30 Things To Know About Dallas Before Moving ThereDallas is just not about rodeos, there are a lot of things to know about the city before you think of moving there.
1. Folks Are Just Plain Friendly
People in Dallas pepper their sentences with “sir” and “ma’am” and say "Howdy" like it's an obligatory greeting. You won’t be able to resist that sweet Texan drawl and soon enough you’ll be “ya’ll”-ing with the rest of us. It's true what you've heard--Texans are a friendly bunch, and they love their cowboy hats and boots.
2. We’ve Got The Best Cheerleaders In The World
The Dallas Cowboys are known as America's team in part because it was the first to introduce sideline cheerleaders. The girls have their own reality TV show and have entertained more U.S. troops on foreign soil than any other entertainment act in the last 25 years. Move over, Bob Hope!
3. Dallas Is Your Smorgasbord
Dallas has more restaurants per capita than New York City, and the cuisine is international in flavor. Head to Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek for some of the best French-Continental fare you'll ever experience. Seafood, barbecue, Italian, Japanese, Tex-Mex...whatever delights your palate, you can find it in Dallas, Texas.
4. Without Dallas, There’d Be No Super Bowl
Dallas oil man Lamar Hunt was the owner of the Kansas City Chiefs when he jokingly called the NFL championship the “Super Bowl.” Spoiler: the name stuck.
5. You’re Seriously Square If You Don’t Love Our State Fair
There are lots of reasons to love the State Fair of Texas:
- It’s got the Texas Star, the largest ferris wheel of its kind in the Western hemisphere.
- It’s the only state fair in the country that includes a full scale auto show.
- The fair’s 55-foot-tall statue and mascot Big Tex is known as the tallest cowboy in the world. A fire destroyed him in 2012--but, no worries, a new Big Tex was built and showcased on opening day in 2013.
6. Dallas Is A Billionaire Magnet
Dallas is home to 18 of the Fortune 500 companies and 18 of the top wealth holders on Forbes Magazine's list of richest billionaires. If that’s not enough to convince you we’re rolling in money, listen to this: Dallas is second only to New York in its population of billionaire denizens.
7. Dallas Has More Shops Than You Can Shake A Stick At
The city's West End MarketPlace is a hot spot for tourists and locals alike, and just north of the city, in Plano, Shops at Legacy attract shoppers like flies at a barbecue. Headquartered in Dallas, Neiman Marcus is a hometown mainstay. The city is riddled with shopping malls, including North Dallas's Galleria, and shopping centers, so you'll never have trouble finding a place to buy your western clothes.
8. The Windy City Has Nothing On Dallas
Let’s look at the numbers, shall we? The annual average wind speed in Dallas is 10.7 mph. In Chicago, it's 10.3 mph.
9. You’ll Wish You Went To High School Here
Dallas’s Woodrow Wilson High School is the only secondary institution in the nation that’s alma mater to two Heisman trophy winners--Davey O'Brien in 1938 and Tim Brown in 1987. The school also graduated such musical luminaries as Steve Miller of The Steve Miller Band and ZZ Top bassist Dusty Hill as well as Pulitzer Prize winning author Lawrence Wright.
10. Dallas Ain’t Camera Shy
The list of movies and TV series filmed in Dallas is impressive:
- "Bonnie and Clyde"
- "Walker, Texas Ranger”
- "Batman & Robin”
Plus "Dallas," the hit TV series, claims the most watched TV episode of all time in the "Who Done It?" episode when millions of viewers tuned in to find out who shot J.R.
11. You Can Thank Dallas For Elevator Music
The Statler Hilton, built in 1956, introduced elevator music to its patrons and hosted 21" Westinghouse TVs in every room, which had never been done before. There was even a heliport on top of the building for transporting guests to and from the airport.
12. And For The Glory That Is The ATM
Seriously, why interact with an actual person when you can just have a machine spit money out at you? Dallas is also the place where the integrated circuit computer chip, which would later become the microchip, was invented. Plus Dallas has been home to many innovative technology companies, including Texas Instruments.
13. Dallas Loves Its Farmers
Where is the largest farmers’ market in the U.S.? Right in the middle of Dallas, Texas. The market opened in the late 1800s, allowing farmers to sell directly from their wagons. Millions of people visit every year, all year round.
14. And It Has A Thing For Tall Buildings
Not far from the farmers’ market is the site of the first skyscraper built west of the Mississippi. The Praetorian Building was 15 stories tall and constructed in 1909, and while the building was destroyed in 2013, the city still has 262 high-rise buildings. Twenty-eight of those are more than 400 feet tall, with the tallest being the Bank of America Plaza at 921 feet.
