|— City —|
|Nickname(s): Big D|
Location in Dallas County and the state of Texas
|Country||United States of America|
|Incorporated||2 February 1856|
|- Mayor||Tom Leppert|
|- City||385.0 sq mi (997.1 km2)|
|- Land||342.5 sq mi (887.2 km2)|
|- Water||42.5 sq mi (110.0 km2)|
|Elevation||430 ft (131 m)|
|- City||1,279,910 (8th U.S.)|
|- Density||3,697.44/sq mi (1,427.38/km2)|
|- Metro||6,300,006 (4th U.S.)|
|Time zone||Central (UTC-6)|
|- Summer (DST)||Central (UTC-5)|
|Area code(s)||214, 469, 972|
|GNIS feature ID||1380944
|Primary Airport||Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport- DFW (Major/International)|
|Secondary Airport||Dallas Love Field- DAL (Major)|
Dallas (pronounced /ˈdæləs/), with a population of 1.2 million is the third-largest city in Texas and the eighth-largest in the United States. The city is the primary economic center of the 12-county Dallas–Fort Worth–Arlington metropolitan area that according to the March 2009 U.S. Census Bureau release, had a population of 6.3 million as of July 2008. The metropolitan area is the fourth-largest metropolitan area in the United States.
Founded in 1841 and formally incorporated as a city in February, 1856, the city's economy is primarily based on banking, commerce, telecommunications, computer technology, energy, and transportation; only New York City and Houston are home to more Fortune 500 headquarters in the city limits. Located in North Texas and a major city in the American South/Southwest, Dallas is the core of the largest inland metropolitan area in the United States that lacks any navigable link to the sea. The city's prominence despite this comes from its historical importance as a center for the oil and cotton industries, its position along numerous railroad lines, a strong industrial and financial sector, and its status as a major inland port (due largely to the presence of Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, one of the largest and busiest in the world). It was rated as a beta world city by the Globalization and World Cities Study Group & Network.
Before Texas was claimed in the 18th century as a part of the Viceroyalty of New Spain by the Spanish Empire, the Dallas area was inhabited by the Caddo Native Americans. Later, France also claimed the area, but in 1819 the Adams-Onís Treaty made the Red River the northern boundary of New Spain, officially placing Dallas well within Spanish territory. The area remained under Spanish rule until 1821, when Mexico declared independence from Spain and the area became part of the Mexican state of Coahuila y Tejas. In 1836, the Republic of Texas broke off from Mexico to become an independent nation. In 1839, four years into the Republic's existence, Warren Angus Ferris surveyed the area around present-day Dallas. Two years later, John Neely Bryan established a permanent settlement that later became the city of Dallas. The Republic of Texas was then annexed by the United States in 1845 and Dallas County was established the following year. It is uncertain whether the city was named after George Mifflin Dallas, the U.S. Vice President under James Knox Polk.
Dallas is the county seat of Dallas County. Portions of the city extend into neighboring Collin, Denton, Kaufman, and Rockwall counties. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 385 square miles (997.1 km2), 342.5 square miles (887.1 km2) of it being land and 42.5 square miles (110.1 km2) of it (11.03%) water. Dallas makes up one-fifth of the much larger urbanized area known as the Dallas–Fort Worth Metroplex, in which one quarter of all Texans live.
Dallas and its surrounding area are mostly flat; the city itself lies at elevations ranging from 450 feet (137 m) to 550 feet (168 m). The western edge of the Austin Chalk Formation, a limestone escarpment (also known as the "White Rock Escarpment"), rises 200 feet (61 m) and runs roughly north-south through Dallas County. South of the Trinity River (Texas), the uplift is particularly noticeable in the neighborhoods of Oak Cliff and the adjacent cities of Cockrell Hill, Cedar Hill, Grand Prairie, and Irving. Marked variations in terrain are also found in cities immediately to the west in Tarrant County surrounding Fort Worth, as well as along Turtle Creek north of Downtown.
Dallas, like many other cities in the world, was founded along a river. The city was founded at the location of a "white rock crossing" of the Trinity River, where it was easier for wagons to cross the river in the days before ferries or bridges. The Trinity River, though not usefully navigable, is the major waterway through the city. Its path through Dallas is paralleled by Interstate 35E along the Stemmons Corridor, then south alongside the western portion of Downtown and past south Dallas and Pleasant Grove, where the river is paralleled by Interstate 45 until it exits the city and heads southeast towards Houston. The river is flanked on both sides by 50 feet (15 m) tall earthen levees to protect the city from frequent floods. Since it was rerouted in 1908, the river has been little more than a drainage ditch within a floodplain for several miles above and below downtown Dallas, with a more normal course further upstream and downstream, but as Dallas began shifting towards postindustrial society, public outcry about the lack of aesthetic and recreational use of the river ultimately gave way to the Trinity River Project, which was initialized in the early 2000s and is scheduled to be completed in the 2010s. If the project materializes fully, it promises improvements to the riverfront in the form of man-made lakes, new park facilities and trails, and transportation upgrades.
The project area will reach for over 20 miles (32 km) in length within the city, while the overall geographical land area addressed by the Land Use Plan is approximately 44,000 acres (180 km2) in size—about 20% of the land area in Dallas. Green space along the river will encompass approximately 10,000 acres (40 km2), making it one of the largest and diverse urban parks in the world.
White Rock Lake, a reservoir constructed at the beginning of the 20th century, is Dallas' other significant water feature. The lake and surrounding park are a popular destination among boaters, rowers, joggers, and bikers, as well as visitors seeking peaceful respite from the city at the 66-acre (267,000 m2) Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden, located on the lake's eastern shore. White Rock Creek feeds into White Rock Lake, and then exits on to the Trinity River southeast of downtown Dallas. Trails along White Rock Creek are part of the extensive Dallas County Trails System. Bachman Lake, just northwest of Love Field Airport, is a smaller lake also popularly used for recreation. Northeast of the city is Lake Ray Hubbard, a vast 22,745-acre (92 km2) reservoir located in an extension of Dallas surrounded by the suburbs of Garland, Rowlett, Rockwall, and Sunnyvale. To the west of the city is Mountain Creek Lake, once home to the Naval Air Station Dallas (Hensley Field) and a number of defense aircraft manufacturers. North Lake, a small body of water in an extension of the city limits surrounded by Irving and Coppell, initially served as a water source for a nearby power plant but is now being targeted for redevelopment as a recreational lake due to its proximity to Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, a plan that the lake's neighboring cities oppose.
|Record high °F (°C)||88
|Average high °F (°C)||55
|Average low °F (°C)||36
|Record low °F (°C)||2
|Precipitation inches (mm)||1.89
|Snowfall inches (mm)||1.2
|Source: weather.com 2009-02-09|
|Source #2: Weatherbase.com  February 2010|
Dallas has a humid subtropical climate, though it is located in a region that also tends to receive warm, dry winds from the north and west in the summer, bringing temperatures well over 100 °F (38 °C) at times and heat-humidity indexes soaring to as high as 117 °F (47 °C). When only temperature itself is accounted for, the north central Texas region where Dallas is located is one of the hottest in the United States during the summer months, usually trailing only the Mojave Desert basin of Arizona, southern Nevada, and southeastern California.
