Dallas Neighborhood Guide: 9 Areas, Where to Go, Things to Do

Dallas ranks among the largest cities in Texas and offers an urban destination surrounded by cities that offer their own character. Depending on the area, visitors can select from dozens of attractions and things to do, including outdoor recreation, dining, shopping, sports, live entertainment and family-friendly hot spots. Not sure where to start? Read this Dallas neighborhood guide and plan an adventure.

Dallas Neighborhood Guide to Top 9 Areas

dallas neighborhood guide map itrip vacations

Map: iTrip Vacations

Far North: Addison, Frisco, Plano

Far North consists of Addison, Frisco and Plano — all offering an eclectic mix of shops, restaurants, and art. Have lunch in Addison, home to over 170 restaurants. Shop for antiques in Plano. Then stroll the streets of Frisco, which showcases 150-plus outdoor sculptures and Frisco Discovery Center.

Northwest: Carrollton, Farmers Branch

Known for its green spaces, Carrollton welcomes visitors to enjoy the great outdoors and connect with the community. Explore parks and trails, visit a historic farmhouse and museum, and attend Taste of Carrollton in the fall. Farmers Branch features over 27 parks suited for hiking and a collection of rose gardens with walking paths.

North: Highland Park, University Park

Shopaholics can’t miss Highland Park. This upscale community houses Highland Park Village and NorthPark Center, both offering the latest designers and fashion trends. Then tour University Park and Southern Methodist University (SMU) located near ample shopping and dining. While visiting SMU, stop by the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum.

dallas neighborhoods sports vacation

Far West: Arlington, Grapevine, Irving, Las Colinas

The Far West Dallas neighborhood offers many of the area’s major attractions. Take a winery tour in Grapevine, which sits near DFW Airport. Or play a round at one of five golf courses in Irving and Las Colinas.

For a day full of action-packed sports, drive to Arlington. The city hosts the NFL Dallas Cowboys and MLB Texas Rangers. Thrill-seekers should plan to ride roller coasters and cool off at Six Flags Over Texas and Six Flags Hurricane Harbor.

West: Trinity Groves, Sylvan 30

To sample the local food scene, go to Trinity Groves and Sylvan 30. This area welcomes foodies and culinary entrepreneurs to share their passion for flavor. After having a meal with loved ones, plan a horseback ride on Trinity Skyline Trails, a hard-surface trail that measures 5 miles.

East: Lake and Garden, Greenville Avenue

Looking for some romance? Gather with a special someone in Lake and Garden. As its name implies, the area houses scenic White Rock Lake and Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden. The lake welcomes guests to canoe, kayak, hike and bike. Meanwhile, the arboretum has been named one of the best in the U.S., and features 11 garden displays. Families with children should visit Rory Myers Children’s Adventure Gardens for interactive fun and educational experiences.

Those looking for top Dallas nightlife spots will enjoy lower Greenville Avenue. This quaint neighborhood has two live music venues, bars, and several restaurants serving craft beer.

dallas neighborhoods art activities

Central: Downtown, Uptown, Deep Ellum, Design District

Downtown Dallas pairs urban modernity with art and history. During the day, take a walking tour to see the grassy knoll and JFK Memorial. Feel inspired in the Dallas Arts District, which spans 20 continuous blocks full of museums, galleries, performing arts venues, and a local farmers market. Other popular attractions include: Dallas World Aquarium, an opera house, symphony center, Reunion Tower and Perot Museum of Natural Science.

Uptown is separated into five smaller Dallas neighborhood districts. Browse dozens of boutiques and restaurants located in Uptown. Then watch the NBA Dallas Mavericks and NHL Dallas Stars at Victory Park. Art lovers can’t miss Deep Ellum, a lively spot for culture and music.

South: Fair Park, Cedars-Southside, Oak Cliff

Home to one of the best state fairs in the U.S. by the Travel Channel, Fair Park hosts the annual State Fair of Texas. When not at the event, take the group to Children’s Aquarium and Texas Discovery Gardens. For live sports and entertainment, cheer at Cotton Bowl Stadium and Starplex Pavilion.

Located west of Fair Park and Cedars-Southside, Oak Cliff ranks as a popular Dallas neighborhood for families. Visit the historic Texas Theater, play a championship round of 18 holes, and visit one of the top zoos in the U.S., the 106-acre Dallas Zoo. The zoo houses over 2,000 animals and delivers fun, educational experiences for all ages.

In between Fair Park and Oak Cliff, sits Cedars-Southside. This area offers a large collection of music venues and nightlife spots for relaxing with friends and family.

Southeast: Mesquite

Want the full Texas experience? Visit Mesquite, a city that showcases country-western vibes, art, agriculture and outdoor adventures. Those vacationing in the summer can see pro riders at Mesquite ProRodeo. Other musts include family fun at Celebration Station and Trinity Forest Adventure Park. For a glimpse into local culture, tour the art center, historical park and Retail Row.

After reading our Dallas neighborhood guide, learn more about the city and find vacation rentals.