Plano beckons both leisure and business travelers with a rich assortment of attractions, hotels and more!
This North Texas City is the Place to Eat, Stay, Shop, Play and Meet
Plano, Texas is truly the land of plenty. Blending historic charm with modern luxury, the city brims with attractions and amenities that make it perfect for a day trip, leisurely weekend getaway, or meeting of any size.
Plano’s location just north of Dallas offers easy access to the area’s professional sports, performing arts, museums and the world-famous Southfork Ranch. But Plano is also a destination in its own right, with 56 hotels, more than 1000 restaurants, world-class shopping, a lively arts scene, and abundant natural beauty.
Conveniently located about 30 minutes from the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport and downtown Dallas, Plano is among the safest, easiest, cleanest, family-friendly and most economical cities and happiest in Texas, if not the country. Plano offers visitors a variety of things to see and do, a perennial favorite being the Plano Balloon Festival. Held each September, the popular event has earned Plano the title of “Hot Air Balloon Capital of Texas.”
Where to Stay, What to Do
For the Family
The Crayola Experience is one of only five such attractions in the U.S. With 60,000 square feet of attractions, Crayola Experience is Texas’ most colorful family destination for interactive, creative play. Families typically spend 3-4 hours exploring the 22 hands-on attractions. 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.
Plano is home to North Texas’ first state-of-the-art bowling and active entertainment destination. PINSTACK is a 50,000 square foot venue featuring a 28-lane bowling experience, a ropes course suspended 20 feet above the gaming center, a two-story laser tag, bumper cars, LED lit six-lane rock climbing walls, hundreds of interactive games and simulator technology.
Plano boasts a charming Downtown Plano Arts District area recently named one of the 10 best in America by Livability.
The area’s authentic brick streets are lined with independent restaurants and boutiques including quaint antique stores, art galleries, artist’s studios, and more. Visitors can see more than a dozen restored historic homes and other designated historic landmarks, most within walking distance of the downtown area.
Also located in the Downtown Plano Arts District is the Interurban Railway Museum.
The museum is housed in a building that served as a primary stop on the Texas Electric Railway that ran from Denison to Dallas from 1908 to 1948. It contains many artifacts associated with the Interurban Line, as well as a colorful history of Plano. Next to the station is car 360, one of the original cars that carried mail and passengers.
Not far from downtown is Heritage Farmstead Museum, a four-acre museum that recreates life during the prosperous early 1920s. The beautiful Victorian home was built in 1891 on Blackland Prairie soil by Hunter Farrell for his wife, Mary Alice, and daughter, Ammie. The house and its 12 outbuildings were the hub of a 360-acre farm that was later operated for several years by Ammie, a storied local personality.
Plano’s Granite Park Boardwalk has the same energetic yet relaxing feel that everybody knows and loves when it comes to boardwalks. The area has multiple restaurants with beautiful patio dining spots, a live entertainment stage, outside games like Connect Four and Corn-Hole, and is a great place to stroll, dine, and unwind with the family or on a date night.
Relive some memorable moments from the television series “Dallas” at Southfork Ranchin nearby Parker. The “Dallas Legends: Fact to Fantasy” exhibit features such memorabilia as the gun that shot J.R., Lucy’s wedding dress and video clips. There are also trail rides on-site, and a resident herd of Texas Longhorn cattle. Horseback riding is also available and is a fun activity for the family to endure some Texas culture.
For the Shopper
Plano is known across the Dallas-Fort Worth area for its world-class shopping. Throughout the city, visitors will find more than 70 shopping centers, as well as countless boutiques, specialty stores, antique stores, and galleries.
Visitors won’t want to miss Legacy West. This “city within a city” is the largest mixed-use destination in North Texas. It is not only the corporate headquarters of such companies as Toyota North America, Hilti, Liberty Mutual, HP Enterprise Services, JCPenney, The Frito-Lay Company, Boeing, and FedEx Office, but also 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.
Across the Dallas North Tollway from Legacy West is The Shops at Legacy, which has a “Main Street” style and feel.
