You've received lots of great input about the suburbs of Dallas. I'd like to place a few recommendations about Dallas proper. There are several great communities in the heart of Dallas. I'm partial to east Dallas, having lived here for the past 20 years. White Rock Lake is a jewel within the city limits offering parks, hike/bike trails and beautiful scenery. Surrounding the lake are some extraordinary communities such as Lakewood, Forest Hills, M Streets, Old Lake Highlands, Lochwood and Lake Highlands.
Directly north of downtown are the Park Cities (Highland Park and University Park). Hoem prices in these communities are expensive by Dallas standards, but not so much by California standards. The schools are of the best public schools in the DFW area, and there are also a plethera of fabulous private schools.
Just west of the Park Cities are two fabulous communities, Devonshire and Bluffview. Rollling hills, tremendous trees - in places it is hard to believe that you are in the middle of one of the largest cities in the US - the city just seems to disappear.
To the north of the Park Ciies is Preston Hollow. An established community in Dallas, it offers living from Mansion to 3 bedroom homes and all points in betweem. Large lots, parks and a great community. This is the part of town where George W Bush settled as he returned to Dallas. Public schools are strong in this community, and again, a braod collection of private schools is also available.
I have a wonderful relocation guide that provides much more indepth information about these communities. If you'll send me an email, I would be happy to forward it to you.
Keller Williams, Dallas City Center