There are so many great places to live in Dallas that it helps to have an expert on your side. The Neighborhood Guide presented by Briggs Freeman Sotheby's International Realty gives you insider access from the agents who live and work there, providing in-the-know info about your possible new community.
Like many Dallasites, real estate agent Jason Garcia was always drawn to the charm and unique home styles of Highland Park, especially the area between Preston Road and the Tollway that's often known as the French Streets (think Versailles, Bordeaux, Belclaire, and Lorraine avenues).
"I found myself driving up and down each street for hours, admiring the details and quality," he says.
He spent most of his down time in the area, and eventually grew his client circle enough to start selling here in 2016.
"Highland Park exudes confidence and is populated with hardworking individuals who like to have fun but also strive for greatness in their line of work," he says.
It's also a hot spot for holiday fun, displaying some of the most impressive Christmas lights in Dallas.
"Every house is lit up, trees are adorned, and creative decor sits in each front yard," he says. "It's like having your own drive-through light show, particularly on Armstrong Parkway. Highland Park Village is also beautiful during Christmas, with every tree lit, live performances, and appearances from Santa and Mrs. Claus for the kids."
Garcia offered up a few of his personal favorites about life in Highland Park’s French Streets. Here's his guide to the area:
Where to eat & drink
Besides Tulum for its fresh Mexican seafood, Garcia names Al Biernat's for brunch, Merit Coffee Co. for a great cup of joe, and Bird Bakery for the best sweets in town.
"I love the Old Fashioned at The Honor Bar," he says, "and I love Bistro 31. Their steak frites are my favorite. You can also pop into Lounge 31 upstairs if you want to have a casual drink or light bites. Love their calamari! And if you like margaritas, the Mexican Candy margarita is amazing."
Where to play
"Visit Highland Park Village for shopping, a movie, or dinner with the family," advises Garcia. "Members and guests can enjoy the Dallas Country Club and the Moody Family YMCA, the latter of which offers programs for all ages including sports, personal training, and after-school activities."
Flippen Park is an iconic park on Versailles Avenue that is great for families, Garcia shares. With its gazebo, landscaped grounds, and beautiful fountain, it's a popular spot for engagement photos and wedding ceremonies.
"Fairfax Park is also a great place to spend a Saturday afternoon with the kiddos," he says, noting that families make use of the playground, playing field, tennis courts, and pickleball court.
Where to live
"Although you see a little bit of everything in this neighborhood as far as style, there's a reason they call it the French Streets," Garcia says. "You will primarily see and appreciate the French Tudor-style homes with their exposed wood beams, custom millwork, exquisite moldings, bold and elaborate chimneys, and strong attention to detail in the woodwork."
Although Garcia loves the French Streets, his most recent sale happens to be across the way in Old Highland Park. 4412 Lakeside Dr. is an iconic Highland Park landmark that was originally designed by Hal Thomson in 1918 but has since been updated with state-of-the-art technology and fresh interiors.
Sitting on over half an acre, the 9,035-square-foot main house includes five living areas, five fireplaces, four large bedroom suites, a 1,500-bottle wine cellar, and a wraparound screened loggia.
Opening to the outdoors on all sides, the interiors blend seamlessly with the immaculate grounds, which comprise a pool, spa, outdoor kitchen, fire pit, bocce ball court, and more. There's also a luxurious, 1,025-square-foot guest house over the three-car garage, boasting its own kitchen, living area, and laundry room.
Jason Garcia works and plays in Highland Park's French Streets. For more information on buying and selling a home in the area, click here, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 254-368-0829.