Much of McKinney has
changed evolved since my family moved to McKinney in 1991. I remember when we went to Plano every weekend just to see a movie or grab a bite to eat. These days I find myself immersed with all Mckinney has to offer. So much so that I consciously have to make plans to step out of the “McKinney bubble” as I like to call it.
With some extra time on my hands over the holidays, I found myself thinking of all the reasons it’s so difficult to get out of the town you live and work in once and awhile and then — ah-ah! — I realized everything I need is right here. Thus, the 10 reasons why you never have to leave McKinney was born.
1. A Foodie’s Delight
McKinney has come a long way in the food department since the first sit-down chain (Chili’s Grill at 380 and 75) opened up in the 1990s. We are home to Cavalli’s, one of only a handful of pizzerias in the entire state of Texas that is certified to cook authentic Neapalatin style pizza that you would find in Naples. In fact, Cavalli’s was the first to be certified in the state.
Plus, we have so many more options around the square and around town. Everything from Indian to Pho to French are minutes away. I can’t let number one go without mentioning the growth of the farm-to-table movement in town. McKinney now has at least three farm stands and two grocery stores that hone in on healthy, organic foods (Sprouts and Market Street).
2. Live Music
Live music venues range from small and intimate (Groto) to large (McKinney Performing Arts Center, Hank’s, etc.) and can be found east of 75 around downtown McKinney as well as west 75 in Adriatica.
3. Art and Culture
Downtown McKinney’s “Second Saturdays” bring art and culture to life beyond 5 p.m. On great weather days, shops and galleries have their doors wide open and you can hear live music in every corner of the square. McKinney’s public art scene is on a fast track all around town and the McKinney Performing Arts Center caters to art, music, theater and dance enthusiasts alike.
I am always amazed by the talent readily available in our city. I attended a beautiful Christmas concert by the Turtle Creek Chorale over the holidays but it wasn’t the chorale that stood out. Part of the performance included several songs performed by the McKinney Boyd High School a capella choir. Be still my heart! Those angelic voices knocked the socks off the audience. Not a breath could be heard nor a word muttered during the choir’s songs.
Schools may be odd to include in such a list but, seriously, one can go from preschool all the way through college right here in McKinney. Plus, we have a private school, McKinney Christian Academy, and a charter school, Imagine International Academy. ‘Nuff said.
Sure, McKinney doesn’t carry the title of the No. 1 place to raise an athlete like our neighbor Frisco. However, McKinney has all your basics and then some to help us get up and move — tennis, golf, soccer, ball fields, lacrosse, cricket, disc golf, skate park, swimming, walking/biking trails. What am I missing?
6. Parks and Scenery
The Crape Myrtle World Collection Park is home to the most crape myrtle varieties in the world. Bonnie Wenk park opened in 2013, which houses the city’s first free-running dog park. Old Settlers Park is constantly abuzz with activity year round. The City of McKinney takes parks and its open spaces seriously and you should too. Unlike most of our neighboring cities, McKinney has hills!
We have not one, not two, but FOUR wineries within McKinney’s borders. Landon Winery and Lone Star Wine Cellars offer wonderful wine and nibbles in their tasting rooms right on McKinney’s downtown square. Or see the grapes themselves and then sample the wine at Mitas Hill Vineyard. Your out-of-state guests will be shocked that Texans not only drink wine but they make it too. You can also opt to stop by the McKinney Wine Merchant, who can always recommend the perfect bottle for any occasion. Wine not your thing? We also have the fabulous Franconia brewery in town. (I left out the name of the fourth winery on purpose because, well, let me just say the wine isn’t the greatest.)
8. Sweets and Treats
There is no need to go outside of McKinney to tackle the sweet tooth. The Pie Emporium opened with much anticipation. The pie is fantastic but the coffee might be the best in North Texas. You also have the Sweet Spot, Nothing Bundt Cakes, Sweet Art Bakery, SNUG, The Pantry and more. Craving some chocolate? Check out Goodies on the square.
9. Local News
I’m obviously biased on this one, but McKinney is a city that has its own independent, local, online “newspaper” that is actually based here in McKinney. You don’t have to go to a Plano-based website to get McKinney news. TownSquareBuzz.com lives and breathes McKinney. We tell the good and not-so-good in our efforts to always tell the truth and present facts. We tackle multiple sides of a story. We promote fund-raisers and events that nobody else will. We shine a light on our leaders and help keep them accountable.
We have plenty of shopping options for the masses. Shoppers can get just about anything in McKinney, including souvenir swag from the Made in McKinney store located in the McKinney Visitors Center.