Brimming with boutiques, cafes, and restaurants helmed by some of the area’s best chefs, The Shops at Legacy are an example of Plano’s recent cutting-edge transformation, boasting numerous national and Texas “firsts,” including one of the nation’s few Angelika Film Center outposts, The Shops at Legacy is home to the charming and romantic Mexican Sugar, part of the innovative Front Burner restaurant group whose portfolio includes another Plano favorite, Whiskey Cake.
Some of Plano’s other notable shopping venues include Lakeside Market, offering the ultimate, open-air upscale luxury lifestyle and home furnishings shopping experience; the walkable Preston Park Village, with more than 60 specialty shops and 15 restaurants; and The Shops at Willow Bend, a delightful, upscale shopping center anchored by Neiman Marcus and Macy’s.
The newest addition to the mall is the District at Willow Bend transforming the mall into a shopping, dining, and entertainment destination. The District is a new restaurant area that is home to local chef-driven restaurants, second-story terraces, and a grand entrance to the property.
For the Adventurer
The first treetop adventure course in Texas, Go Ape, is just minutes from the Downtown Plano Arts District at Oak Point Park & Nature Preserve. This vast area of natural beauty sits on 800 acres and features more than just a canopy tour. Go Ape includes five individual sections with rope ladders and 39 exciting crossings.
Plano is the perfect place for all types of outdoor recreation activities. The city has 4,337 acres of public parks offering more than 82 miles of recreation trails.
Worth a visit is the Arbor Hills Nature Preserve, a 200-acre park featuring vast areas of natural beauty for walking, jogging, orienteering, and other outdoor activities. Amenities include a playground, approximately 2.3 miles of paved recreational trails, approximately two miles designed as an off-road cycling trail, an observation tower and three pavilions.
For the Foodie
Plano is known as a foodie destination boasting some of the best dining in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. From farm-to-table, sustainable seafood, and even a European-style food hall, Plano has everything from Texas-style BBQ to Asian fusion and even gourmet donuts, ice cream, and popsicles.
For those who can’t decide, Legacy Food Hall has it all. In this one-of-a-kind artisanal food hall, visitors can wander over 20 stalls to meet local purveyors and sample everything from lobster rolls and sushi to Philly cheesesteaks and duck fat fried chicken.
This rotating stall concept allows restauranteurs to develop and perfect their concepts before investing in a full restaurant. Bringing the best local chefs in a unique space makes for an unforgettable experience! But that’s not all – there is also has an on-site brewery and an outdoor live music and entertainment stage. Legacy Hall was even named the #2 best new food hall in the nation by USA Today in 2019.
Find more culinary inspiration for your next visit to Plano, visit visitplano.com/thatstempting.
For the Art Lover
The Downtown Plano Arts District is also home to three “Plano Stages” – the Courtyard Theater, the Cox Building Playhouse and McCall Plaza, an outdoor performance space conveniently located near the area’s many restaurants and shops and within walking distance from the downtown DART (Dallas Area Rapid Transit) station.
A “home for the arts in Plano,” the ArtCentre of Plano recently moved to the historic Saigling House. Its indoor galleries host numerous exhibits by local and national artists throughout the year. With its outdoor deck, beautiful grounds and illuminated trees, the facility is also perfect for parties, weddings, and other special events.
Find out more about the Downtown Plano Arts District murals and portal project here.
Where to Stay
Plano has lodging options for every taste and budget, with more than 6,900 hotel rooms. From the luxurious new Renaissance Dallas at Plano Legacy West to the Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites, there are plenty of options for business travelers and families on a budget.
One of Plano’s premier hotel properties is the Dallas/Plano Marriott at Legacy Town Center. This upscale, full-service and picturesque property is located within walking distance of more than 80 restaurants and numerous shops at The Shops at Legacy.
The Renaissance Dallas at Plano Legacy West Hotel at Legacy Westis a 15 story, 304-room luxury property featuring a high energy lobby and bar, an onsite Asian fusion restaurant, a third-floor amenity deck with swimming pool, a bar concierge lounge, fitness center and outdoor event space.
Across from The Boardwalk at Granite Park, sits a luxurious 299-room hotel, the Hilton Dallas/Plano Granite Park. This beautifully designed and decorated full-service hotel boasts 19,000 square feet of flexible meeting space, including two ballrooms, a complimentary 24-hour business center, and modern A/V technology.