Top 10 Best Neighborhoods in Dallas-Fort Worth for Families

Top 10 Best Neighborhoods in Dallas-Fort Worth for Families

Quintessentially Texan, suburbs in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex suit any family’s lifestyle. Some areas are near the cosmopolitan attractions of Dallas. Others radiate the laid-back vibe of Fort Worth. Both have fabulous homes, great school districts and family-oriented activities. Here are our top 10 places to live for families, so won't have to ask, is Dallas-Fort Worth a good place to live? Check out our Dallas-Fort Worth neighborhoods map to see where each is located and make your move today.

Median home prices vary between communities. Property tax rates vary per school district and MUD, check with your taxing office, Realtor or builder for the exact rate.

Dallas Fort Worth Area Best Neighborhoods Map

Arlington

Median Home Price: $349,000*

Families that want it all want to live in Arlington. Diverse and cosmopolitan, Arlington boasts almost as many attractions as big sister Dallas. The city and surrounding suburbs also offer a swift 20-minute commute to downtown Dallas or Fort Worth.

Life in the surrounding suburbs is peaceful with plenty of access to natural amenities. Master-planned community Viridian exemplifies this lifestyle. The 2,000-acre community boasts two amenity complexes, multiple pools, a lake and sailing club, onsite elementary school, trails, unique parks for kids and more.

Nature enthusiasts find a lot to explore in the Arlington area. River Legacy Park is 1,300 acres of hiking, biking and kayaking paradise along the Trinity River. Anglers are sure to catch a big one on Lake Arlington. Crystal Canyon Natural Area is a 37-acre hidden gem with an easy hiking trail and many fossils.

Arlington’s most famous attraction is AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys. Globe Life Field is where the Texas Rangers play ball. AT&T Stadium hosts concerts and events in the off season. Families that live life on the wild side love heading to Six Flags Over Texas. Cooling off in the hot summer months is easy at  Six Flags Hurricane Harbor.

Arlington ISD is diverse. Niche ranks it among the top 50 districts for athletes. High schools offer honors, Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate and dual credit course. Children are introduced to STEM concepts as early as Kindergarten.

There are many places to dine and shop in Arlington. Texas is known for tacos, but the best can be found at Cartel Taco Bar. Hurtado Barbecue Co. was ranked among the top 50 barbecue joints in Texas by Texas Monthly in 2021. We would be remiss if we didn’t point you in the direction of Texas Live! Nestled between Globe Life Park and AT&T Stadium, the 200,000-acre facility is the heart of the city’s entertainment district.

Sunset at Viridian in Arlington, TX

McKinney

Median Home Price: $550,000*

Families have been flocking to McKinney. According to the U. S. Census, the area’s population has increased 63 percent over the past decade.

What makes McKinney special is a combination of Texas charm, gorgeous natural amenities, an easy commute and excellent schools. Master-planned Trinity Falls is 2,000 acres of beautiful homes, parks and trails, friendly people and a full-time lifestyle director. The 350-acre B.B. Owen Park houses the community’s event amphitheater and 18-hole disc golf course, as well as winding nature trails and lakes.

McKinney is just 30 miles from Dallas providing convenient access to major employers such as Raytheon, Wistron GreenTech, Torchmark, Emerson Process Management, Tong Yang, Simpson Strong-Tie, Tenant Tracker, Manner Plastics and Traxxas.

Downtown McKinney boasts a vibrant historic district with bountiful boutiques, sweet shops and superb restaurants. The Heard Natural Science Museum is dedicated to bringing nature and people together. Adriatica is a 45-acre Croatian village featuring an entertainment/event venue, multiple restaurants and shops.

Award-winning McKinney ISD serves most students in the area. It is one of only 22 school districts in Texas named to the College Board AP District Honor Roll. The three high schools rank among the top 10 percent in the nation according to U. S. News and World Report.

McKinney residents can get most of what they need in downtown McKinney. Discounted designer duds can be found at the nearby Allen Premium Outlets. A little further along, The Shops at Legacy offers high-end shopping and dining. Favorite restaurants include Local Yocal BBQ and Grill, Harvest, Hugs Café and Cadillac Pizza Pub.

