I have to admit that Dallas was never on my radar until my dad relocated here recently. Now, I’m so glad he did.  I decided to pay a visit while I was back stateside from Europe last summer. In between helping with my dad’s side hustle, we went out exploring the coolest Dallas neighborhoods.

Despite the scorching heat over the 4th of July weekend, I fell in love with the distinct character of each area of town. From the grunge streets of Deep Ellum to the upscale shopping in Highland Park Village, this Dallas neighborhood guide will have something for everyone.

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Uptown

Uptown may now be more popular than downtown Dallas for local living. The area is booming with young professionals and nightlife.

Enjoy a picnic with live music at The Rustic

When doing my research I found that a night at The Rustic is a must while in Dallas. In fact, this was the most authentic “Texas” outing during my visit. This bar, eatery, and venue has live music every night. The atmosphere is like you’re just at a neighbor’s Texas BBQ, with lawn chairs and picnic tables.

Praise Jesus over the Gospel Brunch at House of Blues

I sadly didn’t get a chance to visit while in town, but the House of Blues in Dallas serves up legendary rock and blues shows with Southern specialties. Don’t miss the epic “Gospel Brunch” which features local God-loving talent with comfort food likes chicken and waffles!

Deep Ellum

A little further South, but still East of Downtown Dallas you’ll find yourself in the funky neighborhood of Deep Ellum. This community not only gave birth the blues and Jazz, it is also the pioneer of the urban art scene in Dallas.

Explore the Deep Ellum Murals 

When on the hunt for murals and street art within Dallas, Deep Ellum should be on your radar. The vibrant walls are worthy of a trip to Dallas in itself, which is why I wrote an entire guide dedicated to finding them!

Check out the ultimate guide to the best Dallas murals here.

Head to the many bars and brewery for live music

Entrance of Wits End in Deep Ellum, featuring a cartoon face and teddy bear graffiti. Wits End is a music and entertainment venue.

Deep Ellum is a hub for local breweries, all of which make the neighborhood great for going out. Check out the Deep Ellum Brewing Company, Braindead Brewing, Green Room or Wits Ends. You can even play sand volleyball at the tropical Sandbar Cantina!

Check out the local flea market

There are many eclectic shops in the Deep Ellum neighborhood. If you’re into vintage shopping and boho décor like me, I would definitely make sure you visit Flea Style.

I found this adorable local shop on Instagram before visiting. I’m so glad I did, because I found a new pair of unworn, vintage woven white shoes perfect for spring and summer!

Downtown Dallas

Downtown Dallas is known for being the business district of town that dies down after 5 p.m. However, many of the most popular attractions in Dallas are in this area will keep you busy all day.

Support local farmers at the Dallas farmers market

The Dallas Farmers’ Market is right in the center of the city, and open everyday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. (8 p.m. on Fridays). You’ll find a variety of produce, meats, drinks and treats, as well as restaurants. It’s a reliable activity to do during any season, because this farmers market is actually inside!

Go overboard on brunch at Overeasy

I found this brunch hotspot on (what other than) Instagram, but sadly didn’t have the time to stop in. Overeasy is a modern breakfast diner, with some serious 60’s retro vibes. The brunch, views, and atmosphere is next level amazing, according to reviews.

Pay your respects to JFK

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In case you weren’t aware, former president John F. Kennedy was assassinated during a parade in Dallas in 1963, subject to a wide variety of conspiracy theories. You can visit the JFK memorial in the very park he was assassinated years ago.

You can take tours about all of the JFK history here.

See Dallas from atop the Reunion Tower

The best place to see Dallas from above is without a doubt Reunion Tower. The observatory deck towers 470 over the city. When walking around the city, just follow the building shaped like a microphone!

You can buy tickets here.

Bishops art district

I came to Texas wanting to experience some Southern charm, and adorable front porches. Luckily, I found this in Bishops Art District. It’s a little further outside of town, but well worth the trek for this area of town booming with character.

Indulge in the various foodie treats

I found that there were so many restaurants and cafes in this residential area that it was hard to choose. We ended up going to Serve, where I got this delicious smoothie bowl. In the summer they SERVE them in pineapples when they are in season.  

Otherwise you can check out Emporium Pies for a real Southern treat.

Add your wish to the “Wishing Tree”

While walking around (in the dead summer heat, yikes) we found some shade near this “wishing tree”. The concept is to leave a wish for yourself or someone you love. This small, but powerful act of community was really moving. I loved reading what everyone wrote!

Oh, also you’ll find more street art in Bishops Art District as well, like this cactus mural of my dreams.

Highland park village

This area of town is a little too bougee for my budget taste to be honest. But if you’re into high-end shopping in a gorgeous town center, head North of Dallas to Highland Park Village.

Shop and enjoy the outdoor cafes

Most of the stores in Highland Park Village are quite high-end. However, a little window-shopping didn’t hurt anyone, right? What I loved more than window-shopping was wandering along the quant cobble stone streets and admiring all of the outdoor cafes. It’s like a little slice of Europe in Dallas!

Admire the Spanish architecture and influences

Colorful steps in Highland Park Village in Dallas, featuring Spanish, style stairs and tiles

This posh area of town came to be when developers in the 1920s wanted to build a town center. They traveled to Barcelona and Seville to get inspiration. After recently taking a trip to Seville myself this year, I can say they did a pretty good job!

Dallas arboretum

Looking to get your nature fix? Get out of town to the Dallas arboretum, home to nearly 70 acres of botanical bliss. There are 19 different gardens, each with a different focus. Wander through the flower gardens, visit “A Tasteful Place” to learn more about sustainable gardening, or visit the pumpkin houses in Pecan groove!

It’s only been about 6 months, but I can’t wait to get back to Dallas and explore more of the city.

You can check out food and history tours in Dallas here.

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