With family-friendly attractions, vibrant nightlife and a plethora of historic and cultural museums, Plano draws visitors of all ages and interests. Situated in Texas' populous Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex, Plano is just a 30-minute drive from all that the metro area has to offer, though the city itself is brimming with things to do and see as well.
History buffs can travel back in time to Plano's early days at museums such as Heritage Farmstead, a four-acre campus full of buildings and livestock that re-create life in Plano in the prosperous early 1900s. The Interurban Railway Museum details the electric Interurban car that once served as an essential link between Denison and Waco. Meanwhile, the Plano African American Museum explores African American contributions to the development of Plano, Collin County and North Texas as a whole, all from its location in the historic Thornton House, once owned by the one of the first African Americans in Plano to own property.
Outdoor enthusiasts will also find plenty of ways to get their fill in Plano and enjoy its mild year-round temperature of 66°F. The city has over 3,600 acres of public parks that encompass 40 miles of recreation trails, 81 public tennis courts and five public swimming pools. The 200-acre Arbor Hills Nature Preserve is one of the most popular, offering miles of walking, cycling and jogging trials plus an up-close look at regional flora and fauna. Plano's scenic setting is also a haven for golfers, who can hit the links at courses at Chase Oaks Golf Club, Ridgeview Ranch and Pecan Hollow Golf Course.
Plano also has plenty of options for a recreational activity of another sort: shopping. In fact, the city is home to more than 70 shopping centers bursting with major retailers, unique boutiques, art galleries and more. With over 160 shops, the Collin Creek Mall is one of the largest in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, while Preston Park Village offers a more intimate shopping experience with 60 specialty stores. The Shops at Willow Bend have some of the best in upscale shopping options, and the relatively new Shops at Legacy center boasts shopping, dining and entertainment all in one location. In addition to retail stores, this Main Street-style center is known for being home to one of the largest independent book store in the country, one of the country's most successful cinemas dedicated to independent film and several restaurants run by some of the area's best chefs.
The Shops at Legacy is just one venue in Plano where guests can enjoy the city's flourishing dining and nightlife scene, which encompasses a number of settings and styles of cuisine. Italian, Mexican, Japanese, French and more are served in everything from sidewalk cafes to candlelit restaurants to traditional Southern tea rooms. Guests should make at least one meal truly Texan by indulging in a hearty steak, served just right at establishments such as Bob's Steak & Chop House and Steve Fields Steak & Lobster Lounge. After dinner, guests can grab a beer at any number of downtown pubs and bars, or kick things up a notch in true Texas style at Love & War in Texas. Created to "promote Texas, Texans and Texas heritage," this popular Plano venue features authentic Texas recipes, plenty of Texas wine and a steady roster of Texas music that keeps the party going until midnight.