2. Highland Village

Suburb_HighlandVillage1 The houses on Highland Shores go into the millions. photography by Dave Shafer

Population: 15,250
Annual growth since 1990: 4%
Average home sales price in 2009: $278,411
Median age of residents: 37.7
Families with kids under 18: 53.8%
Median household income: $102,141

What they say: Not many Highland Village residents are from here; most have relocated, attracted by the low crime rate, exemplary schools, rolling hills, and, of course, Lake Lewisville. “I love to kayak and walk the nature trails with my dogs almost every day,” one resident says. Nature next door, Dallas just 45 minutes away. Residents of Highland Village and its neighbors are still in the honeymoon phase with the Shops at Highland Village (a smaller version of Southlake Town Square), although some would prefer more independent shops and restaurants rather than the TJ Maxx, Peter Piper Pizza, and Banana Republic that the area has to offer. Police officers let homeowners know if their garage doors have been left open, and one stopped to take photos of a snowball fight this winter. “We do let them know of vacations, and they always take care to watch our home,” one resident says. “They are quick with speeding warnings but always polite.” Houses here start at $150,000 and go up to several million, with the average at about $300,000. As in most Dallas suburbs, the population can be generalized as conservative, middle to upper class, family oriented, and mostly white. But nice and always neighborly.

What we say: Residents of Highland Village must feel like they’re on a constant vacation. The city’s Inland Trails connect Lake Lewisville to shops, parks, and schools. Kids are riding their bikes. People are walking their dogs, skipping rocks in the lake. Safety is a big bonus here. Highland Village scored just as well as Parker in crime—impressive since it is more than four times bigger. Highland Village has two neighborhood feels: middle-class lake town (older homes from the 1960s and up) and high-end gated community (the homes at Highland Shores go into the millions, with community pools and wine tastings). Regardless the price of the house, the vibe is laid-back lake.

Interested in visiting? Go off the beaten path with us.