The downtown Dallas skyline at sunset, viewed from nearby park

Moving in Dallas: Looking for the Best Dallas Suburbs and Neighborhoods?

Dallas Texas

by Easton Smith Posted on March 6, 2024

The warm weather, friendly Lone Star charm, and beautiful homes of Dallas are calling to you, huh? But the city is big — even by Texas standards — and it’s hard to know where to start your home search. We get it. That’s why we’ve gathered some ideas to help you navigate the best neighborhoods in Dallas. Whether you’re relocating for a job from another city or moving locally in the Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) metroplex, there’s something to please every palate in this vast region of North Texas — including the Dallas suburbs. But before we dive into the nitty-gritty, let’s zoom out and take a look at some facts and figures.

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Cost of Living in Dallas

The cost of living in Dallas is just a smidge higher than the nationwide average. But when you compare the city to other major hubs like Seattle, San Francisco, and even Denver, it’s significantly cheaper. Here’s a look at the numbers. 

  • Average rent for a one-bedroom apartment: $1,350
  • Average rent for a two-bedroom apartment: $1,800
  • Average home value: $303,000
  • Median household income: $64,000

While the costs look fairly reasonable, the Dallas suburbs and surrounding areas have some of the most expensive neighborhoods in the country — like University Park near Southern Methodist University (SMU), where a typical home goes for about $1.5 million. But there are lots of other options if “budget-friendly” is what you’re looking for in the best neighborhoods in Dallas.

Dallas 101: The Basics 

Many of the best Dallas suburbs are surprisingly full of historic flavor, particularly in established districts where residents have focused on restoration in recent years. But quaint architectural details can become less charming if you have a two-hour drive to the office — so be sure to consider commute times from the Dallas suburbs if working from home isn’t an option. 

For some perspective: DFW is a sprawling region composed of more than 8,500 square miles (on a Dallas map, the city itself occupies 385 square miles). With a population of more than 6.6 million, the metroplex is forecast to overtake New York City as the biggest metro area in the nation by the year 2100. 

Transportation in Dallas

There are no two ways about it: You need to have a car in Dallas. Yes, there is public transportation: Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) operates bus service and a rail system that can get you around most of the city and its surrounding areas. Commuters actually praise the mostly reliable timing and convenience. But the city lies at the intersection of several major highways — the I-20, I-30, and I-35 — and there are dozens of byways and business loops that criss-cross through the enormous metroplex. Simply put, it’s a car town. 

Schools in Dallas

The Dallas Independent School District (DISD) serves most of the inner Dallas area. Like the city itself, the district is enormous, with plenty of high-quality institutions, including dual-immersion programs. But as is the case with too many American school systems, DISD has had its share of struggles with funding
Many of the outer suburbs in the Dallas-Fort Worth area have their own school districts, which are generally rated higher than DISD. The top three for 2024, according to Niche, are the Carroll, Grapevine-Colleyville, and Allen Independent School Districts. There are also many private schools and academies.
Q: What is the most affluent suburb in Dallas? 
Although many Dallas suburbs boast super-wealthy residents (everything’s bigger in Texas, right?), one stands out above the others: Westlake, about halfway between downtown Dallas and Fort Worth. In this exclusive enclave of sports stars and tech titans, the median household income is $250,000 and the median home value is a cool $2 million. From this list, though? That would be Frisco and Casa Linda.

Comparing the Best Places To Live in Dallas

Despite its reputation, there’s a lot more to Dallas than cows and cowboys. Here’s our guide to the best places to live in this vibrant city and the surrounding area. 

