21 Best Things To Do In McKinney, Texas

things to do in mckinney texas
| 6 min read

Hardly a half-hour drive from Dallas, this rapidly expanding city has been ranked among one of the best places to live in America. Showcasing a contrast between the traditional and the modern, McKinney has all the conveniences of a metropolis along with the small-town charm of tree-lined streets with Victorian and Queen Anne homes. Its happening downtown area has a range of boutiques, stores, restaurants, and cafes to ensure there is never a single moment of boredom. From historic landmarks to outdoor recreational spaces and activities, McKinney has something for everyone. Take your pick of vineyards and wineries, biking trails, museums, and historic spots. If you’re wondering where to stay during your vacation here, there are plenty of hotels and Airbnbs to accommodate you. In the meantime, scroll down to know more about the best things to do in McKinney, Texas.

1. Chestnut Square Historic Village

Courthouse Square as seen from Court Street Bridge, Owego, New York - 20220206
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Andre Carrotflower used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Located in the heart of McKinney, the Chestnut Square Historic Village is a collection of preserved and restored historic buildings dating back to the mid-19th to early 20th centuries. As you wander through the village, you’ll encounter beautifully restored homes, a schoolhouse, a chapel, a general store, and other structures that transport you to a bygone era.

The village hosts various events and activities throughout the year, including festivals, reenactments, and craft demonstrations. Experience the lively atmosphere, indulge in traditional food, and witness traditional skills being practiced. Chestnut Square Historic Village also serves as a venue for educational programs, workshops, and community gatherings. It offers a unique opportunity for visitors to gain a deeper understanding of the region’s history and cultural heritage.

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2. Adriatica Village

Adriatica Bell Tower
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Jed Rollins used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Explore the charming Adriatica Village in McKinney, Texas, and experience a slice of European allure in the heart of the city. This picturesque village is designed to resemble a Croatian coastal town, complete with cobblestone streets, colorful facades, and a tranquil waterfront.

The village square, adorned with a stunning bell tower, serves as the centerpiece and gathering spot for visitors and locals alike. Enjoy the vibrant atmosphere, relax on benches, and soak in the European ambiance. Discover a variety of shops, boutiques, and restaurants among the buildings. Browse unique gifts, fashion, and home decor items, or savor delicious culinary delights from Mediterranean cuisine to gelato.

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3. Go on a historic Downtown McKinney food tour (from USD 70.0)

Set off on a gastronomical journey across the historic downtown area of McKinney in this tantalizing half-day tour. Sample more than a dozen different dishes as you take in the sights in this walking exploration. Gourmet sandwiches, locally brewed beer, wine, wood-fired pizza, and chocolate are just some of the delicious delights that await you.

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Historic Downtown McKinney Small-Group Food Tour

Duration: 2 hours 15 minutes

2 reviews

4. Sip on a glass of wine at Landon Winery

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Speaking of Cinco de Mayo... thank you everyone that came to Landon Winery Wylie to celebrate on Saturday with our...

Posted by Landon Winery McKinney on Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Spend an evening of entertainment in Mckinney and sample some of the award-winning Texas wines at this elegant winery situated in the historic downtown area. Tastings are held every day and you can smell the lingering aroma of fine wines, some of which are made from Napa grapes. Take home a bottle of one of their excellent wines as a souvenir of your time here!

Landon Winery

Address: 101 N Kentucky St McKinney, Texas

Website: Landon Winery

Opening hours: Mon - Thu: 11am - 9pm; Fri: 11am - 10pm; Sat: 10am - 11pm; Sun: 12pm - 9pm

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5. Visit the vast Mitas Hill Vineyard

Editor’s note: Establishment is permanently closed

Enjoy the visual feast of soothing green vines as far as the eye can see at this vineyard tucked away in a sunny hill. This family-owned vineyard is a great way of getting to know all about the process of sourcing the best grapes and producing excellent wines. You can also enjoy a glass of fine wine accompanied by a handmade pizza cooked in a wood-fired oven.