Pool at Trinity Falls in McKinney, TX

Frisco

Median Home Price: $721,000*

Attractive to sports enthusiasts and urban adventurers, Frisco is a North Texas star. Wallet Hub named Frisco the No. 1 Best Place to Buy a Home in 2021. It scored the No. 19 spot on Money magazine’s list of top 50 places to live in the U.S. in 2021. Home buyers agree. The population there has doubled over the past 10 years.

While many are attracted by the less-than-30-minute commute to Dallas, others are drawn by the family-friendly master-planned communities.

The Dallas Cowboys play in Arlington but their home is in Frisco. The team’s world headquarters and training facility anchor The Star in Frisco. The Ford Center is a multi-purpose 12,000-seat indoor stadium shared by the Cowboys, City of Frisco and Frisco ISD. Nicknamed Sports City, USA Frisco is homebase for the RoughRiders, Texas Legends and Dallas Stars. Weekend warriors can hike or bike more than 70 miles of trails. The National Videogame Museum is popular with dedicated gamers. Families can play video games old and new as well as learn the history of the industry. Frisco is also the home of the Texas Pinball Festival.

The No. 7 top school district in Texas according to Niche is Frisco ISD. Not surprisingly, it also ranks among the top 25 districts for athletes in the state. The strong curriculum includes Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate and dual-credit classes.

Stonebriar Centre is a favorite with fashionistas. 5th Avenue-style shopping is a hop, skip and a jump away at The Shops at Legacy. The Star in Frisco boasts numerous small shops as well as 35 restaurants. The locals love dining at Hutchins BBQ, The Heritage Table and Bottled in Bond.

Firepit at Viridian in Arlington, TX

Rockwall

Median Home Price: $500,000*

Up-and-coming Rockwall has long been popular with tourists attracted by its location along the eastern shore of Lake Ray Hubbard and lively music scene. Here, families can find relatively affordable houses as well as good schools, outdoor fun and a less-than-30-minute commute to Dallas.

The town hosts five months of concert events per year, earning Rockwall the title of Live Music Capital of North Texas. The Concert by the Lake series is the most popular, drawing a crowd of thousands. The smaller San Jacinto Plaza series features local bands.

Outdoor activities tend to center on 22,000-acre Lake Ray Hubbard. Great for fishing, skiing, relaxing and boating, the lake also boasts beaches, hiking-and-biking trails and more.

Neighborhoods in the Rockwall area are served by Rockwall ISD. The district made Niche’s list of the top 50 school districts in Texas. It also received an A rating from the Texas Education Agency in 2019. Students excel at academics, athletics and the arts.

The most attractive shopping and dining area is The Harbor Rockwall. The 130,000-acre lifestyle center overlooks the lake, attracting more than 83,000 visitors per year. A designated Main Street city, Rockwall’s historic downtown offers bountiful boutiques, quaint shops and delicious dining options. The locals choose Book Club Café, Zanata and Charlie’s.

Nature at Trinity Falls in McKinney, TX

Northlake

Median Home Price: $549,900*

Northlake is often overlooked by families, which is a shame. The small town has been growing rapidly over the years due to its proximity to downtown Fort Worth (approximately 30 minutes), idyllic feel and rural vibe.

Located on the southwest corner of Denton County near Interstate 35W, Northlake is home to innovative master-planned communities.

Northlake residents can choose to spend their recreation time enjoying the attractions of Fort Worth or Dallas. Nearby Denton is fun for families offering the Explorium Children’s Museum, The Battlefield nerf gun arena and the beautiful Clear Creek Natural Heritage Center.

Outdoor life revolves around Grapevine Lake and Lake Lewisville, both 30 minutes from Northlake. Camping, hiking, boating, swimming and other recreational activities draw visitors far and wide.

Students attend schools in Northwest ISD, Argyle ISD and Ponder ISD. Northwest ISD is ranked among the top 100 best school districts in Texas by Niche. The Texas Education Agency gave it an A. Argyle ISD ranks as the No. 8 Best School District in Texas, according to Niche. Argyle High School has won 15 4A UIL state academic championships and more than 40 other state and national sports and academic championship awards. Ponder ISD is one of the top 10 safest districts in Denton County, according to Niche. Teachers average 13 years of experience.

