A Breakdown Of DFW’s Neighborhoods

July 19, 2014 7:00 AM

(Photo credit: TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)

(Photo credit: TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)

While there may not be enough space here to feature all of the noteworthy neighborhoods in the largest metropolitan area of the South, these five neighborhoods have several things in common that make them stand out among the rest – plenty of character and elements that encourage interaction. Whether you’re two or 92, these neighborhoods offer something special for everyone.

Oak Cliff’s Bishop Arts District

Perhaps no place has done more for revitalizing Oak Cliff than the Bishop Arts District. Up until the late 1980s, this neighborhood, nestled between Davis and 9th Streets, Adams Avenue and Zang Boulevard, was comprised of boarded-up historic homes and storefronts. Now it’s one of Dallas’ best treasures featuring a walkable area filled with an eclectic mix of chef-driven eateries, bars, shops, art galleries and performance venues. After all, it’s home to Lucia and Bolsa, two of DFW’s best restaurants, as well as the infamous Texas Theatre where Lee Harvey Oswald was arrested. The district also plays host to countless year-round family-friendly events, such as Jingle Bells on Bishop, Bastille Day and the awesome Oak Cliff Film Festival. Adding to the overall charm of the neighborhood are the craftsman and prairie-style bungalows that surround its borders.

Fort Worth’s Near Southside

After decades in decline, Fort Worth’s Near Southside neighborhood has been undergoing an amazing renaissance, much like Oak Cliff’s Bishop Arts area—attracting a variety of both businesses and residences to the area. Situated amongst Magnolia Avenue, Hemphill Street and South Main, you’ll find everything from sidewalk cafes, trendy restaurants and lively pubs to shops, galleries and performance venues, all within walking distance of each other. Festivals like Friday on the Green, a monthly concert series presented April through November, community events, food trucks and a bike sharing program add to the overall vibe of this 1,400-acre urban wonderland.

Related: Historic Walking Tours Of DFW

Historic Downtown Denton

Being recognized by numerous publications, including Travel & Leisure, as having one of “America’s Greatest Main Streets,” historic downtown Denton is considered the cultural heartbeat of the city. While much of the city’s vibe can be attributed to it being home to three universities— the array of activities and amenities to be found all within walking distance of the downtown area appeal to a broad spectrum of people. Anchored by Denton’s county courthouse, dating back to 1896, you’ll find a vibrant area filled with unique shops, local restaurants, museums, galleries and music venues showcasing some of the best talent around. Year-round events, including music festivals, art shows and street performances, can be found on and around the courthouse lawn. And not only can visitors take the A-train from Dallas to Denton,  but they can also make their way to the square and beyond via the DCTA connect bus route service.

East Dallas’ Greenland Hills

More commonly referred to as the M Streets neighborhood, this section of East Dallas is known for its charming Tudor-style homes dating back to the 1920s. The neighborhood, stretching from Central Expressway to Greenville Avenue and from Mockingbird Lane to Ross, offers a little something for everyone to enjoy— ranging from a diverse assortment of boutiques and bars to restaurants and public parks. As well, access to Dallas’ other popular areas—like the Henderson-Knox neighborhood, the West Village, the Katy Trail and White Rock Lake — are all within walking and biking distance. Happy hour gatherings, seasonal festivals and a phenomenal annual St. Patty’s Day parade are just a few of the ways this area keeps its groove going strong year after year.

Historic Downtown Plano

If you think that Plano is the epitome of suburbia, you’re partially correct. Sure, the city is well known for its collection of corporate headquarters, cookie cutter-style homes, big box stores and fast food restaurants, but there’s also a part of Plano that’s a true hidden gem— the historic downtown area. Located approximately between Avenue G, 18th Street and Municipal Avenue is an area filled with buildings and cobblestone streets dating back to the 1800s. The neighborhood, once on the brink of extinction, is now filled with one-of-a-kind shops, restaurants, pubs, galleries and cool urban living spaces. While the area may not be as grand as McKinney’s historic downtown to the north, it’s a neighborhood that’s perpetually progressing. Popular bars and eateries like Lockhart Smokehouse, Urban Rio and the Fillmore Pub are just a few of the places that have made this neighborhood home. And if the downtown area’s rebirth isn’t enough to prove that Plano is becoming more hip, then the Suburbia Music Fest, that recently took place at nearby Oak Point Park and Nature Preserve, should be enough to seal the deal.

Related: Best Tourist Attractions In DFW Worth The Hype

Ilene Jacobs is a freelance writer living in Dallas, Texas. Ilene enjoys writing about a variety of topics, ranging from food, fitness and travel, to kids, pets and senior care. You can find some of her work at Examiner.com.