Situated in north Texas just over 30 miles from Dallas, you’ll find the charming city of McKinney. Established in 1848, its bustling historic downtown is one of the oldest in Texas! McKinney is the 3rd fastest growing city in the country and in 2014 it was given the number one spot on Money Magazine’s “Best Place to Live” list. With over 120 shops and dozens of restaurants downtown, there is always something to do or see, whatever your interests are. From family fun events to upscale bars and restaurants you’ll have plenty to choose from in historic McKinney.
What to See and Do
For the first stop on your list of must-see sights in McKinney, Texas, you’ll want to check out the Collin County History Museum. Documenting the area through the years, you’ll find maps and diaries, manuscripts and artifacts, photographs, newspaper archives, and much more. This museum, dedicated to preserving the county’s history, is an excellent resource for learning about those who came before and is popular with researchers and genealogists. It’s located in the historic post office built in 1911, and is open to the public on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday and available for group tours Monday through Wednesday.
Arcade 92 might be the place for you if you have kids that love games or are a gamer yourself. Though this is technically a bar, it is family-friendly until 9 p.m., but children under 15 need to be accompanied by an adult guardian. The bar provides a full dining menu and non-alcoholic drinks for the youngsters. Conveniently located in McKinney Square, it has retro and pinball games as well as a modern gaming lounge. Arcade 92 also plays host to weekly tournaments. You don’t have to worry about bringing an armload of coins, just pay the $12 entrance fee and you can play all day.
Where to Eat
Who doesn’t love pizza? Cadillac Pizza Pub serves up pizza-goodness with warm melted cheese, Texas-grown ingredients, all on a wood-fired pizza. A favorite with locals and visitors alike, they pride themselves on being the best pizzeria around, winning Best Pizza in McKinney since 2012, but they make more than just amazing pizzas. They also serve hot sandwiches, salads, pasta bakes, and a selection of starters, specials, and desserts. Not to mention a collection of cocktails, craft beers, and fine wines, and spirits. Plus, they have live music every Friday and Saturday night, drawing musicians and live-music lovers from miles around.
There’s nothing like a fresh slice of homemade pie with a cup of hot coffee and at Emporium Pies you can get both. The second of their four locations in north Texas opened in downtown McKinney and fits right into the friendly community. Their pies are made fresh every day with wholesome ingredients that don’t include dyes or preservatives, and they never use corn syrup or additives. Available whole or by the slice, you can choose from a variety of seasonal flavors, including buttermilk and chess pies. And don’t forget to try a slice with their handmade vanilla ice cream.
Spots to Shop
For those who love to shop, 540 Mercantile is a great place to start. Whether you are looking for hip clothing for babies or children or something for yourself, this collection of unique boutiques has something for everyone including home decor, furniture, bath products, jewelry, or a touching gift for a loved one. Located on East Louisiana Street, they’re open Monday through Saturday and you can satisfy your shopping needs while supporting a variety of independent, local businesses brought together by the Mercantile’s owner, Diana Daugherty.
If you are looking for something special why not stop by Barrons Estate Jewelers and Antique Mall? Founded in the 80s, these antique jewelers have grown into dealers of a wide range of fine antiques and estate finds. From unique engagement rings to Swiss watches, designer handbags, art, and rare coins, they have an impressive assortment of collectibles. If you prefer the finer things in life then stop by this fine antique mall housed in a historic building that was formerly a bank. They have an experienced staff adept at valuing and purchasing fine jewelry, so contact them if you have something to sell.
The McKinney Performing Arts Center always has something going on. The Arts Center has been located in the historic Collin County Courthouse that was built in the 1870s, since 2006. It provides a community center, beloved summer concert series, and camps for kids aged 6-15. These summer camps provide beginner to advanced training in voice, acting, and dance. Every child will get to participate in a musical theater production that will be performed for friends and family at the end of camp. Or just stop by the Center to view the building and permanent exhibits, open daily.
If you have children that love history then you won’t want to miss the Heritage Village at Chestnut Square. Just south of the downtown square in McKinney, Chestnut Square is comprised of six historic houses and a replica chapel, school, and village store. Your children will see a blacksmith shop, smokehouse, gardens, and historic artifacts on display. They can watch demonstrations and learn about life from the period of 1850 to 1940. There’s also a popular farmer’s market held in the square year-round. Every 1st and 3rd Saturday, December through March, and every Saturday the rest of the year.
These are just a few of the many exciting things McKinney has to offer. From historic houses to boutique shopping, fine art galleries, quaint cafes, family restaurants, cozy pubs, and more, there’s plenty to do for a full day on the town. At Huffines Kia Mckinney we hope you love this city as much as we do, and get a chance to explore its historic downtown. What’s on your list to visit next time you are in town? Have you tried all the restaurants at the square? Tell us which is your favorite spot to visit or what you are most looking forward to seeing.
Image via Flickr by Get McKinney