Dallas vs. Austin

Dallas Skyline

While Austin and Dallas are only a mere 3-hour drive apart, these two cities offer unique local qualities and opportunities to their residents. Dallas, or the “Big D,” is known for its bustling city life and dynamic skyline. In contrast, Austin is known for being a bit more diverse and quirky. The “Keep Austin Weird” slogan certainly follows through. So let’s take a look at these two Texas cities and see how Dallas vs. Austin compares.

While the populations of Dallas and Austin are close, Dallas does beat Austin by a couple hundred thousand residents. Dallas ranks as the third most populous city in Texas with a population of 1.3 million, while Austin comes in fourth with a population of 1 million.

However, there is no competition when comparing the metropolitan populations of Dallas vs. Austin Dallas has 7.6 million residents living in the metro area. In comparison, Austin’s 2.2 million residents enjoy a bit more space for backyard fun.

Location & Topography

The city of Austin is located on the southeast side of the large state of Texas. It proudly holds the title of the southernmost state capital in the contiguous U.S. Compared to the northern city of Dallas, Austin is more centrally located. Dallas is located nearly 200 miles north of Austin. 

Dallas’s northern topography makes the landscape relatively flat, with elevations ranging from 450 to 550 feet. The Trinity River, along with nearby Ray Hubbard and Joe Pool Lakes, are some local highlights of the area. 
Austin’s topography offers a bit more variety and excitement. The beautiful Colorado River winds its way through the city’s heart, and the nearby Lake Travis is tucked into the rolling Texas Hill Countryside. In addition, Austin is within a three-hour drive to the beautiful shores of the Gulf Coast.

Things to do: Sports & Entertainment

When it comes to professional sports such as the NFL, NBA, or MLB, Dallas is a “slam dunk” for sports fans. With teams like the Stars, Mavericks, and the Cowboys, it will be hard not to spend your days in the stands cheering on your favorite player. 

When it comes to sports in Austin, the winner is the thriving college sports scene. The University of Texas at Austin is known for its notorious Texas Longhorns. In addition, Austin has recently added a major league soccer team, the Austin FC. 

Both cities offer diverse entertainment, shopping, and nightlife options that cater to individuals of all ages. So whether you prefer attending a symphony, a natural history museum, or spending the day exploring local breweries and food trucks, both cities offer something different. 

Dallas does offer more art and museum opportunities, such as the Bishop Arts District, John F.Kennedy Memorial Plaza, and the Stone Street Gardens. In addition, the city hosts large annual events and festivals that highlight the city’s culture. 

In comparison, Austin offers a more intimate and personalized experience. The small feel of the city allows individuals to discover a wide range of small businesses and food trucks within the community while enjoying views of The Colorado River and surrounding the Texas Hill Country. Some favorite local spots worth mentioning are the Barton Creek Greenbelt, Lake Travis, and Moody Theater.

Local Economy

The long historical industries of farming and oil in Dallas have transitioned into a booming hub for Fortune 500 companies. The city has the second-largest concentration of corporate headquarters in the U.S. Companies such as ExxonMobil, McKesson, Fluor, and Vistra Energy, among many others, call the city of Dallas home. The concentration of these large companies in the Dallas-Fort Worth region greatly contributes to the local economy’s success. 

Dallas, however, isn’t the only city to capture the attention of well-recognized companies. The city of Austin hosts the headquarters of countless tech companies like 3M, Apple, Amazon, Google, Oracle, and eBay, just to name a few. In addition to a thriving technology industry, Austin is a hub for pharmaceutical and medical companies. While the city of Austin is proud to have a wide variety of small businesses that the “Keep Austin Weird” slogan accurately describes, the large companies help contribute to the stability of the local economy.

How to Choose Between Austin vs. Dallas?

Both cities offer great opportunities and benefits, making it a hard decision when you are trying to decide whether to move to Austin vs. Dallas. It all comes down to your lifestyle preferences and what qualities or characteristics of a city you desire. Fortunately, you can always visit both cities given their proximity to one another!

Life at Lakeside

Located just a short drive from downtown Austin is Lakeside at Tessera. Take advantage of the incredible outdoor recreation and convenient amenities outside your front door. Contact us today to find your dream home and enjoy the best that the Texas Hill Country has to offer!

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