Winters in Dallas are generally mild, with normal daytime highs ranging from 55 °F (13 °C) to 70 °F (21 °C) and normal nighttime lows falling in between 30 °F (−1 °C) and 45 °F (7 °C). A day with clear, sunny skies, a high of 63 °F (17 °C), and a low of 36 °F (2 °C) would thus be a very typical one during the winter. However, strong cold fronts known as "Blue Northers" sometimes pass through the Dallas region, plummeting nightly lows below 30 °F (−1 °C) for up to a few days at a time and keeping daytime highs in a struggle to surpass 40 °F (4 °C). Snow accumulation is usually seen in the city at least once every winter, and snowfall generally occurs 2–3 days out of the year for an annual average of 2.5 inches. Some areas in the region, however, receive more than that, while other areas receive negligible snowfall or none at all. A couple of times each winter in Dallas, warm and humid air from the south will override cold, dry air, resulting in freezing rain or ice and causing disruptions in the city if the roads and highways become slick. On the other hand, daytime highs above 70 °F (21 °C) are not unusual during the winter season and will occur at least several days each winter month—roughly the same number of days each December, January, and February that low temperatures fall below 30 °F (−1 °C) or that high temperatures fail to reach 50 °F (10 °C). Over the past 15 years, Dallas has averaged 31 annual nights at or below freezing, with the winter of 1999-2000 holding the all-time record as having the fewest freezing nights, with 14. During this same span of 15 years, the temperature in the region has only twice dropped below 15 °F (−9 °C), though it will generally fall below 20 °F (−7 °C) about once every other year. In sum, extremes and variations in winter weather are more readily seen in Dallas and Texas as a whole than along the Pacific and Atlantic coasts, due to the state's location in the interior of the North American continent and the lack of any mountainous terrain to the north to block out Arctic weather systems.
Spring and autumn bring pleasant weather to the area. Vibrant wildflowers (such as the bluebonnet, Indian paintbrush and other flora) bloom in spring and are planted around the highways throughout Texas. Springtime weather can be quite volatile, but temperatures themselves are mild. The weather in Dallas is also generally pleasant from late September to early December and on many winter days, but unlike in the springtime, major storms rarely form in the area.
Each spring, cool fronts moving south from Canada will collide with warm, humid air streaming in from the Gulf Coast, leading to severe thunderstorms with lightning, torrents of rain, hail, and occasionally, tornadoes. Over time, tornadoes have probably been the biggest natural threat to the city, as it is located near the heart of Tornado Alley.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture places Dallas in Plant Hardiness Zone 8a. However, mild winter temperatures in the past 15 to 20 years have encouraged the horticulture of some cold-sensitive plants such as Washingtonia filifera and Washingtonia robusta palms. According to the American Lung Association, Dallas has the 12th highest air pollution among U.S. cities, ranking it behind Los Angeles and Houston. Much of the air pollution in Dallas and the surrounding area comes from a hazardous materials incineration plant in the small town of Midlothian and from concrete installations in neighbouring Ellis County. Another major contributor to air pollution in Dallas is exhaust from automobiles. Due to the metropolitan area's spread-out nature and high amount of urban sprawl, automobiles are the only viable mode of transportation for many.
The city's all-time recorded high temperature is 112 °F (44 °C), while the all-time recorded low is 1 °F (−17 °C). The average daily low in Dallas is 57.2 °F (14.0 °C), and the average daily high in Dallas is 76.8 °F (24.9 °C). Dallas receives approximately 37.1 inches (942.3 mm) of rain per year.
Dallas' skyline contains several buildings over 700 feet (210 m) in height. Although some of Dallas' architecture dates from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, most of the notable architecture in the city is from the modernist and postmodernist eras. Iconic examples of modernist architecture include Reunion Tower, the JFK Memorial, I. M. Pei's Dallas City Hall and Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center. Good examples of postmodernist skyscrapers are Fountain Place, Bank of America Plaza, Renaissance Tower, JPMorgan Chase Tower, and Comerica Bank Tower. Several smaller structures are fashioned in the Gothic Revival style, such as the Kirby Building, and the neoclassical style, as seen in the Davis and Wilson Buildings. One architectural "hotbed" in the city is a stretch of historic houses along Swiss Avenue, which contains all shades and variants of architecture from Victorian to neoclassical. The Dallas Downtown Historic District protects a cross-section of Dallas commercial architecture from the 1880s to the 1950s.
Central Dallas is anchored by Downtown, the center of the city and the epicenter of urban revival, along with Oak Lawn and Uptown, areas characterized by dense retail, restaurants, and nightlife. Downtown Dallas has a variety of named districts, including the West End Historic District, the Arts District, the Main Street District, Farmers Market District, the City Center business district, the Convention Center District, and the Reunion District. "Hot spots" north of Downtown include Uptown, Victory Park, Oak Lawn, Turtle Creek, Cityplace and West Village.
East Dallas is home to Deep Ellum, a trendy arts area close to Downtown, the homey Lakewood neighborhood, historic Vickery Place and Bryan Place, and the architecturally significant Swiss Avenue. North of the Park Cities is Preston Hollow, home to Texas' wealthiest residents, as well as the most expensive homes in the state. The area is also characterized by a variety of high-powered shopping areas, including Galleria Dallas, NorthPark Center, and Highland Park Village. In the northeast quadrant of the city is Lake Highlands, one of Dallas' most unified middle-class neighborhoods.
Midtown Dallas is currently undergoing construction of new high-rise apartments, restaurants, and retail. The midtown area is generally a new classification of the city, consisting of North Park Mall, SMU, White Rock Lake, The Dallas Arboretum, and new retail/high-rises, most notably along Park Lane and Central Expressway. Midtown is bordered by University Park to the west, Preston Hollow to the North, Lake Highlands/Lakewood to the East, and Uptown/City Place to the South.
Southwest of Downtown lies Oak Cliff, a hilly area that has undergone gentrification in recent years in neighborhoods such as the Bishop Arts District. Oak Cliff originated as a township founded in the mid-1800s and was annexed by the city of Dallas in 1903. Today, most of the area's northern residents are Hispanic. South Oak Cliff, on the other hand, became predominantly African-American after the early 1970s. Much of the southern portion of the city is characterized by high rates of poverty and crime. The ghost town of La Reunion once occupied the northern tip of Oak Cliff.
South Dallas, a distinct neighborhood southeast of Downtown, lays claim to the Cedars, an eclectic artist hotbed south of downtown and Fair Park, home of the annual State Fair of Texas, occurring in October. The area, predominantly African-American, is arguably the poorest in the city. While Oak Cliff is mostly lower-income but fairly vibrant, South Dallas contains large numbers of boarded-up buildings and vacant lots.
To spur growth in the southern sector of the city, University of North Texas System opened a Dallas campus in October 2006 in south Oak Cliff near the intersection of Interstate 20 and Houston School Rd. Large amounts of undeveloped land remain nearby, due to decades of slow growth south of Downtown. Further east, in the southeast quadrant of the city, is the large neighborhood of Pleasant Grove. Once an independent city, it is a collection of mostly lower-income residential areas stretching all the way to Seagoville in the southeast. Though a city neighborhood, Pleasant Grove is surrounded by undeveloped land on all sides, including swampland separating it from South Dallas that will in the future be part of the Great Trinity Forest, a subsection of the city's Trinity River Project.
In terms of voting patterns, the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex is the third most liberal of the Texas metropolitan areas after Austin and El Paso. In contrast, 54% of Houston and San Antonio-area voters and an even higher percentage of rural Texan voters are conservative. Nonetheless, Dallas is known to many as a high-profile center of evangelical Protestant Christianity.
As a city, present-day Dallas can be seen as moderate, with conservative Republicans dominating the upper-middle class suburban neighborhoods of North Dallas and liberal Democrats dominating neighborhoods closer to Downtown as well as the city's southern sector. As a continuation of its suburban northern neighborhoods, Dallas' northern parts are overwhelmingly conservative. Plano, the largest of these suburbs, was ranked as the fifth most conservative city in America by the Bay Area Center for Voting Research, based on the voting patterns of middle-age adults. However, the city of Dallas generally votes for Democratic political candidates in local, state, and national elections.
Jim Schutze of the Dallas Observer said in 2002 "the early vote in majority-black precincts in Southern Dallas is the city's only disciplined vote. Especially in citywide elections on issues that are not entwined in the internal politics of the black community, the Southern Dallas African-American vote has a history of responding obediently to the call of leadership."
In the 2004 U.S. Presidential elections, 57% of Dallas voters voted for John Kerry over George W. Bush. Dallas County as a whole was closely divided, with 50% of voters voting for Bush and 49% voting for Kerry. In the 2006 elections for Dallas County judges, 41 out of 42 seats went to Democrats.
