Moving to Dallas, TX? Read Our Ultimate Moving Guide
The one word you need to know if you're thinking of making a residential move to Dallas is "sprawling." The city is an impressive 385 square miles and the combined Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) metro area, also known as the Metroplex, is more than 1,800 square miles. The population is booming, too, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, with the area seeing a 146,000 population increase in 2017.
Everything may really be bigger in Texas, with Dallas leading the way. It has all you'd expect from the fourth-largest metropolis in the U.S., plus the challenges that come with big-city living. Read on for just some of what you need to know about moving to Dallas.
Prepare to Take the Wheel
When you move to Dallas, you're going to need a car. The Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex is the largest inland metro area in the country. While public transportation choices are solid, it may not be enough for all of your needs. The good news is that major highways and interstates make it easy to find your way around, and the downtown districts of both Dallas and Fort Worth are highly walkable.
Your public transportation options include:
- Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART): This light rail system has 64 stations and four lines serving Dallas from the pre-dawn hours to midnight seven days a week.
- Trinity Railway Express: Trinity trains connect Dallas and Fort Worth (and points in between) every day except Sunday. It's a good way to get from either city to DFW International Airport.
- DART Bus: Local and express routes run throughout the Metroplex, serving thousands of stops along the way. The system includes the D-Link, a free route with 19 stops in the downtown area. Get a DART pass to make paying fares easy.
- Trinity Metro: This is the bus system in Fort Worth run by the Fort Worth Transportation Authority.
- DART M-Line Trolley: Slow down and take in the scenery with this throwback electric streetcar. It runs in central Dallas every day of the year, and it's free!
Bring the Family
Dallas made the top of the list of family-friendly metro areas on Homes.com in 2018. The factors weighed included the quality of schools, park acreage, the availability of child care services, the cost of living, commute times and crime rates.
On the fun side, there's plenty of it—the Dallas Museum of Art has great special programs for kids of all ages, Texas's largest zoo has 106 acres to explore, and there are more than 400 parks maintained by the city, with trails, playgrounds and lakes throughout. Check out the year-round ice skating rink at the Galleria Dallas shopping mall or hop in the car and head to Arlington for the Six Flags Over Texas amusement park.
It's Always "Game On" in Dallas-Fort Worth
Unless you're moving to Dallas from an undiscovered island, you already have an idea of just how big sports are around here. It won't take you long to understand that Texans throughout the state take their allegiance to sports team seriously, wearing the jerseys and flying the flags of their favorite teams even during the off season.
Major league teams include:
There are plenty of sports outside the professional realm as well, including The Dallas Dragons (rugby) and The Dallas Roughnecks (American Ultimate Disc League).
We have to mention another aspect of sports in Dallas, and that's the venues. The AT&T Stadium, where the Cowboys play, is the largest domed structure in the world and cost $1.2 billion to build. The American Airlines Center, home of the Dallas Mavericks and Dallas Stars, occupies 12 acres and, according to Visit Dallas, is "the most technologically advanced sports arena in the country."
Things to Do and See in the Dallas Area
Every city's tourism office says there's something for everyone to do in the city they promote, but in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, it's absolutely true. Kids, singles, seniors and everyone else has their choice of things to do and places to see. These are just a very few to try when you move in:
- Dallas Arts District: According to its website, this is the largest contiguous urban arts district in America, covering more than 19 city blocks and 68 acres. It's a hub of the visual and performing arts and it's where you'll find the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, The Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House, Klyde Warren Park, Nasher Sculpture Center, the Dallas Museum of Art, and much more.
- Dallas World Aquarium: There's marine life here, of course, but you can also see otters, penguins, tropical birds and much more as you make your way through a rainforest and aviary.
- Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden: Escape the hot, dry summer in the green spaces of the arboretum, which take up 66 acres in White Rock Lake Park not far from downtown.
- Fort Worth Stockyards National Historic District: If you're new to the western way of life, you'll get up to speed at this living museum. Weekend rodeos, daily cattle drivers, artifacts and a three-acre honky tonk—it's all here!
Outdoor adventure awaits, with plenty of hiking trails around the city, including those within the 1,015 acres of White Rock Lake. You can even go on a wilderness retreat not far from downtown at the Cedar Ridge Preserve. More than 600 acres of wilderness is yours to explore, with butterfly gardens, native plant nurseries and more, all carefully managed by Audubon Dallas.
Higher Education in Dallas
Students from around the world come to the city's colleges and universities seeking an education in engineering, the arts, life sciences and much more. Some of the most notable institutions in the Dallas area are research institutions such as the University of Texas at Arlington, the University of North Texas at Denton, and the University of Texas at Dallas. Other major universities include:
There are a number of excellent opportunities to obtain a community college education. Explore these links for more information:
The diversity of the city's neighborhoods reflects the ethnic, cultural and historical diversity of its population. Fast growth is leading to the rediscovery of several districts, with new people and energy moving in. These are some of the most popular areas and their notable features.