The best shopping is at the Fort Worth Tanger Outlets, where designer goods can be found at discounted prices. Northlake Commons features medical offices, restaurants and spas. Favorite dining spots include Taco Casa, Armano Italian Bistro and Rosa’s Café & Tortilla Factory.

Lake Viridian Arlington, TX

Aubrey

Median Home Price: $405,000*

There’s more to Aubrey than horse ranches. Master-planned communities are springing up near the tiny town, bringing with them an exceptional lifestyle for families.

Located along the US Highway 380 between Denton and McKinney, the “horse capital of Texas” is less than a 30-minute drive to Plano or Frisco. Denton is 15 minutes away. Dallas less than 40. All of which means an enticing mix of rural and urban amenities is within easy reach.

Ray Roberts Lake State Park is the natural playground for outdoorsy families. Visitors can hike the trails or traverse them on horseback. Campers, swimmers, anglers, geocachers and sailors are all welcome here. Children can meet lemurs, sloths, kangaroos and more at Sharkarosa Wildlife Ranch. Families can participate in candle making, soap making and other crafts at TX-Ture Farm.

Small town charm can be enjoyed just by strolling through Aubrey’s downtown. Unique restaurants and boutiques line the district. Local favorites include Casey & Co. Boutique, Ruby Cat’s Bakeshop, Upper Park Café and World Famous MOMS. Residents also enjoy a taste of Tuscany at Fortunata Winery.

Farther down the road, Aubrey residents enjoy proximity to The Shops at Legacy and The Star in Frisco.

Two school districts serve Aubrey. Aubrey ISD makes the grade with an A on the 2019 Texas Education Agency accountability report (the last year such a report was generated due to Covid). Niche rated Denton ISD No. 101 on a list of best Texas school districts out of 1,018 districts.

Sprawling Nature at Trinity Falls McKinney, TX

Wylie

Median Home Price: $505,000*

Where in the world is Wylie? Families are starting to find out.

Located 24 miles northeast of downtown Dallas, Wylie is mecca for nature lovers and those desiring a slow-paced lifestyle.

Wylie’s biggest attractions are its events and festivals. The largest of these is the Wylie Championship Rodeo. Featuring bull riding and bronco busting, the rodeo attracts thousands. Another favorite is the Wylie 500 Pedal Car Race, offering more than 200 children a chance to race 500 inches down Ballard Avenue.

Wylie offers plenty of parks and playgrounds. Most families prefer to play and picnic at Founders Park. In addition to athletic fields, sports courts, pavilions and a trail, the park sports an imaginative pirate ship playscape and tot lot.

Lake Lavon attracts nearly 1.6 million outdoor adventurers annually. Lake Ray Hubbard is one of the largest lakes in Texas. Both offer opportunities to fish, kayak, sail and hike.

Excellent schools are another reason families are making the move to Wylie. Wylie ISD is ranked No. 17 on Niche’s list of the best school districts in Texas. It ranks among the top 20 for Best Teachers in the Dallas-Fort Worth Area. Garland ISD allows parents to select the campus they want their children to attend. Five of the district’s high schools were ranked among the top 40 percent of nearly 18,000 schools in the nation by U. S. News & World Report in 2021.

When it comes to shopping and dining, there are many options. Firewheel Town Center in Garland is the closest shopping mall. Numerous brand name stores are open for business, including Barnes & Noble, Chico’s, DICK’S Sporting Goods, Hollister, Hot Topic and more. Wylie residents also can easily make the drive to The Shops at Legacy in Plano.

Local dining spots include Ballard Street Café, Bold BBQ Pit and Villa Vinci.

Boat on Lake Viridian in Arlington, TX

Prosper

Median Home Price: $830,000*

Prosperous Prosper is a homeowner’s dream with beautiful homes, quiet neighborhoods and plenty of places for children to play. Neighborhoods in Prosper are affluent.

Prosper’s location allows people to take advantage of attractions found in Celina, Frisco, McKinney, Plano and Denton. Fun in downtown Dallas is a mere 45 minutes away. Favorite day trips include The Star in Frisco, National Videogame Museum, Heard Natural Science Museum and Ray Roberts State Park.

