Best Apartment Community 2017 | Avana West Lemmon | Best of Dallas® 2020 | Best Restaurants, Bars, Clubs, Music and Stores in Dallas | Dallas Observer
Paige Skinner

A good apartment complex in a good neighborhood with an affordable price can be hard to come by. Luckily, Avana West Lemmon, near Uptown and Highland Park, fits all the categories. Not only is it a fairly large apartment complex with a swimming pool and gym, but it offers a community for its residents with regular get-togethers, events, and an online portal for residents to communicate with neighbors, sell items or offer advice on things to do. It sits on top of Highland Park Emergency Room and is a few blocks from the Ivy Tavern, making it a great place to be if you need a quick doctor's visit or a drink.

Readers' Pick: The Village

There are few stores that offer a better shopping experience than Nordstrom. Whether you're in NorthPark, the Galleria, Stonebriar or any other location, you will be treated like royalty at Nordstrom. Not only are the employees quick to offer advice on what clothes or shoes to buy, but returning something couldn't be easier. It doesn't matter if you bought it online, in store or months ago, Nordstrom takes back anything. And with its new curbside service, you can order something online during work, stop by your favorite Nordstrom and text the service bar that you would like your order at your car, and then you're off. You never have to step foot in a store and deal with other shoppers looking at the same shirt as you. Yes, shopping just got lazier — and thus better.

NorthPark feels like two malls in one. One half, the original part, is full of high-end stores like Louis Vuitton, Neiman Marcus and Tiffany. The other side has a food court with fast-food restaurants and more affordable stores, including Macy's, H&M, and Zara. NorthPark has always been a staple in Dallas shopping, and with the extension that happened a few years ago, it has become one of the best places to shop in the area. The best part of NorthPark — and something that will always separate it from other malls — is the lack of vendors selling cellphone cases in the middle of the walkways.

This jewelry shop in Snider Plaza has plenty of options for the fashionable person in your life. Whether you are looking for earrings or a customized necklace with your initials, Gemma Collection is the perfect place to buy gold-plated or sterling silver jewelry. Stroll through during the holiday shopping season and you'll see dozens of Highland Park moms buying earrings for every female in their lives. Go during the school year and you'll run into SMU sorority sisters buying necklaces with their letters on them. And take a look during the summertime and you'll be amazed at how many men are looking for a simple bracelet to show their wives they still care.

Mike Mezeul

After failing to make the playoffs in the 2016-17 season, the Stars reloaded in earnest. Dallas' hockey club brought back coach Ken Hitchcock, who led the team to its only Stanley Cup championship in 1999, traded for goaltender Ben Bishop and signed him to long-term extension, and signed Russian play-making forward Alexander Radulov to a five-year contract. Mix in the acquisition of defender Marc Methot, who should help shore up the team's balky back line, and the Stars have the look of a team that could be among the best in the Western Conference, as it was in 2015-16. The future looks bright, too. Because they missed the playoffs, the Stars landed the third pick in the 2017 NHL draft, picking Finnish defenseman Miro Heiskanen. Heiskanen is expected to play in Europe for at least one more season, but he is the kind of smooth-skating, puck-handling defenseman teams dream about.

Courtesy Highland Park Village

Whether the stars of Real Housewives of Dallas are eating and drinking at Lounge 31, picking up a Celine bag or buying a dress at Alice + Olivia, your best shot at spotting one in the wild is at Highland Park Village. Real Housewives and expensive clothes, bags and shoes go together like beans and cornbread. They need the best outfits and accessories before heading to a fancy gala or charity event, and there's no better place in town to grab something high end and showstopping than the little village in Dallas' Beverly Hills. Take a tour through Highland Park Village and let us know if you can spot the wealthiest of Housewives.

Trying on a pair of blue jeans is not for the weak. With hundreds of different styles and fits — hell, when did wearing your mom's pants become cool? — it's no wonder you need a beer to get through it. Head to Blues Jean Bar in Snider Plaza from 4 to 6 p.m. Fridays and enjoy a refreshing beer while you try on jeans until you find the perfect pair. Tell the nice associate behind the bar what kind of style, fit and look you're going for, and watch him or her pull out enough pairs until you find one worth buying.

Wanna get outside and still shop? Maybe have a margarita when you get tired of all that outdoor shopping? We thought so. West Village off McKinney Avenue is where you need to be if you are looking to shop and soak up some vitamin D. There's a Kendra Scott store for your dangly earring needs, a Mi Cocina with outdoor seating for your enchilada and margarita needs, and The Magnolia for your indie movie and air-conditioning needs. Get outdoors. Get healthy. Sweat some.

Top Golf and other bars that double as driving ranges are fine. They are places to have fun. But golfers aren't looking for fun. They are looking for practice, damn it, and to become better at an unforgiving and endlessly challenging sport. That means grass tees, a good putting green and reasonable rates to burn through bucket after bucket of practice balls. The Range at Tenison has 41 practice stations and seven target greens in a tree-adorned setting. And the cafe sells beer if you're into that kind of thing.

Readers' Pick Topgolf

via Lululemon on Facebook

If you want to look chic while sweating your ass off — and we know you do — then your best option for athletic clothing is Lululemon. We all know working out is a chore, but if you feel great and presentable while doing it, you might have a little bit of extra motivation. There are yoga pants (also great for wearing while not working out), tennis skirts (also great for running errands), tailored jackets (OK, these are also great for when you're not working out) and plenty more. Now that we say all this, we realize Lululemon has great clothing for women and men, and not just for the gym. Want your ass to look tight and toned while picking up your morning coffee? Exactly.

3201 Knox St., and other locations, 214-443-0438,

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