Plano has been a growing suburb of Dallas for the last decade. With this new growth has come more and more residents, tourists, and business travelers, and Plano has kept up with amazing things to do and see. Whether you’re a local of Dallas, a new resident of Plano, or just visiting for a few days, explore Plano fully by following our list of the best things to do.
The Shops at Legacy and Legacy West are the top entertainment areas in Plano. They sit right next to each other and offer a wide array of shopping, dining, spa services, and entertainment every day and night of the week. You’ll want to hit the highlights like Legacy Food Hall, a European-style food hall with 24 food stalls, nine bars, and a large stage for concerts and screenings. The Angelika Film Center shows independent films, while live music can be enjoyed at Blue Martini or Sambuca 360. Grab a meal at Mexican Sugar or The Keeper, or even at Barnes & Nobles’ stylish on-site restaurant, the first to open in Texas. And don’t forget to shop—with dozens of stores at the Shops at Legacy and Legacy West, you’re sure to find anything you might need.
Outdoor enthusiasts will enjoy Plano’s variety of nature areas. Arbor Hills Nature Preserve is a 200-acre park with three miles of paved trails for running, walking, and biking, as well 2.8 miles of mountain biking trails and three miles of off-road hiking trails. It’s also notable for their Observation Deck with great views and free Wi-Fi at their main pavilion. At 800 acres, Oak Point Park and Nature Preserve is even larger with 3.5 miles of paved trails and five miles of soft-surface trails. There’s even paddle boarding, canoeing, and kayaking available at the on-site pond.
The Renaissance Plano is one of the coolest hotels in Plano, and in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex for that matter. Their interior design is a mash up of Asian and Western influences. This appears in the throw pillows on the beds embroidered with the words “Cowboy” and “Samurai” and the cowboy hats and Asian-style cat statues in all the rooms. It can also be found in the cuisine offered at the restaurants and bar and in the art of the public spaces. The Renaissance Plano is also well-known for having an amazing rooftop pool and bar, live music occasionally, and a daily punch bowl service at 6 p.m. made clear by the sounding of the gong.
The Historic Downtown Plano Arts District is a fascinating place to visit. Along 15th Street, Plano visitors can take in lovely views of historic buildings from the 1800s. The buildings are filled with a variety of boutiques and shops that sell everything from clothes to antiques. Eat at notable restaurants like Urban Crust, a pizzeria with a rooftop ice bar, and Jorg’s Café Vienna, which serves authentic Austrian cuisine. Art lovers can sign up for an art class at Pipe and Palette or take a bunch of selfies at the mural on the wall of Georgia’s Farmers Market. The Interurban Railway Museum offers great exhibits and a tour of an on-site railcar. Be sure to check out Downtown Plano’s events page to stay up-to-date with live musical performances in Haggard Park.
History buffs will have a blast at Heritage Farmstead Museum. Set in a restored farmstead, the Heritage Farmstead Museum seeks to preserve the historical life of the Blackland Prairie region of Texas in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Visitors can explore the Farrell-Wilson house, a school house replica, and the grounds of the Heritage Farmstead Museum with a tour guide or at their own pace. They also host a variety of programs like yoga, blacksmith demonstrations, and cooking classes.
Plano has a bunch of festivals throughout the year but the Plano Balloon Festival in September is by far their most popular. Visitors can watch as 40 colorful air balloons take to the sky in a magnificent event. Some even glow at night! There’s also other entertainment available during the festival like live musical performances, a marathon, parachute team performance, kid’s zone, and fireworks.