Alex Carreno is a personal style and lifestyle blogger from Houston. Her site is called Adored by Alex. She traveled to Plano to uncover the best shopping the city had to offer its visitors.
Hit the road and made it from Houston to Plano in great time. Immediate access right off the tollway made it a breeze to get from bustling Dallas. After spending the afternoon driving, I knew I wanted to grab a bite to eat and cozy up in my hotel room to prep for a day of checking out all the shopping Plano has to offer.
My dining decision was made easy when I came across East Hampton Sandwich Co. – the most adorable little sandwich shop. It looked as if it was plucked off the streets of Martha’s Vineyard. If it wasn’t so late, I would have enjoyed the beautiful North Texas evening in their patio’s Adirondack chairs. I love a great fast-casual concept, and East Hampton did not disappoint. So after grabbing my fried chicken + Jack sandwich to go, I headed to the Marriott at Legacy Town Center to check in for my shopping getaway.
Situated at one end of the main thoroughfare at the Shops at Legacy, I got to preview all the shops and some cute restaurants I knew I’d want to hit the following day. The hotel is located across from a relaxing park with walking areas and benches. The check-in process was a breeze, something I’ve come to dread when it comes to travel. But true to Marriott standards, I was in my room in less than 5 minutes! With a view of the fountains and my sandwich calling my name, I took time for me and to get some rest for the day ahead.
Rise and shine, it’s shopping time!
Even when I’m on vacation, I like to get in a quick workout in the morning to keep myself on routine and Marriott’s workout facility may be one of the best I’ve seen recently. State-of-the-art equipment, a large spacious room and complimentary water and towels for all; I felt like I was in a private gym!
Never heard of Drybar? It is the ultimate destination for any gal-on-the-go or for a splurge during a girl’s weekend. Drybar offers quick and easy blowouts and other hair styling options. With a mimosa in hand and a chick-flick on the screen in front of me, I let my stylist take care of blowing out my hair for the day; what a way to feel pampered!
Feeling refreshed, I quickly walked across the Shops at Legacy to my next stop, bluemercury, one of my favorite beauty and skincare stores! Spacious and open with natural light streaming in, what beauty junkie wouldn’t want to stop and shop? Known for their highly trained beauty experts, one of the team members came over when she saw me perusing my favorite cosmetic line, Hourglass. We immediately hit it off and she turned me on to a new product. Bluemercury is the perfect one-stop shop for all things beauty, makeup and skincare. Think stocking stuffers and holiday gifts!
Next I went across the street to Elaine Turner, a personal favorite. This Texas “born and bred” boutique is heaven if you love glamour and the little luxuries in life. Here I saw some great closet staples, like well-made shoes, great purses and I even found an adorable printed tunic to bring home with me.
Still walking (because everything is so convenient!), I went back toward Legacy Drive, to Lauren James. This store is a girly-girls’ dream, with pink pastels and preppy ensembles. This is a must-see in Plano because there are only two locations in Texas! It’s the best place to find gifts for teenagers and college students. And if you are a Texas football junkie, Lauren James has game day wear celebrating college teams.
All that walking and shopping got my tummy rumbling! I’d heard great things about Mexican Sugar and knew I wanted to eat there for lunch. I treated myself to one of Mexican Sugar’s Hibiscus margaritas. They are worth the hype! I even tried the Venezuelan areapa, a dish I crave from time to time because of my South American roots. From the ambiance to the décor to the food, Mexican Sugar is a fun restaurant that I’ll definitely visit in the future.
After indulging in some great food, it was time for another treat — an afternoon at the spa. The Woodhouse Day Spa is also at The Shops at Legacy. I had the most relaxing massage and quiet time there. It’s so tranquil and slow-paced, you feel like you’re inside a great resort, instead of a bustling shopping center.
After the spa treatment, I decided to visit the Angelika Film Center to catch an early evening screening in a boutique setting. I love the movies, but often find it irritating to wait in line and be surrounded by tons of people. Not at the Angelika. With just five screens showing mostly independent films, this theater is unique. Situated on the corner of Bishop Road, the modern architecture and easy access makes this theater one to visit in Plano.
Time for a change of scenery, so I spent the morning at the The Shops at Willow Bend, about 5 minutes south of my hotel. I visited iconic Neiman Marcus, which was founded in Dallas in 1907. My midmorning snack there was an iced coffee and one of their famous popovers. The Shops at Willow Bend is a mall, so unlike the Shops at Legacy, it’s an indoor shopping experience and the perfect one-stop locale for everything you might need. With more than 125 shops, it’s a great place to keep in mind during the holidays. You’ll definitely find something here for everyone on your list!
Since my checkout time was noon, I was able to get in some more shopping here before making my way back to my hotel room and packing up my things. I knew I’d need a little snack before I got on the road back to Houston, so I visited Crave Popcorn Co. for some of the best popcorn I’ve had in my life! Such an adorable little shop and the perfect place to find a unique gift for a housewarming party, a hostess or to send friends and relatives who aren’t so lucky to live in Texas!
Plano is so much more than a convention and corporate mecca. With great shopping and delicious eats, Plano is perfect for that mid-week or weekend getaway. This area of Plano is SO walkable. I didn’t use my vehicle the whole day I was at the Shops at Legacy — it was refreshing to be in a city where nearly everything I needed was within walking distance. Add visiting Plano to your getaway list, where you can shop ‘til you drop, like I did, and enjoy some much needed R&R away from the hustle and bustle of life. I know I’ll be back sooner rather than later!
Photos of Alex Carreno’s visit to Plano courtesy of Megan Weaver.
Alex Carreno was hosted by Visit Plano and created this itinerary in partnership with the Visit Plano team and its partners.