15. Dallas Is A Melting Pot
With 45,000 Jewish residents, Dallas is home to the largest Jewish community in the state of Texas. The city is 25% African-American, boasts a large Mexican-American population and 42.4% of the population is derived from Hispanic or Latino origins. There is also a large and active LGBT community and the city is home to many religious faiths.
16. Remember Barney? Yeah, You’re Welcome For Your Childhood.
The big purple dinosaur and “Wishbone” the book-loving pup were created in Dallas. Both shows were popular in the 1990s.
17. It Hosts The Biggest Battle Of The Year
One of the longest running Texas traditions is called Red River Rivalry. The Texas-OU college football faceoff is one of the biggest events in sports and fans of both teams look forward to it every year. The teams having been facing off at the State Fair of Texas since 1900 when Oklahoma was still a U.S. territory.
18. It’s A Jazz And Blues Pioneer
Deep Ellum is well known for its diverse arts and entertainment culture--probably because it has more bars and nightclubs than any other district in the city. In the 1920s, however, it was a haven for jazz and blues artists such as Blind Lemon Jefferson, Huddie "Lead Belly" Ledbetter and Bessie Smith. The name is a derivative of what locals once called "deep Elm Street."
19. Dallas Is A Major Transportation Hub
In the 19th century, railroad tracks made Dallas an industrial town to be reckoned with. As the city grew and automobiles became more popular, major interstates were built in and around the city, including the famed I-635.
20. Our Airport Could Be Its Own City
Everything is bigger in Texas, they say. DFW Airport covers a land mass larger than Manhattan and hosts the largest parking lot in the world.
21. Industry Is In Our Blood
From its early roots as manufacturers of private goods to our status today as a major center for commerce, energy, computers and medical research, Dallas has always been a hub for industry.
22. Not All Our Celebrities Are Upstanding Citizens
Here are just some of Dallas’s criminal connections:
- Infamous outlaws Bonnie and Clyde Barrow were from the Oak Cliff section of town.
- Although presidential assassin Lee Harvey Oswald was from New Orleans, he was gunned down by Jack Ruby, a Dallas nightclub owner.
- The Dallas Crime Family was well known through much of the 20th century, though no one knows what has happened to them since the death of their last known boss, Joseph Campisi, in 1990.
23. Dallasites Love Country Clubs
Dallas has several popular country clubs. It's most famous, Dallas Country Club, founded in 1896, was the first country club in Texas.
24. Dallas Is A Mecca Of Corporate Headquarters
With more locations worldwide than McDonald's, the 7-Eleven convenient store chain is headquartered here. See if you recognize just some of the other chains that call Dallas home:
- J.C. Penney
- Dr Pepper Snapple Group
- Dave & Buster's
25. Dallas Was Once Mexico’s Real Estate
Before Dallas became an independent republic and before it joined the United States, it was a part of Coahuila y Tejas, which made it an official part of Mexico.
26. Who Needs Water?
Dallas is the only core city that is a part of the largest Metropolitan Statistical Area not sitting on a navigable body of water. In English: it's not on a coast and has no major river used by boats and ships running through it.
27. History Comes Alive In Dallas’s Books And Collections
The Dallas Public Library system is one of the largest in the U.S. and the main library, consisting of 10 stories, houses one of the largest genealogical research sections in the Southwest. The library also hosts an original copy of the Declaration of Independence and Shakespeare's "Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies."
28. It Loves Its Animals
The Dallas Zoo was the very first zoo in the Southwest (started in 1888) and today has more than 2,000 animals. Almost one million people walked through the front gates in 2013, making it the largest zoo in Texas. Its most obscure bragging right: 20% of okapi in Japan and the United States were born or bred at the Dallas Zoo.
29. We’re More Global Than Houston
The Globalization and World Rankings Research Institute moved Dallas up to Alpha- status in 2013 but kept Houston as a Beta+ city. These distinctions are based on factors that contribute to how the city impacts the global economy.
30. Bring Us Your Artists
Dallas is home to the largest urban arts district in the U.S. Among many fascinating institutions, the Dallas Arts District includes:
- Booker T. Washington for the Performing and Visual Arts
- Dallas Black Dance Theatre, the oldest continuously operating dance company
- World-ranked Dallas Museum of Art
- Nasher Sculpture Center
- One Arts Plaza
- Winspear Opera House
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