McKinney is a historic town in Texas on the northern outskirts of the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex area that has a thriving walkable downtown with much to do. During the summer, it can be fun to get out and explore the area by participating in some local walking tours where you’ll get to see the town on foot, connect with local food sources, make friends with shared interests, and learn some things along the way. If you’re looking for a fun activity to do this summer, why not check out some of these food and garden tours in McKinney?
Native Texas Butterfly House and Garden
The Native Texas Butterfly House and Garden at the Heard Museum contains native species of butterflies that vary by season. Visits to the butterfly garden are included in the general admission ticket to the Heard Natural Science Museum and Wildlife Sanctuary, and you can catch their guided tours. You can experience the joy of walking among free-flying butterflies and other native pollinators within the netted enclosure. The garden features butterfly-friendly flowers and plants that naturally attract these pollinators, so you might want to take notes and incorporate some butterfly-friendly plants into your own garden to encourage these beautiful pollinators to visit.
Check with the Heard about the times of their informative butterfly talks, which are led by one of their experienced volunteers. The presentation lasts about an hour and is followed by a guided tour through the garden where you can observe the insects in the outdoor habitat. The Heard is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, though guests aren’t admitted later than one hour before they close, so get there no later than 4 p.m. The museum is closed on Monday except for special events.
Historic Downtown McKinney Food Tour
Hosted by Food Walks of Texas, the Historic Downtown McKinney Food Tour is a fun way to explore downtown and enjoy some great food at locally owned businesses along the way. Your experienced guide will lead you on a three-hour walking tour that takes you to six diverse eateries and includes two alcohol tastings. The tour goes for 1.5 miles at a gentle pace so you have plenty of time to enjoy the scenery, take pictures of the sights of the historic downtown square, and learn about the history along the way.
This fun walking tour runs three times a week, starting promptly at 10:45 a.m on Friday and Saturday mornings and 3 p.m. on Saturday afternoons. It is available for ages 12 and up with groups of up to 16 people. Food and beverages are included in the ticket, which costs $64. They say they serve “Texas-sized” portions and recommend that you come ready for a full brunch. If you’re a foodie who also loves history and likes to try new things, then a walking food tour through the historic downtown sounds like the perfect way to spend a Saturday.
Farmer’s Market Walking Tour
This is another walking tour by Food Walks of Texas, which runs several tours in McKinney. The Farmer’s Market Walking Tour starts at 9 a.m. on the first Saturday of the month. Meet up at the farmers market information booth on historic Chestnut Square. The three-hour guided walking tour takes you behind the scenes to meet local farmers, producers, and artists. The tour ends with a seasonally changing three-course lunch prepared by a local chef using fresh ingredients. It is followed by a chef meet and greet where you can learn cooking tips about preparing the meal you just ate.
While on the tour, you will have plenty of time for personal shopping at the market, which has not only fresh produce, local meats, honey, and other food products but also handmade arts and crafts from soaps and candles to walking canes and jewelry. The market has over 70 food carts where you can get drinks or a light snack; just make sure you save room for the gourmet lunch. Your knowledgeable tour guide will tell you about the history of Chestnut Square Village, which has six historic houses, including the oldest house in McKinney, which you can visit.
Craft and Comfort Cocktail Tour
The Craft and Comfort Cocktail Tour is brought to you by We Eat Well Food Tours, which offers several boutique food-focused tours in downtown McKinney. This is a two-hour tour that happens from 5-7 p.m. on Thursdays. It is $79 per person, and you must be 21 or over to enjoy the cocktails. The tour is an easy walk of just 1 mile to get you to several delicious eateries. Your tour guide will point out historic buildings as you walk along the square and tell you some interesting facts about the history of the community.
The tour is focused on comfort food and will take you to six separate tastings where you can talk with culinary influencers, as well as guide you to three craft cocktail tastings. The places your guide takes you can change from week to week, but some that are staples include Harvest Seasonal Kitchen, which is a farm-to-table restaurant serving up traditional food and original cocktails, and Bayou Jack’s Cajun Grill, giving you a trio of tasting from family recipes handed down through the owner’s Louisiana roots, while Rye Craft Food and Drink supplies seasonal American food and creative cocktails.
McKinney is filled with fun historical sites, great food, a wonderful natural science museum, and beautiful downtown. So, why not head out for a walking tour where you can experience a taste of what it has to offer? A guided tour is a great way to learn more about a place, whether you’re visiting or have been a local your whole life. Have you taken any of the tours on this list? At Huffines Kia McKinney, we’d love to hear which was your favorite part of the tour, so drop us a line and let us know.
Image via Flickr by Get McKinney