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Exploring South Dallas Your Ultimate Guide

Exploring South Dallas: Your Ultimate Guide

As a proud resident of Dallas, I am always eager to explore new neighborhoods and communities that make up this great city. 

And when it comes to the South Dallas area, I can’t help but feel a special connection to its rich history, culture, and diverse communities.

South Dallas is a vast area that includes several neighborhoods, each with its own unique personality and vibe. 

From the bustling and historic neighborhoods of Oak Cliff to the up-and-coming Bishop Arts District, there is no shortage of things to see, do, and explore in South Dallas.

In this ultimate guide, we’ll take a closer look at which areas are part of South Dallas and some of the best places to visit, things to do, and experiences to have in this vibrant and dynamic part of the city. 

So grab your map, put on your walking shoes, and let’s dive in!

Where is South Dallas?

Where is South Dallas

South Dallas is a neighborhood located in the southern part of Dallas, Texas.

Bounded by Interstates 45 and 30 to the west and south, I-365 to the east, and Loop 12 to the north, it encompasses several neighborhoods, including the Cedars, Fair Park, and South Boulevard/Park Row. 

One of the defining features of South Dallas is its diverse population. It is home to a significant African American community, which has played a significant role in shaping the neighborhood’s culture and heritage. 

South Dallas also boasts a growing Hispanic population, which adds to the area’s cultural richness. 

What is considered South Dallas?

What is considered South Dallas

South Dallas generally refers to the neighborhoods south of downtown Dallas, including Oak Cliff, South Dallas/Fair Park, and Pleasant Grove. It’s a diverse area with a mix of residential and commercial spaces. 

Oak Cliff, one of the most well-known neighborhoods in South Dallas, is located just south of downtown Dallas and is home to a diverse array of communities. 

From historic homes in the Bishop Arts District to the bustling shopping centers of Redbird, Oak Cliff is a vibrant and thriving area of the city. 

South Dallas/Fair Park is another neighborhood often associated with South Dallas. This area is home to Fair Park, a National Historic Landmark that hosts the annual State Fair of Texas as well as many other cultural and sporting events throughout the year.

Pleasant Grove, located southeast of downtown Dallas, is a predominantly residential area with a mix of single-family homes, townhouses, and apartments. 

The neighborhood is home to several parks, including Crawford Memorial Park and Umphress Park, which offer residents plenty of green space for outdoor activities. 

Map of South Dallas 

Map of South Dallas

South Dallas comprises several neighborhoods, each with its own unique character. Some of these neighborhoods include South Boulevard/Park Row, Oak Cliff, Pleasant Grove, South Dallas/Fair Park, and Cedars. 

Each neighborhood has its own distinct charm and offers a variety of amenities and attractions for residents and visitors to enjoy. 

From historic homes to cultural events, affordable housing options, and a resurgence of the arts, South Dallas has something for everyone. 

South Boulevard/Park Row 

South BoulevardPark Row's Homepage

This historic neighborhood is located just south of downtown Dallas and is known for its beautiful, tree-lined streets and historic homes. 

The area also hosts several community events throughout the year, such as the annual South Boulevard/Park Row Historic Home Tour.

Oak Cliff 

Oak Cliff Oak Cliff's Homepage

Oak Cliff is one of the most diverse and rapidly changing neighborhoods in Dallas, featuring historic districts such as the Bishop Arts District, which has become a popular destination for foodies and shoppers. 

The area is also home to several parks, including Kiest Park, which has sports fields, picnic areas, and a walking trail.

Pleasant Grove 

Pleasant Grove's Homepage

Located in the southeast corner of Dallas, Pleasant Grove is a primarily residential neighborhood that is known for its affordable housing options. 

The area is home to several parks, including Crawford Memorial Park, which features a playground, basketball court, and picnic area.

South Dallas/Fair Park 

South DallasFair Park's Homepage

Fair Park is the location of the annual State Fair of Texas and is a National Historic Landmark with museums, art galleries, and performance spaces. 

The neighborhood is also a hub for community organizations and events, such as the South Dallas/Fair Park Community Outreach Program, which offers aid to low-income families. 


Cedars' Homepage

The Cedars is a neighborhood just south of downtown Dallas that has seen a resurgence in recent years. 

The area features galleries and performance spaces such as the South Side Ballroom, hosting concerts and other events throughout the year. 

