With a population of more than one million, Dallas is among the ten largest cities in the nation-but only the third largest in the state of Texas, behind Houston and San Antonio. However, its metropolitan area, which includes Fort Worth and Arlington, is the fourth-largest in the United States.
With a median resident age of 32 years, Dallas has a large population of single, career-oriented professionals. The median household income-just over $40,000-is well above the nation's average, and the city is home to more than a dozen billionaires. The city touts its ethnic diversity, with vibrant Asian, Hispanic, and African American communities.
Recognized for its business and finance sectors, the city is a popular tourist destination as well and boasts more shopping centers per capita than anywhere in the nation.
NEIGHBORHOODS AND DISTRICTS
Covering such a large landmass, Dallas has a plethora of neighborhoods both within the urban core and in the surrounding suburban and exurban areas. Some prominent districts include:
- Downtown: This area includes the city center, Main Street, the Arts District where the Dallas Museum of Art and forthcoming performing arts center reside; a Government District south of Main Street; and the West End Historic District, which includes Dealey Plaza - known in 1963 as the Texas School Book Depository, where President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. The population of downtown Dallas is expected to skyrocket as its older and historic buildings are converted to lofts and condominiums geared toward young professionals.
- Uptown: Just north of the city center is the trendy, walkable, and expensive Uptown neighborhood, with a relatively new housing stock.
- Highland Park and University Park: Located north of Uptown, these neighborhoods include some of the most luxurious homes in the city, and for that matter, the state. Southern Methodist University is located within the University Park area.
- Deep Ellum: Located just east of downtown, Deep Ellum is considered the most bohemian or artsy area of Dallas, with mixed-income housing, murals on the walls, and many places to hear live music.
- Oak Cliff: Located southwest of downtown, but close enough to make for short commuting times, Oak Cliff is a family-friendly neighborhood built on rolling hills with commanding views of the city center.
ECONOMY AND INDUSTRIES
Known as "Silicon Prairie," Dallas has a strong business climate, with technological industries playing a key role in the economy. The city's other top industries include telecommunications, real estate, financial services, computer technology, banking, energy, and tourism.
Nineteen Fortune 500 companies make their headquarters in Dallas. They include:
- Advance PCS
- Dean Foods
- Neiman Marcus
- Southwest Airlines
- Texas Instruments
The biggest facility of its kind in the country, the Dallas Convention Center contains the largest column-free exhibition hall. The center is the third-most popular business travel destination in the country.
- Dallas World Aquarium re-creates a rainforest complete with indigenous plant life and animals, including vibrant toucans and monkeys. The aquarium section holds 85,000 gallons of saltwater and houses marine life from exotic sea dragons to endangered sea turtles.
- Dallas Arboretum encompasses more than 60 acres on the shoreline of White Rock Lake. Picturesque trails wind through groves of trees and lush gardens. On the grounds visitors may tour the sculpture garden and the DeGolyer House, a 1940s Spanish mansion.
- White Rock Lake features over nine miles of trails along the water's edge, and visitors enjoy a wide variety of water sports and recreational activities, including horseback riding and bird watching.
- Reunion Tower is a distinctive downtown landmark. The 50-story building features an 837-step staircase for athletically inclined visitors.
- Ice Skating Center at the Galleria lies in the center of a four-level shopping mall. Visitors can take skating lessons as well as learn the game of "broomball."
ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
Dallas features a thriving arts community. The Arts District contains museums, art venues, and theaters, and is home to the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center. The city offers several popular cultural attractions:
- Dallas Museum of Art displays temporary exhibits as well as some well-known permanent collections, including the Ten Treasures.
- Museum of Nature and Science contains a paleontology lab and collections of rocks, minerals, and fossils of extinct wildlife. Visitors are also able to view the state's first mounted dinosaur.
- Times Ten Cellars offers wine-tasting events showcasing some of the Cellars' Cathedral Mountain Vineyard wines and the California region's premiere wines.
- Roughton Gallery features 19th- and 20th-century works of art, including paintings by Hovsep Pushman and Louis Aston Knight.
