Top 5 Family Friendly Neighborhoods in Dallas
Dallas, like any large city, has a great variety of neighborhoods. The city itself offers a number of neighborhoods with great walking amenities and local businesses and character, while further out in the suburbs, you can find the classic cul-de-sac drives and large, well-built homes that are usually at most a 35-minute drive from everything downtown has to offer. But when it comes to raising your kids, which neighborhoods really offer the most?
Lakewood itself dates back to the early 1900s and consists primarily of Lakewood, Lakewood Heights, Park Estates, Gastonwood-Coronado Hills, Belmont, Whilshire Heights, and Hollywood Heights. Homes in this area do start below $200,000, but can easily range up over $1,000,000 very quickly. In short, there is a starting point for almost anyone.
There is much to recommend the area to newly relocated families. Neighborhoods are friendly and safe, with a very active family scene. Lakewood Elementary is also considered one of the best schools in the entire state. The shopping and dining options are also plentiful and varied. Lakewood also lies very close to downtown, bringing along with that all that downtown Dallas has to offer.
Rated the best place to live in the Western US by CNN Money magazine in 2005, Plano has a lot to offer. With excellent rated schools, a low poverty rate, and extremely safe streets (Declared by Forbes to by the safest for its size in 2008), Plano is often rated as near or at the top of best areas in the Dallas metro area to live.
Connected to Dallas via the DART light rail system, Plano supplies its own center of gravity while still making itself convenient to reach downtown Dallas quickly and affordably. A very large suburb, (8th largest city on its own right in Texas), Plano has homes for everyone’s price range, running the gauntlet from princely to pauperish.
Founded in 1889, Highland Park is one of the oldest neighborhoods in Dallas, and one of the most desirable. Occupied mostly by higher-income families, Highland Park has a large number of large, attractive homes and upscale apartment living. The neighborhood in fact is Texas’s 2nd best educated, behind only University Park.
The majority of the population is married couples, with most of them having children. The schools are regarded as excellent, and some of Dallas’s best shopping and fine dining can be found in the area, very close to the heart of downtown. All of this comes at a price, however, with some of the most expensive properties in the city. The median price tag for a house in 2020 was $1,629,430 according to the nice people at Zillow.
Home to Southern Methodist University, the area, together with Highland Park, forms the enclave of the “Park Cities” in Dallas. Long considered one of the most prestigious neighborhoods of the city, cored around Southern Methodist, University Park is the best-educated area in all of Texas, and the 7th most expensive neighborhood in the entire US.
As can be imaged, education rates extremely high across all levels of attainment, which is impressive considering that over 40% of households here have children. Just as expensive as its Highland Park neighbor, this area also lies close to downtown Dallas and offers all the amenities that come with such a large urban area.
Home to the Dallas’s famous Telecom Corridor, therefore a high concentration of telecommunications companies, this suburb has attracted a large number of tech professionals and their families. In 2006, Money magazine rated Richardson the 15th best place to live in the US, making it 3rd in Texas. It was also ranked as the 2nd best place to raise kids in 2009 by Business Week. In truth, the awards this area has racked up are far too many to mention here. Suffice to say, this is a great area to live in.
Schools, shopping, fine dining, culture, and close approximation to downtown Dallas all conspire to make Richardson a desirable and expensive place to live in. In 2020, housing starts generally in the $312,000 range and escalates quickly from there. Expect to pay for the right to reside in Richardson.
*Updated May 2020. Originally published October 2016.