Mitas Hill Vineyard

Address: 2300 Vineyard Hill Lane McKinney, TX 75071

Website: Mitas Hill Vineyard

Opening hours: Fri - Sat: 12pm - 9pm; Sun: 12pm - 8 pm (closed Mon - Thu)

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6. Enjoy a pint of handcrafted beer at TUPPS Brewery

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Located in the historic Cotton Mill area of the city, this brewery has an excellent range of crafted beer. Soak in the old Texas ambiance of the place as you sip on your pint formulated from a perfect blend of creativity and science. Participate in the free brewery tour, enjoy live music on Saturdays and stop by the food truck.

TUPPS Brewery

Address: 721 Anderson St, McKinney, TX 75069

Website: TUPPS Brewery

Opening hours: Wed - Thu: 5pm - 9pm; Fri: 4pm - 10pm; Sat: 11am - 10pm; Sun: 1pm - 5pm (closed Mon & Tue)

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7. Rent a paddleboat to explore Towne Lake Recreation Area

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Posted by Visit McKinney TX on Sunday, March 25, 2012

Sprawling over 108 acres (43.7 hectares), this recreation area is one of the best places to visit in McKinney and has plenty of opportunities for fun and entertainment. Paddleboats are available for hire at the huge lake with two fountains. There is a fishing pier for you to snag a fresh catch. The two sand volleyball courts, nine horseshoe pitching courts, an 18-hole disk golf course, and two barrier-free play structures provide ample opportunity for entertainment for people of all ages.

Towne Lake Recreation Area

Address: 1405, Wilson Creek Pkwy, McKinney, Texas 75069

Website: Towne Lake Recreation Area

Opening hours: Mon, Wed, Fri: 6am - 11pm; Tue, Thu, Sat & Sun: 9am - 5pm

Price: Free

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8. Browse through the products at Third Monday Trade Days

Editor’s note: Establishment is permanently closed

The oldest and largest flea market in the region dating back to the 1870s, this is a great place to find rare trinkets, handmade products, and great food. A great place for the entire family, the market is held in the historic Buckner Community. Over 450 vendors set up shop at this sprawling market and it is the place to head to when you are looking for souvenirs, gifts, or just to browse through the displays.

Third Monday Trade Days

Address: 4550 W University Dr, McKinney, TX 75071

Website: Third Monday Trade Days

Opening hours: Fri: 8am - 4pm; Sat & Sun: 8am - 5pm (only open one weekend a month)

Price: Free

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9. Check out old artifacts at Collin County History Museum

McKinney April 2017 011 (Historic U.S. Post Office)
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Michael Barera used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Located right near the square at the heart of the downtown area, this museum frequently hosts exhibitions and it conducts events. Browse through its vast collection of historic photos, artifacts, and plans of old buildings that narrate the story of the city and more. Then take a look at the collection of photos and videos of modern-day McKinney for a whole new perspective.

Collin County History Museum

Address: 300 E Virginia St McKinney, Texas

Website: Collin County History Museum

Opening hours: Thu - Sat: 10am - 4pm (closed Sun - Wed)

Price: Free

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10. Hike the trails of Erwin Park

2012 Erwin Park Race, DORBA Fall XC Series
Source: Photo by Flickr user Shawn McAfee used under CC BY-SA 2.0

The expansive spaces at Erwin Park beckon you to unwind and have fun with the whole family or friends. There are three picnic pavilions including one with electricity, designated campsites, and playgrounds. An abundance of mountain trails suitable for hiking and biking lead off from here, and there are even bike repair stations for minor repairs.

