It has probably been a good while since many families got together for a reunion. If you’re considering a family reunion trip, take a look at Plano, Texas and see what all the city can offer for your group. Plano blends historic charm with modern luxury and brims with attractions that make it perfect for a large family trip. Unique dining, a variety of hotel accommodations for every budget, fun things to do for everyone, walkable entertainment districts and fabulous shopping all set Plano a part.
Getting to Plano is Easy
Plano is a great central location within the U.S. for everyone to meet and is just 20 minutes north of Dallas and two major airports, DFW International and Dallas Love Field. Plano’s location just north of Dallas offers easy access to the area’s professional sports, performing arts, museums and the world famous Southfork Ranch. Also, the moderate climate makes it easy to get around no matter the season.
What helps makes Plano a fabulous destination for family reunions is the four walkable districts with amenities like restaurants, attractions, shopping, spas, entertainment and more fun for the whole family. Let’s explore them!
Shops at Legacy
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. Legacy Town Center is a mélange of homes, businesses, shops, restaurants, a hotel, and open spaces all in an urban village-style setting. The Shops at Legacy features an upscale retail mix of men’s and women’s clothing, home furnishings, beauty, and even a movie theater featuring independent and foreign films. The Shops at Legacy is a part of a 168-acre master planned development of boutique retail, and best-in-class restaurants. Shoppers will discover an expansive selection of upscale stores, independent boutiques and high profile brands in an inviting outdoor setting. Learn more about The Shops at Legacy here.
Legacy West sits just across the toll road from The Shops at Legacy. This “city within a city” is the largest mixed use destination in North Texas and is also a great place to play, shop, dine, and stay. The 255-acre development boasts plenty of open-air high-end retail, restaurants, and the anchor hotel, Renaissance Dallas at Plano Legacy West. Here, there’s something to satisfy every craving, whether for steak or a good old-fashioned milk shake, French bistro fare, or a perfect plate of pasta.
If shopping is a family-favorite, look no further! Window-shop or splurge on luxury brands like Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Tory Burch, Tiffany & Co., CHANEL Fragrance & Beauty Boutique or shop other popular brands like Free People, Levi’s, Lululemon, Madewell, Nike, Sephora, and Tecovas.
The Boardwalk at granite park
Across from the Hilton Dallas/Plano Granite Park convention hotel sits a new 30,000 square foot restaurant park called The Boardwalk where groups can enjoy eateries featuring various cuisine types like seafood and French to gourmet biscuits and even a local brewery and restaurant. Enjoy a casual family-friendly atmosphere, entertainment, and an amazing waterfront view at The Boardwalk.
Downtown Plano arts district
Not to be missed is the Downtown Plano Arts District. 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. There is so much to do and discover in Downtown Plano!
Learn about Plano’s history at the Interurban Railway Museum. This museum brings Plano transportation history back to life. Once a vital part of the Texas Electric Railway that ran between Denison to Waco from 1908 to 1948, the Interurban is one of the original electric cars that ran on the tracks through Plano. Next to the station is car 360, one of the original cars that carried mail and passengers. This is the only station remaining between Sherman and Dallas. The facility also houses exhibits on science, electricity and Plano history.
Support local and explore Georgia’s Farmers Market, a local family-owned produce market specializing in homegrown produce and locally made jams, salsa, candles and more.
Plano is making a name for itself in the art community. With the recent additions of 10 public art pieces in the Downtown Plano Arts District, Plano has a colorful new look! Read more about the city’s recent additions and sculptures that represent a part of our land’s history.
A World-Class Dining Scene
Let’s be honest – unique dining experiences are something everyone looks forward to on a vacation. 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. See our complete list of Plano restaurants here.
Shops at Legacy and Legacy West
At both Legacy West and The Shops at Legacy enjoy lunch, dinner or even happy hour at the many popular restaurants like: Brasão Brazilian Steakhouse, Bulla Gastrobar, Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse, Earls Kitchen + Bar, Ebb & Flow, Fleming’s Steakhouse, Fogo de Chao, Haywire, Italian Village, KĀI, Main Street Bakery, Mesero, Mexican Sugar, North Italia, RA Sushi, Taverna, Tommy Bahama, True Food Kitchen, and Toulouse.
Not to be missed, Legacy Hall is a one-of-a-kind artisanal European-style 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. Legacy Hall was even named the #2 best new food hall in the nation by USA Today in 2019.
Legacy Hall has a robust event calendar with tons of live music and entertainment events each month. Check our calendar to see what’s coming up.
The District at Willow bend
The District at Willow Bend is a great spot for entertaining family. The greenspace outside the restaurants has comfy chairs and a nice water feature to relax by and catch up. Enjoy restaurants like Knife Steakhouse, Mexican Bar Company, Terra Mediterranean, and Whistle Britches for fried chicken and biscuits.
Downtown Plano Arts District
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. Downtown would be a great location for a dine-around to please everyone’s appetites.
We’re here to help you find the perfect venue for a fun and comfortable private dining experience for your group. On top of all the options above, there are plenty of restaurants with private dining options for your large family. Check them out here.
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 Millar, Pockets, and Suitsupply. Or shop luxury brands like Gucci, Louis Vuitton, CHANEL Beauty, Tiffany & Co., and Tory Burch.
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 amazing local boutiques and stores, including Shinola, known for their watches, bicycles, and leather goods.
Find more shopping information here.
Unwind in the Great Outdoors
They say the early bird gets the worm, so encourage the family to get out and explore. 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 canoe on the lake! 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
Want an exciting and memorable night out? Live music feels like it’s always in arms reach of wherever you are in the city. If you enjoy getting-up on your feet to the beat of the music, try Sambuca 360 and the Legacy Hall Box Garden. In the Downtown Plano Arts District, there’s often times free live music events at McCall Plaza.
Plano’s most colorful attraction, the Crayola Experience at The Shops at Willow Bend, is an amazing place for families to explore 22 hands-on attractions in a 60,000 square foot space that Parents Magazine calls one of the “Top 10 Trips to Take Before Your Kid Turns 10.” Purchase discounted tickets here.
The first treetop adventure course in Texas is just minutes from the Downtown Plano Arts District at Oak Point Park & Nature Preserve. This vast area of natural beauty sits on 800 acres and features more than just a canopy tour. Go Ape includes five individual sections with rope ladders and 39 exciting crossings.
Heritage Farmstead museum
Wondering what the area was like in the 19th century? Heritage Farmstead can take you back with its original buildings, museum and active farm and garden museum. The 1891 Victorian farm is on the National Register of Historic Places and is a must-see.
The Texas Pool
During the summer, swim across Texas! The historic Texas Pool is 168,000 gallons of saltwater shaped like the great State of Texas and is officially a National Landmark listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The pool is open Memorial Day to Labor Day and features a diving board, two water slides, and an island with a shallow “South Texas” wading area for small children and parents. Cook out on their BBQ grills or enjoy the snack bar. There are also picnic tables and a beach volleyball court. Tourist passes are available.
For more attractions and activities in Plano, browse them here.