144 Reasons to Love Plano on this 144th Birthday

Plano's birthday

Update: click here to view 2018’s updates to this list. 

June 2nd is Plano’s Birthday! This year we are celebrating 144 years as being an incorporated city. In celebration, here are 144 reasons to love Plano!

1. The Dallas Morning News Hot List Named Plano “Hottest Suburb” and we couldn’t agree more!

2. Plano’s live music scene is on point.

3. The quaint historic downtown has experienced a renaissance and is emerging as a popular backdrop for events, live music, and dining.

4. The arts in Plano are stronger than ever before. Catch a performance from the Plano Symphony Orchestra or Plano Community Band. There is also bound to be a theatrical performance offered every weekend of the year from either Art Centre Theatre, Rover Dramawerks, and Plano Children’s Theatre. Tour art exhibits at Ten 20 Gallery, the Plano Art Association, or at the ArtCentre of Plano.

5. Plano ranks as a “Best City to Live:” #1 by AreaVibes in 2011, Top 100 in 2015 by Livability, #1 in Texas and #3 in America by Money in 2016, #5 by Niche in 2016, #7 by Niche in 2017.

6. Over 800 full-service restaurants are available for every palate.

7. There are over 5,000 (and counting) hotel rooms for visitors across the city.

8. Plano is known as the Hot Air Balloon Capital of Texas thanks to the Plano Balloon Festival held every September for almost four decades.

9. Legacy West is home to the North American headquarters of Toyota and FedEx Office as well as the regional headquarters for JPMorgan Chase and Liberty Mutual with more than 20,000 employees, making it one of the largest new job centers in the state.

10. The new McCall Plaza in the Downtown Plano Arts District is the perfect backdrop for live music and events.

11. At 800 acres, Oak Point Park has 3.5 miles of concrete trails and 5 miles of soft trails along Rowlett Creek.

12. Downtown Plano was named one of four Great Neighborhoods on the American Planning Association’s list of Great Places in America in 2015.

13. Plano was also recognized as having the Eighth Best Downtown in America by Livability.com in 2016.

14. Arbor Hills Nature Preserve is a 200-acre park featuring vast areas of natural beauty for walking, jogging, hiking and other outdoor activities.

15. Find bluebonnets across the city every spring for family photos.

16. Legacy West’s 3.2 billion dollar, 255-acre development boasts 415,000 dynamic square feet of open-air retail and restaurant space.

17. Find Texas shaped cornbread, fried pickles, Shiner beer, and live music all at Love & War in Texas.

18. Some of the corporate headquarters here include: Cinemark Theaters, Ericcson, HP Enterprise Services, JCPenney, The Frito-Lay Company, Dr Pepper Snapple Group, FedEx Office, Pizza Hut, Rent-A-Center, Toyota North America and Hilti. No wonder Wallethub just ranked Plano as the Best City to Find a Job!

19. Heritage Farmstead’s four-acre museum preserves a way of life during the height of farm prosperity in the early 1900s.

20. See North Texas transportation history brought back to life at the Interurban Railway Museum.

21. Though just outside of Plano, we love nearby Southfork Ranch for being home of the “Dallas” TV series.

22. Plano is home to the original Texas-shaped pool aka The Texas Pool.

23. Patio dining isn’t just a trend, it’s a lifestyle.

24. The Downtown Plano Art & Wine Walks are a great excuse for a girl’s night out.

25. If your child is in select sports, you already know Plano is a mecca for youth recreational sports.

26. Plano’s 75-square miles of park fields and sport facilities dominate the north Texas region.

27. The City of Plano Parks and Recreation Department (which has been around for nearly 50 years) was the 2015 National Recreation and Parks Association Gold Medal winner for Excellence in Park and Recreation Management.

28. Whiskey Cake’s namesake dessert & OMG Burger are a must try.

29. Experience world cultures each year at the Plano International Festival.

30. You can enjoy arepas and a hibiscus margarita on Mexican Sugar’s patio over-looking The Shops at Legacy fountain.

31. Plano hosts everything from youth soccer to international cricket.

32. Plano’s new Sixty Vines restaurant has 40 wines and 20 beers on tap and a Texas olive oil citrus cake that you can’t leave Plano without trying.

33. AsiaFest celebrates the Asian American heritage every May for the past 14 years.

34. Urban Crust’s Shea’s Eastside pizza and Heart of Plano is the perfect combo for a lunch date.

35. You can take your furry-friend for a play date at Jack Carter Dog Park.

36. Haggard Park makes for the perfect backdrop for events like Dickens, Artfest, Steinfest, and Movies in the Park.

37. A hidden gem: The Latin Pig and their famous Cubanos.

38. Plano has seven cricket pitches in a single park, which is more than any city in North America.

39. Kenny’s Smoke House jalapeño cheddar sausage and “hammered” smoked brisket.

40. If David Hasselhoff approves of XO Coffee Co., then who can argue with that?

41. We love family Sunday outings to the award-winning Henry’s Home Made Ice Cream. Their famous ice cream is sold in over 400 restaurants! Remember, “Ice Cream Makes You Pretty!”

