping and dining. Richardson is only a 19-minute drive north of Dallas, with a reasonable median home price of $275,065.

Higher Education

There are more than 70 accredited universities and colleges throughout the DFW metro area.

The broader Dallas area is a great place for higher education with top schools including the University of Texas at Dallas, the University of Dallas, and the University of North Texas.

There are also a number of top-ranked private Christian universities and colleges. Southern Methodist University is the top-ranked school in the DFW metro area overall, followed by schools such as Texas Christian University and Texas Wesleyan University.

Crime in Dallas

Crime in Dallas is 47% higher than the national average, which is relatively low considering crime rates in other major U.S. cities.

As in any city, it’s important to exercise caution and awareness of your surroundings no matter where you are.

However, the suburbs mentioned above and many other neighborhoods of Dallas and surrounding areas are safe and friendly places to live.

Look at crime rates for specific neighborhoods to learn more about safety around the city.

Are you considering Dallas as your next home?

Dallas’s all-star status as a top city for business and trading makes it an attractive place to live.
In addition to its thriving local economy and real estate market, you’ll find a diverse, enthusiastic culture throughout its ever-growing metro area.

With an affordable cost of living and endless activities for all ages, Dallas is a great place to find a home and to soak up the sun.

Here at Nextburb, we’re committed to providing you with the facts you need to know about any area you’re considering as a future home.

Discover the best places to live in the United States to find out more about neighborhoods to live in, school ratings, crime data, and real estate options.

We’ll provide you with recommendations based on your lifestyle and budget preferences to help you discover where you want to go.

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