It also offers a variety of dining and entertainment options, including the popular Alamo Drafthouse Cinema. 

South Dallas Population and Demographics 

South Dallas Population and Demographics

South Dallas has a population of 261,000, with around 70% African Americans and 27% Hispanic or Latinx. The area has a rich civil rights history but faces challenges with poverty and crime. 

Other ethnic groups, including Asians and whites, make up the remaining 3%.

One of the most significant factors affecting South Dallas’ demographics is its history. The area was originally settled by freed slaves in the late 1800s and has since become a hub of African American culture and community. 

The Martin Luther King Jr. Center, located in South Dallas, serves as a testament to the area’s rich civil rights history. 

What’s it like living in South Dallas, Texas?

What’s it like living in South Dallas, Texas

Living in South Dallas, Texas, is a diverse and vibrant experience with a strong sense of community and pride in its rich history and culture. The area boasts beautiful parks, museums, and unique small businesses. 

I’ve had the opportunity to attend festivals and events that celebrate the area’s heritage, including the Juneteenth celebration in Fair Park and the South Dallas Cultural Center’s annual Kwanzaa celebration. 

Another benefit of living in South Dallas is the abundance of parks and green spaces. I frequently visit the beautiful William Blair Jr. Park, which features a walking trail, playgrounds, and picnic areas. 

Other popular parks in the area include Samuel Grand Park, Kiest Park, and Moore Park. 

Is it safe to live in South Dallas, Texas? 

Is it safe to live in South Dallas, Texas' Homepage

South Dallas has a crime rate that is higher than 95% of cities in Texas, with a 1 in 12 chance of becoming a victim of crime.

However, safety varies between neighborhoods, and some residents have lived there for years without experiencing any crime. 

It is important to understand that South Dallas is a large area that includes multiple neighborhoods. Some of these neighborhoods are safer than others, so it’s crucial to look at crime statistics for specific areas. 

As mentioned earlier, according to NeighborhoodScout, which analyzes data from the FBI, South Dallas has a crime rate that is higher than 95% of cities in Texas. The chance of becoming a victim of a crime in South Dallas is 1 in 12. 

However, it’s essential to note that this crime rate includes both violent and property crimes. 

When looking at violent crime specifically, South Dallas has a higher rate than the national average, with 12.22 violent crimes per 1,000 residents compared to the national average of 3.69. 

However, the property crime rate is closer to the national average, with 34.78 property crimes per 1,000 residents compared to the national average of 24. 

While these statistics may seem alarming, it’s important to remember that they are just numbers and don’t necessarily reflect the experiences of individuals living in South Dallas. 

As we said earlier, many people have been living in the area for years and have never experienced any crime. 

Is it expensive to live in South Dallas, Texas?

Is it expensive to live in South Dallas, Texas' Homepage

It’s not expensive to live in South Dallas, with a cost of living score of 67.42, which is 8% lower than the Dallas average of 73.39. 

Housing in South Dallas is particularly affordable, with a median home value of $119,500 and an average one-bedroom rent of $877.

Housing is one of the biggest expenses for most people, and South Dallas offers a range of options to fit different budgets. 

According to Zillow, the median home value in South Dallas is $119,500, which is significantly lower than the Dallas average of $266,600. 

For renters, the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in South Dallas is $877, compared to the Dallas average of $1,171. 

Is South Dallas, Texas, family-friendly?

Is South Dallas, Texas, family-friendly's Homepage

South Dallas can be family-friendly, depending on the specific neighborhood. Areas like Oak Cliff and Bishop Arts have great schools, parks, and amenities.

However, Fair Park and South Boulevard-Park Row have high poverty rates and limited access to education and healthcare.

South Dallas is a vast area that encompasses several neighborhoods, each with its own unique character. 

Some parts of South Dallas, particularly the historic neighborhoods such as Oak Cliff and the Bishop Arts District, have undergone significant redevelopment in recent years, attracting new residents and businesses.

These areas boast beautiful parks, community centers, and excellent schools, making them desirable places for families to live. 

However, Fair Park and South Boulevard-Park Row can be challenging places to raise a family. Crime rates can be higher in some of these areas, and access to quality education and healthcare can be limited. 

It’s essential to research specific neighborhoods within South Dallas thoroughly and understand their unique challenges and opportunities. 

