Meetings are more than just arriving to a city, checking into your hotel, and walking to and from your meeting or conference. We pride ourselves on providing memorable experiences your attendees won’t forget.
On top of being named the “least-stressed city in Texas,” Plano was also named the “happiest city in America” and we carry that into everything we do. Plano is always hosting everything from meetings to major conventions, trade shows and conferences to intimate board meetings and retreats, because on top of remarkable meeting spaces, Plano also has amazing culinary experiences, group-friendly activities and dining, top-notch shopping, and so much more fun to offer.
Here are seven things your attendees will love about Plano.
Getting to Plano is Easy
Plano is just 20 minutes north of Dallas and two major airports, DFW International and Dallas Love Field. Plano is also on the DART light rail line; attendees can hop aboard at one of three Plano stations and travel throughout the area. Plano has been consistently named a safe and clean city in national publications, so attendees will have an enjoyable experience. And the moderate climate makes it easy to get around no matter the season.
A great meetings destination has walkable areas so attendees are in proximity to amenities like restaurants, attractions, shopping, etc. Plano has long been a walkable destination thanks to the Shops at Legacy and its anchor hotel, the Dallas/Plano Marriott at Legacy Town Center, which is within walking distance to over 100 restaurants and various shops.
Now, even more options are available in Plano as Legacy West sits just across the highway from The Shops at Legacy. This “city within a city” is the largest mixed use destination in North Texas and is a great place to meet, play, shop, dine, and stay. The 255-acre development boasts plenty of open-air high-end retail and restaurants. Here, attendees can satisfy every craving, whether for steak or a good old-fashioned milk shake, French bistro fare, or a perfect plate of pasta.
Across from the Hilton Dallas/Plano Granite Park convention hotel 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.
Not to be missed is the Downtown Plano Arts District, just a short drive from Plano Event Center. The Downtown Plano Arts District, named one of the Top 10 Best Downtowns in America by Livability.com, offers a charming setting for a simple stroll, a unique dining experience, an afternoon of shopping, or an evening’s entertainment at McCall Plaza.
A World-Class Dining Scene
Attendees and meeting planners alike love to hear what culinary experiences they can look forward to on their trip. From the Downtown Plano Arts District to Legacy West, The Shops at Legacy, The District at Willow Bend, and literally everywhere in between, there are over 1,000 restaurants in Plano covering all your favorite culinary genres. At both Legacy West and The Shops at Legacy enjoy dinner and drinks at the many popular restaurants like: Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse, Earls Kitchen + Bar, Fleming’s Steakhouse, Kenny’s Smokehouse, Mesero, Mexican Sugar, North Italia, RA Sushi, Tommy Bahama, True Food Kitchen, Haywire, Taverna, Toulouse, KĀI, Fogo de Chao, and The Keeper.
On top of all of that, Legacy Hall is a one-of-a-kind artisanal food hall experience with equal parts premium food hall, beer garden, craft brewery and live entertainment. With 20 chef-driven artisan food stalls and half a dozen bars, each presents its own unique personality.
In downtown Plano, dine at one of the many restaurants ranging from wood-fired pizza and Mexican to sushi and barbecue. Here’s a complete list of restaurants to dine at in the Downtown Plano Arts District.
Dine-arounds are popular at The Shops at Legacy, Legacy West, and The Boardwalk. Walk out from your hotel and make various stops at chic restaurants for a bite and drink at each. Or start with happy hour and work your way up to dinner and dessert. Don’t forget to get together for drinks at these swanky hotel bars.
See our complete list of Plano restaurants here.
Plenty of Retail Therapy
One thing is for sure when it comes to Plano, there are endless shopping options. Dallas may be known as one of the top shopping destinations in the U.S., but just 20 miles north, you can continue the one-of-a-kind shopping adventure in Plano with over 26 million square feet of retail space!
At Legacy West shop for stylish home décor items at West Elm and Frontgate; and women and men’s high-end apparel at Bonobos, Fabletics, J.Crew, Johnny Wass, Tommy Bahama, Peter Miller, Planet Blue, Pockets, and Suitsupply.
The Shops at Legacy features unique boutiques among popular stores. The Shops at Willow Bend offers visitors a unique blend of Texas-style ambiance and world-class shopping. The center is anchored by Dillard’s, Macy’s and Neiman Marcus and also has stores like Coach, H&M, G by Guess, Banana Republic, American Eagle, Swarovski, Sephora, Restoration Hardware, Z Gallerie and Crate & Barrel.