Erwin Park

Address: 4300 County Road 1006 McKinney, Texas 75071

Website: Erwin Park

Opening hours: Wed - Mon: 8am - 10pm; Tue: 6am - 10pm

Price: Free

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11. Visit Heard Natural Science Museum and Wildlife Sanctuary

Heard Natural Science Museum and Wildlife Sanctuary- sign1
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Sanctuary.p used under CC BY-SA 3.0

The brainchild of Bessie Heard, an involved member of the community, this museum has grown from its humble beginnings and sees over 100,000 visitors annually. The museum offers a range of innovative programs for visitors of different age groups, abilities, and interests.

Heard Natural Science Museum and Wildlife Sanctuary

Address: 1 Nature Pl McKinney, Texas

Website: Heard Natural Science Museum and Wildlife Sanctuary

Opening hours: Tue - Sat: 9am - 5 pm; Sun: 1pm - 5pm (closed on Mon)

Price: 7 - 12 USD

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12. Enjoy good music and food at Hank's Texas Grill

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Yeah, that was rockin’ @departed_music @underdog_multimedia

Posted by Hank's Texas Grill on Saturday, May 28, 2022

Known for its music and the dance floor, this is a good place to grab a bite when you are not looking for anything too fancy. Enjoy the live music along with your food and soak in the typical Texan ambiance of the restaurant. Be sure to try the generous helpings of brisket nachos.

Hank's Texas Grill

Address: 1310 N Central Expy Mc Kinney, TX 75070

Website: Hank’s Texas Grill

Opening hours: Wed - Fri: 11am - 12am; Sat: 11am - 1am; Sun: 11am - 10pm (closed on Mon & Tue)

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13. Visit dozens of shops at Historic Downtown McKinney

Historic Downtown McKinney Square | McKinney, Texas
Source: Photo by Flickr user Rick Ray used under CC BY 2.0

Stroll around the streets of the historic downtown area that has been the central point around which the community has revolved since 1848. Browse through the many clothing boutiques, antique shops, the winery, and cafes that dot the area. There are plenty of places to eat offering varied cuisines, too, including Indian restaurants.

Historic Downtown McKinney

Address: 111 N Tennessee St, McKinney, TX 75069

Website: Historic Downtown McKinney

Opening hours: 24 hrs

Price: Free

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14. Find a book at Roy & Helen Hall Memorial Library

McKinney April 2017 043 (Roy & Helen Hall Memorial Library)
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Michael Barera used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Situated right next to McKinney Square, this cozy library is set on the street corner and it is easy to miss if you are not looking for it. Pick an interesting read and settle down to read it undisturbed in the quiet space. Don’t miss the artworks, on the wall along the stairs, that are for sale by the artists.

Roy & Helen Hall Memorial Library

Address: 101 E Hunt St, McKinney, TX 75069

Website: Roy & Helen Hall Memorial Library

Opening hours: Mon - Thu: 10am - 9pm; Fri - Sat: 10am - 6pm; Sun: 1pm - 5pm

Price: Free

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15. Try a homemade cajun dish at Bayou Jack's Cajun Grill

Editor’s note: establishment is permanently closed

Stop by this funky restaurant to satiate your craving for some delicious Cajun food. A fun place to spend some time with friends and family, you get the freshest of seafood paired with your choice of wine, beer, or cocktails. Crawfish, gumbo, catfish, and oysters, are all available in plenty here.

Bayou Jack's Cajun Grill

Address: 218 E Louisiana St, Ste 300 McKinney, Texas

Website: Bayou Jack’s Cajun Grill

Opening hours: Tue - Thu, Sun: 11am - 9pm; Fri - Sat: 11am - 10pm; Mon: 11am - 3pm

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16. Indulge in uniquely baked pies at Emporium Pie

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Pete said this is the coolest day in North Texas since April! What could compliment this beautiful day more than a slice...

Posted by Emporium Pies on Sunday, October 17, 2021

Sink your teeth into some delicious pies at this specialty pie shop. Enjoy their wide range of choices without any artificial preservatives, corn syrup, dyes, or hydrogenated oils. You will find this place to eat in downtown McKinney and it is a must-visit to cater to your sweet tooth.