Closer to home, Prosper residents enjoy the city’s many parks. Frontier Park is the largest, with a sports complex featuring lighted natural and turf fields for soccer, softball and baseball, trails, a catch-and-release pond, splash pad and playground. Town Lake Park has a 27-acre stocked lake for catch-and-release fishing as well as opportunities to kayak and canoe.

Prosper ISD is a top-rated school district parents and children will love. Niche ranked it at No. 11 on its most recent list of the best school districts in Texas. The graduation rate is 98 percent, and 58 percent of graduating seniors attend four-year universities. Another 28 percent attend two-year community colleges.

Shopping is plentiful in Prosper. The Gates of Prosper is an 800-acre mixed use development featuring retail such as Wal Mart, Five Below, DICK’S Sporting Goods, Old Navy and more. Residents can discover more upscale shopping at the The Shops at Legacy. Favored restaurants are Cotton Gin Café, Ernesto’s and Sabaidee.

Dog at the Park in Viridian in Arlington, TX

Flower Mound

Median Home Price: $613,000*

Nicknamed “Flo-Mo” by residents, Flower Mound is a growing community that has managed to retain its small-town ambiance. Centrally located between Dallas and Fort Worth, Flower Mound is popular with commuters who can get to downtown jobs in less than 40 minutes.

Many master-planned communities offer easy access to Interstate 35W, which speeds families to Denton and Fort Worth.

Flower Mound is well known for its many festivals. The Flower Mound Independence Fest attracts an estimated 30,000 people each year with live music, a children’s parade and spectacular fireworks display. The multi-day Highland Village Balloon Festival features hot-air balloons, live music, arts and crafts, food and more.

Life is lived outdoors in Flower Mound. Residents love loading up the car and heading to nearby Grapevine Lake. The 8,000-acre lake is perfect for fishing, hiking, boating and camping. Located on the cliffs above Grapevine Lake, Rockledge Park is a quiet place for picnicking due to its location away from recreational boat areas.

Urban fun can be had in downtown Flower Mound. Bury the hatchet at Corky’s Gaming Bistro, take the family to splash at CAC Waterpark or take a date to Moviehouse Eatery.

Three school districts serve Flower Mound communities. All offer excellent schools. Lewisville ISD is the largest district. Students have won multiple awards. Last year, 1,078 students received the AP Scholars designation for their exemplary achievement on AP exams.

Argyle ISD ranks as the No. 8 Best School District in Texas according to Niche. Argyle High School has won 15 4A UIL state academic championships and more than 40 other state and national sports and academic championship awards.

Northwest ISD was ranked among the top 20 best school districts in the Dallas-Fort Worth area by Niche. The district was one of five named a finalist in the 2020 H-E-B Excellence in Education Awards.

When it comes to shopping, most residents can get what they need at The Highlands of Flower Mound, Flower Mound Town Center and Robertson’s Creek shopping center. Locals eat at Prime Farm to Table, Starwood Café and Luna Grill.

Trinity Falls Jumping Nature

Argyle

Median Home Price: $650,000*

Argyle is shooting to the top in popularity. The town’s population increased by 50 percent over the past decade. It is currently growing at a rate of 3.7 percent annually.

The sleepy suburb has a lot to offer families, including a 40-minute commute to downtown Fort Worth along Intestate 35 and a less-than-20-minute drive to Denton. Master-planned communities attract many families.

Most residents head to Denton to enjoy local bands at Howling Mutt Brewing Co., Dan’s SilverLeaf and Andy’s Bar. The Explorium Children’s Museum is a fun place for families to learn about science. Kids jump at the chance to go to Altitude Trampoline Park.

For those that enjoy life outdoors, Ray Roberts State Park and the beautiful Clear Creek Natural Heritage Center are natural choices.

Academics are key at Argyle ISD. Serving more than 4,200 students across five campuses, the school ranks among the top 10 best school districts in Texas according to Niche.

Residents don’t have to go far to shop. Golden Triangle Mall and The Shops at Highland Village are in Denton. There are many tasty dining options, including 407 BBQ, Earl’s 377 Pizza and Kimzey’s Coffee Shop.

*Median home prices vary between communities and are based on 2020 data.

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