The Downtown Plano Arts District also has several cute boutiques along with brick-lined streets, including Shinola.
Unwind in the Great Outdoors
They say the early bird gets the worm, so start getting those steps in before getting business done. Plano has more than 82 miles of recreational trails open to the public. Chances are there’s a trail near your hotel. Get trail information here including downloadable trail maps.
Two of the largest parks in Plano offer great opportunities to connect with the outdoors. Oak Point Park and Nature Preserve is 800 acres and has 3.5 miles of concrete trails and 5 miles of soft trails along Rowlett Creek. Go Ape at a tree-top adventure course or even canoe on the lake (call for rental information)! Arbor Hills Nature Preserve is a 200-acre park with hike and bike trails, a 2-mile walking trail and stunning views of the prairie and forest. Here are more options for grabbing a work-out in Plano.
Nightlife to Remember
An exciting post-meeting night with peers out isn’t very hard to come by in Plano. Live music feels like it’s always in arms reach of wherever you are in the city. The live music scene here is stronger than ever before with more than 25 venues that offer some sort of live music on a regular basis. If you enjoy getting-up on your feet to the beat of the music, try Blue Martini, Sambuca 360, and VNYL at The Shops at Legacy and The Box Garden at Legacy Hall. In the Downtown Plano Arts District, there’s the new McCall Plaza for live music events. Check out our live music page for live music events and more venues in Plano.
Group Friendly Hangouts
DOWNTOWN PLANO ARTS DISTRICT
Named one of the top 10 best downtowns in America by Livability.com, downtown Plano offers a charming setting for a unique dining experience for your group and is just minutes away from Plano Event Center. Whether you want to plan a dine-around or let your conference attendees loose, there’s plenty of options. From wood-fired pizza at Urban Crust and specialty drinks at their 32 Degree Rooftop Bar to the famous barbecue of Lockhart Smokehouse and even Austrian cuisine at Jorg’s Café Vienna, there’s something for everyone. Meet-up at McCall Plaza after dinner or on the patio of The Fillmore Pub for free live music in the heart of downtown on various nights.
Hub Streat is a full service culinary entertainment center in the Downtown Plano Arts District. They feature hand crafted cocktails, a fantastic menu for every taste, live entertainment, a large outdoor patio, and tons of unique areas to enjoy your group hang out.
LEGACY HALL & BOX GARDEN
In this one-of-a-kind artisanal food hall, attendees can wander from stall to stall to meet local purveyors and sample everything from lobster rolls to Greek bowls. There’s also an on-site brewery and live music stage in the outdoor Box Garden.
At Legacy West your group can satisfy every craving, whether for steak at Del Frisco’s Double Eagle or Fogo de Chão, French bistro fare at Toulouse, or a perfect plate of pasta at North Italia or Taverna. Legacy West’s anchor hotel, the Renaissance Dallas at Plano Legacy West, is walkable distance to all of these amazing restaurants at Legacy West and every restaurant has a patio.
Is your group the adventurous type? This 50,000 square foot fun zone features a 28-lane bowling alley, a ropes course suspended 20 feet above the gaming center, two-story laser tag, bumper cars, six lanes of LED-lit rock climbing walls, and hundreds of interactive games. Or maybe you just want to chill; they also have a specialty restaurant featuring a chef-driven menu and craft cocktails, an outside bar area, covered patio with fire pits, and a gelato bar. A luxury VIP bowling area is also available.
SHOPS AT LEGACY
The Shops at Legacy is home to the area’s best restaurants like Kenny’s Smokehouse, Mexican Sugar, The Keeper, Shumi, Olivella’s, and many others. After your meeting, attendees can walk to over 40 restaurants around The Shops. After happy hour and dinner, groups can visit over drinks at Henry’s Tavern, Ringo’s Pub, Scruffy Duffies, The Ginger Man, Sambuca 360, Blue Martini, and VNYL for some dancing or return back to the hotel’s swanky bar.
THE BOARDWALK AT GRANITE PARK
Across from the Hilton Granite Park convention hotel sits a new 30,000 square foot restaurant park, The Boardwalk, where groups enjoy eateries featuring cuisine like southern-inspired gulf seafood at Hookline to gourmet biscuits at The Biscuit Bar and even a new local brewery and restaurant, Union Bear. Each restaurant has a patio and there are Adirondack chairs along the Boardwalk to enjoy the view of the water feature.
For more attractions and activities, check out 20 Things to Do in Plano. See a complete hotel listing, here. Explore Plano’s meeting facilities and contact us for help selecting the right venue for your event.