14 Best Things to Do in Plano, Texas
Located about 30 minutes from Dallas, Plano is a great city to explore on your weekend trip, home to historic attractions, a great outdoor shopping area and gourmet restaurants.
Best things to do in Plano, TX include the Heritage Farmstead Museum, downtown Plano, the Interurban Railway Museum, the Shops at Legacy, Pinstack and Arbor Hills Nature Preserve. Photo: Visit Plano
»Heritage Farmstead Museum
The Heritage Farmstead Museum is an 1890’s Victorian Farmhouse that was once inhabited by an original Plano settler family. Today, it is a restored and preserved heritage site and one of the top Plano attractions. Visitors are able to tour the home and examine the exhibits, including demonstrations, interactive events, and interpretive historical information on the families who once managed the property.
Today, the museum offers visitors the opportunity to engage in a small number of farm-like interactions, including livestock and barn tours. Visitors will enjoy walking through and admiring the fully furnished home, complete with authentic artifacts from past tenants.
Throughout the year, the Farmstead offers various seasonal events, including holiday events such as trick or treating, pumpkin picking, and spring activities.
Contact: 1900 W 15th St, Plano, TX, Phone: 972-881-0140
»Historic Downtown Plano
Historic Downtown Plano is still comprised of many of the city’s earliest buildings, which date back to 1896. If you are wondering what to do in Plano today, this is a great place to start exploring.
Today, the historic area, which covers six city blocks, is an urbanized space, and various restaurants, shops, downtown housing, bars, cafes, and offices are housed in the restored and preserved buildings.
The lively district is the epicenter of Plano’s cultural events, and it frequently hosts street events, block parties, art festivals, and other exciting activities.
Downtown Plano’s event calendar, which is available on its website, outlines both regular events and seasonal festivities, both of which occur year round.
Contact: 1099 75074, 1037 E 15th St, Plano, TX
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Photo: Tomasz Zajda/Fotolia
»Interurban Railway Museum
The Interurban Railway Museum, also known as Plano Station, Texas Electric Railway, is a historic train station. The city’s first train station, built in 1908, was situated at this location in the very building in which the museum now resides. Trains continued to run through this stop until 1948.
The station was vacant until 1990, when the city converted the space into a museum with the intention of demonstrating the impact and value the station had on the city of Plano’s growth and success in the early 20th century. Today, visitors can tour the old museum using the interpretive displays and hands-on activities to learn how the train system worked and where it traveled.
Contact: 901 E 15th St, Plano, Texas, Phone: 972-941-2117
»Things to Do in Plano, TX: ArtCentre of Plano
The ArtCentre of Plano is a non-profit art exhibition center located in Plano’s downtown historic area. It is housed in a grand early 20th century Victorian mansion that was once the home of the Harrington Furniture Store. The ArtCentre is host to a variety of exhibits throughout the year, and it is dedicated to supporting the development and growth of independent and emerging artists within the community.
The centre also offers a variety of classes, including performing and visual arts classes along with music lessons. Throughout the year, the centre is host to various cultural events, meetings, and lectures, all of which are listed on the centre’s online calendar.
Contact: 901 18th Street, Plano, TX, Phone: 972-423-7809
Photo: ArtCentre of Plano
»The Shops at Legacy, Plano, Texas
Designed as a town center, the Shops at Legacy offer a unique experience with its tree-lined streets, great restaurants, trendy boutiques, coffee houses, bars, entertainment venues, and movie house.
You can do so much more than shopping at the Legacy Town Center. As you stroll down the town alleys, you will eventually reach Baccuss Park, a 1847 Texas historical landmark and the home to Baccus Cemetery.
Walk down the Shawnee Trail, which used to be the main route for the Texas longhorns’ trip north. Today, instead of live cattle, you can see three life-sized cowboys and nineteen longhorn bronze sculptures cast by renowned Texas artist Robert Summers.
Photo: The Shops at Legacy
»Angelika Film Center & Cafe
Located in the popular Legacy Town Center, Angelika Film Center is a modern five-screen cinema where shoppers at Legacy can take a break from browsing the stores and enjoy the latest blockbuster or an obscure Indie film.
