Originally published on Texas Travel Talk; written by Rory Lassanske, Mama Contemporanea. Follow Rory on Instagram @mcontemporanea.
Plano is a vibrant city full of energy, diversity, and a huge heart of southern hospitality. The city has something to offer everyone, including teenagers like mine. Always exceeds my expectations, and it never ceases to amaze me. We love Plano! Take a look at how to have a fun-packed weekend in Plano, TX with or without teens.
The city of excellence is conveniently located in the north part of the Lone Star State with an estimated population of 288,870 (2020), over 1,000 restaurants, and some of the best shops. Also, Toyota North America is proudly headquartered here. Plano is just 30 minutes away from Dallas and 25 minutes from the DFW International Airport, depending on where you travel. Not only that, but today, Plano has become a fantastic tourist destination for shopping, dining, entertainment, and fun for the whole family. It is safe, clean, and pet friendly. There are places where you can even go and eat with your dog. How cool is that?
Three days are not enough to see everything, but we had a super weekend doing fun family activities. Choose a few of these activities, and don’t stress about not seeing it all–you can always go back!
Teen-Approved Weekend in Plano
MARRIOTT AT LEGACY TOWN CENTER
We stayed at the Dallas/Plano Marriott at Legacy Town Center. This beautiful 404-room hotel is located at The Shops at Legacy, making it easy to walk and enjoy fabulous boutiques, unique stores, and restaurants. Our Junior Suite was like a spacious studio apartment connected to my kid’s room (two queen beds). Marriott Legacy offers complimentary parking on the weekends, which we love not having to pay for parking. We loved how close it was to everything.
We enjoyed our time at the Texas Forever Fest! It was on my radar for so long! It’s a unique way to celebrate our great state with live music, live Western entertainment, Texas-favorite food and drink, Texas-themed vendors, and freebies. We had so much fun and my teens loved it.
Things To Do
The Heritage Farmstead Museum: A restored victorian 19th-century farm with original tools and furniture, plus a replica 1895 schoolroom. Admission tickets are $5 per person.
Arbor Hill Nature Preserve: This is a 200-acre park in Plano. We enjoyed a Sunday hike in this beautiful area. We spent 3 hours there. It feels good to breathe fresh air and be surrounded by Mother Nature. Next time we are going to bring our bikes.
Pinstack Plano: Tech-savvy entertainment complex with bowling, laser tag & more. It is recommended to reserve a line in advance. We love bowling, and we’re very competitive about that!
The Boardwalk at Granite Park: Stylish development featuring casual eateries & bars with outdoor seating on a waterside boardwalk. Staying to watch the sunset is breathtaking—so many great restaurants.
Historic Downtown Plano: A beautiful area of historic buildings, performing arts, galleries, event venues, plus unique shops and restaurants that you are not going to find anywhere else. It is always where we meet with local friends.
The Interurban Railway Museum: A historic train station at 901 E 15th Street in Plano. The railway operated from 1908 to 1948. Free admission.
Go Ape Zipline and Adventure Park: Adventure-activity chain venue where groups explore the forest canopy via a treetop rope course. Great for families. Located in Oak Point Park. Price: $39.95 – $64.95/person.
Haggard Park: Home to the Interurban Railway Museum, this park also includes a playground, pavilion & green space. Bring your dog!
Crayola Experience Plano: A magical world of color with a day of hands-on family fun! There is something for anybody, even teenagers and moms, no matter your age. I made my crayon! Located at The Shops at Willow Bend.
Southfork Ranch: Northeast of town is Southfork Ranch, famous in the ’80s as “Dallas.” My in-laws loved it!
Shopping in Plano
Plano has it all for a top-notch shopping experience in the DFW area.
The Shops at Legacy: It has excellent brands such as Benefit Cosmetics, Kendra Scott, and Urban Outfitters, as well as so many places where you can eat like a king. There are often fantastic events like the Flower Power Market Street Fair & Outdoor Market.
Legacy West: It is one of our favorites, and it is where you will find stores like Gucci, Louis Vuitton, TUMI, Chanel fragrances, Free People, a Tesla dealership, and even a Starbucks Reserve (there are only two in the Metroplex). It is the ideal location to see and be seen.
The Shops at Willow Bend: just keeps getting better and better. We love it because it has everything from Crayola Experience, H&M, Pipe & Palette to those cute animal scooter rides.
Restaurants in Plano
We love to eat and try new places. The food scene in Plano is spectacular! It’s like traveling first class with your taste buds. Visit Plano has relaunched the Taste of Plano Foodie pass a FREE restaurant trail passport where you can win prizes using your smartphone. There are over 100 restaurants participating. No app needed!
Café Istanbul: Delicious Turkish food and maybe one of our favorites during this trip to Plano. It is located at The Shops at Legacy, and you need reservations. The Bursa Iskander was out of this world. I also had a ‘Fall in Love in Istanbul’ cocktail.
Jorg’s Cafe Vienna: This is authentic Austrian and German food, so good! You can find it in Downtown Plano. We walked in for lunch to an old-world atmosphere. There is an outdoor Biergarten, and if you order a ‘bier,’ you won’t get disappointed.
French Edith’s Bistro: This place brings gourmet French dishes to the boardwalk at Granite Park. We tried the French onion soup and even beef stroganoff. I had a Marie Antoniette cocktail. You need to make reservations!
Main Street Bistro & Bakery: It is close to the Marriott Legacy and is in The Shops at Legacy. We had breakfast and a robust hazelnut cappuccino to start the day.
Maple Bacon: Family-owned Canadian all-day breakfast! Great for Sunday brunch! Their portions/plates are enormous. My kids love pancakes, and these pancakes were pretty fluffy and tasty.
Dessert: Handel’s Ice Cream, Hi Sweetie, Sprinkles Cupcakes, Amorino.
Please do yourself a favor and visit the Legacy Food Hall and The Boardwalk at Granite Park, so many incredible options.
Instagrammable Photos in Plano
In this digital era, you know you need a bunch of selfies or photos for “the gram.”
- Mural with wings at The Shops at Legacy (just in the corner of Francesca’s). 7201 Bishop Rd E-9, Plano, TX 75024.
- The Downtown Plano Art District / Downtown Plano Mural Project.
It is always something fun to do in Plano, Texas. Thank you, Visit Plano and Texas Travel Talk for making this an unforgettable weekend.
Photo credit: Rory Lassanske