Emporium Pie

Address: 107 S Tennessee McKinney, TX 75069

Website: Emporium Pie

Opening hours: Sun - Thu: 11am - 10pm; Fri - Sat: 11am - 11pm

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17. Get your favorite cold treats at Frios Gourmet Pops

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Do not miss out on these yummy ice cream pops in more than 40 different flavors, made from real milk, real cream, and organic cane sugar. Free of artificial colors, you can also pick fruity gourmet popsicles. The charming McKinney location has table games for you to enjoy with your pops.

Frios Gourmet Pops

Address: 106 N Chestnut St, McKinney, TX 75069

Website: Frios Gourmet Pops

Opening hours: Fri - Sat: 12pm - 10pm; Sun - Thu: 12pm - 9pm

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18. Have a bite of Square Burgers' juicy beef

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

*The front burger is our amazing BACON AND SMOKED CHEDDAR BBQ BURGER topped with house made onion strings and 6 year old...

Posted by Square Burger on Friday, March 4, 2011

Located in the historic downtown square, their juicy burgers are a must-try on your visit to McKinney. This place is open for lunch, dinner, and drinks. Choose from a range of burgers featuring, lamb, turkey, tuna, and salmon apart from beef. And don’t forget the sweet potato fries and the onion rings!

Square Burgers

Address: 115 N Kentucky St, McKinney, TX 75069

Website: Square Burgers

Opening hours: Mon - Thu: 11am - 10pm; Fri - Sat: 11am - 11pm; Sun: 11am - 4pm

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19. Order gourmet donuts at The Donut Kitchen

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Is it breakfast? Is it lunch? Who cares! A Monte Cristo is good at anytime of day. Our spin on it is we do it on our...

Posted by The Donut Kitchen on Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Enjoy a sweet feast as you sample the numerous varieties of donuts at this specialty café. Get there early if you want to sample some of the best flavors as they tend to run out of those quite fast. These include strawberry lemon iced cake, bacon maple, key lime pie, and blueberry with cream cheese filling to name a few.

The Donut Kitchen

Address: 7250 Virginia Pkwy McKinney, Texas

Website: The Donut Kitchen

Opening hours: 6.30am - 2.30pm (daily)

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20. Get your cup of coffee at Wattage Coffee Company

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Get your fix of European style coffee and pastries at this charming café in the historic downtown area. Family-owned, this elegant coffee shop promises you a small-town experience like no other. The excellent coffee is supplemented by the great service and smiling staff.

Wattage Coffee Company

Address: 129 S. Tennessee St, McKinney, Texas

Website: Wattage Coffee Company

Opening hours: Mon - Sat: 7am - 4pm; Sun: 9am - 3pm

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21. Look for a vintage ring at Barrons Estate Jewelers

McKinney April 2017 004 (Central Continental Bank Building)
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Michael Barera used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Indulge your taste for the finer things in life with a trip to Barrons Estate Jewelers. Known for their collection of exquisite jewelry including antique bridal pieces, Asian rarities, clocks, vintage guitars and rock memorabilia, as well as vintage handbags among others, this is a great place to scout for that vintage ring you have always wanted.

Barrons Estate Jewelers

Address: 115 E Virginia St, McKinney, TX 75069

Website: Barrons Estate Jewelers

Opening hours: Mon - Sat: 10am - 6pm; Sun: 12pm - 5pm

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A delightful place to experience

By day or night, McKinney is a delight to experience and explore. This is but a short compilation of the varied things to do and activities in McKinney, Texas. So, don’t stop and continue your journey of discovery. Go ahead and consider our recommendations above and start planning a memorable trip. For the campers, there are amazing RV rentals in the area that take care of your accommodation needs during a camping trip.

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Frequently asked questions about things to do in McKinney

Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.


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Chandana is a versatile writer with nearly two decades of experience in media, spanning clients across the globe. An avid traveler, she enjoys experiencing every new place to the fullest. Having...Read more

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