As a thriving Texas metropolis, Dallas offers young professionals, families, and retirees a great place to live in the South. Take a look at these 14 pros and cons of living in Dallas!

Pros of Living in Dallas

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From all the fun things to do in Dallas to the variety of education and employment opportunities, you’ll find a lot to love about living here. Check out these pros of living in Dallas!

Pro: Strong Economy

Those moving to Dallas will be happy to know that the city’s income per capita is 19% above the national average while the unemployment rate is below the national average at around 3.4%! The Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington metro area is home to 24 Fortune 500 companies, including Dallas-based companies like AT&T, HF Sinclair Corporation, Jacobs Engineering, Texas Instruments, and Tenet Healthcare. Dallas is also a great place for startups, thanks in part to the presence of accelerators and incubators like Impact Growth Accelerator, Velocis, and Tech Wildcatters, as well as organizations like DEC Network, which provides support for local entrepreneurs. Prospective employees can also find jobs in healthcare, education, local government, and more with major employers like UT Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas Independent School District, and the City of Dallas.

Pro: Quality Dallas Universities

There is a large variety of universities in Dallas to choose from if you’re hoping to earn a degree. Expand your knowledge of accounting, chemistry, and cognitive science at The University of Texas at Dallas. Prepare yourself for a successful career in finance, economics, or computer science at Southern Methodist University. Check out programs like graphic design, public relations, and marketing at Dallas Baptist University. Delve into subjects like business analytics, special education, and political science at the University of North Texas at Dallas. For a theologically-based education, consider programs like Biblical studies, Christian ministry, or a master’s degree in Christian leadership at Criswell College. Obtain an undergraduate degree in chemistry, drama, or French from the University of Dallas, a private Catholic university. Or earn an associate’s degree in auto body technology, business administration, or early childhood education from Dallas College, one of the largest community colleges in Texas.

Pro: Abundant Outdoor Recreation

With 410 parks and more than 180 miles of trails, residents have a ton of options when it comes to fun outdoor activities in Dallas! Explore 6,000 acres of green space, visit the Trinity River Audubon Center, and go boating at the Great Trinity Forest. Appreciate the stunning Nancy Best Fountain, stay active in fitness classes like yoga, and let your dog mingle with other furry friends at Klyde Warren Park. Buy fresh produce, pasture-raised meats, and handmade crafts within the open-air pavilion at the Dallas Farmers Market. Stroll alongside colorful seasonal plants in the Margaret Elizabeth Jonsson Color Garden, have your kids explore the Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure Garden, and marvel at skilled cooking during the Food & Wine Festival at the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden. Bike, run, or walk on the 3.5-mile-long Katy Trail. Or picnic, kayak, and reel in fresh fish on your next adventure at White Rock Lake.

Pro: Fun for the Whole Family

One of the biggest draws to the city is the amount of family-friendly things to do in Dallas! Step back in time to tour a collection of 19th-century pioneer and Victorian homes, take up blacksmithing, and enroll your kids in one of several educational programs at Old City Park. Check out live performances of shows like Life Doesn’t Frighten Me: I Am Fearless Royalty and The Magician’s Nephew, or enroll your kids in acting classes at the Dallas Children’s Theater. Check out a steam engine from the 1890s and learn about fire safety and local firefighter history at the Dallas Firefighter’s Museum. Spark your child’s curiosity for learning with exhibits featuring rare dinosaur fossils, interactive stargazing stations, and more at the Perot Museum of Nature and Science. Spot aquatic life like the colt coral, Moorish idol, and blackeye goby at the Dallas World Aquarium. Enroll your kids into the Wild Adventure Camp, encounter exotic animals, and try out the Gorilla Trek virtual reality experience at the Dallas Zoo. Or enjoy outdoor concerts, more than 70 rides, and food from a variety of vendors at the State Fair of Texas.

Pro: Shopping Hot Spot

As The Big D offers a large variety of retail options that are hard to find anywhere else, you can shop to your heart’s content when you live in Dallas. Dallas is even the birthplace of the first shopping center in AmericaHighland Park Village opened in 1931 and today features modern retail stores like Frame, Chanel, and Ralph Lauren. Look through over 200 stores like Alo Yoga, Ann Taylor, and Gucci at NorthPark Center. Glide across the ice rink, or visit stores like Aldo, American Eagle, and Buckle at Galleria Dallas. Discover hidden gems like the large variety of antique stores, art galleries, interior design showrooms, and more in the Dallas Design District. Visit stores like Urban Outfitters and Bath & Body Works before catching the latest blockbuster films in the Angelika Film Center at Mockingbird Station. Or shop at Dallas-based stores like Neiman Marcus‘ flagship location, Stanley Korshak, and Wild Bill’s Western Store.