By the 2008 elections, both Dallas County and the city of Dallas had become overwhelmingly Democratic. In Dallas County as a whole, 58% of voters chose Barack Obama, compared to the 42% who chose John McCain. By an even larger margin, the city of Dallas (not including the small portions of the city located in Collin and Denton Counties) favored Obama over McCain, 65% to 35%. When disregarding the city in Dallas County's results, Obama still squeaked past McCain by a margin of 0.7% in what was essentially a 50%-50% tie.
In 2004, Lupe Valdez was elected Dallas County Sheriff. An open lesbian, she is currently the only female sheriff in the state of Texas. Despite controversies in her handling of county jails, she won re-election in 2008 with a 10-point victory over Republican challenger Lowell Cannaday.
Bucking the city's Democratic trend, conservative Republican Tom Leppert defeated liberal Democrat Ed Oakley in the city's 2007 mayoral race by a margin of 58% to 42%. Though candidates' political leanings are well publicized in the media, Dallas' elections are officially non-partisan. The city's previous mayor was Laura Miller, a liberal Jewish woman who had previously written for the Dallas Observer, the city's most popular alternative newspaper.
Dallas is known for its barbecue, authentic Mexican, and Tex-Mex cuisine. Famous products of the Dallas culinary scene include the frozen margarita and the chain restaurants Chili's and Romano's Macaroni Grill. Fearing's restaurant at the Ritz-Carlton Dallas hotel in Uptown Dallas was named the best hotel restaurant in the US for 2009 by Zagat Survey. The Ritz-Carlton Dallas hotel was also named 2009 best US hotel by Zagat, and 2009 #2 hotel in the world by Zagat, trailing only the Four Seasons King George V in Paris, France. A number of nationally ranked steakhouses can be found in the Dallas area, including Bob's Steak & Chop House, currently ranked #3 according to the USDA Prime Steakhouses chart behind Ruth's Chris Times Square and Bones Atlanta.
The Arts District in the northern section of Downtown is home to several arts venues, both existing and proposed. Notable venues in the district include the Dallas Museum of Art, the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center, The Trammell & Margaret Crow Collection of Asian Art, the Nasher Sculpture Center, The Dallas Contemporary, and The Dallas Children's Theater.
The Arts District is also home to DISD's Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, a magnet school which was recently expanded.
Deep Ellum, immediately east of Downtown, originally became popular during the 1920s and 1930s as the prime jazz and blues hot spot in the South. Artists such as Blind Lemon Jefferson, Robert Johnson, Huddie “Leadbelly” Ledbetter, and Bessie Smith played in original Deep Ellum clubs such as The Harlem and The Palace. Today, Deep Ellum is home to hundreds of artists who live in lofts and operate in studios throughout the district alongside bars, pubs, and concert venues. A major art infusion in the area results from the city's lax stance on graffiti, and a number of public spaces including tunnels, sides of buildings, sidewalks, and streets are covered in murals. One major example, the Good-Latimer tunnel, was torn down in late 2006 to accommodate the construction of a light rail line through the site.
Like Deep Ellum before it, the Cedars neighborhood to the south of Downtown has also seen a growing population of studio artists and an expanding roster of entertainment venues. The area's art scene began to grow in the early 2000s with the opening of Southside on Lamar, an old Sears warehouse converted into lofts, studios, and retail. Current attractions include Gilley's Dallas and Poor David's Pub. Dallas Mavericks owner and local entrepreneur Mark Cuban purchased land along Lamar Avenue near Cedars Station in September 2005, and locals speculate that he is planning an entertainment complex for the site.
South of the Trinity River, the fledgling Bishop Arts District in Oak Cliff is home to a number of studio artists living in converted warehouses. Walls of buildings along alleyways and streets are painted with murals and the surrounding streets contain many eclectic restaurants and shops.
Dallas has an Office of Cultural Affairs as a department of the city government. The office is responsible for six cultural centers located throughout the city, funding for local artists and theaters, initiating public art projects, and running the city-owned classical radio station WRR.
Dallas is home to the Dallas Mavericks (National Basketball Association) and Dallas Stars (National Hockey League). Both teams play at the American Airlines Center, as did the Dallas Desperados of the Arena Football League before that league's demise in 2009.
The Major League Soccer team FC Dallas, formerly the Dallas Burn, used to play in the Cotton Bowl but moved to Pizza Hut Park in Frisco upon the stadium's opening in 2005. The college Cotton Bowl Classic football game was played at the stadium through its 2009 game, but has moved to the new Cowboys Stadium in Arlington. The Dallas Sidekicks, a former team of the Major Indoor Soccer League, used to play in Reunion Arena, as did the Mavericks and Stars before their move to the American Airlines Center.
Nearby Arlington, Texas is the new home to the Dallas Cowboys of the National Football League. Since joining the league as an expansion team in 1960, the Cowboys have enjoyed substantial success, advancing to eight Super Bowls and winning five. Known widely as "America's Team," the Dallas Cowboys are financially the most valuable sports 'franchise' in the world, worth approximately 1.5 billion dollars. They are also the second most valuable sports organization in the world. The Cowboys are only out-valued by Manchester United, a soccer club from England, who are valued at 1.8 billion dollars. The Cowboys are relocating to their new 80,000-seat stadium in suburban Arlington.
Other teams in the Dallas area include the Dallas Harlequins of the USA Rugby Super League, as well as the Frisco RoughRiders, the Fort Worth Cats, and the Grand Prairie AirHogs—all minor league baseball teams. The Dallas Diamonds, the two-time national champions of the Women's Professional Football League, plays in North Richland Hills. McKinney is home to the Dallas Revolution, an Independent Women's Football League team. The Dallas Bluestorm, formerly called the Skybolts, is a charter of the new United Gridron Football League, who will begin play here in 2010.
Cricket is another sport that is popular among diaspora from South Asian countries. Local universities such as SMU and University of Texas at Dallas have their own cricket clubs that are affiliated with USA Cricket.
Dallas has no major-college sports program within its political boundaries, although it has one such program within its city limits—the Mustangs of Southern Methodist University are located in the enclave of University Park. Neighboring cities Fort Worth, Arlington and Denton are home to the Texas Christian University Horned Frogs, University of Texas at Arlington Mavericks and University of North Texas Mean Green respectively.
Major league sports teams in the Dallas area:
|Texas Rangers||MLB||Baseball||Rangers Ballpark in Arlington||1972||0 World Series|
|Dallas Cowboys||NFL||Football||Cotton Bowl (stadium) 1960-1970
Texas Stadium 1971-2008
Cowboys Stadium 2009-
|1960||5 Super Bowls - 1971 (VI), 1977 (XII), 1992 (XXVII), 1993 (XXVIII), 1995 (XXX)|
|Dallas Mavericks||NBA||Basketball||Reunion Arena
American Airlines Center
|1980||0 NBA Titles|
|Dallas Stars||NHL||Hockey||Reunion Arena
American Airlines Center
|1993||1 Stanley Cup - 1999|
|Dallas Desperados||AF1||Arena Football||Reunion Arena
American Airlines Center
|FC Dallas||MLS||Soccer||Cotton Bowl
Pizza Hut Park
|1995||0 MLS Cups|
The City of Dallas maintains and operates 406 parks on 21,000 acres (85 km2) of parkland. Its flagship park is the 260-acre (1.05 km2) Fair Park, which hosted the Texas Centennial Exposition in 1936. The city is also home to Texas' first and largest zoo, the 95 acres (0.38 km2) Dallas Zoo, which opened at its current location in 1888.
The city's parks contain 17 separate lakes, including White Rock and Bachman lakes, spanning a total of 4,400 acres (17.81 km2). In addition, Dallas is traversed by 61.6 miles (99.1 km) of biking and jogging trails, including the Katy Trail, and is home to 47 community and neighborhood recreation centers, 276 sports fields, 60 swimming pools, 232 playgrounds, 173 basketball courts, 112 volleyball courts, 126 play slabs, 258 neighborhood tennis courts, 258 picnic areas, six 18-hole golf courses, two driving ranges, and 477 athletic fields.