The Best Dallas Suburbs and Neighborhoods by the Numbers

Neighborhood/Suburb: Casa Linda

  • Population: 1,300
  • Median home value: $519,000
  • Median rent: $1,700
  • Rush-hour commute to downtown: 10-25 minutes

Neighborhood/Suburb: Lake Highlands

  • Population: 15,700
  • Median home value: $475,000
  • Median rent: $1,500
  • Rush-hour commute to downtown: 20-35 minutes

Neighborhood/Suburb: Old East Dallas

  • Population: 37,200
  • Median home value:$466,700
  • Median rent: $1,450
  • Rush-hour commute to downtown: 5-15 minutes

Neighborhood/Suburb: Midway Hollow

  • Population: 4,400
  • Median home value: $509,800
  • Median rent: $1,650
  • Rush-hour commute to downtown: 15-30 minutes

Neighborhood/Suburb: Oak Lawn

  • Population: 37,000
  • Median home value: $408,700
  • Median rent: $1,550
  • Rush-hour commute to downtown: 5-15 minutes

Neighborhood/Suburb: Allen, TX

  • Population: 105,400
  • Median home value: $390,200
  • Median rent: $1,750
  • Rush-hour commute to downtown: 25-45 minutes

Neighborhood/Suburb: Grapevine, TX

  • Population: 50,800
  • Median home value: $431,800
  • Median rent: $1,750
  • Rush-hour commute to downtown: 25-40 minutes

Neighborhood/Suburb: Celina, TX

  • Population: 21,500
  • Median home value: $412,100
  • Median rent: $1,850
  • Rush-hour commute to downtown: 45-60 minutes

Neighborhood/Suburb: Flower Mound, TX

  • Population: 76,600
  • Median home value: $467,600
  • Median rent: $2,050
  • Rush-hour commute to downtown: 35-50 minutes

Neighborhood/Suburb: Frisco, TX

  • Population:202,100
  • Median home value:$531,400
  • Median rent: $1,800
  • Rush-hour commute to downtown: 30-45 minutes

Now let’s explore each neighborhood.

Cottage-style home in Casa Linda Estates

Casa Linda, which means “beautiful house,” is an appropriate name for this Dallas suburb, where Spanish culture, plenty of greenspace, and a laid-back lifestyle mix to make one of the area’s most-desirable districts.
(Source: @madamepoupart via Instagram)

1. Casa Linda

  • Median rent: $1,700
  • Median home value: $519,000
  • Commute and transportation: 10-min drive to downtown Dallas; close to many bus lines
  • Great for: Families, Spanish culture lovers, outdoors enthusiasts, architecture buffs

Casa Linda literally means “beautiful house” in Spanish, and the neighborhood lives up to its name. This part of Dallas includes some of the most splendid and original architecture in the area, including the Casa Linda Estates, a prime development of colonial revival-style homes. 

The Spanish influence in Casa Linda goes beyond the name and architecture. This neighborhood is zoned for the Alex Sanger Elementary School, one of the few schools in Dallas, TX, with a dual-language, English/Spanish immersion program. 

But your kids can do more than just learn Spanish in this Dallas suburb. They’ll be close to White Rock Lake and Casa Linda Park. Meanwhile, grownups will have easy access to Goodfriend Beer Garden & Burger House and the world-class Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden.

Sunset at White Rock Lake in Lake Highlands, one of many Dallas suburbs

Walking trails are in abundance in the family-centric Dallas suburb of Lake Highlands, where mid-century bungalows line winding, tree-shaded streets.
(Source: @fortheloveofthelake via Facebook)

2. Lake Highlands

  • Median rent: $1,500
  • Median home value: $475,000
  • Commute and transportation: 20-min drive to downtown Dallas
  • Great for: Families, fixer-uppers, recreationalists, walkers

If you want to avoid the hustle and bustle of the downtown area, but you prefer not to be boxed into some of the more cookie-cutter Dallas suburbs on the outskirts of town, then Lake Highlands might be the perfect in-between. 

This neighborhood stocks beautiful mid-century bungalows that are perfect for fixer-upper enthusiasts looking for remodeling projects. After a long day of renovations, residents can stroll the winding, tree-lined streets that give Lake Highlands a peaceful appeal. 

The neighborhood’s coffee shops and restaurants are easily walkable from the area’s quaint bungalows. And as you might expect from a place named Lake Highlands, the district borders a lake (White Rock Lake) and sits at a higher elevation than much of surrounding Dallas. This means outdoor activities galore: You can wake up at home in Lake Highlands and in a matter of minutes find yourself exploring the White Rock Creek greenbelt.