On the second level of the cinema building, you can find a gourmet restaurant The Angelika Cafe & Bar. What makes this restaurant and cinema so special is the fact that you can take your food and drinks with you to the movie theatre and enjoy them while watching your favorite film. You do not have to go to the cinema to enjoy the restaurant, as it is open to the public.
They offer light fare such as soups, salads, and sandwiches. With all its facilities, the Angelika is a great venue for conferences and presentations.
Contact: 7205 Bishop Rd, Plano, Texas, Phone: 972-943-1340
Pinstack offers 50,000 square feet of fun, including a state-of-the-art bowling alley with 28 lanes, a gourmet restaurant with a chef ready to indulge the most demanding of foodies, a well-stocked bar, a laser tag arena on two levels, a rock climbing wall for adrenaline junkies, a high ropes course 20 feet up in the air, hundreds of video games, fancy private dining rooms for special parties, and much more.
It is a fabulous place to spend a day off or the whole weekend with a bunch of friends. You can also host a birthday party no guest will ever forget.
Contact: 6205 Dallas Pkwy, Plano, Texas, Phone: 972-781-2695
»Plano Balloon Festival, Plano, Texas
The sky over Plano, Texas offers a spectacular show every September, when more than 45 colorful, fun-shaped balloons ascend high into the air, taking the brave and curious on a magical ride.
Plano Balloon Festival is a very popular three-day event that offers more than just balloon rides: there are RE/MAX parachute jumpers, great inflatable rides for kids of all ages, live music by local bands on the main stage, dance groups, martial arts teams, and plenty of food and drink vendors to suit any taste.
As night falls, a few glow-in-the-dark balloons will rise up into the air, and spectacular fireworks will light the sky with thousands of colors.
Contact: 2801 E Spring Creek Pkwy, Plano, Texas, Phone: 972-867-7566
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Photo: Scott Bufkin/Fotolia
This modern BBQ eatery, open for lunch and dinner, serves high quality food, craft cocktails, and beer from their location in the Shops at Legacy Mall. If you are looking for romantic date ideas in Plano, this is a great place to try.
Owned by two Texan BBQ enthusiasts, the shop offers a variety of pork, brisket, pork and beef ribs, and smoked sausages, all of which are locally sourced. For non-meat eaters and those looking for diverse sides, Kenny’s offers a variety of non-meat dishes as well.
The restaurant also features a full bar with high quality smoked bourbon and liquors on tap. The casual restaurant, outfitted in deep wood and rustic brick, is filled with blues and jazz tunes, and features rich decor and comfortable seating, creating a warm and comfortable environment. Next read: TX beaches
Contact: Shops At Legacy, 5760 Legacy Dr #4, Plano, Texas, Phone: 972-473-7478
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Photo: Kenny's Smoke
»Whiskey Cake, Plano, Texas
Considered a premiere destination for cocktails and drinks, Whiskey Cake is open for lunch and into the late night hours, serving a variety of drinks and creative, thoughtful bar food. Whiskey Cake’s focus is on their expansive liquor menu, which includes a variety of innovative cocktails, beers, wines, and diverse whiskeys.
However, their food menu is equally tempting and provides a variety of updated bar staples along with exotic snacks, diverse salads, and numerous entrees, all classified as New American fare. Whiskey Cake’s space is trendy and casual with an industrial vibe and a youthful energy that consumes the modern space.
Contact: 3601 Dallas Pkwy, Plano, Texas, Phone: 972-993-2253
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Photo: Whiskey Cake
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Located in Plano’s Lakeside Market Taverna Rossa is a popular pub with original pizzas, 24 beers on tap, imaginative cocktails, and a small but great selection of wines. The pizzas are gourmet, with locally sourced toppings combined in original and imaginative ways. There are also fresh pastas, salads, and sandwiches. The large bar dominates the rustic, cozy, nicely decorated indoor dining room and the outside patio is perfect for warm, sunny days. Evenings at Taverna Rossa are particularly lively when the band plays. Saturday and Sunday brunch is also a popular affair, with breakfast pizzas and award-winning Bloody Marys and mimosas.