As part of the ongoing Trinity River Project, the Great Trinity Forest, at 6,000 acres (24 km2), is the largest urban hardwood forest in the United States and is part of the largest urban park in the United States. The Trinity River Audubon Center is a new addition to the park. Opened in 2008, serves as a gateway to many trails and other nature viewing activities in the area. The Trinity River Audubon Center is the first LEED-certified building constructed by the City of Dallas Parks and Recreation Department.
Dallas also hosts three of the 21 preserves of the extensive (3,200-acre/13 km2) Dallas County Preserve System. Both the Joppa Preserve, the McCommas Bluff Preserve the Cedar Ridge Preserve are all within the Dallas city limits. The Cedar Ridge Preserve was formerly known as the Dallas Nature Center, but management was turned over to Audubon Dallas group, which now manages the 633-acre (2.56 km2) natural habitat park on behalf of the City of Dallas and Dallas County. The preserve sits at an elevation of 755 feet (230 m) above sea level, and contains a variety of outdoor activities, including 10 miles (16 km) of hiking trails and picnic areas.
Just southwest of Dallas is Cedar Hill State Park, maintained by the Texas Parks and Wildlife state agency. A 1,826-acre (7.39 km2) urban nature preserve, the park is located on the 7,500-acre (30 km2) Joe Pool Reservoir, and offers activities such as mountain biking, birding, camping and fishing; swimming is allowed at the swimming beach only.
Dallas has numerous local newspapers, magazines, television stations and radio stations that serve the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex as a whole, which is the 5th-largest media market in the United States.
Dallas has one major daily newspaper, The Dallas Morning News, which was founded in 1885 by A. H. Belo and is A. H. Belo's flagship newspaper. The Dallas Times Herald, started in 1888, was the Morning News' major competitor until Belo purchased the paper on December 8, 1991 and closed the paper down the next day. Other daily newspapers are Al Día, a Spanish-language paper published by Belo, Quick, a free, summary-style version of the Morning News, the Jewish community's Texas Jewish Post, and a number of ethnic newspapers printed in languages such as Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese.
Other publications include the Dallas Weekly, the Oak Cliff Tribune and the Elite News, all weekly news publications. The Dallas Morning News also puts out a weekly publication, neighborsgo, which comes out every Friday and focuses on community news. Readers can post stories and contribute content at the Web site, . The Dallas Observer and the North Texas Journal are also alternative weekly newspapers, D Magazine, a monthly magazine about business, life, and entertainment in the Metroplex. Local visitor magazines include "WHERE Magazine" and "Travelhost" - available at hotel desks or in guest rooms. In addition, the Park Cities and suburbs such as Plano also have their own community newspapers. Also, THE magazine covers the contemporary arts scene.
In terms of the larger metro area, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram is another significant daily newspaper, covering Fort Worth/Tarrant County and other suburban areas to the west and northwest of Dallas. It also publishes a major Spanish-language newspaper for the entire Metroplex known as La Estrella. To the north of Dallas and Fort Worth, the Denton Record-Chronicle primarily covers news for the city of Denton and Denton County.
Area television stations affiliated with the major broadcasting networks include KDFW 4 (Fox), KXAS 5 (NBC), WFAA 8 (ABC) (owned by Belo), KTVT 11 (CBS), KERA 13 (PBS), KUVN 23 (UNI), KDFI 27 (MNTV), KDAF 33 (The CW) and KXTX 39 (TMD). KTXA-21 is an independent station formerly affiliated with the now-defunct UPN network.
Sixty-three (63) radio stations operate within range of Dallas. The City of Dallas operates WRR 101.1 FM, the area's main classical music station, from city offices in Fair Park. Its original sister station, licensed as WRR-AM in 1921, is the oldest commercially-operated radio station in Texas and the second-oldest in the United States, after KDKA (AM) in Pittsburgh. Because of the city's centrally-located geographical position and lack of nearby mountainous terrain, high-power class A medium-wave stations KRLD and WBAP can broadcast as far as southern Canada at night and can be used for emergency messages when broadcasting is down in other major metropolitan areas in the United States.
Hispanic Broadcasting Corporation (HBC), the largest company in the Spanish language radio station business, is based in Dallas. In 2003, HBC was acquired by Univision and became Univision Radio Inc., but the radio company remains headquartered in the city.
There is a large Protestant Christian influence in the Dallas community, as the city is deep within the Bible Belt. Methodist, Baptist, and Presbyterian churches are prominent in many neighborhoods and anchor two of the city's major private universities (Southern Methodist University and Dallas Baptist University). Dallas is also home to two evangelical seminaries, the Dallas Theological Seminary and Criswell College. The Cathedral of Hope, a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Protestant church, is the largest congregation of its kind in the world. The city is also home to a sizable Mormon community, which led The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to build a major temple in the city in 1984. Jehovah's Witnesses also have a large number of members throughout Dallas and surrounding suburbs.
The Catholic Church is also a significant organization in the Dallas area and operates the University of Dallas, a liberal-arts university in the Dallas suburb of Irving. The Cathedral Santuario de Guadalupe in the Arts District oversees the second-largest Catholic church membership in the United States, with 70 parishes in the Dallas Diocese. The Society of Jesus, a prestigious group of Catholic priests, operate the Jesuit College Preparatory School of Dallas and are active in the community. Dallas is also home to three Eastern Orthodox Christian churches.
Furthermore, a large Muslim community exists in the north and northeastern portions of Dallas, as well as in the northern Dallas suburbs. The oldest mosque in Texas is located in Denton, about 40 miles (64 km) north of Downtown Dallas. There are at least 8 mosques in Dallas and its suburbs
Dallas and its surrounding suburbs also have one of the largest Jewish communities in the United States. Most of the city's Jewish residents reside in North Dallas, particularly within 3 to 4 miles (5 to 6 km) miles on either side of Hillcrest Road. Temple Emanu-El, the largest synagogue in the South/Southwest, was founded in 1873. The community is presently led by Rabbi David E. Stern. For more information, see the History of the Jews in Dallas, Texas.
Dallas also has a large Buddhist community. Immigrants from Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Nepal, Tibet, Japan, China, Taiwan, and Sri Lanka have all contributed to the Buddhist population, which is concentrated in the northern suburbs of Garland and Richardson. Numerous Buddhist temples dot the Metroplex, including The Buddhist Center of Dallas, Lien Hoa Vietnamese Temple of Irving, and Kadampa Meditation Center Texas and Wat Buddhamahamunee] of Arlington.
There are several Hindu temples in DFW area in cities such as Irving.
The most notable event held in Dallas is the State Fair of Texas, which has been held annually at Fair Park since 1886. The fair is a massive event, bringing in an estimated $350 million to the city's economy annually. The Red River Shootout, which pits the University of Texas at Austin against The University of Oklahoma at the Cotton Bowl also brings significant crowds to the city.
Other festivals in the area include several Cinco de Mayo celebrations hosted by the city's large Mexican population, an Saint Patrick's Day parade along Lower Greenville Avenue, Juneteenth festivities, the Greek Food Festival of Dallas, also hosts the Alan Ross Parade, gay pride parade in September and an annual Halloween parade on Cedar Springs Road. With the opening of Victory Park, WFAA Channel 8 has begun to host an annual New Year's Eve celebration in AT&T Plaza that the television station hopes will reminisce of celebrations in New York's Times Square.
|The Top Fortune 500 Companies
in Dallas in 2009
(ranked by 2008–9 revenues)
with Dallas and U.S. ranks. For the full metro area list, see List of companies in Dallas/Ft.Worth
|4||Energy Future Holdings Corporation||237|
|7||Energy Transfer Equity||286|
|11||Affiliated Computer Services||401|
|More detailed table and notes in
List of companies in Dallas/Ft.Worth
Source:: Fortune 
In its beginnings, Dallas relied on farming, neighboring Fort Worth's Stockyards, and its prime location on Native American trade routes to sustain itself. Dallas' key to growth came in 1873 with the building of multiple rail lines through the city. As Dallas grew and technology developed, cotton became its boon, and by 1900, Dallas was the largest inland cotton market in the world, becoming a leader in cotton gin machinery manufacturing. By the early 1900s, Dallas was a hub for economic activity all over the southwestern United States and was selected in 1914 as the seat of the Eleventh Federal Reserve District. By 1925, Texas churned out more than ⅓ of the nation's cotton crop, with 31% of Texas cotton produced within a 100-mile (161 km) radius of Dallas. In the 1930s, petroleum was discovered east of Dallas near Kilgore, Texas. Dallas' proximity to the discovery put it immediately at the center of the nation's petroleum market. Petroleum discoveries in the Permian Basin, the Panhandle, the Gulf Coast, and Oklahoma in the following years further solidified Dallas' position as the hub of the market.
