Named for the “high land” that overlooks the city of Dallas, this exclusive enclave began to take root in 1906 as a lush playground for Dallas’ wealthiest families. Developers hired Wilbur David Cook, the landscape designer who had planned Beverly Hills, to lay out the community, reserving 20% of its acreage for parks and green space. Today Highland Park retains its graceful demeanor with block after block of architecturally significant homes that range from Old World mansions to contemporary masterpieces. The centerpiece of the community is Highland Park Village where neighbors meet for dinner, a movie and some of the best shopping in Dallas. The first outdoorshopping center of its kind in the nation, Highland Park Village features Spanish Colonial architecture and luxury doors including Chanel, Hermes and Christian Louboutin and fabulous restaurants like Café Pacific and Marquee Grill and Bar. Summertime in Highland Park finds the popular community pool filled with kids of all ages. Highland Park is within close proximity to transportation hubs and arteries and is just minutes from entertainment destinations like the Arts District and the American Airlines Center.
The Highland Park Independent School District, which includes Highland Park and neighboring University Park, is continuously ranked as one of the nation’s best and is home to championship athletic teams from football to swimming. Each season finds traditional neighborhood gatherings like Halloween block parties, a Fourth of July Parade, Friday Night Football and school carnivals that bring together families that sometimes go back three and four generations. And at Versailles Park, a tranquil pocket nestled in the middle of Highland Park, an ornate gazebo trimmed with Spanish Colonial flourishes and topped with a tiled roof is known as one of the most picturesque photo spots in Dallas.
While trees and architecture make a neighborhood beautiful, it’s the people that provide its identity. Highland Park is home to some of Dallas’ most notable faces and families. Owners of professional sports teams, CEOs of major corporations, political power houses and internationally recognized artists live in this 2.2 square mile plot of lush landscaping. Yet, many of the familiar faces in this town are not known for their national reputation; rather they’re recognized for their longstanding role in the community as teacher, coach, swim instructor or librarian. With less than 8,900 residents, Highland Park is a town where many generations of families live just blocks from one another.
With an abundance of public parks, baseball fields, soccer fields, basketball courts, six tennis courts (located at parks Burleson, Caruth, Curtis, Germany, Smith, and Williams), track and field stadiums and biking trails, the Park Cities may have more outdoor activities per mile than any other incorporate city in the nation. One of the most popular is the new Katy Trail that starts / ends at SMU, where people of all skill levels walk, run and roll along the 3.5 miles of this popular urban trail. Whether they use the trail to bike to work, walk the dog, train for a marathon or skateboard to class at SMU, the Katy Trail is a valuable urban artery that’s as good for fitness as it is for making friends. Although it currently serves as a connector that spans from SMU to the American Airlines Center, upcoming plans for the Katy Trail will extend to more than 17 miles by linking it with Dallas’ other trail systems.