One significant advantage of living in South Dallas is its proximity to downtown Dallas, making it convenient for working parents to commute to work. 

The area also offers affordable housing options, making it an attractive option for families looking to buy a home. 

South Dallas is also home to several family-friendly attractions, such as the Dallas Zoo, the Trinity River Audubon Center, and the Children’s Aquarium at Fair Park. These are great places to spend quality time with your family and create memories. 

Housing Options in South Dallas 

Housing Options in South Dallas

South Dallas is an affordable option for those looking to buy a home or rent. The median home value is $135,000, significantly lower than Dallas’ $240,000.

Renting is also viable, with an average rent of $1,100 per month, which is also lower than Dallas’ $1,500 per month.

There are also several different types of rental properties available in South Dallas, including apartments, townhomes, and even duplexes. 

Many of these properties are managed by professional property management companies, which can make the rental process much smoother and more efficient. 

South Dallas Schools and Colleges

South Dallas is home to several schools and colleges, including Paul Quinn College, Lincoln High School, Bishop Dunne Catholic School, Uplift Education, and Cedar Valley College. 

These institutions offer a variety of educational opportunities, from private to public, faith-based to secular, and two-year to four-year degrees. 

Paul Quinn College 

Paul Quinn College's Homepage

Located in the heart of South Dallas, Paul Quinn College is a private, faith-based, four-year liberal arts college. It was founded in 1872 and is the oldest historically black college west of the Mississippi River. 

The college has the mission of providing quality education to students regardless of their economic background. In recent years, it has gained national recognition for its innovative programs in urban agriculture and community development.

Lincoln High School 

Lincoln High School's Homepage

Lincoln High School, also known as Lincoln Humanities/Communications Magnet High School, is a public high school located in South Dallas. 

It was founded in 1939 and has a rich history of providing education to the African American community in Dallas. 

The school has a strong focus on the arts and humanities and offers a variety of programs, including theater, dance, and music.

Bishop Dunne Catholic School 

Bishop Dunne Catholic School's Homepage

Bishop Dunne Catholic School is a private, co-educational Catholic high school located in the Oak Cliff area of South Dallas. 

The school was founded in 1961 and has a long tradition of providing a rigorous academic curriculum in a faith-based environment. 

Bishop Dunne offers a variety of extracurricular activities, including sports, clubs, and service opportunities.

Uplift Education 

Uplift Education's Homepage

Uplift Education is a nonprofit public charter school network that serves students in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, including several schools in South Dallas. 

The network was founded in 1996 and has the mission of providing a college-preparatory education to all students. 

Uplift offers a rigorous curriculum that includes Advanced Placement courses and dual-credit college courses.

Cedar Valley College 

Cedar Valley College's Homepage

Cedar Valley College is a community college located in Lancaster, just south of Dallas. The college was founded in 1977 and is part of the Dallas County Community College District. 

Cedar Valley College offers a variety of programs, including associate degrees, certificates, and workforce training programs. 

The college has a strong focus on sustainability and is home to the Cedar Valley Sustainable Campus Initiative, which promotes environmentally friendly practices.

Things to Do in South Dallas 

South Dallas is a vibrant and diverse area with plenty of activities and attractions to offer visitors and locals alike. Whether you’re interested in exploring cultural institutions, outdoor spaces, or delicious cuisine, South Dallas has something for everyone. 

From historical landmarks to modern entertainment venues, here are some of the top things to do in Dallas. 

Visit the Dallas Zoo.

Visit the Dallas Zoo's Homepage
Name Dallas Zoo 
Location 650 S. R.L. Thornton Freeway, Dallas, TX 75203
Contact Details +1 469-554-7500 /
Hours 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, daily
Admission • Adults (ages 12-64) – $17
• Children (ages 3-11) – $14 
• Seniors (ages 65+) $-14 
• Children 2 and under – Free 
Parking • General Parking – $12 
• Preferred Parking – $15 
• VIP Parking – $20 
Highlights • Giants of the Savanna 
• Wilds of Africa 
• Children’s Zoo 
• Endangered Species Carousel 
• Zoo North 
• Simmons Hippo Outpost 

The Dallas Zoo is a must-visit destination in South Dallas. With over 106 acres of space, it is home to more than 2,000 animals from around the world. 