The end of World War II left Dallas seeded with a nexus of communications, engineering, and production talent by companies such as Collins Radio Corporation. Decades later, the telecommunications and information revolutions still drive a large portion of the local economy. The city is sometimes referred to as the heart of "Silicon Prairie" because of a high concentration of telecommunications companies in the region, the epicenter of which lies along the Telecom Corridor located mostly in Richardson, a northern suburb of Dallas. The Corridor is home to more than 5,700 companies including Texas Instruments (headquartered in Dallas), Nortel Networks, Alcatel Lucent, AT&T, Ericsson, Fujitsu, Nokia, Rockwell, Cisco Systems, Sprint, Verizon Communications, and until recently CompUSA (which is now headquartered in Miami,FL).
In the 1980s, Dallas was a real estate hotbed, with the metropolitan population skyrocketing and the concurrent demand for housing and jobs. Several of Downtown Dallas' largest buildings are the fruit of this boom, but over-speculation and the savings and loan crisis prevented any further additions to Dallas' skyline. Between the late 1980s and the early 2000s, central Dallas went through a slow period of growth and has only recently bounced back. This time, the real estate market in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex has proven to be much more resilient than those of most other parts of the United States.
Dallas is no longer a hotbed for manufacturing like it was in the early 20th century, but plenty of goods are still manufactured in the city. Texas Instruments employs 10,400 people at its corporate headquarters and chip plants in Dallas, and defense and aircraft manufacturing still dominates the economy of nearby Fort Worth.
The Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex as a whole has one of the largest concentration of corporate headquarters in the United States. The city of Dallas has 14 Fortune 500 companies, the 3rd most in the United States while DFW as a whole has 25.. New additions to the list include AT&T, which announced plans in June 2008 to relocate its corporate headquarters to Downtown Dallas from San Antonio, and Comerica Bank, which relocated in 2007 from Detroit. Irving is home to four Fortune 500 companies of its own, including ExxonMobil, the most profitable company in the world and the second largest by revenue, Kimberly-Clark, Fluor (engineering), and Commercial Metals. Additional companies internationally headquartered in the Metroplex include Southwest Airlines, American Airlines, RadioShack, Neiman Marcus, 7-Eleven, Brinker International, AMS Pictures, id Software, ENSCO Offshore Drilling, Mary Kay Cosmetics, Chuck E. Cheese's, Zales and Fossil. Corporate headquarters in the northern suburb of Plano include Electronic Data Systems, Frito Lay, Dr Pepper Snapple Group, and JCPenney.
In addition to its large number of businesses, Dallas has more shopping centers per capita than any other city in the United States and is also home to the second shopping center ever built in the United States, Highland Park Village, which opened in 1931. Dallas is home of the two other major malls in North Texas, the Dallas Galleria and NorthPark Center, which is the 2nd largest mall in Texas. Both malls feature high-end stores and are major tourist draws for the region.
The city itself is home to 15 billionaires, placing it 9th worldwide among cities with the most billionaires. The ranking does not even take into account the eight billionaires who live in the neighboring city of Fort Worth.
Dallas is currently the third most popular destination for business travel in the United States, and the Dallas Convention Center is one of the largest and busiest convention centers in the country, at over 1,000,000 square feet (93,000 m2), and the world's single-largest column-free exhibit hall.
The city uses a council-manager government, with Tom Leppert serving as Mayor, Mary Suhm serving as city manager, and 14 council members serving as representatives to the 14 council districts in the city. This organizational structure was recently contested by some in favor of a strong-mayor city charter, only to be rejected by Dallas voters.
In the 2006–2007 fiscal year, the city's total budget (the sum of operating and capital budgets) was $2,344,314,114. The city has seen a steady increase in its budget throughout its history due to sustained growth: the budget was $1,717,449,783 in 2002-2003, $1,912,845,956 in 2003-2004, $2,049,685,734 in 2004-2005, and $2,218,345,070 in 2005-2006.
National and state legislators representing Dallas:
|House of Representatives||Senate|
|Sam Johnson||Republican||District 3||Kay Bailey Hutchison||Republican|
|Ralph Hall||Republican||District 4||John Cornyn||Republican|
|Jeb Hensarling||Republican||District 5|
|Kenny Marchant||Republican||District 24|
|Eddie Bernice Johnson||Democrat||District 30|
|Pete Sessions||Republican||District 32|
|Bob Deuell ||Republican||District 2||John Carona ||Republican||District 16|
|Florence Shapiro ||Republican||District 8||Royce West ||Democrat||District 23|
|Chris Harris ||Republican||District 9||Craig Estes ||Republican||District 30|
The United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas, which exercises original jurisdiction over 100 counties in North and West Texas, convenes in the Earle Cabell Federal Building and Courthouse in the Government District of Downtown. The same building additionally houses United States Bankruptcy and Magistrate Courts and a United States Attorney office. Dallas also is the seat of the Fifth Court of Appeals of Texas.
Policing in Dallas is provided predominantly by the Dallas Police Department, which has around 3,500 officers. The Dallas chief of police is David Kunkle. The Police Headquarters are located in the Cedars neighborhood of South Dallas.
According to the FBI, a city to city comparison of crime rates is not meaningful, because recording practices vary from city to city, citizens report different percentages of crimes from one city to the next, and the actual number of people physically present in a city is unknown.  With that in mind, Dallas' violent crime rate (12.06 per 1,000 people) is lower than that of St Louis (24.81), Detroit (24.22), Baltimore (16.96), Philadelphia (15.62), Cleveland (15.47), Miami (15.09), Washington, D.C. (14.48), Kansas City (14.44) and Boston (13.39). However, Houston (11.69), Los Angeles (7.87), and New York City (6.38) have lower violent crime rates than Dallas.
Fire protection and emergency medical service in the city is provided by Dallas Fire-Rescue, which has 1,670 firefighters and 56 working fire stations in the city limits. All Dallas firefighters are cross-trained as paramedics through the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas. The Dallas Fire-Rescue chief is Eddie Burns, Sr. The department also operates the Dallas Firefighter's Museum at Dallas' oldest remaining fire station, built in 1907, along Parry Avenue near Fair Park. In addition, the department operates in mutual aid agreements with several surrounding municipalities.
In 1995, the Dallas Fire Department Training Academy (now the Chief Dodd Miller Training Academy) began to host firefighter recruits from other Metroplex municipalities in its 22-week basic firefighter training school, effectively becoming a regional training center. The Academy is reverently known as "The Drill Tower" by instructors and graduates, referring to the facility's most taxing structure/activity, a six story tower whose staircase is routinely climbed three times in rapid succession by recruits in full gear and high-rise hose packs.
U.S. Census estimates released in 2008 indicated that there were 1,279,910 people living in Dallas proper. According to Census data compiled between 2005 and 2007, there were 440,633 households and 257,339 families residing in the city. The population density was 3,623 people per square mile (1,398.8/km²). There were 510,591 housing units at an average density of 1,491.2 per square mile (575.8/km²).
There were 440,633 households out of which 30.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 37.2% were married couples living together, 15.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 41.6% are classified as non-families by the United States Census Bureau. 34.4% of all households had one or more people under 18 years of age, and 16.4% had one or more people who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.65 and the average family size was 3.52.