Q: What is the best place to live in Dallas? 
That’s up to you — and luckily there are plenty of options. On our list, you’ll find a mix of quaint bungalows, elegant mansions, and suburban ranch homes in some of the best neighborhoods in Dallas. You can choose a vibrant downtown district with dining, arts events, and plenty of shopping options (like Old East Dallas). Or you might prefer a rural vibe — more Lone Star, less lively — with big backyards and lots of room to move (like Flower Mound). Whatever your preference, Dallas has it.

Junius Heights Historic District in the Old East Dallas neighborhood

History and art are infused into the neighborhoods of Old East Dallas, a walkable, active district with an easy commute to downtown. 
(Source: @JuniusHeights via Facebook)

3. Old East Dallas 

  • Median rent: $1,450
  • Median home value: $466,700
  • Commute and transportation: 5-min drive to downtown Dallas
  • Great for: Young professionals, families, arts aficionados, foodies, history buffs

Once upon a time there was a Dallas and an East Dallas. The two cities grew quickly — with help from the newly built railroads — until they finally joined together in 1890, making the unified Dallas the largest city in Texas. But more than 130 years later, Old East Dallas has retained a lot of its special character and is home to some of the best neighborhoods in Dallas — the Swiss Avenue Historic District, Munger Place, and Junius Heights among them. Each distinctive area has a story to tell in its unique architecture, from historic mansions to gorgeous craftsman-style homes. 

You can easily walk between these different sections of Old East Dallas, or stroll over to the nearby Dallas Arts District and Deep Ellum neighborhoods for hip restaurants, galleries and shops, and fun community events. The region offers more variety of housing options than most other Dallas suburbs — like Gaston Avenue’s magnificently restored apartment buildings. And the proximity to downtown makes it one of the best suburbs of Dallas for young professionals who don’t want a tedious commute. 

Ranch home in Midway Hollow, one of many Dallas suburbs

Midway Hollow’s vibe of ranch-style homes and airy cottages amid lots of greenspace makes it a must-see for families looking for some room to stretch out.
(Source: @brookekennedyrealestate via Instagram)

4. Midway Hollow 

  • Median rent: $1,650
  • Median home value: $509,800
  • Commute and transportation: 15-min drive to downtown Dallas; some public transit options available (but be prepared to transfer); very close to Dallas Love Field Airport
  • Great for: Young families, Mid-Century Modern fans, travelers

If your dream includes a ranch house like the one the Ewing family lived in on the 80s primetime soap, Dallas, then Midway Hollow should be your first stop. 

This Dallas suburb’s mixture of large lots with cottages and ranch homes makes it ideal for those who want to be near the city but still have enough space for a growing family. Peaceful, tree-lined streets cut through this low-crime neighborhood, making Midway Hollow one of the best Dallas suburbs for families. 

Midway Hollow’s central location makes it easy to get pretty much anywhere, including downtown Fort Worth in just about a half-hour. The neighborhood is practically next door to Dallas Love Field Airport and just 15 minutes from Dallas Fort Worth International Airport — so taking a spontaneous vacation just got a whole lot easier!

Saint Ann restaurant in Oak Lawn

Oak Lawn’s Saint Ann, one of the neighborhood’s dining hotspots, attracts a lively crowd from the area’s artsy population.  
(Source: @saintanndallas via Facebook)

5. Oak Lawn

  • Median rent: $1,550
  • Median home value: $408,700
  • Commute and transportation: 5-min drive to downtown Dallas
  • Great for: LGBTQ+, young professionals, renters, renovators, foodies

Oak Lawn may sound like a posh country club, but it’s actually one of Dallas’s most hip neighborhoods. The streets are chock-full of bars, clubs, and restaurants like Saint Ann, a school that’s now an always-lively hotspot for locals. Affectionately known as the gayborhood of Dallas, Oak Lawn has been the center of Dallas’s LGBTQ+ community since the 1970s. And the annual Dallas Pride Parade draws thousands every year and transforms the neighborhood into a colorful celebration. 
But Oak Lawn isn’t always a giant party. The scenic, peaceful Turtle Creek runs through the heart of this Dallas neighborhood and down into Reverchon Park. You can grab some comfort food at local fave Lucky’s Cafe. And everything else in Dallas is just a short drive, or even walk, from this downtown neighborhood.