Visitors can explore a wide range of exhibits, including the award-winning Giants of the Savanna, which features African elephants, giraffes, and other savanna animals. 

The zoo also has a Children’s Zoo, where younger visitors can interact with animals up close, and a Wilds of Africa exhibit, which showcases the diverse wildlife of the African continent. 

Explore the Trinity River Audubon Center. 

Explore the Trinity River Audubon Center's Homepage
Name Trinity River Audubon Center
Location 6500 Great Trinity Forest Way, Dallas, TX 75217
Contact Details (214) 309 – 5801 /
Hours • Tuesday – Saturday: 9:00 am to 4:00 pm 
• Sunday: Noon to 4:00 pm 
• Monday: Closed 
Admission • Adults: $6
•Seniors/Students: $4
• Children (under 12): Free 
Parking Free parking available 
Highlights • Over 5 miles of hiking trails 
• Bird-watching area 
• Nature center
• Gift shop 

The Trinity River Audubon Center is a nature lover’s paradise. The 120-acre nature preserve is located just outside of downtown Dallas and offers visitors the chance to explore the diverse ecosystems of the Trinity River. 

There are over five miles of hiking trails, a bird-watching area, and educational programs for all ages. The center is also home to a nature center and gift shop where visitors can learn more about the local flora and fauna.

Learn about African American history at the African American Museum. 

Learn about African American history at the African American Museum's Homepage
Name African American Museum 
Location 3536 Grand Ave, Dallas, TX 75310
Contact Details (214) 565 – 9026 /
Hours • Tuesday – Saturday: 11:00 am to 5:00 pm 
• Sunday: 12:00 pm to 5:00 pm 
Admission • Adults: $10
• Seniors (62+): $5
• Children (under 4- 12): $5 
Parking Free parking available in museum lot
Highlights • Exhibits on African American history
• Art 
• Culture 

The African American Museum is dedicated to promoting and preserving the contributions of African Americans to the culture and history of the United States. 

Visitors can explore a variety of exhibits that cover topics such as slavery, the civil rights movement, and African American art and music. The museum also hosts educational programs and special events throughout the year. 

Tour the South Dallas Cultural Center.

Tour the South Dallas Cultural Center's Homepage
Name South Dallas Cultural Center
Location 3400 South Fitzhugh Avenue, Dallas, Texas
Contact Details (214) 939 – 2787 /
Hours • Monday – Friday: 9:00 am to 9:00 pm 
• Saturday: 10:00 am to 4:00 pm 
Admission Free 
Parking Free on-site parking
Highlights • Exhibitions 
• Performances 
• Classes 
• Workshops 

The South Dallas Cultural Center is a vibrant hub for the arts in South Dallas. The center offers a variety of programs and classes in dance, music, visual arts, and theater. 

Visitors can explore the local arts scene, attend performances, and even take part in classes or workshops. 

Visit the Bishop Arts District. 

Visit the Bishop Arts District's Homepage
Name Bishop Arts District 
Location 419 N Bishop Ave, Dallas, TX 75208
Contact Details (214) 943 – 5650 /
Hours Varies by business, generally 11:00 am to 8:00 pm or later 
Admission Free 
Parking Street parking and paid lots available 
Highlights • Unique shops 
• Art galleries 
• Restaurants 
• Lively atmosphere 

The Bishop Arts District is a charming neighborhood located just south of downtown Dallas. It is known for its unique character and lively atmosphere. 

Visitors can explore a variety of boutique shops, art galleries, and restaurants. The district also hosts special events throughout the year, such as the annual Bishop Arts Jazz Festival. 

Attend a show at the South Dallas Cultural Center Theater.

Attend a show at the South Dallas Cultural Center Theater's Homepage
Name Soth Dallas Cultural Center Theater 
Location 3400 South Fitzhugh Avenue, Dallas, TX 
Contact Details (214) 214 – 2787 /
Hours Varies based on show schedule 
Admission Varies based on show 
Parking Free parking available on site 
Highlights • State-of-the-art performance avenue.
• Diverse range of shows. 

The South Dallas Cultural Center Theater is a state-of-the-art performance venue that hosts a variety of shows throughout the year. 

It is known for its diverse range of programs, which includes plays, musicals, dance performances, and concerts. Visitors can enjoy live performances and discover new talent in the local arts scene. 

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