In the city the population was spread out with 26.6% under the age of 18 and 8.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32.1 years. 51.4% of the population was male and 48.6% was female.
The median income for a household in the city was $40,147, and the median income for a family was $42,670. Male full-time workers had a median income of $32,265 versus $32,402 for female full-time workers. The per capita income for the city was $25,904. About 18.7% of families and 21.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 33.6% of those under age 18 and 13.4% of those aged 65 or over. The median price for a house was $128,200.
As of the 2005-2007 American Community Survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau, White Americans made up 45.9% of Dallas' population; of which 30.5% were non-Hispanic whites. Blacks or African Americans made up 33.3% of Dallas' population; of which 23.2% were non-Hispanic blacks. American Indians made up 0.5% of the city's population; of which 0.2% were non-Hispanic. Asian Americans made up 2.5% of the city's population. Pacific Islander Americans made up 0.1% of the city's population. Individuals from some other race made up 16.6% of the city's population; of which 0.4% were non-Hispanic. Individuals from two or more races made up 1.2% of the city's population; of which 0.8% were non-Hispanic. In addition, Hispanics and Latinos made up 42.4% of Dallas' population.
Dallas has historically been predominantly white, but its population has diversified as it has grown in size and importance over the 20th century to the point that non-Hispanic whites now represent less than one-third of the city's population. In addition, recent data showed that 26.5% of Dallas' population and 17% of residents in the Metroplex as a whole were foreign-born.
Dallas is a major destination for Mexican immigrants, both legally and illegally. The southwestern and southeastern portions of the city, particularly Oak Cliff and Pleasant Grove, consists of a mixture of black and Hispanic residents, while the southern portion of the city is predominantly black. North Dallas, on the other hand, is mostly white, though many enclaves of predominantly black and Hispanic residents exist. In addition, Dallas and its suburbs are home to a large number of Asian residents—Koreans, Taiwanese, Chinese, Filipinos, Vietnamese, Indians, Bangladeshis, Pakistanis, Nepaleses and Arabs all have large presences in the area, particularly in the suburbs of Garland, Richardson, Plano, Carrollton, Irving, Frisco, Flower Mound, and Allen.
About half of Dallas' population was born outside of Texas. Many residents have migrated to the city from other parts of the country, particularly the Midwest, Northeast, and other Sunbelt states such as California.
There are 337 public schools, 89 private schools, 38 colleges, and 32 libraries in Dallas 
Dallas is a major center of education for much of the south central United States. In addition to those located in the city, the surrounding area also contains a number of universities, colleges, trade schools, and other educational institutions. The following describes the various universities and their proximity to the city:
Also in the nearby suburbs and neighboring cities are:
Also, within the Dallas/Fort Worth area, about 30 miles to the west of the city of Dallas, Fort Worth has two major universities within its city limits,
A number of colleges and universities are also located outside the immediate metropolitan area, including:
Most neighborhoods in the city of Dallas are located within the Dallas Independent School District, the 12th-largest school district in the United States. The school district operates independently of the city and enrolls over 161,000 students. In 2006, one of the district's magnet schools, The School for the Talented and Gifted in Oak Cliff, was named the best school in the United States (among public schools) by Newsweek, retaining the title in 2007 and regaining the top spot in 2009. Another one of DISD's schools, the Science and Engineering Magnet, placed 8th in the same 2006 survey and moved up to the #2 spot the following year. Other DISD high schools named to the list were Hillcrest, W. T. White, and Woodrow Wilson high schools. Woodrow Wilson was also named the top comprehensive high school in Dallas by local publication D Magazine.
A few areas of Dallas also extend into other school districts, including Carrollton-Farmers Branch, Duncanville, Garland, Highland Park, Mesquite, Plano, and Richardson. The Wilmer-Hutchins Independent School District once served portions of southern Dallas, but it was shut down for the 2005-2006 year. WHISD students started attending other Dallas ISD schools during that time. Following the close, the Texas Education Agency consolidated WHISD into Dallas ISD.
Many school districts in Dallas County, including Dallas ISD, are served by a governmental agency called Dallas County Schools. The system provides busing and other transportation services, access to a massive media library, technology services, strong ties to local organizations for education/community integration, and staff development programs.
There are also many private schools in Dallas, such as Burton Adventist Academy, St. Mark's School of Texas, The Hockaday School Greenhill School, Ursuline Academy of Dallas, Jesuit College Preparatory School of Dallas, Lakehill Preparatory School, Episcopal School of Dallas, The Lamplighter School, Parish Episcopal School, Bishop Dunne Catholic School, Bishop Lynch High School, Yavneh Academy of Dallas, Dallas Lutheran School, The Winston School, Dallas Christian School on the borders of Mesquite and Garland, First Baptist Academy of Dallas, and Tyler Street Christian Academy in Oak Cliff. Some Dallas residents attend Cistercian Preparatory School in adjacent Irving, The Highlands School in Irving, and Trinity Christian Academy in Addison.
The city is served by the Dallas Public Library system. The system was originally created by the Dallas Federation of Women's Clubs with efforts spearheaded by then-president Mrs. Henry (May Dickson) Exall. Her work in raising money led to a grant from philanthropist and steel baron Andrew Carnegie, which enabled the construction of the first branch of the library system in 1901. Today, the library operates 25 branch locations throughout the city, including the 8-story J. Erik Jonsson Central Library in the Government District of Downtown.
The former Texas School Book Depository, where according to the Warren Commission Report, Lee Harvey Oswald shot and killed president John F. Kennedy in 1963, has served since the 1980s as a county government office building, except for its sixth and seventh floors, which house the "museum of the assassination," known officially as The Sixth Floor Museum.
Dallas has many hospitals and a number of medical research facilities within its city limits. One major research center is UT Southwestern Medical Center in the Stemmons Corridor, along with the affiliated UT Southwestern Medical School. The health care complex includes within its bounds Parkland Memorial Hospital, Children's Medical Center, St. Paul University Hospital, and the Zale Lipshy University Hospital.
Dallas also has a VA hospital in the southern portion of the city, the Dallas Veterans Affairs Medical Center. The center is home to a Consolidated Mail Outpatient Pharmacy (CMOP), part of an initiative by the Department of Veterans Affairs to provide mail-order prescriptions to veterans using computerization at strategic locations throughout the United States.
Other hospitals in the city include Baylor University Medical Center in East Dallas, Methodist Dallas Medical Center in Oak Cliff, Methodist Charlton Medical Center near Duncanville, Medical City Dallas Hospital and Presbyterian Hospital in North Dallas, and the Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children in Oak Lawn.
Like many other major cities in the United States, the primary mode of local transportation in Dallas is the automobile, though efforts have been made to increase the availability of alternative modes of transportation, including the construction of light rail lines, biking and walking paths, wide sidewalks, a trolley system, and buses.
The city is at the confluence of four major interstate highways—Interstates 20, 30, 35E, and 45. The Dallas area freeway system is set up in the popular hub-and-spoke system, shaped much like a wagon wheel. Starting from the center of the city, a small freeway loop surrounds Downtown, followed by the Interstate 635 loop about 10 miles (16 km) outside Downtown, and ultimately the tolled President George Bush Turnpike. Inside these freeway loops are other boulevard- and parkway-style loops, including Loop 12 and Belt Line Road. Another beltway around the city upwards of 45 miles (72 km) from Downtown is under plan in Collin County.
Radiating out of Downtown Dallas' freeway loop are the spokes of the area's highway system—Interstates 30, 35E, and 45, U.S. Highway 75, U.S. Highway 175, State Spur 366, the Dallas North Tollway, State Highway 114, U.S. Highway 80, and U.S. Highway 67. Other major highways around the city include State Highway 183 and State Spur 408. The recently-completed interchange at the intersection of Lyndon B. Johnson Freeway (Interstate 635) and Central Expressway (U.S. Highway 75) contains 5 stacks and is aptly called the High Five Interchange. It is currently one of the few 5-level interchange in Dallas and is one of the largest freeway interchanges in the United States.
Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) is the Dallas-area public transportation authority, providing rail, buses and HOV lanes to commuters. DART began operating the first light rail system in the Southwest United States in 1996 and continues to expand its coverage. Today the system is the eighth-busiest light rail in the country. Three light rail lines are in service, the Red Line, the Blue Line, and the Green Line. The Red Line travels through Oak Cliff, South Dallas, Downtown, Uptown, North Dallas, Richardson and Plano, while the Blue Line goes through Oak Cliff, Downtown, Uptown, East Dallas, Lake Highlands, and Garland. The Red and Blue lines are conjoined between 8th & Corinth Station in Oak Cliff through Mockingbird Station in North Dallas. The two lines service Cityplace Station, the only subway station in the Southwest. DART is continuing construction on its Green and Orange lines, which will serve DFW Airport, Love Field Airport, Irving and Las Colinas, Carrollton, Farmers Branch, the Stemmons Corridor, Victory Park, downtown, Deep Ellum, Fair Park, south Dallas and Pleasant Grove. The Green Line is opening in two phases, the first of which opened on September 14, 2009. The second phase is currently under construction and is projected to open in December 2010.
The next line to begin service will be the Orange Line, opening in three phases starting in 2011. The first phase, Bachman Station to Irving Convention Center Station is projected to open in December 2011. In December 2012 the second phase will open from the previous terminus of Irving Convention Center Station to Belt Line Station. The third and final phase will open in December 2013 and will provide the DFW Airport with rail service. This station will be the terminus for the Orange Line and will connect to Skylink. This will provide passengers the convenience of disembarking the DART and immediately boarding Skylink to be quickly transported to their desired terminal.
In August 2009, The Regional Transportation Council agreed to seek $96 million in federal stimulus dollars for a trolley project in Dallas and Fort Worth. The Oak Cliff Transit Authority took the lead on this. Leaders envision a street car line that would link to the Dallas-to-Fort Worth Trinity Railway Express (TRE) at Union Station in downtown Dallas, cross the Trinity River on the Houston Street viaduct and extend to the Bishop Arts District and Jefferson Boulevard. A trolley line would also connect to the TRE in Fort Worth.
Fort Worth's smaller public transit system, The T, connects with DART via a commuter rail line, the Trinity Railway Express, linking Downtown Dallas' Union Station and Downtown Fort Worth's T&P Station, with several points in between. As is happening in other cities around the country with high-speed regional train service, DART's rail system has skyrocketed land values in parts of Dallas and has led to a flurry of residential and transit-oriented development. Amtrak's Texas Eagle also serves Union Station, providing long-distance train service to Chicago, San Antonio and Los Angeles.
Dallas is served by two commercial airports: Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) and Dallas Love Field (DAL). In addition, Dallas Executive Airport (formerly Redbird Airport), serves as a general aviation airport for the city, and Addison Airport functions similarly just outside the city limits in the suburb of Addison. Two more general aviation airports are located about 35 miles (56 km) north of Dallas in McKinney, and another two are located in Fort Worth, on the west side of the Metroplex.
DFW International Airport is located in the suburbs slightly north of and equidistant to Downtown Fort Worth and Downtown Dallas. In terms of size, DFW is the largest airport in the state, the 4th largest in the United States, and 6th largest in the world; DFW International Airport is larger than the island of Manhattan. In terms of traffic, DFW is the busiest airport in the state, 5th busiest in the United States, and 6th busiest in the world. The headquarters of American Airlines, the largest air carrier in the world, is located less than a mile from DFW within the city limits of Fort Worth. Similarly, Love Field is located within the city limits of Dallas about 6 miles (10 km) northwest of Downtown, and is headquarters to Southwest Airlines.
Dallas is served by Dallas Water Utilities, which operates several waste treatment plants and pulls water from several area reservoirs. The city's electric system is maintained by several companies, including Cirro Energy and TXU, whose parent company, Energy Future Holdings Corporation, has headquarters in the city. The city offers garbage pickup and recycling service weekly through its Sanitation Services department. Telephone networks, broadband internet, and cable television service are available from several companies, including AT&T, Time Warner Cable, and Verizon FiOS.
|1990||Brno, Czech Republic|
|1995||Tianjin City, People's Republic of China|
|1996||Taipei, Republic of China (Taiwan)|
|D/FW Airport / Denton, Texas||McKinney, Texas / Tulsa, Oklahoma||Greenville, Texas / Texarkana, Texas|
|Fort Worth, Texas||Terrell, Texas / Shreveport, Louisiana|
|Cleburne, Texas||Waco, Texas / Austin, Texas||Kaufman, Texas / Houston, Texas|
Dallas ,the third largest city in Texas and the center of the state's largest metropolitan area, the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, is in the north central portion of the state. This populous city is home to the Dallas Cowboys and you'll regularly be reminded of the city's mass enthusiasm for the team. A shopper's paradise, Dallas has more shopping centers per capita than any other city in the US.
Some area attractions often thought of as Dallas attractions are actually located in the suburbs, notably the following:
Many non-natives often have a hard time sizing up Dallas, and indeed, the entire Metroplex. Dallas does not fit many of the typical Texan stereotypes (Western, laid-back, casual), but it also doesn’t often live up to some of the more notorious stereotypes of its own (pretentious, unfriendly, sterile). The truth is, like in many things, somewhere in between.
Dallas is a wonderful place with a great deal to offer and an immense and diverse set of attractions, food and people. From the ultra-modern and posh Uptown and Victory developments, to the old-world elegance and upper-crust attitude of Turtle Creek, to the “real life” feel of largely-suburban North Dallas, it is virtually impossible to neatly categorize Dallas beyond this: it is one of the largest cities in America, and a metro area where more and more people are choosing to work and live every year. With that in mind, you should enjoy visiting Dallas for all the same reasons why others choose to live there.
Being in the American South, Dallas has a subtropical climate with mild winters, hot summers, and a very wet spring and fall in between. In winter and summer it can also be a very dry place, as it receives warmer, drier weather from the Mojave Desert in the west and the Great Plains in the north.
Winters are generally mild, with average highs in the 50s and 60s (10-20*C) and average lows around the freezing mark. It does snow in Dallas a couple times a year, and there is the rare day where temperatures will not get out of the 30s (0-5*C), but for the most part winter is just relatively dry and cool. There is, however, the danger of freezing rain and ice storms.
Spring and fall bring very pleasant temperatures, but spring is also known for its storms. With Dallas lying within Tornado Alley, springtime weather can be quite volatile and severe storms often occur. Summers are hot and dry, with temperatures often surpassing 100*F (38*C).
Average rainfall in Dallas is 37.1 inches (942.3 mm) per year, and average snowfall is about 2.5 inches (63.5 mm) per year.
Most people who come to Dallas are going to come by air since Dallas is home to DFW, the Dallas-Fort Worth International airport.
Coming from the south, I-45 is the major highway for travel between Houston and Dallas, while I-35 connects the city to Austin and San Antonio.If you come in on I-35 you need to keep in mind that, a few dozen miles both north and south of the "metroplex," the interstate splits into I-35W (which runs north/south through Fort Worth) and I-35E (the branch that runs north/south through Dallas). Miss the split and you'll wind up in a different city. Coming from the west, Dallas is reached by either I-20 on the south side or I-30 which comes directly into downtown. Both of these interstate highways approach Dallas from the east. I-20 comes from Shreveport, Louisiana and I-30 comes from Texarkana.
There are two major airports in the Dallas / Fort Worth area, DFW, and Love Field (DAL). Love Field is within the city limits not far northwest of downtown, but has certain restrictions on flights in and out. Love Field is home to Southwest Airlines , so if you are flying from within Texas, a nearby state or don't mind connecting, you might check with them. Love Field is also served by Continental Express to Houston, and Northwest Airlink to Memphis. American Eagle recently suspended the one service at this airport. The flight restrictions at Love Field were partially lifted when the "Wright Amendment Reform Act" was made law in October 2006. The restrictions will be fully lifted in 2014.