Pro: Active LGBTQ+ Community

Scoring a perfect 100 on the 2023 Municipality Equality Index, Dallas is a place for everyone to call home. There are plenty of resources and amenities that make the Dallas LGBTQ+ community a thriving one! Oak Lawn is the main hub for the LGBTQ+ Dallas community, home to several retailers, clubs, bars, and more that make this a must-see destination. Utilize community resources like physical and mental health services at the Resource Center. Support local music groups like the Turtle Creek Chorale, a chorus group of more than 250 men that is based in Oak Lawn. Have fun at one of the best gay bars in Dallas with line dance lessons, karaoke, and live DJ performances at the Round-Up Saloon. Fill up on delicious food like the Turkey Burger or 4 Tenders Basket, and enjoy a variety of events like drag shows at JR’s Bar and Grill. Have a girls’ night out in Dallas and let loose across a two-floor nightclub with live DJs, weekly live music, and frequent social mixers at Sue Ellen’s, “the oldest lesbian bar in Texas.” Gather together with the community for large annual events like the Teddy Bear Party, Toast to Life, and more. Or celebrate love with a stop by Fair Park to enjoy the family-friendly Family Pride Zone, rock out at the Pride Music Festival, and gather for the Alan Ross Texas Freedom Parade as part of the annual Dallas Pride event.

Pro: Vibrant Arts & Culture

When you move to Dallas, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to enjoy the fine and performing arts. Walk through a modern art space to enjoy a variety of innovative artist exhibitions like Bianca Bondi: A Preservation Method and Chloe Chiasson: Keep Left at the Fork at Dallas Contemporary. Enjoy Broadway Dallas productions of The Lion King, Back To The Future: The Musical, and Peter Pan at the historic Music Hall at Fair Park. Appreciate a variety of different acts like comedian Ronny Chieng, magicians like Justin Willman, and unique programming such as Dinosaur World Live at The Majestic Theatre. Or travel to the Dallas Arts District for tons of fantastic visual and performing arts venues and unique community events. For instance, immerse yourself in the Dallas performing arts scene with shows like Dial M For Murder, The Rocky Horror Show, and Every Brilliant Thing at the Dallas Theater Center. See art from around the world with exhibits like the Keir Collection of Islamic Art Gallery and Love Island: Japanese Weddings of the Edo Period at the Dallas Museum of Art. Make a stop at the specially designed Winspear Opera House for live performances of shows like Romeo & Juliet, The Billy Goats Gruff, and Giselle. Or be entertained by contemporary dance shows from the Dallas Black Dance Theatre like Rising Excellence, Spring Celebration, and Dance Africa at the Dee and Charles Wyly Theatre.

Pro: Sports to Cheer For

Feel the roar of the crowd as you immerse yourself in the deep culture centered around sports in Dallas! If there is one thing residents love to do, it’s support their local sports, from local high school football teams to star-filled Dallas professional sports leagues. Wave your foam finger as the Dallas Cowboys (NFL) find their way into the end zone at AT&T Stadium. Cheer on the Dallas Mavericks (NBA) as they dunk on the competition, or support the Dallas Stars (NHL) on the ice at American Airlines Center. Head over to nearby Arlington to root for the home team Texas Rangers (MLB) at Globe Life Field. Stay in Arlington to cheer on the Dallas Wings (WNBA) to victory at College Park Center. Or applaud FC Dallas (MLS) as they defend the pitch at Toyota Stadium.

Pro: Great Places to Eat

Every day of the week can be used to try out new cuisine thanks to the great variety of restaurants in Dallas! The city as a whole was recognized in 2019 by Bon Appetit as the best restaurant city in the country! While there are plenty of Dallas Tex-Mex restaurants to choose from, there are also tons of other options to explore. Get your morning started off right with Dallas breakfast bagels like the Egg Sandwich, Shug, or Morning Glory from Shug’s Bagels. Enjoy a nice brunch out with friends to try the Egg Tacos, Cajun Shrimp Benedict, and Sliced Brisket Sandwich at Ellen’s. Fill up on classic Tex-Mex in Dallas with dishes like Mayan Style Pork, Mole Poblano, and Chicken Fajitas at Javier’s Gourmet Mexicano. Feast on freshly prepared Dallas BBQ plates like the Hand-Made Sausage, Smoked Turkey, and Southern Fried Chicken from Pecan Lodge. Experience fresh seafood dishes like Hot Lava Shrimp, Seared Idaho Trout, or the Catch of the Day from TJ’s Seafood Market. Or feast on the Duck Curry, Mi Go, and Crab Fried Rice at Ngon Vietnamese Kitchen.