42. Texas’ only Mitsuwa Marketplace is the largest Japanese supermarket chain in the U.S. and recently opened its doors in Plano.

43. Enjoy a glass of wine at Cru while listening to jazz musicians stroll down the street.

44. The Lights at Legacy held each November is the perfect way to kick-off the holiday season.

45. Don’t overlook the carrot at Bob’s Steak and Chop House! Their iconic, larger than life, glazed carrot is served with every entrée.

46. NYLO Plano at Legacy’s bar, pool, and patio. Staycation anyone?

47. How many other cities can say they have their own hot air balloon? Meet Excellence.

48. The beautiful newly renovated Saigling House, which is now home to the ArtCentre of Plano.

49. Travel throughout the Dallas-Fort Worth area via the DART Rail Line from two locations in Plano: Parker Road Station and Downtown Plano Station.

50. Find Tarzan swings and suspended obstacles amid 800 acres of natural beauty at Texas’ only Go Ape location at Plano’s Oak Point Park & Nature Preserve.

51. Plano is home to North Texas’ first PINSTACK, a 50,000 square foot state-of-the-art bowling and active entertainment destination.

52. Bowl 24 hours a day, 365 days a year at Plano Super Bowl.

53. Plano is home to one of six Angelika Film Center & Cafés in the U.S., which anchors The Shops at Legacy bringing Indie films to Plano.

54. Find an intimate country music performance from March through November at Courtyard Theater as part of the Courtyard Texas Music Series.

55. Catch a show at Art Centre Theatre. There’s plenty to choose from with over 50 complete productions a year!

56. You can ride your bike around town. With more than 56 miles of trails criss-crossing the city, it’s a great way to see Plano. You can even find the routes on Google.

57. Here in Plano cosmopolitan meets country. Iconic Texas Longhorns can be seen lounging around some of the city’s large fields and green spaces.

58. Plano makes it easy to squeeze in some golf on your lunch break at Pecan Hollow, Los Rios Golf Club, and The Courses at Watters Creek.

59. Enjoy live music and dance the night away at Sambuca 360 and Blue Martini at The Shops at Legacy.

60. The Shops at Willow Bend, a picturesque and upscale shopping center, features more than 150 stores, including Neiman Marcus, Dillard’s, and Macy’s.

61. Preston Park Village is a walkable outdoor shopping haven with stores like Animal Crackers, Impeccable Pig, Cotton Island, and much more.

62. Indulge in organic spa services at Spa Habitat.

63. The newly renovated and renamed Plano Event Center hosts hundreds of events a year ranging from conventions and corporate meetings to events like the amazing Junior League of Collin County’s ‘Neath the Wreath Holiday Gift Market each November.

64. The new all-abilities park at Jack Carter Park gives us all the feels.

65. Dine on a 300-foot-long table in the middle of the brick-lined downtown street featuring a culinary collection from downtown chefs at Night Out on 15th.

66. Foodies and shoppers unite at Lakeside Market where you’ll find Weir’s Furniture Village, Sur La Table, Mignon, Taverna Rossa, Mi Cocina, Sea Breeze Fish Market and so much more.

67. We are lucky to have a top-notch, award-winning school district.

68. “It’s a little Plano in here” became an overnight sensation. Thank you LeeAnne Locken, Real Housewives of Dallas!

69. Plano continuously ranks as a “Safe City”: #1 by Forbes in 2011 and 2014, #3 by Business Insider in 2013, #4 by Movoto in 2014, #7 by Law Street Media, and #14 by Niche in 2016.

70. The Boardwalk at Granite Park. This 30,000-square-foot restaurant area at Granite Park will include dining options, including Hookline, Union Bear Brewery & Pizza Tavern (brought to you by 33 Restaurants, the folks behind Taverna Rossa) and Chip’s Old Fashioned Hamburgers (now open).

71. The beautiful Amphitheater at Oak Point Park. Enjoy this amazing outdoor venue during the many concerts and events like Beatles Night, Toyota Texas Music Revolution, and Sundown Cinemas.

72. There are plenty of ways to grab a work out.

73. Enjoy dining anytime during your movie at the newly renovated Studio Movie Grill.

74. Find Southern hospitality at its finest.

75. As Texans, we love our Tex-Mex and luckily there are plenty of options in Plano.

76. The Crayola Experience is set to open at the Shops at Willow Bend next spring.

77. My Possibilities, a Plano non-profit organization dedicated to empowering adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, recently revealed its $25 million capital campaign to build a new college-like campus designed specifically for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. At its max capacity, this facility will serve close to 1,600 individuals with special needs per week!

