The truth about life in Lake Highlands

Don’t even think about calling it Highland Park

Lake Highlands kids really grew up with the best of both worlds. City life was only a 10-minute drive away but you still had the comfort and community feel of a suburb. We had Friday night lights football as well as access to some incredible art, music and — most importantly — food.

Outsiders will often mistaken you for being from Highland Park, but we are all so quick to shut that accusation down. We may not have grown up in the beautiful homes of some of the wealthiest folk in Dallas, but Lake Highlands had plenty of perks of its own to offer.

Northpark Mall had literally everything

Because the greatest and most luxe mall ever was a short drive away, we were never limited when it came to shopping. Whether you needed new clothes, went on a first date to see a movie at the AMC, or were a 13-years-old just hanging out there, we all have spent our fair share of hours at the mega shopping center.

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MiCocina and Picasso’s were life

If you know someone who lives in Lake Highlands that has not eaten at either of these restaurants at least 50 times (that being the bare minimum) then please introduce them to me because I didn’t think they existed. With convenience and decently average food, these two restaurants will never fail you if you want a nice dinner with your family, your ex-boyfriend’s family and a handful of your former teachers because these two restaurants are guaranteed  to make sure you run into someone you know. Brace yourself.

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Tony’s was carb heaven

If you wanted a more relaxed feel for dinner, then you definitely had a meal at this family-run Italian restaurant. With incredible garlic bread and American super-sized portions, this restaurant will always fulfill any need have for comfort food. Oh, and if you are under the age of 16, be prepared to experience some serious ageism.

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Dallas was our backyard

Even though we may feel like a suburb, we definitely aren’t one and will be the first to make sure you know it. With downtown, uptown, lower Greenville, Deep Ellum and so many more popping areas at our fingertips, we were barely ever bored. All we had to do was get in our cars and drive 10 minutes. This was honestly one of the best things about Lake Highlands.

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Every teen went through the “walking” phase

I like to think that this phase is a rite of passage for anyone who grew up in this community. During our junior high years, we were all definitely too cool to have our parents drive us places so we took it upon ourselves to just walk everywhere. To and from friends houses, restaurants, LA Fitness, elementary school playgrounds, we really covered it all. However, looking back…it would have been much easier to just have our moms drive us. But this phase is very common and almost necessary to truly say you grew up in Lake Highlands.

White Rock Coffee was a godsend

Without a doubt, my favorite part of life in Lake Highlands is this little coffee shop known as White Rock Coffee. This shop took my love for coffee to a whole new level and even introduced me and many many others to the delicious and addictive drink. They have got everything here. Great coffee, great baristas, and great ambiance. You will find everyone in here: Bible study leaders, first daters, friends catching up, stressed-out students, and occasionally some talented — and usually very loud — singers. This coffee shop has captured my heart as well as so many others and I truly believe this to be one of Lake Highlands’ greatest gems.

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Chris Harrison: hometown hero

And if nothing else sells you on this interesting little community, then at least we can say that we produced ‘Bachelor/Bachelorette’ host Chris Harrison. We also were home to ‘Glee’ star Mark Salling, but he was arrested for child pornography so lets keep that on the DL.

THE BACHELORETTE - Chris Harrison is the host of the ABC Television Network's "The Bachelor" and "The Bachelorette" series. (ABC/Craig Sjodin)

Overall, Lake Highlands has plenty of its own flaws, but it also is an incredible place to grow up. We had access to it all and I wouldn’t have wanted to grow up anywhere else.

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