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June 2, 2018 / Millerann Moya / / Comments

145 Reasons to Love Plano

June 2nd is Plano’s Birthday! This year we are celebrating 145 years as being an incorporated city. In celebration, here are 145 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. Plano is a foodie’s paradise with a robust variety of dining. With over 1,000 restaurants in this city, it will for sure be hard to narrow it down. Check out our three-day weekend foodie’s guide to Plano to help you plan your dining adventure on your next visit. 

7. Plano’s newest and most colorful attraction, the Crayola Experience at The Shops at Willow Bend, opened this spring and is an amazing place where visitors can explore the 60,000 square foot attraction that Parents Magazine calls one of the “Top 10 Trips to Take Before Your Kid Turns 10.”

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. Legacy Hall, one of the nation’s largest and most unique food halls is dedicated to serving the best-of food trends prepared by premier chefs and local artisans. The three-story, 55,000-square-foot European-style food hall, brewery and live music and entertainment venue is now open in Plano’s acclaimed Legacy West.

13. The Box Garden is the completion of the vision that is Legacy Hall. It’s an awesome outdoor patio and entertainment venue constructed out of reclaimed shipping containers. Designed to be a versatile and innovative, communal space; it’s the spot for a happy hour with friends, a business rendezvous or some late-night fun. At its core is a 600-square-foot event stage that hosts live music, concerts, sports watching, festivals, culinary events and more.

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. Plano has some amazing live music venues across the city.

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. 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 15 years.

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

35. You can take your #PlanoPup 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 the newly renovated 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 the Woodhouse Day Spa.

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 includes fabulous dining options like Hookline, Union Bear Brewing Co., The Biscuit Bar, and Chip’s Old Fashioned Hamburgers. Coming this summer: B. Frank & Relish, Edith’s French Bistro, and Pearl Cup Coffee.

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. Plano’s newest luxury full-service hotel, the 15-floor 304-room Renaissance Dallas at Plano Legacy West, has 16 suites and 19 meeting rooms totaling 30,000 square feet of meeting and event space. The hotel’s theme, “west of Zen,” is a nod to the developer’s family Asian roots and its Texas growth. There’s a beautiful mix of Texas and Asian culture in the hotel’s design from the finishes to the art and the furniture.

74. Find a variety of free family-friendly activities.

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

76. There are over 5,400 (and counting) hotel rooms for visitors across the city.

77. My Possibilities, a Plano non-profit organization dedicated to empowering adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, recently opened their new Higher Learning campus which at full capacity can serve more than 1,600 adults with IDD. This facility is the first and only in the U.S.

78. There’s plenty of Instagram worthy spots around town.

79. Bring the family pup! 59% of Plano hotels are pet-friendly and there are many pet-friendly restaurant patios and attractions in Plano. Tag your photos #PlanoPup!

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

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. Plano is 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, Cafe Intermezzo, 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, LongHorn Steakhouse, The Keg Steakhouse and Bar, Mignon, Fogo de Chão, and Steve Fields Steak and Lobster Lounge… just to name a few.

96. We also love our wine: Sixty Vines, Cru, Sip and Savor, Coal Vines, and Seasons 52 are just a few that offer an expansive list.

97. Are you hard working self-employed entrepreneur? Plano has several co-working spaces like the Plano Chamber of Commerce LegacyTexas Business Center, WeWork, Common Desk, 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 relaxed, open-air culinary entertainment center in downtown Plano featuring their own amazing menu, a beer garden, bar games, rooftop patio, and more!

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 top 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. The nightlife never disappoints.

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 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, The Boardwalk at Granite Park, 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 Ryan Bingham, Margo Price, Kacey Musgraves, Kiefer Sutherland, Josh Ritter, Zane Williams, The O’s, Lee Ann Womack, and Stoney LaRue. We can’t wait to see what 2019 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 late 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. Plano was also recognized as having the Eighth Best Downtown in America by Livability.com in 2016.

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

128. Every restaurant at Legacy West has a patio.

129. Find seven new sculptures, each depicting a different element of the local arts scene, line a stretch of 15th Street between Central Expressway and G Avenue. They serve as a colorful welcome to the Downtown Plano Arts District.

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. Carlton Provisions, Lockhart Smokehouse, Kenny’s Smokehouse, and Winners BBQ have you covered.

134. Sprinkles 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. There’s always somewhere to enjoy a late night bite.

143. Paddle board, kayak, or canoe on the lake at Oak Point Park!

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?

145. Plano’s happy hour game is on point.

Photo credit: Visit Plano