If you want the pace of urban life and the chance to live, work and play in one place, downtown is for you. This is where you'll find everything from office towers to gardens, modern apartments, and historic buildings being converted into residential living spaces. You'll be just steps away from the famed Design District, art galleries, amazing restaurants and more.
This walkable neighborhood offers dining, shopping and easy access to the DART Rail and McKinney Avenue Trolley. Uptown is home to Oak Lawn, a district that once was "Little Mexico" until the hippies moved in during the sixties, and is now a center for the city's gay population. Living options include everything from high-rise luxury apartments to older, renovated homes.
This once working-class, Hispanic neighborhood has caught the eye (and wallets) developers, who are investing in new residential construction. Future plans include retailers, office space, an urban farm and more.
The annexation of East Dallas (also known as Old East Dallas) just before the turn of the 20th century made Dallas the largest city in the state. East Dallas includes the Swiss Avenue Historic District with its renovated homes and apartments, and it's a destination for checking out new restaurants and bars. The walkable Baylor District is also on the east side, anchored by Baylor University Medical Center.
Settled by formerly enslaved people after the Civil War, this community east of downtown is the dictionary definition of "eclectic." Live in a new loft or apartment development amid funky art galleries, street murals, venues for offbeat music, and live theater.
Divided into North, East, Southeast, and Central Oak Cliff, this large community is home to a creative and diverse population. Notable spots include the University of North Texas, the Dallas Zoo, the 263-acre Kiest Park and the mid-century home neighborhood of Wynnewood North.
Urbanites love this neighborhood for its lofts, unusual office spaces and diverse population. It's one of the city's oldest districts, but today it's on the rise with an influx of urban dwellers, creative businesses, lofts and more.
The Dallas Restaurant Scene
Naming one place as the best spot for food is subjective, of course, but Thrillist.com puts the state of Texas at the top of its list, noting that Dallas has perfected the "meat-centric steakhouse and hybrid, modern steakhouse." There's more than steak and BBQ (as fabulous as it is) to Dallas-Fort Worth dining, though, with more restaurants per capita than any other metro area in the U.S. According to the Dallas Observer, here are some of the latest can't-miss dining destinations:
Shopping in Dallas: From Upscale to Bargains
It's been said that shopping is a contact sport in Dallas. You can find out first-hand at one of the many retail centers throughout the city, including:
- Highland Park Village: This top Dallas shopping spot is an open-air, Mediterranean-style center with high-end retail stores, a movie theater and restaurants.
- Dallas Design District: Browse art galleries and interior design showrooms in this urban enclave, or come for the great restaurants.
- NorthPark Center: Shop this enclosed mall for high-end choices in what Shopping Centers Today once called one of the "7 Retail Wonders of the Modern World" according to the shopping center's website.
- The Galleria Dallas: Shopping in more than 200 stores and ice skating? Yes, it's all here. All of the major retail brands have a store in this four-level indoor mall.
- West Village: You'll find some brand names, such as Gap and Brooks Brothers, but you'll also have quirky boutiques and shops around every corner in this highly walkable mixed-use urban development.
- Outlet shopping: Wear your comfortable shopping shoes for epic bargain hunting at Grapevine Mills and Allen Premium Outlets.
Important City Links
Once you're settled in, you'll want to take care of some business, such as getting your new Texas driver's license or find your local voting precinct. Use these links to learn more:
Driver's licenses: The Texas Department of Public Safety has a handy search tool for locating the nearest driver's license office. Look for the "Mega Centers" that let you get in line online before you go. You can also save yourself time by avoiding a long hold time on the phone by first checking out these Driver's License FAQ.
Voter registration and voting locations: Everything you need to know about registering and voting can be found on the Dallas County Elections website.
Vehicle registration: The Texas Department of Motor Vehicles has a helpful "new to Texas" web page that explains all of the steps to becoming registered.
Utility companies: For electric services, check out Power to Choose, a website set up by the Public Utility Commission of Texas to help residents review their options. In Dallas and Fort Worth proper, the city provides water, sewage and trash collection services. Available cable services include the familiar names, such as AT&T, DISH Network and DIRECTV.
Call on Our Expert Dallas Movers
When you're ready to move to the Dallas area, Suddath®'s moving pros are ready to take you there. We have a complete range of residential moving services, whether you need to move to Dallas from another Texas city, another state, or even another country. Suddath has been serving the Dallas-Fort Worth area for nearly a century with packing, loading, transportation, storage, and unpacking services. See what our satisfied Dallas customers have to say, then contact us for a free, no-obligation moving quote.
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