Where to stay in Dallas, TX first time: Best Areas

The best areas to stay in Dallas for first-timers are Downtown Dallas, Uptown, Deep Ellum, Bishop Arts District, Market Center, and Dallas international airport because they are the most popular and safe neighborhoods for tourists.

In this blog post, I will help you find where to stay in Dallas without a car, for families, couples, solo travelers.

Dallas is the 3rd largest city in Texas, after Houston and San Antonio. It is located near the junction of the Trinity River’s three forks, in the central area of the state.

In general, Downtown Dallas is the best area to stay in Dallas for first-time tourists due to its prime location and its wide variety of accommodations, restaurants, bars, and shops. If you stay here, you will be located in the heart of the city, within easy access to other parts of the city.

Downtown Dallas is also the best place to stay in Dallas without a car because it is the transport hub of the city. There is public transportation such as DART trains, streetcars, buses, and trolleys.

💖 Best Area for first-timers:Downtown Dallas
💎 Best luxury hotel:The Adolphus, Autograph Collection
🏨 Best mid-range hotel:Hyatt Regency Dallas
💰 Best budget hotel:Courtyard by Marriott Dallas Downtown/Reunion District

7 Best areas to stay in Dallas for tourists

1. Downtown Dallas, where to stay in Dallas for first-timers

Downtown Dallas is the best place to stay in Dallas for the first-time visitors due to its central location. If you stay here, you will be located in the middle of everything, within walking distance to tourist attractions, as well as many restaurants, bars, and shops.

Downtown is surrounded by big roads such as Woodall Rodgers Freeway, I-35E, I-345, and I-30, making it a good base to explore the region. It is located only a short drive away from the Dallas Fort Worth International Airport.

In downtown Dallas, you can find smaller neighborhoods such as the West End historic district, AT&T Discovery District, The Dallas Arts District, and the Dallas Farmers Market.

The West End historic district is the birthplace of Dallas and is known for its connection to JFK. You can learn about the former US president at the JFK Memorial Plaza, the Sixth Floor Museum, Dealey Plaza, and the Grassy Knoll, infamous Kennedy assassination landmark.

With its long history, West End is also home to many other museums including Museum of Illusions, Dallas Holocaust & Human Rights Museum, The Dallas World Aquarium, and Old Red Museum.

For some green spaces, check out the JFK Memorial Plaza, a monument honoring United States President John Fitzgerald Kennedy; and the West End Square, the only neighborhood park.

In addition to historic buildings, the downtown is also home to modern skyscrapers such as the Reunion Tower. The observation deck, the GeO-Deck, provides spectacular views of the city.

The West End has many restaurants and shops along the streets of Market and Record. Many of them are converted from former warehouses and railroad stations.

The Dallas Farmers Market is located south of the Main Street District. The Farmers Market was built in 1941 as the central hub for farmers selling their products. It is a great place to try texas’ food. There is an open-air farmers market on weekends at The Shed.

Between the West End district and the farmer market, at the heart of the Central Business District, you will find AT&T Discovery District. It is home to The Media Wall, the 30-foot-tall Globe, as well as many eateries, shops, and bars.

The Dallas Arts District is located north in the downtown area. It is the largest art district in the USA, covering an area of 68 acres and 19 continuous blocks with museums, arts venues, bars, and restaurants.

The Dallas art district is home to 5 acres of Klyde Warren Park, where families can relax. The park has a children’s center, food trucks, and live music performances. 

If you love art and history, you can visit the Dallas Museum of Art (DMA), Nasher Sculpture Center, Crow Museum of Asian Art, and Perot Museum. There are also performances at the Dallas Symphony Orchestra at Meyerson Symphony Center and Winspear Opera House .

Downtown also offers a great shopping experience because the area is home to many malls, shopping centers, and the flagship store of Neiman Marcus.

Downtown is home to ART Rail Convention Center Station and Union Station, as well as the McKinney Ave trolley, making it the best area to stay in Dallas without a car. You can easily explore on foot and by public transport.

Downtown is not only ideal for first-timers, but also a great base for business travelers as it has many business hotels, and it is home to the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center, one of the state’s largest convention centers.

Downtown Dallas has the highest range of accommodations in the city. There are options for both luxury and budget travelers.

Best places to stay in Dallas Downtown:

2. Uptown Dallas, safe and lovely area for upscale vibe

Uptown Dallas is located just north of Downtown, separated by the Klyde Warren Park. Uptown consists of smaller neighborhoods of West Village, Victory Park, The Pearl, Turtle Creek, State Thomas, and Routh South.

The West Village is the northernmost area of Uptown Dallas. It is the area within 75/Central Expressway and Katy Trail, Lemmon Avenue and Blackburn. With easy access to Katy Trail, you can enjoy outdoor activities such as walking and running.

The McKinney Avenue is a section of the West Village, packed with high-rise buildings. You can shop at the West Village Dallas shopping center which is home to many restaurants, boutiques, and night spots.  

McKinney Avenue is the main road of Uptown and it can be explored on foot or by riding the McKinney Avenue Trolley. Uptown is only around one square mile and the trolley stops all along the street.

The Pearl is the southernmost area of Uptown Dallas. It is a quiet and luxurious area, separated from Downtown by the Woodall Rodgers Freeway, offering easy access to the central area and the airport.

