From fantastic shopping and delicious cuisine to world-class venues and gorgeous parks, Plano has everything you need for a great Texas trip. Whether you’re visiting this mid-size city - located just north of Dallas - for a weekend getaway, short business trip, sports tournament, or special event, chances are you’re going to have a great time.
Plano’s first settlers were subsistence farmers who received land grants in the 1840's. The town incorporated one year after the Texas Central Railway arrived in 1872, connecting local farmers and ranchers to markets in Dallas and beyond. Although a fire destroyed all 51 buildings in the downtown district in 1881, the good people of Plano rebuilt, putting the city back on the path of expansion.
Between the growth of Dallas toward Plano and the mega-success of a handful of Fortune 500 companies that call the city home, the 20th century saw Plano become one of the fastest-growing cities in the country. Today it is the largest city in Collin County and a nationally recognized center of business and enterprise.
Part of that same railroad that put Plano on the map welcomes visitors to this very day. The Interurban Railway Museum features exhibits on the history of the area and a fully restored train car from 1908. For a living history experience, tour the Heritage Farmstead Museum, where a former homestead built in 1891 now serves as a window into life on the Blackland Prairie. And you can get your fill of fictional history at Southfork Ranch, known to fans the world over as the site of the beloved TV show Dallas.
If your visit to the Ewings’ one-time home has you in the mood to deck yourself out in jewelry and cowboy gear, you’ll find no shortage of national chains and boutiques ready and waiting to help. The Shops at Legacy and Legacy West are two upscale shopping centers with designer brands and chic local labels, but they’re hardly your only options. Plano’s downtown area and its two malls have a range of retailers for all types of goodies, as well as a host of great restaurants.
Legacy Town Center is a mélange of homes, businesses, shops, hotels, restaurants and open spaces all in an urban village-style setting. The Shops at Legacy feature an upscale retail mix of men’s and women’s clothing, home furnishings and more. The development is also home to the Angelika Film Center & Café, a stylish five-screen boutique cinema devoted to independent specialty film, as well as some of the area’s best restaurants, including Bob’s Steak & Chop House, Fleming’s and Mexican Sugar. The Marriott Dallas/Plano at Legacy Town Center is the center’s premier hotel property. Baccus Plaza boasts the Trails in Legacy Sculptures, which were created by Texas native Robert Summers and depict a cattle drive along the Shawnee Trail, a principal route on which Texas longhorn cattle were driven before and just after the Civil War.
Visitors won’t want to miss Legacy West. Opened in June 2017, this “city within a city” is the largest mixed use destination in North Texas and the perfect place to play, shop, dine and stay. The 255-acre development boasts 415,000 dynamic square feet of open-air retail and restaurant space. Here, diners can satisfy every craving, whether for steak or a good old-fashioned milk shake, French bistro fare, a perfect plate of pasta, or a red velvet cupcake. For those who can’t decide, Legacy Hall has it all. In this one-of-a-kind artisanal food hall, visitors can wander from stall to stall to meet local purveyors and sample everything from lobster rolls to Philly cheesesteaks to house made ginger beer floats. There’s also an on-site brewery and live music stage in the Box Garden. Legacy West’s shopping offerings run the gamut from fashion to furnishings to cosmetics and even cars. (Think Tesla!) After a day of retail therapy, shoppers won’t have to go very far to set down their spoils, since this urban village is anchored by the new Renaissance Dallas at Plano Legacy West Hotel.
Recently designated a Cultural District by the Texas Commission on the Arts, Downtown Plano Arts District is a vibrant community of urban living, performing arts, galleries, event venues, alongside boutique shops and unique restaurants. Downtown Plano has free outdoor concerts and movies, festivals for every season, easy access via DART light rail station, all set against a backdrop of historic buildings.
With 60,000 square feet of attractions, Crayola Experience is Texas’ most colorful family destination for interactive, creative play. Kids of all ages can embark on a wonderful, whimsical adventure with such unique experiences as starring in their very own coloring pages, naming and wrapping their very own Crayola crayon, learning how crayons are made in a live manufacturing show and so much more.
Across from the Hilton Granite Park sits a new 30,000 square foot restaurant park called The Boardwalk where visitors enjoy eateries featuring cuisine like southern—inspired gulf seafood to gourmet biscuits and even a new local brewery and restaurant. Each restaurant has a patio and there are Adirondack chairs along the Boardwalk to enjoy the view of the water feature.
Don’t forget to enjoy Plano’s natural beauty while you’re in town. There are more than 4,000 acres of parks in Plano, including the fabulous Oak Point Park with its zip lining adventure course called Go Ape, and Russell Creek Park, where you can take in a friendly game of cricket. The Arbor Hills Nature Preserve is another well-known favorite for tourists and locals alike, with its hike and bike trail, observation tower for wildlife viewing, playground, and pavilion. If you enjoy a competitive round of golf, The Courses at Watters Creek has three separate courses of different lengths, with some holes as short as 40 yards, at its location on the north side of town.
Thanks to its high-end shopping centers, 1000+ dining options, and lush parks, Plano has just as much appeal for those who love urban fun or outdoor adventure. For more about Plano, explore Visit Plano’s blog.
Plano, TX 75024