If you’re considering a move to Dallas, you’ll be in good company! The Dallas-Ft. Worth-Arlington area is one of the fastest-growing metropolises in the country. Between 2010 and 2019, its population grew by 19%, or more than 1.2 million residents, to bring the population total to just over 7.5 million.

To put that in perspective, Oahu’s population is right around 980,080, with those people spread across 597 square miles. The city of Dallas alone, by comparison, has about 1.3 million residents within about half that space: 343 square miles.

If these figures give you the feeling that living in the Dallas area will offer a very different experience than living in Hawaii, you’d be right.

To give you a better sense of what it’s like to live in the Big D, as the city is known, we’ll walk you through a few of the reasons why people move to Dallas and share some ideas on where to live in the area. We’ll even throw out a few suggestions for spending your free time in the area to offer you a taste of “Dallas life.”

First, let’s explore some common reasons behind Dallas-Hawaii moves.

Why Make the Move Between Dallas and Hawaii?

1. Plenty of Jobs in a Variety of Industries

There are a number of upsides to living in paradise, but if we hear one downside, it’s that Hawaii’s economy is focused on tourism. So if you’re looking for a job in the islands, you’re probably going to be working in hospitality, food, and beverage or retail—or one of the many industries that support the travel industry. If you’re looking to break out of this niche, moving to Dallas may be the right destination for you. It’s home to a number of large corporate headquarters, including 22 companies that, at one point or another, have graced the Fortune 500 list, including Exxon Mobil, Southwest Airlines, American Airlines and AT&T. In other words, when you move to Dallas, you’ll find plenty of opportunities to take your career in a new direction.

2. Stay Warm All Year Round (and Enjoy Some A/C!)

Some Hawaii residents can’t imagine moving to a place that requires cold-weather gear: heavy jackets, gloves, boots, snow shovels and more. If you fall in this camp, Dallas might be the right destination for you. With an average high of 76 and an average low of 55,  you’ll be able to enjoy the outdoors year. And, if you’re concerned about that famous Texas heat, not to worry: Air conditioning is plentiful in the Lone Star State. (And it’s much cheaper to run at about $0.10 per kWh—as opposed to the $0.275 average in Hawaii!)

3. A Comfort-Food Driven Scene You’ll Love

If you couldn’t get enough of those mixed plates in Hawaii, Texas will be right up your alley, with the kind of hearty food you loved to dig into in the Aloha State. Of course, you’ve got your Texas barbecue with all the fixin’s—and don’t forget all the Tex-Mex options you’ll find in the state that invented the cuisine. That said, as a major metropolitan area (and the Thrillist-top-ranked state for food), Dallas will also offer you a new level of culinary variety that you might not have experienced in Hawaii. So although Texas is often considered a meat lover’s paradise, Dallas also offers a little something for everyone.

4. No State Income Tax

Given that WalletHub ranked Hawaii #2 in the U.S. for its high tax burden (Texas is #32 on that same list!) the benefit here is obvious: Moving to Dallas means more take-home money for you to spend as you please.

5. The Link Between Southern Hospitality and Aloha Spirit

Lastly, some residents may be reluctant to leave Hawaii’s Aloha Spirit behind. If you’re headed to Dallas, though, we’ve got good news for you. Although in our opinion, there’s nothing quite like aloha, you may encounter some particularly prime examples of southern hospitality in Dallas. Maybe you’ll experience it in a warm greeting you get at a restaurant, a welcoming act from your new neighbors, or the way friends quickly become family in Texas. (Ohana, anyone?) You’ll certainly see it in the slow pace of polite conversation in Texas, something you probably got used to in Hawaii. These cultural similarities can make former Hawaii residents feel welcome quickly in Texas—and it might entice still more to make the move to the Lone Star State.

What’s the Best Place to Live in Dallas?

As you explore the Dallas-Ft. Worth-Arlington area, you’ll have a number of areas to choose from, which include Uptown, Preston Hollow, Lake Highlands, Irving, Richardson, and many more.