Pro: Exciting Nightlife

There are plenty of Dallas nightlife options to discover, so the fun doesn’t stop once the sun goes down! Head over to one of the best rooftop bars in Dallas for a beautiful view of Downtown while you sip unique cocktails like the Fields of Lavender, Berry Rummy, and Show Me The Honey at Gallery Rooftop Lounge. Bring out your dancing shoes to move along to music like Latin Pop, Salsa, and more at Cafe Salsera. Channel your inner cowboy with dance lessons, two-step dancing, and live music at Cowboys Red River DanceHall. Experience a speakeasy in Dallas in a subterranean environment with live DJs and delicious cocktails at the Midnight Rambler. Laugh out loud with nationally touring comedic acts or perform at an open mic night at Hyena’s Comedy Club. Shoot some pool, pick a song on the jukebox, and enjoy live music at Adair’s Saloon. Hang out with your friends at local Dallas breweries like Deep Elum Brewing Company to sip a Dallas Blonde during trivia night in the Taproom. Or stop by the tri-level taproom to try brews like the Irish Goodbye and the Velvet Hammer at Peticolas Brewing Company.

Cons of Living in Dallas

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While there is plenty to love about living in D-Town, there are also some downsides to think about before moving there. Read more about the cons of living in Dallas below.

Con: High Cost of Living

While there are plenty of amenities for residents to enjoy, Dallas is one of the most expensive cities in Texas. The home prices in Dallas are more expensive than state and national averages, as are costs for utilities and healthcare. You’ll also need to factor Texas property taxes into your budget, since they’re some of the highest in the country. Despite these costs, Dallas is still an affordable place to live when compared to some of the other largest cities in the U.S., including Austin, San Diego, Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York. Employees in Dallas do get the benefit of not having to pay individual state income tax, which can help balance out the state’s high property taxes. Eligible locals who need help buying a home can also take advantage of the Dallas Homebuyer Assistance Program.

Con: Extreme Weather

While the city boasts beautiful, sunny conditions, the weather in Dallas can rise to extreme highs from June to September, forcing residents to contend with uncomfortable heat and humidity levels. As Texas is located in the Tornado Alley region, the area is also at risk for some natural disasters, with residents typically seeing around 16 tornadoes each year. To mitigate this, be prepared for hazardous weather! Some tips for tornado preparedness include paying attention to weather reports and emergency alerts and knowing where you can take shelter in the event of a tornado. Despite all this, Dallas is still a haven for those who don’t want cold winter weather and love basking in the sun. In fact, residents can expect 234 sunny days each year and minimal snowfall in the winter.

Con: Lots of Bugs to Deal With

The subtropical climate in Dallas is an ideal environment for bugs to flourish. In fact, D-Town ranks second on the list of buggiest cities in America. Some of the most common pests in Dallas include bed bugs, termites, and cockroaches. However, residents can follow pest control tips like keeping your home clean, sealing entry points, and removing standing water to help avoid bug problems. And if you do get an infestation, there are plenty of professional Dallas pest control companies available for hire.

Con: Dallas is Congested with Traffic

You’ll likely need to practice patience during your daily drive, as Dallas has the ninth-worst commute and the 15th-worst traffic in the country. Some of the traffic might be caused by the fact that only 3% of Dallas residents use public transportation. However, though public transit in Dallas is limited, there are still options available. Hitch a ride on the free M-Line Trolley when you’re in the Uptown or Arts District areas. Buy a GoPass for the Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART), which offers buses, a streetcar, a rail system, and paratransit services in the city and other surrounding areas. Travel between Dallas and Fort Worth with ease on the Trinity Railway Express (TRE). Take advantage of the city’s convenient Shared Dockless Vehicle Program to rent scooters and bikes for short commutes to local businesses and other public transportation options. You can also eliminate commute times by working from home, since Dallas is also one of the best cities for remote work in the country!

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This post was originally published 07/28/2022 and updated on 03/13/2024 with updated information. 

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