Plan your weekend getaway to Plano

Jun 1, 2023

Just north of Dallas sits Plano, Texas—a city that exceeds expectations some might place on its suburban locale. Offering up a caliber of activities on par with bigger cities (sans the hectic crowds and high prices), this destination has the makings for an ideal weekend getaway.

Take a dip in a Texas-shaped pool, celebrate a local tradition at the Plano Balloon Festival, try a new activity like Fowling (we’ll explain later) and enjoy seemingly endless food and shopping options.  

The Boardwalk at Granite Park - Credit: Visit Plano

Read on for our quick guide to help you start planning your quick trip to Plano.

Signature sights 

It's been said that everything is bigger in Texas—and a lot of those things seem to also be shaped as Texas—like The Texas Pool. Dive into the deep end in the "Panhandle," or dip a toe at the shallow end in "South Texas" at this landmark that's been cooling off Texans and visitors for over 60 years. The 168,000-gallon saltwater pool is open to members and one-day visitors alike from Memorial Day through Labor Day, and is a great way to embrace the Texas summer heat. 

The Texas Pool - Credit: David Woo

Plano's historic downtown pairs century old buildings with a thriving arts district. The Plano Art Walk is a free, self-guided experience that will bring you to art installations like murals and sculptures around town. The downtown is also home to unique shops like Wooden Spoon, located in what the shop claims is the oldest home in Plano and offers all Scandinavian goods (if you haven't tried homemade lefse, a Norwegian potato flatbread—now is your chance). Nearby is Holman Pottery, also housed in a historic home, where you'll find handmade items like pottery, glass and jewelry from artists around the country.

Downtown Plano - Credit: David Downs

The Southfork Ranch—or the Ewing family home, as fans of the television show "Dallas" might call it—is located just outside of Plano in Parker, Texas. Experience some TV history with a tour through the ranch, where you can see show memorabilia like Jock Ewing's Lincoln Continental and Lucy Ewing's wedding dress. Those who haven't seen the show can still partake in classic ranch experiences like trail rides or horse-riding lessons. 

Find festivals and hike your happy hour 

Every September, the sky gets a lot more colorful thanks to the Plano Balloon Festival. The four-day event begins September 21 at the Oak Point Park and Nature Preserve. Plano, which has been dubbed the “Hot Air Balloon Capital of Texas,” has a history of hot air ballooning that goes back decades. In addition to balloon launches (including "balloon glow" shows in the evenings), the festival features live music, activities for kids and firework displays. 

Plano Balloon Festival - Credit: Visit Plano 

Get your weekend started a little early with a Happy Hour Hike (no hiking boots required). The event is hosted by Legacy West and Plano Magazine on the first Thursday evening of the month from April to December. Tickets (available to those 21 and older) come with a map and collectible tasting glass, and you'll spend the evening listening to live music and sampling food and drinks (plus you'll receive exclusive offers from participating restaurants and shops throughout the neighborhood). 

Plano Wine and Food Festival - Credit: Visit Plano 

Oenophiles will want to block off October 21 on their calendar for the Plano Food and Wine Festival in Legacy West. The festival is in its fifth year, and will be showcasing over 100 wines from Texas and around the world paired with local fare. 

Fun, food and fowling 

As you may have already guessed, the Legacy West district is one of the top spots in town. Home to more than fun events, it's somewhat of a one-stop shop. Find high-end shopping at luxury fashion brands and home decor stores (think Gucci, Lululemon and West Elm), treat yourself to a manicure or hair cut at one of the salons and choose from dozens of dining options—all within steps of each other.

Legacy West - Credit: Visit Plano 

For a restaurant with Texas cuisine and a great ambiance, head to Haywire. Gulf Coast ceviche, venison chili and their Route 66 pecan pie (made with a cinnamon roll crust) are just a few of the unique dishes they're serving up.

And if you're visiting with a diverse group of palates Legacy Hall is for you. The food hall has over 20 bars and restaurants with plant-based options like Vegan Vibrationz and decidedly less-vegan options like Roots Chicken Shak, where the chicken is fried in duck fat. The hall also includes the Lexus Box Garden, a small outdoor venue where you'll find events like game watch parties, cover bands and trivia nights throughout the week. 

Lexus Box Garden at Legacy Hall - Credit: Visit Plano

It wouldn't be a one-stop shop without accommodations nearby. The Renaissance Dallas at Plano Legacy West Hotel is just a few minutes' walk from Legacy Hall and features a rooftop pool with cabanas available to rent. A little further down the road is Dallas/Plano Marriott at Legacy Town Center, which overlooks Bishop Park and is walkable to more restaurants and shops.

Fowling Warehouse DFW - Credit: Fowling Warehouse

Try a new sport at Fowling Warehouse DFW, the first of its kind in Texas. The sport, which originated as a tailgating activity, is a combination of football and bowling, where the first team to knock all 10 bowling pins down by throwing a football wins. Whether you end up as champion or not, their Texas-inspired menu and bar means everyone's a winner. 

Playful Plano

If you're headed to town with young kids, the Crayola Experience Plano will offer quite a colorful time. The space is larger than a football field, and offers a palette of activities; name and wrap your own crayon, watch a show to learn how crayons are made and pose for a photo to star in your own coloring page. (Travelzoo tip: Visit Plano is offering discounted tickets on their website.)

Crayola Experience - Credit: Visit Plano

The older kids in your life (10 years and up) will go bananas over Go Ape at Oak Point Park. This adventure park will have you soaring on zip lines, completing obstacles and taking on a 28-foot-high tree-to-tree crossing.

Arbor Hills Nature Preserve - Credit: Edmonson Photographers

Great for any age, go for a walk and take in some fresh air at the Arbor Hills Nature Preserve, where the 200 acres of nature will make you forget you're even in a city. Whether you opt to hike or bike the trails, be sure to check out the observation tower for a beautiful view of Plano. 

Ready to go? Start planning your weekend away to Plano with these hotel options.

Related Offers Related Offers & More

More Deals & Tips