One of the many great things about living in the DFW Metroplex is easy access to all of the area’s cities and attractions. Next time you are ready to explore outside of your own city, drive to Plano for a day’s worth of fun and adventure for the whole family or a fun day-date.
Come for the day or make it a staycation at one of Plano’s many safe and affordable hotel options.
20 THINGS TO DO IN PLANO
Plano Day Trip Itinerary
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, please check the business’s open status, restrictions, and hours before planning your adventure.
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.
Plano’s most colorful attraction, the Crayola Experience at The Shops at Willow Bend, is an amazing place where visitors can 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.
Take a walk in a Plano park! Plano has more than 82 miles of recreational trails open to the public. Chances are there’s a trail near by. Get trail information here including downloadable trail maps. Two of our 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. 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.
The lake at Oak Point Park & Nature Preserve is open for kayaking, canoeing and stand up paddle boarding from dawn to dusk. Bring your own canoe, kayak, or stand up paddle board and see Plano’s largest park from a new perspective, for free!
One thing is for sure when it comes to Plano, there are endless shopping options to experience. 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!
The new $3.2 billion dollar, 255-acre Legacy West development boasts 415,000 dynamic square feet of open-air retail and restaurant space. 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, Lululemon, Tommy Bahama, Peter Millar, Pockets, and Suitsupply.
The Shops at Legacy is a hopping urban development featuring unique boutiques and popular stores. A unique “Main Street-style” experience, The Shops at Legacy combines a “downtown” feel with the intimacy of a neighborhood and community, with today’s modern styles.
The Downtown Plano Arts District boasts a charming downtown area lined with authentic brick streets, one-of-a-kind restaurants, clothing and jewelry boutiques, specialty shops, antique stores, art galleries, artist residences, pottery, and more.
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. With stores like Coach, H&M, G by Guess, Banana Republic, American Eagle, Swarovski and Sephora everything you need is around the bend. Plus, Restoration Hardware, Z Gallerie and Crate & Barrel make The Shops at Willow Bend the premier destination for stylish home decor.
LakeSide Market offers another open-air, upscale shopping experience. Discover one-of-a-kind treasures, unique gift ideas, signature cuisine and superb service from prestigious home furnishing stores, salons, spas, specialty retailers, restaurants and more.
Shop, dine and play all around Preston Park Village. You’ll find more than 40 specialty shops including Ann Taylor, Talbots, The Gap, Williams-Sonoma and much more. There is also a movie theater and several restaurants around the shops.
There are over 1,000 restaurants in Plano of all cuisine types reflecting Plano’s diverse culture. With so much to choose from, you better do some research beforehand. You can also take advise from That’s Tempting and see for yourself some mouthwatering options.
Across from the Hilton Granite Park hotel sits a restaurant park called The Boardwalk. Dallas Burger Joint Hall of Famer, Chips Old Fashioned Hamburgers is not only famous for their burger selection, but also salads, fresh fish, spuds, Tex-Mex, and milkshakes. Union Bear is a new locally owned and operated brewery and restaurant with a West Coast feel, fused with deep Texas roots, serving American classics and staff-curated spirits and cocktails.
Also at The Boardwalk, The Biscuit Bar, a new fast-casual, Southern home-style concept, offers scratch biscuits with a wide range of toppings, salads with biscuit croutons, biscuit desserts, and a bar menu. Fork & Fire features a wide selection of classic American fare, including its famous “fancy fries”. Each restaurant has a patio, and there are beachy deck chairs to enjoy the view of the water feature and live music stage.
Plan to go to the Downtown Plano Arts District where you will find a little bit of everything from Austrian and Mexican to pizza and BBQ.
Or dine at the area’s newest and hottest restaurants at Legacy West like Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse, Earls Kitchen + Bar, Tommy Bahama, True Food Kitchen, Mesero, North Italia, Taverna, Haywire, KAI, Toulouse, and Fogo de Chão.
The Shops at Legacy is also a culinary landmark for some of DFW’s finest chefs and restaurants. Enjoy meals and drinks all day at the many popular restaurants like Fearing’s, Seasons 52, Mexican Sugar, Kenny’s Smokehouse, RA Sushi, Olivella’s, Henry’s Tavern, Main Street Bistro & Bakery, Del Frisco’s Grille and Bob’s Steak & Chop House.
The District at Willow Bend has several awesome brunch, lunch, or dinner options with fried chicken and homemade biscuits at Whistle Britches to a Mexican fiesta at Mexican Bar Co.
Legacy Hall, one of the nation’s largest and most unique food halls, is dedicated to serving the best-of food trends prepared by premier chefs and local artisans featuring everything from elevated Neapolitan pizzas, duck fried chicken and Baja-style tacos, to worldly selections like shawarma, yakitori and bao steam buns.
The three-story, 55,000-square-foot European-style food hall, brewery and live music and entertainment venue was named USA Today’s 2019 2nd Best Food Hall in the U.S.
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 for fourth graders in the Plano school district.
Electric rails are nothing new. In fact, the Texas Electric Railway was a vital part of Plano history, which you can experience at this downtown gem, the Interurban Railway Museum. See the original ticket window and climb onto a refurbished rail car. Find out how Plano mistakenly got its name and how the railway was used to shuttle workers until 1948. Read more about the Interurban Railway Museum and come see it for yourself in the Downtown Plano Arts District.
Known as the “world’s most famous ranch,” Southfork Ranch is best known from the television series “Dallas,” offering visitors the opportunity to relive memorable moments from the fictional Ewing clan. The “Dallas Legends: Fact to Fantasy” exhibit features the gun that shot J.R., Lucy’s wedding dress, video clips from the series and other memorabilia. Located in nearby Parker, Southfork has attracted millions of visitors and is open daily year-round. Visitors can even take a trail ride throughout the property on horseback!
Bowling & Games
Main Event’s unique Eat.Bowl.Play. experience features state-of-the-art bowling, multi-level laser tag, high ropes adventure courses, billiards and interactive and virtual video games, with dining experiences ranging from fast-casual to chef-inspired casual and creative cocktails, beer and wine.
Open 24 hours and newly renovated, Plano Super Bowl offers everything you need for a fun night out with family or friends. Plano Super Bowl is home to Scratch Kitchen serving up made-from-scratch breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner. Be sure to check their bowling specials!
From state-of-the-art bowling lanes to its unique LED rock climbing wall, Pinstack has indoor games for the whole family. The one-of-a-kind indoor family activity venue features a full-service restaurant offering a chef-inspired menu featuring local and regional cuisine, a full bar and a private dining area.
The Texas Pool
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!
Cinemark has partnered with The VOID, to allow guests to virtually step into their favorite movie and play an active role in the plot. By strapping on a vest, helmet and virtual reality goggles, guests are transported to a new world where they hear, feel, smell and see what it would be like to actually be in the movie. This is the first in-theater, hyper-reality experience in all of Texas.