Located just 30 minutes from downtown Dallas, Texas, McKinney has a small-town feel while featuring plenty of amenities. It has one of the oldest thriving historic downtown areas in the state and offers numerous places to shop, explore, learn, or eat. Whether you’re new to the area or a longtime resident of McKinney, take some time to visit any of these spots for a fun-filled and memorable day.
Do a Little Shopping
With more than 120 unique shops found in downtown McKinney, you might feel overwhelmed with all the options available. These art galleries, antique shops, apparel boutiques, and gift shops sell treasures that will help you remember your time in McKinney.
- Antique Company Mall: If you’re in the market for almost anything vintage, head over to 213 E. Virginia St. This store features more than 15,000 square feet of retail space spread across two floors and sells vintage goods from more than 115 vendors.
- Carpe Diem Comics: Found at 101 N. McDonald St., this store carries comic books, graphic novels, and games for people of all ages. It even offers games that you can try out before you purchase them.
- Cynthia Elliot Boutique: As a multigenerational store that specializes in designer fashions for all ages, this boutique sells clothing, handbags, jewelry, and fashion accessories. Stop in at 107 E. Virginia St. to see for yourself all this women’s store has to offer.
- Homeology: Located at 101 W. Louisiana St., Homeology is a design and home furnishings showroom that opened in 2015. Check out its extensive collection of high-end furniture and custom upholstery pieces as well as home accessories and custom accent pieces.
- Wishful Thinking: Specializing in hand-designed goods, Wishful Thinking selects unique and authentic items from vendors so you can find the perfect gift for your home. The business moved in early 2020 to its current location at 200 E. Louisiana St.
Grab a Bite to Eat
If you’re looking for a place to enjoy some cuisine, McKinney has more than two dozen restaurants to visit, many of which have called downtown home for dozens of years. We’ve listed some of the most popular locations below.
- Local Yocal BBQ and Grill: Found on 350 E. Louisiana St., this eatery serves locally farmed house-smoked meats and Southern comfort food. After you enjoy your meal, purchase some locally sourced natural and organic products from its on-site store.
- Spoons Cafe: Located at 100 E. Louisiana St., this fun and casual dining spot has an open kitchen and serves breakfast all day. You can also choose food from its extensive lunch and dinner menus.
- The Pantry Restaurant: Opened in 1982, this restaurant is at 214 E. Louisiana St. and offers home-style cooking and comfort food. It sources fresh ingredients from local farmers’ markets to use in all of its dishes.
Enjoy the Nightlife
Once you finish your meal, stick around downtown McKinney and partake in some nightlife activities in the area. If you’re in the mood to drink a few cocktails, watch the big game at a sports bar, or have a few laughs, there’s a spot for you.
- The Comedy Arena: Head over to 305 E. Virginia St. to get your laugh fix. This venue showcases a variety of comedy styles, including sketch, stand-up, and improv. Its shows are typically 60 to 90 minutes long, and tickets are between $10 and $25, depending on the performance.
- Lone Star Wine Cellars: Located at 103 E. Virginia St., this family-operated winery opened in 2003 and offers live music along with its award-winning wine. If you join its Wine Club, you can enjoy free wine daily and receive invitations to wine-pairing dinners.
- The Pub McKinney: This pub at 204 West Virginia St. offers more than 100 whiskeys and craft beers. Listen to live music, play games, and enjoy some delicious food in the outdoor dining area. It’s a family-friendly establishment, but only patrons 21 years of age and older are allowed after 9 p.m.
Explore Events and Festivals
McKinney’s downtown hosts numerous annual events that bring thousands of visitors to the area. Most of these events are free and give you a chance to enjoy the weather, since they take place outside.
- Krewe of Barkus: An annual February event that has occurred for almost two decades, the Krewe of Barkus includes a parade, vendor booths, and interactive activities that bring attention to abused and abandoned dogs. The event is patterned after the Mystic Krewe of Barkus in New Orleans, with the McKinney event typically bringing 4,500 spectators to watch more than 250 canines in the parade.
- Arts in Bloom: In April, the Arts in Bloom event showcases 150 artists that set up on the tree-lined streets surrounding the McKinney Performing Arts Center. Fine artists, musicians, performing artists, and dancers attend this three-day event.
- Independence Day: Kicking off the festivities for July 4 is a hometown parade followed by a classic car and truck show. In the evening, visit the McKinney Soccer Complex at Craig Ranch to listen to music, participate in fun activities, and watch the free fireworks display.
- Oktoberfest: At the end of September, downtown McKinney hosts Oktoberfest, which includes live music, keg tapping, and a stein holding competition. You can eat traditional German fare and drink a variety of beers from a local brewery.
- Bavarian Biergarten: Held at the beginning of October, the Bavarian Biergarten dinner supports McKinney’s Main Street. The dinner includes a three-course menu from the Harvest Season Kitchen and Oktoberfest beers. Listen to live German music while you enjoy your delicious meal under the stars.
- McKinney Christmas: Celebrate Christmas in downtown McKinney and enjoy visits with Santa, the Yuletide Art Market, Christmas Carousel, and story times. Make sure you check out the impressive real tree and take a few holiday pictures at the 1950s-styled vintage tree lot.
After you’re done checking out all that downtown McKinney has to offer, make sure you stop by Huffines Hyundai McKinney and check out our huge inventory of new and used vehicles. Contact us to schedule a test drive with one of our experienced staff members so you can drive off our lot in your dream vehicle today.
Image via Flickr by Get McKinney