78. MOOYAH Burgers, Fries & Shakes is headquartered here in Plano and was recognized among The Dallas Business Journal’s 2016 Best Places to Work.

79. Tote around the family pup! There are many pet-friendly restaurants and hotels in Plano.

80. Plano is known as a top youth soccer city in the U.S.

81. Urban Crust and Urban Rio in downtown have second floor open-air patios with great views.

82. The Lights at Deerfield: drive through this famous Plano neighborhood in December for a spectacular holiday lights display.

83. The Gift of Christmas is a 1000-member cast and choir with a live orchestra, flying angels, flying drummer boys, and live animals produced annually by Prestonwood Baptist Church.

84. Attend a Mermaid Party at The Texas Pool!

85. Free outdoor Movies in the Park this summer at Haggard Park in Downtown Plano.

86. Plano has more restaurants per capita than in the cities of San Francisco and New York.

87. Minutes from DFW, Love Field, Addison, and McKinney Regional airports.

88. Grab a cup of joe at our charming coffee shops like 1418, Café Bohemia, and XO Coffee Company.

89. Plano believes in higher education with Collin College and SMU-in-Plano campuses.

90. We have one of the best Fourth of July firework shows in DFW.

91. Amazeballz cake balls. No explanation needed. Just try it if you haven’t already.

92. Play disc golf at Shawnee Park.

93. Zig Ziglar, Lance Armstrong, and Boz Scaggs once called Plano home.

94. WOGA Gymnastics is home to 2008 Olympic All Around Champion, Nastia Liukin, and 2004 Olympic All Around Champion, Carly Patterson.

95. Planoites love their beef! Here’s a short list of Plano steakhouses: Bob’s Steak and Chop House, The Capital Grille, Del Frisco’s Double Eagle steak House, Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar, The Keg Steakhouse and Bar, Mignon, and Steve Fields Steak and Lobster Lounge… just to name a few.

96. We also love our wine bars: Sixty Vines, Cru, Sip and Savor, Corner Wines, and Seasons 52 to name a few.

97. Are you hard working self-employed entrepreneur? Plano has several co-working spaces like the Plano Chamber of Commerce LegacyTexas Business Center, Common Desk (coming soon), OfficeFlex, and more.

98. Our TEDxPlano event combines video and live speakers who spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. Talks surround the fundamentals of TED: Technology, Entertainment and Design, as well as societal factors impacting our lives in North Texas.

99. Hub Streat is a new relaxed, open-air culinary entertainment center in downtown Plano featuring their own menu, rotating food trucks, a beer garden, bar games, and there is even more being added!

100. Experience a haunted house not only during Halloween, but during Christmas, Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day and in April-July at Dark Hour!

101. Plano is just plain cool.

102. Wow your friends at the 32 degree ice bar at Urban Crust. Yes, the bar is an icy 32 degrees.

103. The Hilton Dallas/Plano Granite Park has a beautiful pool, patio, and fire-pit overlooking the Granite Park pond. Don’t forget about the gorgeous Prairie Fire Lounge!

104. JCPenny’s headquarters has one the largest copper roofs in the U.S.

105. Ride a surfable indoor wave year-round at the AquaShop.

106. Georgia’s Farmers Market in downtown has an amazing selection of fresh fruits and veggies all year round. Don’t pass up their flowers and wall of preserves either.

107. Escape rooms are growing in popularity for team building and group date nights, and lucky for us there are several here to choose from: Breakout Games, Escape Hunt, and the largest in the U.S. – Escape Expert.

108. The Dallas/Plano Marriott at Legacy Town Center provides visitors to easy access to all the shopping and dining of The Shops at Legacy. Plus, they have a great waterfront view.

109. Plano’s many walkable areas: Downtown, The Shops at Legacy, Legacy West, Lakeside Market, and Preston Park Village.

110. Team-building activities are plentiful. From adventures and gaming to cooking challenges and arts and crafts. Forget the white board and cheesy role-playing!

111. Who doesn’t love rollerblading? Skate over to Thunderbird Roller Rink!

112. Whirley ball, anyone? We have that too.

113. Take a photo in front of the #loveplano sign around the city at various attractions and events.

114. Ice skate all year-round at the Dr Pepper StarCenter.

115. The Environmental Education Center is the perfect environment to educate and engage the Plano community in sustainable practices and environmental stewardship. It’s also the City of Plano’s first green building and is certified LEED Platinum by the U.S. Green Building Council.

116. The first in Texas Cambria hotel + suites Plano-Frisco was recently awarded their LEED Silver certification.

117. The Toyota Texas Music Revolution held every March for over 20 years by KHYI The Range brings artists like Kacey Musgraves, Kiefer Sutherland, Josh Ritter, Zane Williams, The O’s, Lee Ann Womack, and Stoney LaRue. We can’t wait to see what 2018 has in store!