Surprisingly, you can still find a two-bedroom house in Oak Lawn for around $350,000 — if you’re willing to give it a little love. Not ready to buy? Oak Lawn is a great place for renters looking for a fun, urban setting. 

Wakeboarder at Hydrous Wake Park in Allen, Texas — one of many Dallas suburbs.

Allen is home to Hydrous Wake Park, an extreme sports center featuring three lakes and options for both novice and experienced wakeboarders.
(Source: @HydrousWakePark via Facebook)

6. Allen, TX

  • Median rent: $1,750
  • Median home value: $390,200
  • Commute and transportation: 25-min drive to downtown Dallas, depending on traffic; public transit is limited
  • Great for: Jobs, families, public schools, diversity

Welcome to Allen, the location of the very first train robbery in Texas history! Since that fateful day in 1878, when Sam Bass and his associates took about $1,500 from train No. 4, Allen has grown from a sleepy Western burg to a bustling community. 

Today, Allen is known as one of the best neighborhoods in Dallas — and though there are fewer (as in zero) train robberies, that doesn’t mean it’s boring. This Dallas neighborhood is home to an ice rink, the Hydrous Wake Parks, the Connemara Meadow Nature Preserve, and tons of great restaurants. 

On a map of the north Dallas suburbs, you’ll see Allen on the top edge of the metropolitan area. But US-75 cuts right through the heart of Allen and will take you straight to downtown Dallas in a matter of minutes. 

Thanks to Allen’s renowned beauty and famously good schools (the Allen Independent School District has an A+ rating from, it’s one of the best Dallas suburbs for families, whether they're moving from across the country or moving from another Dallas neighborhood. 

7. Grapevine, TX 

  • Median rent: $1,750
  • Median home value: $431,800
  • Commute and transportation: 25-minute drive to downtown; you can catch the orange DART line at DFW International Airport
  • Great for: Families, hikers, oenophiles, foodies

When early settlers arrived in this part of what’s now Texas, they discovered wild grapes growing everywhere. Hence the name: Grapevine. Today, there are fewer wild grapes — but plenty of wineries have taken their place. 

In many ways, Grapevine is one of the quintessential Dallas suburbs: You’ll find older bungalows, ranch houses, and cottages mixed in with a smattering of new subdivisions and apartment complexes. But there’s more to this ‘burb than meets the eye. 

Grapevine’s quaint and historic Main Street is more alive than ever, with locally owned restaurants, high-end shopping, and art galleries (not to mention those wineries). You can grab farm-fresh produce from the farmers and artisan market. And just steps away from all the activity, you’ll find yourself with endless choices of parks, hiking trails, and picnic spots. 

Grapevine is located in the Mid-Cities suburban region, making it not just one of the best Dallas suburbs but one of the best Fort Worth neighborhoods, too. And homes are less expensive in this centrally located area than in some neighboring areas, like Southlake.

Historic Square in Celina after the rain. There are colorful flowers on the ground and picnic benches.

