Legend has it that Dallas was founded by outlaws and horse thieves. If that’s the case, then those runners and riders certainly had an eye for real estate. Positioned at the geographic heart of the U.S., equidistant from both coasts, Dallas today is one of the fastest-growing, dynamically modern cities in the country, benefitting from a multitude of major business plusses—from a massive international airport to tiny tax commitments, via remarkably affordable property and a pleasantly low cost of living.
As a result, Dallas has morphed into a mecca for young professionals in the last decade, with millennials flooding into creative, hipster-friendly neighborhoods like Deep Ellum and the Bishop Arts District, as well as more genteel, family-friendly safe havens like Lakewood and the M Streets. If you’re considering relocating to Dallas for a remote work vacation, then you’re making an excellent choice: Dallas is one of the liveliest, most entertaining, and most underrated cities in America.
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Downtown Dallas was once a concrete desert encircling Neiman Marcus’ glittering flagship store, but it’s now finally blooming again. The crumbling office blocks are disappearing and a lively, colorful new neighborhood rises from the ruins like the city’s mascot, a red neon Pegasus.
For remote workers, downtown and neighboring uptown (just across the pretty Klyde Warren Park) both boast a good selection of coworking spaces, many of which are situated high up in the skyscrapers, which will add breathtaking views to your daily hustle. In particular, Common Desk in the Trammell Crow Center at the heart of downtown, as well as Industrious in the adjacent Arts District (a sprawling 19 blocks crammed with museums, restaurants, and theaters) are solid, reliable choices. But WeWork’s Dallas flagship on McKinney Avenue—where uptown and downtown bisect—is probably the most fun choice, with a spectacular balcony overlooking the city to work or drink from as you wish, and an active events scene.
If café culture is more your vibe when it comes to crushing to-do lists, there are a multitude of options in central Dallas too, with freelancer favorites including the breezy White Rhino Coffee on Elm Street and the hip Weekend Coffee on Commerce Street, situated within Dallas’ finest boutique hotel, The Joule. The high-end hotel scene here remains a central component of both work and social life, with major players like The Joule, as well as The Statler, The Adolphus, The Thompson and the Hotel Zaza all supplying comfy nooks and coffee shops for remote workers, as well as excellent restaurants and cocktail bars to enjoy at the end of the working day. Not to mention, in the summer, the hotel pools are a great place to cool off.
Immediately east of downtown, you’ll find the artsy, hipster-friendly Deep Ellum—which is not only the live music capital of Dallas, but also officially the “Mural Capital of Texas”. Here, amid all the artisan stores, boutiques, and no less than 150 colorful street art murals, you’ll also find one of the best coworking spots in the city—the original Common Desk—with its loyal creatives, cocktail lounge and beer on tap.
In a car-focused city, Deep Ellum is one of the few genuinely walkable neighborhoods in Dallas, which means lunchtimes are a fun opportunity to explore buzzy neighborhood cafes and restaurants like Stirr, Postino and Punch Bowl Social (known to locals as “Lunch Bowl Social”), as well as legendary hole-in-the-wall haunts like Hawkers and Revolver, which is arguably the best-loved taco spot in Dallas. Beyond Deep Ellum, Lower Greenville Avenue has bustling, well-heeled restaurants and outdoor bars including Truck Yard, HG SPLY and Desert Racer—all standing neatly shoulder to shoulder, making for an excellent night out.
Further East from Greenville Avenue, you’ll find Lakewood—a favorite place for young couples to buy their first homes, with all of the necessary amenities, including excellent grocery stores, great neighborhood bars and restaurants (centered on Lakewood Village itself), and a solid coworking option in Caddo Lakewood, at the key junction of Gaston Avenue and La Vista Drive. A safe, leafy haven, Lakewood also has plenty of outstanding hidden gems to discover, tucked away on side streets, like the always brilliant Garden Café and the magical boho-chic boutique, Tallulah & Hess. The lake itself—White Rock Lake—serves as a watery exclamation point at the end of true East Dallas, and is a brilliant spot for running, cycling, kayaking, or simply hanging out and soaking up the abundance of sunshine in these parts before, during, or after your working day.
West Dallas is largely a patchwork of residential suburbs, unfurling towards Lovefield Airport and beyond, to the major commuter belt towns of Irving and Arlington—home to the Dallas Cowboys and the Texas Rangers. But between downtown and the suburban sprawl, there are plenty of gems to unearth, starting with the Design District—an industrial-chic enclave known for its fine art dealerships, contemporary furniture showrooms, and colorful fashion boutiques. Here, you’ll find cutting-edge contemporary art galleries shuffled into streets containing sleek, high-end cocktail bars like Meddlesome Moth and brilliant, award-winning craft breweries like Peticolas Brewing Company. The Design District also has a handful of decent coworking options to choose from, including the aptly (if not imaginatively) monikered Design District Cowork, and a WeWork outpost in adjacent Victory Park.
Heading west across the river, you’ll also discover the popular Trinity Groves—a 15-acre restaurant, retail, art, and entertainment destination with a humongous patio from which to enjoy everything from grain bowls to BBQ. It’s a great spot to sip a craft beer while soaking in spectacular views of the Dallas skyline. If you have extra energy, consider taking a walk down to the picturesque Trinity Levee Trail, a popular spot for cyclists and joggers to get in their workout.
Southern Dallas is an interesting and sometimes abrasive assortment of neighborhoods, but there’s one that stands head and shoulders above the rest in terms of amenities, quality of life, and value for money: Oak Cliff.
Known for its cultural diversity, its parks, and its charming indie stores, Oak Cliff has become a real estate goldmine of late, with first-time buyers clamoring to snap up the neighborhood’s signature 20th-century craftsman homes, before restoring and upgrading them. The neighborhood is jam-packed with young creatives and as a result, there are plenty of independent coworking spaces, such as FLOCC, a haven for visual artists in particular, and Wax Space, otherwise known as the Oak Cliff Work Club, which is housed inside a beautifully-restored factory space.
At the heart of Oak Cliff is a pocket neighborhood that many believe is the very best in Dallas: the Bishop Arts District. A highly-walkable and creative cultural hub, this two-block former warehouse area is now home to more than 60 boutiques, bars, coffee shops, and galleries, as well as superb restaurants like upscale French bistro Boulevardier, and champagne and Indian hotspot, Ame.
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