The Park Cities

Look at a map of the Dallas city limits and see that doughnut hole – or bubble if you will – where two small municipalities boasting some of the most expensive real estate in North Texas sit surrounded by the big city.

A short drive from downtown Dallas, the Park Cities, affectionately called “The Bubble,” are known for grand, well-manicured homes in a variety of styles built over a span of 100 years. Here, “keeping up with the Joneses” means having NFL owners and other influential Dallas families and philanthropists as neighbors.

The communities’ commitment to ample green space also goes back to their founding – with 20% of developed land reserved for park space.

“Parkies” – residents of the town of Highland Park and city of University Park – though governed separately, are united by one school district (see Page 48) and historically dominate high school sports teams. Go Scots!


Texas’ “Robin Hood” school finance system limits how many property tax dollars Highland Park ISD can keep for operations, so families help the district secure extra funding with Mad for Plaid, the Highland Park Education Foundation’s annual fundraising campaign.


Attend the Park Cities Fourth of July Parade and perhaps even be in it. The “single best day of the year in the Park Cities” grew out of separate neighborhood events that combined in the 1960s. Led by the Rotary Club of Park Cities today, the community wide Independence Day celebration draws thousands to watch fancy cars and floats roll from Highland Park Town Hall to University Park’s Goar Park. Festivities continue with music, patriotic speeches, and booths giving away freebies.

Photo: Chris McGathey

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