4005 Preston Rd #512, Plano, TX 75093, Phone: 972-403-3321
Photo: Taverna Rossa
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»Nicola's Ristorante Italiano, Plano, TX
Located in the upscale Shops at Legacy Mall, Nicola’s is a casual fine dining Italian restaurant, serving lunch and dinner meals. Nicola’s menu features standard Italian fare, including pizzas, pastas, and seafood dishes. Through its rustic Tuscan décor, relaxed yet attentive service, and Italian inscribed menu, Nicola’s is an authentic interpretation of an Italian eatery.
The menu places an emphasis on seasonal fare, and the chefs provide specific attention to the arrangement of the dishes, creating artistic displays and presentations. The dining space is casual and warm, with an upscale vibe that matches the shop’s location. Neutral coloring and ambient lighting add to the romance and charm of the interior dining room. Read more
Contact: Shops At Legacy, 5800 Legacy Dr, Plano, Texas, Phone: 972-608-4455
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Photo: Nicola's Ristorante Italiano
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»The Ginger Man, Plano, TX
Open for lunch, dinner, and late night offerings, The Ginger Man in The Shops at Legacy is a local pub known for its vast variety of beer. This local hangout has an expansive beer list of selections that are both locally and nationally sourced, on tap and in bottles. The Ginger Man provides a limited sundries menu, known as their “solids” menu, and it features several sandwiches, flatbreads, and snacks available throughout the day and into the evening.
The Ginger Man is also known for their beer float, a concoction consisting of ice cream and the beer of your choice. The lively space is both laidback and relaxed. It offers live music, in-house games such as dartboards, and a large, well-lit patio.
Contact: Shops At Legacy, 7205 Bishop Rd, Plano, Texas, Phone: 469-814-8299
Photo: The Ginger Man
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»Things to Do in Plano, TX: Oak Point Park and Nature Preserve
Oak Point Park and Nature Preserve is the largest park in Plano, and it is comprised of over 800 acres. Offering an ideal location for hiking, walking, biking, and jogging, the park provides over 8 miles of trails, including 3.5 miles of paved walkways and over 5 miles of dirt trails.
On site, Oak Point Park and Nature Preserve also features an amphitheater and hosts seasonal talks on the wildlife, foliage, and preservation efforts of the staff. On site pavilions and restrooms are also available for visitors’ convenience. For a detailed look at the trail system or for upcoming events at the amphitheater, refer to the park’s online events calendar.
Contact: 5901 Los Rios Blvd, Plano, Texas, Phone: 972-941-7250
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»Things to Do in Plano, TX: Arbor Hills Nature Preserve
This urban green space is located directly outside of downtown Plano. Comprised of nearly 200 acres, the park is a pristine recreational area that is open year round. Arbor Hills offers visitors multiple reasons to visit, including a winding trail system with both paved and unpaved trails for walking, biking, or running.
Several of them lead to minor inclines and view points. The park also contains an expansive playground, a pavilion, and restroom facilities. Throughout the year, the park provides updated information on the area’s ecosystem features, along with wildlife known to inhabit the grounds.
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14 Best Things to Do in Plano, Texas
- Heritage Farmstead Museum, Photo: Courtesy of VisitPlano
- Historic Downtown Plano, Photo: Courtesy of Tomasz Zajda - Fotolia.com
- Interurban Railway Museum, Photo: Courtesy of VisitPlano
- Things to Do in Plano, TX: ArtCentre of Plano, Photo: ArtCentre of Plano
- The Shops at Legacy, Plano, Texas, Photo: The Shops at Legacy
- Angelika Film Center & Cafe, Photo: Courtesy of VisitPlano
- Pinstack, Photo: Pinstack
- Plano Balloon Festival, Plano, Texas, Photo: Courtesy of Scott Bufkin - Fotolia.com
- Kenny's Smoke, Photo: Kenny's Smoke
- Whiskey Cake, Plano, Texas, Photo: Whiskey Cake
- Taverna Rossa, Photo: Taverna Rossa
- Nicola's Ristorante Italiano, Plano, TX, Photo: Nicola's Ristorante Italiano
- The Ginger Man, Plano, TX, Photo: The Ginger Man
- Things to Do in Plano, TX: Oak Point Park and Nature Preserve, Photo: Courtesy of Gajus - Fotolia.com
- Things to Do in Plano, TX: Arbor Hills Nature Preserve, Photo: Courtesy of sayanphayom - Fotolia.com
- Cover Photo: Courtesy of Visit Plano
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