The West End Historic District was voted number one for the most walkable neighborhood in Dallas. It is buzzing with liveliness and entertainment all week long. Shopping is a very permanent fixture in the hustle and bustle of the neighborhood. There is a multi-story shopping center in the neighborhood called the West End Marketplace. Jewelry, clothing, and gifts are all part of the popular West End Marketplace. Places like the Dallas World Aquarium, Pioneer Plaza, John Fitzgerald Kennedy Memorial, John Neely Bryan Cabin, and the American Museum of the Miniature Arts are all parts of the West End Historic District.
Arguably, the most beautiful building in the West End Historic District is the Old Red Courthouse. It is a gorgeous architectural masterpiece located on the Dallas County Historic Plaza. The Romanesque Revival style building was built in the late 1800's and was fully restored in 2007. The building is constructed of red sandstone and blue granite. The amazing building is considered a Texas historic landmark and visitors can attend theatre presentations in the building that document the four eras of Dallas County history. Another building of note in the West End Historic District is the American Museum of the Miniature Arts. It is a museum dedicated to tiny figurines. The exhibits throughout the museum detail miniature homes that would have been created in the 1690's and inches it's way up to the architecture of the twentieth century.
Besides the prominent buildings, beautiful landscaping, and entertainment attractions, the West End Historic District is a place bubbling with history, education, laughter and good food. The West End Historic District definitely has some great points, but it isn't all fun and glory. There are flaws to the district, but nothing that cannot be rectified with effective planning. For example, parking in the district is tight because of the growing popularity of the area. People get out of their cars and walk to the restaurants and shops, but often find they have nowhere to park their cars to walk to the shops and restaurants.
Another parking problem takes place during a festival called the Taste of Dallas that takes place every summer. During the Taste of Dallas festival, different restaurants from all over the city offer small tastes of cuisine from their menu, free cooking classes, and great music and performances. It is a traditional city event that draws lots of local residents from in and around the Dallas/Ft. Worth area. Once visitors enter the Taste of Dallas festival, they pay around $20 for a certain amount of coupons that can be redeemed at booths for food and beverages.
The popularity of the district has decreased over the years. Some locals have complained of pan-handlers and homeless people making their way to the district to seek help from the middle and upper class residents who frequent the area to shop. Since the year 2005, the district has gone through a transitional period of restaurants and shops closing to relocate to some of the increasingly popular areas around Dallas. Despite the decline, the West End Historic District is still considered an ultra-trendy place to visit for food or nightlife.