118. We have an accredited, award-winning Public Library System with five great libraries around the city.

119. There are five stellar recreation centers in Plano plus Plano Aquatic Center, Harry Rowlinson Community Natatorium, and Jack Carter Pool. No wonder Plano was named the seventh Healthiest City in America by The Huffington Post in 2014.

120. Plano has more than 56 miles of recreational trails open to the public. Chances are, there’s a trail near you. Get trail information here including downloadable trail maps.

121. Plano is known for being a clean city.

122. The Fillmore Pub’s new patio by McCall Plaza is a sought after location for listening to live music at McCall.

123. Apartment living in downtown Plano is made easy with walkable access to great restaurants, live music, events, a beautiful park, art galleries, DART, attractions and so much more.

124. Opening in 2018 at Carpenter Park, Plano’s 20,000-square-foot skateboard park will have 16 skate park features.

125. Pick up fresh fruits, veggies and pottery at Fairview Farms. After your visit, enjoy beef and sausage fajitas at Cuellar’s Fajita Ranch next door!

126. Angela’s at the Crosswalk in downtown serves up brunch seven days a week, breakfast all day, as well as lunch, dinner, and a full bar. Don’t forget the pie! Stop by at night for live music too.

127. The Bavarian Grill & Jorg’s Café Vienna bring Austrian and Bavarian cuisine to Plano.

128. Every restaurant at Legacy West will have a patio.

129. Legacy Hall, opening towards the end of 2017, will bring a new dining experience to North Texas. Equal parts premium food hall, beer garden, craft brewery and live entertainment destination.

130. Find great birthday gifts for your BFF at La Fooforaw in downtown.

131. If you haven’t tried Yao Fuzi, bring a bib and devour some soup dumplings.

132. There’s free public Wi-Fi at Plano parks and recreation centers thanks to a partnership between the City of Plano, Toyota, the American Park Network and Time Warner Cable.

133. You can’t come to Texas and not try our BBQ. Lockhart Smokehouse, Kenny’s Smokehouse, and Winners BBQ have you covered.

134. Sprinkles recently opened up shop at Legacy West. Come by 24 hours a day, seven days a week and buy a cupcake from the cupcake ATM outside the store.

135. Shinola brought its first Texas store to Texas in downtown Plano in 2015. Shop luxury watches, leather, and bikes. You can also find Willys Detroit, a sister store to Shinola that sells fashion, home, and apothecary brands.

136. Baccuss Park at The Shops at Legacy is a Texas historical landmark (circa 1847) and is home to Baccus Cemetery, founded by Captain Henry Cook to bury his son Daniel Cook. Several of his family members and many of their descendants are buried in the cemetery.

137. Get your hair cut at an old-fashioned barbershop in downtown Plano.

138. You’ve probably seen the beautiful bronze cattle sculptures at The Shops at Legacy. Did you know they 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?

139. The Ye Ole Butcher Shop in downtown offers buffalo burgers daily. Let’s just say veggie burgers are not on this meat market’s menu!

140. The Fish Shake in downtown has great gumbo. Be sure to arrive early; it’s always a packed house!

141. The Haggard family and their own Haggard Farm is a vital part of Plano’s history. You may have noticed the cattle and llamas that still roam the 120 acres of farmland.

142. Have you heard of Old Community Well? What a unique event venue in downtown Plano. And you guessed it! The former bar, brothel and funeral parlor’s well still stands today and is the focal point of this unique venue.

143. Paddle board on the lake at Oak Point Park – coming soon!

144. The awesome Jack Carter Pool has a dual rider tube slide, body slide, lazy river, deep water pool with platform diving and a climbing wall, Flow Rider surf simulator, tot pool, leisure pool with some lap lanes, wet deck areas, spray features, rentable party areas and concessions. How awesome is that?

Celebratory Special Offers

Here’s a birthday party list of how some local businesses plan to honor the early settlers and present-day innovators:

  • Amazeballz – birthday-themed Amazeballz; 930 E. 15th St., #200
  • Henry’s Homemade Ice Cream – $5 off 9-inch round ice cream cakes purchased May 25-June 2; 3100 Independence Pkwy., #215.
  • Scruffy Duffies – half-price 10-inch personal Pepperoni Plano pizzas all day; 5865 Kincaid Rd., E8.
  • Susie Cakes – Texas-shaped sugar cookies available; 4909 W. Park Blvd., #110.
  • Texas Pool – a Happy Birthday, Plano Party at the Texas Pool on June 2 from 4-6 p.m. Enjoy cake, balloons, traditional pool games and party favors, while supplies last. Join the fun for the special swim rate of just $5/person. The snack bar will also be open; 901 Springbrook Drive.

Photo credit: Visit Plano

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