Downhome Glitz in Plano, Texas

Updated: 07/27/2020

Written by: Mia Voss. Originally published on Follow Mia @MiaVossOnTheGo


A hop skip from Dallas-Fort Worth, Plano is a destination in its own right, blending the charm of a historic downtown with the luxury of a world class dining and shopping scene. Plano also has a quaint & charming side – established in 1840, Plano has plenty of accolades including:

  • Best Place to Live by AreaVibes
  • Third Safest City in America by WalletHub
  • Eighth Best Texas City for Families by WalletHub
  • Top 20 for Best Park System in America by the Trust for Public Land
  • Twelfth Healthiest City in the U.S. (and the Healthiest City in Texas) by TheStreet


Weather: The magic number is 66 – the average year-round temperature
Where IS Plano: Approx. 30 miles from Dallas Fort Worth Airport and Downtown Dallas
Where to stay: 6,900 hotel rooms available – plenty of choices
Dining: Over 1,000 dining options – you will not go hungry!


Renaissance Dallas at Plano Legacy West Hotel: The newest addition to Plano’s vibrant hospitality scene, this luxury property is the anchor for the three billion dollar Legacy West urban mixed-use project. This tall drink of water property sits centrally located off the highway in the Legacy Area which is swanky, clean, & shiny. The 15 story, 304-room hotel has over 26,000 square feet of conference and meeting space. Some of my favorite things: OMA restaurant, an Asian fusion restaurant that you MUST TRY and Whiskey Moon, the lobby bar. I was particularly fond of their Punch Ceremony. The main theme of the hotel: West Meets East!–KrJh6L3GpEyjPSiJLfRgsMvD-JUQ77KW4PTtth4sNUP29orxW5PQzu_eWPcBe8mF1E5VaiTPsKDI2NbRQL0CwXadI80wKhx3-GrEsxhqWpMvdauLHbbuN-J-Wd-5_KCUw&__tn__=-R

Legacy West: A “city within a city,” it’s the largest mixed-use destination in North Texas. This includes the Shops at Legacy, Legacy Food Hall and more. 415K square feet of open air retail & restaurant space – it’s pretty amazing to stroll through! My faves were Haywire (with an Airstream bar on the roof!) and Legacy Hall which includes a fabulous outdoor seating area, stage, The Box Garden & more.

The Keeper: A sustainably focused seafood restaurant and wine bar, serving fresh fish and vibrant flavors. Wild-caught seafood, captivating recipes, and craft cocktails Located in the Shops At Legacy, we noshed on mahi with shrimp and lemon fondue, seared scallops, ruby red trout and so much more. Chef de Cuisine Gil Vasquez suggested several delish dishes – everything is sustainably sourced with as little carbon footprint as possible. This restaurant is also part of a chain Front Burner Restaurant group which also owns Mexican Sugar across the street, another must-visit spot as well as Legacy Hall, Haywire, and several other notable restaurants in the area. Read more about The Keeper’s inspiring story here*The Keeper has since closed.

The Boardwalk at Granite Park: a new 30,000 square foot restaurant park. I had a chance to stroll around this amazing upscale area & enjoy coffee and quiet time at Pear Cup Sip. Sad face that I didn’t have a chance to try The Biscuit Bar and Union Bear, a new locally owned and operated brewery.

Southfork Ranch: A must visit (or even a quick drive by). The iconic house from the television series “Dallas” at Southfork Ranch is in nearby Parker, a quick drive from Downtown Plano.

Downtown Plano Arts District: A dozen restored historic homes, the Interurban Railway Museum and walk along authentic brick streets to discover an eclectic collection of antique shops, and independent boutiques selling everything from handmade jewelry to home décor and pottery. I loved the outdoor theater right near the commuter train tracks.


Go Ape: Immersive Ziplining. Tucked into the Oak Point Park & Nature Preserve, it’s a great getaway into nature! Be prepared for a 2-3 hour experience so plan accordingly, check the weather, wear some sturdy (but cute) shoes (cute is imperative for me) and get ready to zip like the wind! Unfortunately, due to my wicked head cold, I was not able to participate in the amazingness of this zipline experience but I chatted with the amazing staff and some of the participants and was left sufficiently jealous that I missed out. File under: Next Time

Pinstack: 50k square foot bowling venue featuring a 28-lane bowling alley, a suspended ropes course, laser tag, climbing walls, etc. Wear the kids out with this place!

Crayola Experience: Only of 4 such attractions in the US, make sure to plan on 3-4 hours of colorful interactive play!

So theatrical! Being a former NYC resident, the Angelika was a site for sore eyes! An iconic theater chain, this rare theatrical outpost was a delight to discover.

Plano – it’s all kindsa outdoorsy: Plano features more than 4,370 acres of public parks, more than 82 miles of recreation trails, five recreation centers, 133 public tennis, courts including a 21-court tennis center, nine public swimming pools and more. Considering that magic number of 66 degrees average temperature, you’ll be able to take advantage of all that open space fabulousness.

Reasons to visit Plano in the fall:

Plano Balloon Festival: Plano is known as the “Hot Air Balloon Capital of Texas,” thanks to its balloon festival held every September, which attracts more than 95,000 people each year. During the three day festival, the skies over Plano are filled with colorful, whimsically shaped orbs.

Plano International Festival: Plano invites visitors to experience the convergence of many world cultures each year in October at the Plano International Festival at Haggard Park. The free, family-friendly event features art, music, food and fashion from around the world.

Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by Visit Plano, but all experiences and opinions are her own.

Photo credits: @MiaVossOnTheGo

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