Families have flocked to Celina, a far-northern Dallas suburb once known as Texas’s “best kept secret” — thanks to its picturesque, bustling downtown and budget-friendly home prices.  
(Source: @cityofcelina via Facebook)

8. Celina, TX

  • Median rent: $1,850
  • Median home value: $412,100
  • Commute and transportation: 45-60 minutes to downtown Dallas; public transit is limited
  • Great for: Families, first-time home buyers, festival-goers

This Dallas neighborhood used to be known by locals as the metroplex’s best-kept secret — but given the area’s phenomenal growth over the past few years, it’s pretty clear the secret’s out. Great schools and world-class healthcare facilities are among the reasons people have flocked here.
There are fun reasons, too — like CajunFest, an annual celebration that features a crawfish boil, live music, and an alligator show (yes, an alligator show), along with downtown Celina events, like the town’s Friday night farmer’s market, outdoor movies, and more. Not to mention the abundant trails and outdoor activities.
Of all the Dallas suburbs, Celina is pretty much the farthest north on a Dallas map — next stop: Oklahoma. This does make commute times a bit long, but it also gives you a climate that’s generally 5+ degrees cooler than in downtown Dallas. 
That also means Celina is relatively affordable, compared with other closer-in Dallas suburbs. But the real selling points for many families are Celina’s great schools, rated A- by Niche, and its proximity to quality hospitals. 

The Riverwalk at Central Park development in Flower Mound

The Riverwalk at Central Park is a new retail and residential development in Flower Mound.
(Source: @FlowerMound via Facebook)

9. Flower Mound, TX 

  • Median rent: $2,050
  • Median home value: $467,600
  • Commute and transportation: 35-minute drive to downtown; few public transit options available
  • Great for: Families, public schools, housing, jobs, diversity

Just north of Grapevine Lake lies one of the most desirable Dallas suburbs: Flower Mound. This big, established neighborhood offers great schools, plenty of shopping, abundant homes, and, yes, a 12.5-acre “mound” of wildflowers in the center of town. 
Expansive homes are situated on spacious lots, many featuring koi ponds, gardens, and pools. And the neighborhood is overflowing with beautiful scenery, making it ideal for wrap-around porches and outdoor living.
As you’d expect from a relatively affluent suburb, Flower Mound features great schools (the district has an A+ grade from, including one of the best high schools in Dallas. But when your kids aren’t busy studying, they can play in the area’s many parks or hike along miles of trails. 
In fact, Flower Mound is an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise. There’s great fishing in the 800-acre Lake Grapevine, beautiful running and biking paths in Stone Creek Park, and, nearby, 26,000 square miles of historic land that comprises the Cross Timbers and Prairies Ecological Region.

A four-lane road in Frisco Square with a tree-lined median. Apartments sit atop of ground-level stores, making it a great place to live, shop, and eat.

Frisco Square is a multi-use development where you can live, shop, and dine. 
(Source: @FriscoSquareTX via Facebook)

10. Frisco, TX

  • Median rent: $1,800
  • Median home value: $531,400
  • Commute and transportation: 30-minute drive to downtown Dallas; limited public transit options
  • Great for: Sports fans, suburbanites, families, public schools, jobs

Frisco is more than a Dallas suburb; it’s really a city of its own, with a significant population base and culture. Residents are close enough to commute to Dallas or pop in for the occasional theater performance — but there’s really no reason to ever leave Frisco if you don’t want to. 
Dallas Cowboys fan? You’ll be overjoyed by Frisco’s affordable subdivisions near the team’s corporate headquarters and practice facility, The Star. And if you’re more into European football than American football, then Frisco is still the place for you. The city is home to Toyota Stadium, where FC Dallas plays soccer.
Less sports-inclined Frisco residents can enjoy more than 9 million square feet of retail space throughout the city, from local boutiques to national chains. The dining scene is also growing — and we’re not just talking sports bars: Check out The Heritage Table in the Old Town Frisco district for locally sourced Texas cuisine.

Choosing Your Place in One of the Best Dallas Suburbs and Neighborhoods

Whether you’re moving to Dallas from far away or just relocating from another part of the Dallas-Fort Worth area, this part of the Lone Star State has a lot to offer. We hope we’ve helped you get closer to finding the perfect home in the perfect neighborhood. 

Easton Smith works as a freelance writer and researcher, reviewing technology trends and the moving industry.

Editor’s note: For ease of reading, populations were rounded to the nearest 100, monthly rental prices were rounded to the nearest $25, and home values were rounded to the nearest $100.

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