Plano was recently named the Best City for Staycations by WalletHub, and if you live here you know why. It has a rich history, a lively downtown filled with quaint shops and restaurants, green parks, and informative art and history museums. Whether you live in Plano and want to see more of your city, or are visiting for the day from nearby Dallas or Fort Worth, you’re sure to be charmed by what this place has to offer. Have a fresh local meal, visit shops, walk the historic streets, and see why Plano deserves a closer look.
Try a Restaurant
Plano has a lot going for it in the food and drink department. Stop by Urban Rio Cantina and Grill to enjoy lunch or dinner and drinks in a historic building that was originally an icehouse from the early 20th century. They serve up delicious Mexican food with fresh ingredients and offer a selection of cold drinks including their signature margarita, other cocktails, cooled spirits, sangria, and draft beers. Come by for their Sunday brunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. which features a full brunch menu and $1 mimosas. They’re open every day from 11 a.m. until late.
Another favorite local spot is the Fourteen Eighteen Coffeehouse located at 1418 K Avenue. They are open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. from Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday, and 8 a.m to 5 p.m. on Sunday. Here you will find fine craft coffee using beans from Oak Creek Coffee Roasters. They also offer unique signature drinks such as The Purple Haze, a latte with lavender and vanilla. You can try their taco deli which is available unto noon, or sandwiches such as the Drake with turkey, brie, and raspberry mayo on a croissant.
Activities To Try
You won’t want to miss a visit to the Interurban Railway Museum located in Haggard Park at E. 15th Street. This museum is free to enter and is dedicated to the Texas Electric Railway. It is housed in a restored depot that was once the main rail station and post office. It offers several exhibit rooms where you can learn about the history of Texas’ electric railway, experience interactive exhibits on science and electricity, and learn about Plano’s unique history. Outside the Museum you can take a guided tour through a refurbished rail car from 1911 called Historic Car 360.
There’s no better way to spend the day than having a Picnic in a park when the sun is out. Haggard Park is a square of five-and-a-half acres with several play areas, a few walking paths, and plenty of picnic spots. It is centrally located downtown and offers a pleasant place to rest from a day of exploring the city. You can pick a picnic table, or bring a blanket, grab a coffee and some food from a nearby shop, and enjoy a relaxing hour on the grass before heading off to explore galleries or do some shopping.
Things to See
Historic Downtown Plano is a must-see if you’re in the area. Its brick 15th Street and other nearby streets are lined with shops, restaurants, and galleries. While you’re exploring the area stop by the ArtCenter of Plano at 902 East 16th Street. The ArtCenter was founded in 1981 and is a local nonprofit dedicated to promoting artists and hosting art exhibitions and programs. Their current location is Saigling House, a historic house built in 1906, that has been turned into galleries and studio spaces for local artists. It is open Tuesday to Saturday each week, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The Courtyard Theater is located at the corner of 15th Street and H Avenue, just across from Haggard Park in the historic downtown. It is housed in a large brick building that was built by the Works Project Administration in 1938 and was once the gymnasium of Cox High School. It holds regular plays and performances in its proscenium-style theater that holds 321 seats, as well as other private and public events. Check out the gallery room with shows of various forms of art by local artists. The theater is usually open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Places to Shop
What any good staycation needs is a little retail therapy, and historic downtown Plano has some great little shops. A great spot to stop if you want to support local makers in the Holman Pottery Gallery. The studio and gallery are located at 914 18th Street in the Haggard Park Historic District. You’ll find them in a quaint Queen Anne-style Victorian cottage that was built in 1890. Tony Holman is the potter who creates the functional lead-free pottery out of white stoneware. Artists have unique pieces in the gallery as well, including pottery, glass, sculptures, and jewelry. Look out for the work of the resident potter, Tony Holman whocreates functional lead-free pottery out of white stoneware.
If you love luxurious and all-natural skincare and bath products then stop by Sweet Home Bath and Body at 1610 J Avenue. Store hours are Wednesday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and on Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. They offer a wide range of products including handmade soap, foaming whipped scrubs, solid perfume, naturally scented coconut wax candles in recycled glass jars, and much more. They even offer classes in candle, bath bomb, and soap making, perfect for a unique staycation activity where you can learn a new skill and create your own keepsake.
A staycation is a fun way to learn more about your local community, explore some places you might not have known about, and get to explore your hometown like a tourist without the hassle and expense of traveling. And if you’re lucky enough to live in Plano you are lucky, so why not go check out some of the places on this list. Have you staycationed in Plano already? Then contact us at Huffines CJDR Plano. We would love to hear what’s your favorite thing to see or do in Plano.
Image via Flickr by VisitPlano