Otherwise, you will probably end up flying into DFW . DFW, one of the largest airports in the country by passenger volume, is physically large as well, reasonably clean, and during tourist-travel type times, lines are short and staff are friendly. Equally positioned between Dallas and Fort Worth, DFW is a great airport to fly into. Don't forget that as you drive out of the airport, you will have to pay a toll to leave. DFW is the chief terminal of American Airlines, which controls well over 80% of all the flights.
No matter which airport you are flying into or out of, if it is during rush hour, traffic will be a factor. Make sure you budget at least 2-3 hours to get to/from the airport if you are traveling on I-635, the Bush turnpike (SH-190), or 75 (Central Expressway). It will probably only take you an hour (and traffic has been getting better lately), but it is far better to have that extra hour of cushion than to be stuck on the one road that will get you where you need to go, and to be moving at a crawl.
Once you've arrived at the airport, you will probably do best to take one of the Shared Ride shuttle services. They offer door to door pickup and drop off, probably costing ~$30 for ~20 miles, which will get you to most places.
Another option is to pickup a car rental at DFW. To do so, you will take the shared shuttle from the airport terminal to the consolidated car rental facility. The following companies are located inside the facility:
For DFW, there are courtesy phones that will let you ring them directly (for free), and they are usually pretty quick about pickups and drop offs. (at most adding an extra 30-40 minutes while you wait for them to pick up more people, or to drop your fellow passengers off on the way to your place or hotel).
A less expensive option, to some places, would be DART , Dallas Area Rapid Transit, which offers regular daytime bus service from DFW Airport to a commuter rail station located South of the airport.
To get here from Oklahoma, take I-35 or US 75 south. To get here from Houston, it's ~250 miles north on I-45 (which turns into US 75). To get here from Austin, take I-35 North. To get here from Louisiana, take I-20 west. Dallas is the junction-point for most cities within a 200-300 mile radius, with good road service to and from. Any map of the United States should have enough information to get you into Dallas with no problems.
However, once you are here, watch out for traffic. Traffic tends to go towards the city centers in the morning, and away from the city centers in the evening. Major choke points are 75 South in the morning (what takes 20 minutes with no traffic, ends up taking 1-2 hours with traffic). I-635 near US-75 is also usually a mess since I-635 (being the beltway that runs all around Dallas) is an often-traveled road. Also watch out for I-35E southbound in the mornings.
The simplest and most reliable way to get around Dallas is by car. There is public transportation in the form of buses and trains (light rail), but again, these best serve the local needs (commuting to work, etc), and are very difficult to get good timings if you are trying to get anywhere exotic although the DART train does hit many tourist destinations.
The transportation system is called DART, and they do an excellent job of catering to special events (Cowboys games, State Fair), or special places (Dallas Zoo, West End, Arboretum) and will instantly give you a trip plan if you call them up (214-979-1111) or use their website . You will usually want to get a day pass ($4), since it will probably take you a lot of buses to get where you need to go. Most buses and trains have service from around 5:00 AM to midnight. There are no after-hours buses.
The bus system, not unlike in many large cities, can be quite confusing, and trying to get to points downtown may involve a long walk due to one-way streets. Because mass transit is still far behind in popularity compared to that of other countries — and even more so in Texas, where cars are well ingrained in the culture — foreigners may be surprised that Dallasites will be unable to help direct them very well. The train system is easiest to understand, and connects to several suburban areas. Prices are relatively cheap, especially for train travel. On DART, bus drivers check tickets at the door, but on the trains, tickets are checked by DART security officers who sporadically board trains between stations. Being caught on the train without a valid ticket usually results in your being asked to immediately depart at the next stop, but you can also receive a fine not to exceed $500. Tickets are not as likely to be checked while the train is downtown or on excessively crowded trains, but it is always a risk to go for a free ride.
Car rentals are the most convenient for transportation for visitors, with local companies offering better prices but national chains offering more convenience vis-a-vis return policies and times.
To get from Dallas-Fort worth (DFW) airport to downtown Dallas or Fort Worth, take a free shuttle from outside your terminal to the Remote South parking lot. Here you can change to another free shuttle to the Trinity Rail Express station called Centre Port/DFW Airport. From here a train to either downtown takes about 20 minutes. You may have to wait an hour for the next train. Buy tickets from the vending machines; they take dollar bills as well as coins. Tickets cost about $2.50. Alternatively, you can take a shared van from the airport. These cost $15-$20, depending on your destination.
Shopping is big in Dallas. In days of yore, folks would come from all over the country to shop in Dallas' exclusive shops.
Areas with high concentrations of restaurants include the following:
Dallas has a good number of its own chain restaurants which have become quite successful in the area, offering unique local flavors.
Main Street in Downtown has seen major improvements over the last few months, with plenty of places to eat and to play. Highly Recommended. Don't forget to stop by the City Tavern for a longneck or two.
The Dallas Observer  is the local alternative weekly. You can pick up a free copy at many places around town. It is full of useful information on Dallas nightlife and its music-scene offerings.
The existence of several "dry" towns within the Dallas area put a severe damper on its nightlife scene, particularly in communities like Richardson, to the north, which is as fun and lively as a graveyard during a funeral service.
If you are so inclined, Dallas has an overabundance of "Gentlemen's Clubs." Most of these places are nice and safe, and usually located off the Highway 35 and Northwest Highway area. Bring cash along or go to an ATM beforehand-- if using a credit card, you have to sign the tabs in triplicate with a photocopy of your ID. One can have a good time for $100-$200 at all the clubs, but if you want to spend more, the ladies will certainly help you do so. Here is a list of some of the clubs starting with the nicest ones.
Some travelers may find it more convenient to stay in Irving closer the DFW airport, in Arlington near the amusement parks, or in one of the northern suburbs such as Lewisville, Carrollton, Plano, or Richardson.
Go out with a group at night and valet your car so that you don't have to walk far at the end of the night. If you are downtown after dark, there is a fairly large number of homeless people in the area. Uptown and North Dallas are generally very safe after dark. South Side is generally a little bit more rough around the edges than the north sides. Also avoid driving on the highways on the weekends after 2:00AM It can be unnerving because all the bars and clubs kick everyone out at two, so most of the drivers have been drinking and are in a hurry to get home. Cafe Brazil is a 24-hour restaurant that has decent food, much better than Denny's or IHOP, and is a good place to wait out the rush or if you're just hungry late at night. Multiple locations.
Downtown is very safe at night as long as you follow the rules like you would in any city. The West End, Main and Elm Streets and Deep Ellum are the places that would interest most tourists. Check with your hotel for more details. Also, If you are Downtown during the night hours, it is strongly suggested that you don't venture in the Government District, particularly near City Hall. This place is not dangerous in itself, but there are a lot of homeless running about. Stick to the West End.
In the south Dallas area (Oak Cliff, Pleasant Grove), try to avoid anywhere south of the Trinity river, with the exception of far North Oak Cliff and the Bishop Arts District. South Dallas is mostly a low-income, high-crime residential area that should not be ventured into, especially at night. There is also nothing to see here except the Texas Theater, where Lee Harvey Oswald was captured, which should be safe to see during the day.
It is best to avoid dawdling about in South Dallas at night-- know where you are going and go directly there. It's safer generally during the State Fair of Texas, but don't wander too far away. Fair Park is also safer and more tourist friendly during the daytime, however, it is closed during night hours.
|Routes through Dallas|
|Fort Worth ← Arlington ←||W E||→ Tyler → Shreveport|
|Fort Worth ← Grand Prairie ←||W E||→ Mesquite → Texarkana|
|Oklahoma City ← Carrollton ←||N S||→ Waxahachie → Waco|
|END ←||N S||→ Corsicana → Houston|
|San Angelo ← Glen Rose ←||W E||→ Rockwall → Texarkana|
|Tulsa ← Richardson ←||N E||→ END|
|END ←||N E||→ Athens → Jacksonville|
|This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!|
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