Dallas is home to several institutions of higher learning:
- El Centro College
- Paul Quinn College
- Mountain View College
- Richland College
- University of North Texas at Dallas
- Southern Methodist University
- Dallas Theological Seminary
- Baylor College of Dentistry
- Dallas Baptist University
There are a variety of professional sports teams in the Dallas area:
- Baseball: Texas Rangers
- Football: Dallas Cowboys
- Arena football: Dallas Desperados
- Basketball: Dallas Mavericks
- Hockey: Dallas Stars
- Soccer: FC Dallas
Daily and weekly newspapers that serve the Dallas area include:
- Dallas Morning News
- Al Día
- Texas Jewish Post
- Dallas Observer
- North Texas Journal
The city also offers a number of ethnic newspapers printed in such languages as Spanish, Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese.
DID YOU KNOW?
- The Dallas area is the largest metropolitan area in the nation not on a navigable body of water.
- Wilburn D. Cook, designer of Beverly Hills, California, developed the suburb of Highland Park.
- Highland Park Village, built in 1931, was the first planned shopping center in the U.S.
- Northpark Center was the first air-conditioned mall in the U.S.
- Neiman Marcus was founded in Dallas, with the flagship store downtown.
- At 5.5 million square feet, the Dallas Market Center is the world's largest market for wholesale merchandise.
- Texas is larger than France, Belgium, Holland, Switzerland and Luxembourg combined.
- City Hall was designed by Pritzker-Prize-winning architect I.M. Pei and features an outdoor sculpture by Henry Moore.
- The Dallas INFOMART, designed to be the world's first technology market center, was built to resemble London's Crystal Palace.
- The integrated circuit computer chip was invented in 1958 in Dallas.
- The "Texas Star" Ferris wheel at the State Fair of Texas is the tallest in North America.
- The 52-foot "Big Tex" statue that greets visitors at the State Fair is the tallest cowboy in Texas. The State Fair has been held in the same location since 1886.
- According to the Texas Restaurant Association, the Dallas area has more than 7,000 restaurants.
- The Dallas Farmers Market is the largest working farmers market in the U.S., with more than 1 million visitors annually.
- The frozen margarita machine was invented in Dallas.
- The Dallas Arboretum holds the Southwest's largest annual outdoor floral festival.
- The television shows "Walker: Texas Ranger" and "Prison Break" were filmed in Dallas.
- The movies "Leap of Faith," "Pure Country," "Ruby," "JFK," "Creepshow," "Born on the Fourth of July," "Robocop," "The Karate Kid" and "Silkwood" were all filmed in Dallas County.
- The television series "Dallas" featured the Dallas area for 13 years and was shown in 95 countries. The legendary Southfork Ranch still operates a short distance outside the city.
- The Dallas Public Library permanently displays one of the original copies of the Declaration of Independence, printed on July 4, 1776.
- The Dallas Public Library displays the First Folio of William Shakespeare's "Comedies, Histories & Tragedies."
- Dallas' elevation is 595 feet and the average annual rainfall is 33 inches. The average year-round temperature ranges from 55 degrees to 76 degrees.
- The Dallas Arts District is the largest urban arts district in the U.S. It includes the Dallas Museum of Art and Morton Meyerson Symphony Center, among other venues.
- The AT&T Performing Arts Center opened Oct. 12, 2009.
- The Dallas Arts District will have more buildings designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architects in one contiguous location than anywhere in the world.
- The Crow Collection of Asian Art is the only museum in the Southwest solely dedicated to the arts of Asia.
- The Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center, designed by I.M. Pei, houses the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and one of the last handmade Fisk organs by C.B. Fisk.
- The Dallas Museum of Art is home to one of the largest collections of post-1945 art in the country.
- Fair Park, with its numerous museums and venues, features the nation's largest collection of 1930s Art Deco, exposition-style architecture.
- Dallas has the world's largest bronze monument, Pioneer Plaza, which includes more than 40 longhorn steers, horses and cowboys. It commemorates the trails that brought settlers here.
- The African American Museum in Dallas has one of the largest collections of African American folk art in the nation.
- The Dallas Children's Theater was designed by architect Frank Lloyd Wright. It is the only freestanding theater built to his design that is still operating.
- DFW International Airport is larger than the island of Manhattan.
- McKinney Avenue Transit Authority (McKinney Avenue Trolley) is the largest public transit system utilizing volunteers in North America.
- Due to its 2002 expansion, the Dallas Convention Center has the world's largest singular, column-free exhibit hall in the world at 203,000 square feet.