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Traditionally, “Downtown” Dallas has referred to the geographical area within the downtown freeway loop. In recent years, however, some people have conceptually expanded “Downtown” to include 15 districts. Talk about a lot of ground to cover! But even if you cast the conceptual boundaries of Downtown aside in favor of the traditionally geographic ones, you’ll come to find that Downtown Dallas is not only the central business district of the city; it’s a steadily improving smorgasbord of options.
- Trinity Railway Express
- DART (Dallas Area Rapid Transit)
- Mckinney Avenue Trolley (free electric trolley service)
- Median age 33-34
- Average people per household: 2
- Young singles/marrieds
- I-35 East (or Stemmons) Freeway
- I-30 (or East R. L. Thornton) Freeway
- US 75 (or North Central Expressway)
- Spur 366 (or Woodall Rodgers Freeway)
- Trinity River
Downtown Dallas in three words: varied, iconic, exciting
The great thing about Downtown is there’s a little bit for everyone here: business, art, music, food, parks, museums, aquariums, breweries, and lots and lots of sports. In recent years Downtown Dallas has worked on making itself dog-friendly too, not just in the city but in those gorgeous apartment buildings as well. And there’s tons of development going on, which can be inconvenient, but also means that within the next few years there will be even more options for playing, shopping, eating, and getting yourself (and/or your loved ones) cultured.
Downtown has many public transportation services for getting where you want to go, whether you’re running errands or exploring the city. The most convenient and comprehensive options are DART (Dallas Area Rapid Transit) and D-Link, a free bus service from DART that runs every 15 minutes, taking you to fun, artsy, and cultured parts of town. Mckinney Avenue Trolley (a free electric trolley service) is a fun way to get from the Dallas Arts District to Uptown as well, with some stops along the way.
Downtown Dallas’s list of bragging rights is pretty extensive: Neiman Marcus headquarters (in the Renaissance Tower skyscraper), Reunion Tower (360 degree view of the city), the Dallas World Aquarium, the Dallas Museum of Art, Winspear Opera House, the Dallas Farmers Market, The Adolphus, and the Majestic Theatre. Like we said, it’s a smorgasbord. And with a climate where temperatures rarely go below 35-40 degrees (even in the dead of winter) and it almost never rains, you’ll have plenty of sunshine and warm weather to check out all these great spots!
Let us provide a little breakdown of Downtown: within the freeway loop, there are 7 small districts that make up the area. North of the downtown freeway loop are the Uptown and Victory Park districts. To the west are the Design and Riverfront districts; south of the loop are South Side and The Cedars; and to the east are the Baylor District and Deep Ellum. Each district has its own vibe and reputation, making the different sections of Downtown beautifully unique. Our website has guides specifically tailored toward these outer districts, but the 7 districts within the loop are individually covered (in brief) below.
West End Historic District Many popular destinations are in the West End, including the Dallas World Aquarium, Old Red Museum, Market Street, etc. It’s a buzzing, active area, with lots of history and character, and a vibrant nightlife.
Dallas Arts District Covering 68 acres (or 19 contiguous blocks), on its website the Dallas Arts District claims to be “the largest contiguous urban arts district” in the United States. The AT&T Performing Arts Center, Dallas Museum of Art, Winspear Opera House, Belo Mansion, and many other places to appreciate art are concentrated here. Klyde Warren Park is also in this district. This is an area of inspiration!
Thanksgiving Commercial Center Ever marveled at the beautiful Dallas skyline? Most of those skyscrapers you see are in the Thanksgiving Commercial Center district. Thanksgiving Tower is here too, as well as the Plaza of the Americas. If you love the feeling of awe that great architecture inspires, this is the place for it! Bonus: DART runs right through this district, making it easily accessible!
Main Street District At the very heart of the freeway loop, Main Street district brings all of Downtown together. It is a hotspot for shopping (Neiman Marcus, anybody?), staying (The Adolphus), living (converted historic buildings), and playing (Main Street Garden). These are all just a few of the many offerings found in this district.
Reunion District Reunion, indeed! This district is famous for Union Station, which hosts multiple train lines (including Amtrak), and well-known landmark Reunion Tower. This is the place to unite (or reunite) with family, friends, and/or colleagues, and experience some of Dallas’s finest, like the Wolfgang Puck restaurant Five Sixty, Ferris Plaza, or beautiful views of the city from the top of the tower.
Civic Center This district (which includes the Government District) is where a lot of the important stuff is: Dallas City Hall, J. Erik Jonsson Central Library, Pioneer Park Cemetery, Earle Cabell Federal Building and Courthouse, etc. Civic Center district is where Dallas is run.
Dallas Farmers Market District Home to the Dallas Farmers Market, which is open Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Totally worth checking out, even if you’re not shopping for produce—there’s a whole variety of wares and food at the market, and lots of new living spaces (think: contemporary townhomes and apartments) being developed in the area. Better take advantage!
Downtown Dallas is a great place for people who enjoy warm, sunny weather, great food, stunning architecture, and urban/historic character. No matter your interest, chances are you’ll find something to peak it here! And with a median age of 33-34, it’s a great place for young singles, marrieds, and families. Let Apartment List help you find your home here!