To the west of Katy Trail lies Turtle Creek, a quiet area with many green spaces, providing a peaceful atmosphere. Reverchon Park, Museum of Geometric and MADI Art, and Katy Trail Ice House can be found along the trail.

Next to The Pearl is Victoria Park, a very walkable area. It is home to high rise apartments with good amenities. You can see movies at the Cinepolis Luxury Cinemas, check Out House of Blues at 2200 North Lamar Street, visit a sporting event at the American Airlines Center, and go shopping on Victory Park Lane.

In the middle of Uptown, you can find the State Thomas neighborhood with  tree-lined streets and Dallas’ highest collection of Victorian-era homes. The 8-acre Griggs Parkoffers safe and natural place for families and children of all ages.

Uptown Dallas has a wide range of accommodation options, mainly mid-range and luxury hotels. It is an ideal location for families who enjoy a relaxing and upscale atmosphere.

Best places to stay in Uptown Dallas:

3. Deep Ellum, where to stay in Dallas for nightlife and live music

Deep Ellum is the eclectic arts and music hub of the city, located only a few minutes drive from the Downtown area. It has been home to jazz blues music since the 1920s.

The neighborhood has hosted famous artists such as Bessie Smith, Huddie “Leadbelly” Ledbetter, Texas Bill Day, and Robert Johnson. It is home to many nightclubs, domino parlors, cafes, and more than 30 live music venues.

In addition to the live music and lively nightlife sense, Deep Ellum is also home to many graffiti and murals. You can visit the Umbrella Galler, Barry Whistler Gallery, Kettle Art Gallery for an art show.

You can also watch a comedy at Dallas Comedy House, see an event at Quixotic World Theatre House & Magikal Event Space, or  watch a performance at the Undermain Theatre.

As music is at the heart of Deep Ellum, many bars, restaurants, and local shops have live events and indie records. When visiting bars and the clubs, you can enjoy a beer, as well as sing and dance.

For shopping, you can find eclectic and rare items in the neighborhood. Shop for unique books at the Deep Vellum Books, buy vintage at the Flea Style markets. 

If you love live music, enjoy the nightlife, and admire the art, Deep Ellum is one of the best places to stay in Dallas for you. There are a few hotel options where you can book a stay.

Best places to stay in Deep Ellum:

4. Bishop Arts District, cool place to stay in Dallas

Bishop Arts District is a trendy neighborhood located south of Dallas, the heart of North Oak Cliff. It is known for its walkable location, local shops, and trendy style with plenty of restaurants, boutiques, coffee shops, bars, and galleries.

Bishop Arts is the largest trolley-era shopping district in the city, with history dating back in 1904, from the arrival of the streetcar line.

You can shop at the Bishop Street Market to buy local products such as candles, books, and gifts. It is also a great place for hipsters to find records or comic books.

If you love colorful street art, chic independent boutiques, and diverse nightlife, Bishop Arts District is an ideal base in Dallas. You will find budget accommodation in this neighborhood.

Best places to stay in Bishop Arts District:

5. Market Center, north west of downtown

Dallas Market Center is one of the world’s largest wholesale markets, covering an area of 5 million square feet of services and buildings. 

It is located north west of downtown, where you can find the Market Hall, World Trade Center,  the International Trade Plaza, and the Trade Mart. 

The area is connected with the downtown by the Green and Orange DART line. There are numerous hotels nearby.

Best places to stay in Market Center:

6. Love Field, close to Dallas Love Field Airport

Love Field is a neighborhood in Northwest Dallas, home to Dallas Love Field Airport, one of the two major airports in Dallas along with Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.

Dallas Love Field Airport is located closer to downtown but has fewer flight options. It has a long history and is the hub for Southwest Airlines. 

You can take the Green and Orange DART lines from Love Field to Dallas CBD. If you fly into Love Field Airport,  Love Field is a great place to stay.

Best places to stay in Love Field:

7. Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport

Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport is the busiest airport in the city and is the fourth-busiest airport in the US, serving both international and domestic flights.

If you want to catch a flight or you have a late arrival, staying in one of the hotels near the airport is a great choice.

Best places to stay in Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport:

What is the best part of Dallas to stay in?

Downtown Dallas, Uptown, Deep Ellum, Bishop Arts District, Market Center, and Dallas international airport are some of the best areas to stay in Dallas because it is the most popular area for visitors with attractions and amenities.

Where should I stay in Dallas for the first time?

Downtown Dallas is without doubt the best place to stay in Dallas for the first time because it is the most convenient location to see attractions and it has the widest range of accommodation options, as well as restaurants, bars, and shops.

Which is the best area to stay in Dallas without a car?

Downtown Dallas is generally the best area to stay in Dallas without a car because it is the transport hub of the city. If you stay here, you can easily travel on foot and by public transport.

Is it better to stay Uptown or downtown Dallas?

Downtown Dallas is overall the best area for first-timers because it has the widest range of accommodation options and plenty of things to do and see. 

What is the safest area to stay in Dallas?

Dallas is overall a safe city for tourists. If you are a tourist looking for the safest area to stay in Dallas, I recommend looking into the Downtown area because it is always populated with people. As you travel to any big city, you should always practice common sense and be aware of your surroundings.

See more: Where to Stay in Houston First Time

Overall, Downtown Dallas is the best area to stay in Dallas for the first time due to its close proximity to tourist attractions and a wide range of hotels, restaurants, and shops. Hopefully, after reading this, you will find the best area where stay in Dallas, Texas.

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