One neighborhood you might want to consider is University Park, which, along with Highland Park, is one of two neighborhoods that make up Park Cities, an area that lies a few miles north of Dallas. In addition to offering some tantalizing shopping and dining options, the University Park area also features quiet, tree-lined streets, as well as an excellent school district, making it a top choice for families. Southern Methodist University makes its home in the neighborhood, adding a mix of college students and faculty to the neighborhood’s mix.

University Park and Highland Park are both nationally ranked for their high quality of life, and they also rank on the higher end of many people’s budgets.

If that’s the case for you, you might consider East Dallas. Right in the middle of the neighborhood, you’ll find White Rock Lake, a reservoir surrounded by a park that offers its visitors plenty of area for picnics, hiking, and biking. The park gives East Dallas a scenic setting, and, yet, residents still have easy access to the amenities of the city. If you spent a lot of time outdoors in Hawaii, living in East Dallas will make it easy for you to get your daily breath of fresh air.

Once you’ve decided on your destination, it’s time for the fun stuff: Dreaming up activities for your days off in Dallas.

4 Ways to Enjoy Your Leisure Time in Dallas

1. Cheer for Your Favorites—Live!

Whether you’re into football (the Dallas Cowboys), basketball (the Dallas Mavericks and the Dallas Wings), baseball (the Texas Rangers), hockey (the Dallas Stars), or soccer (FC Dallas), you’ll have six pro teams to choose from in the Dallas area. Or, hey, go wild and become a fan for all seasons. Either way, you’ll be able to enjoy live pro sports year-round when you move to Dallas.

2. Get Your Shop On

If you were one of the many who flocked to Honolulu’s Ala Moana Center, Dallas will be a different kind of paradise for you. The city has more stores per capita than any in the U.S., so can shop until you drop in the Big D. You’ll also get to enjoy Highland Park Village, America’s oldest shopping center, which was also declared a National Historic Landmark in 2000. (By the way, Ala Moana is the world’s largest open-air shopping center, and Highland Park Village is the country’s oldest, so visiting both would certainly be a feather in your shopper’s cap.)

3. Eat Your Fill at the Texas State Fair

Every year, you’ll have 24 days to enjoy one of the nation’s largest state fairs. In addition to livestock exhibitions, rides, games, crafts, and vendors, there’s the food. Oh, the food. Of course, you’re in Texas, so you’ll find all kinds of deep-fried creations, such as deep-fried chicken cordon bleu stuffed waffles, deep-fried potato salad, and even deep-fried energy bites. However, you’ll also find delightfully weird items like the champagne jello hotshot, cotton candy burritos, the peanut butter, and jelly pickle dog, and the loaded baked potato funnel cake. The food alone makes this yearly event a must for Dallas residents.

4. Hop a Flight to Somewhere New

In the Dallas-Ft. Worth area, you’ve got two major airports at your fingertips, both of which make it easy to jet around domestically and internationally. At DFW, you’ll find the American Airlines international hub, its gleaming terminal just waiting to host you before you embark on the exotic vacation of your dreams. Direct to Seoul, Sao Paolo, and Shanghai? Check, check, and check. If you’re the type who’d rather explore the mainland, Love Field Airport is a Southwest hub, which means you’ll get to take full advantage of Southwest’s cheap and easy flights all over the country. Whether you want to explore the world or the contiguous 48, Dallas is a great jumping-off point. (And don’t forget the daily direct flights to Honolulu and Kahului from DFW, just in case you get homesick!)

Adopting Dallas as Your New Home

If you’ve decided that Dallas is the place for you, congratulations! You’ve got plenty waiting for you in this vibrant metropolitan area. Whether you’re looking at jobs, neighborhoods, activities, shopping opportunities or any of the other features the area has to offer, the possibilities and the opportunities are numerous. All that’s left is to explore—and enjoy!


Ready to make the move to Dallas? (Or leaving Dallas for Hawaii?) We’d be happy to help! Just reach out to one of our experts to get started with a complimentary quote. We’ll help you make a safe, easy, and affordable move from Hawaii to Dallas (or back again)!

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