Top 10 Things Not to Miss in North Texas: Dallas, Fort Worth, Grapevine, McKinney, Plano

Image: Downtown Dallas skyline at night as seen from Deep Ellum. ISTOCK.COM/PGIAM

1. Dallas makes it easy to do business – two major airports, hotels for any taste and budget, myriad entertainment options, and top-notch venues for conventions, conferences, and meetings. For a unique, only-in-Dallas experience, hold your multi-day event at the 50,000-square-foot Bomb Factory in the Deep Ellum neighborhood, one of the state’s most prominent music entertainment districts.

2. The city will break ground on the new and expanded Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center Dallas later in 2024. The new center, slated to open in 2028, will feature 800,000 square feet of exhibit space, 430,000 square feet of breakout space, a 105,000 square-foot ballroom and a walkable entertainment district.

3. Fort Worth has been named #1 for hosting sporting events in the ‘cities without a big 5 team’ category by Sports Business Journal. It’s easy to see why: visitors can experience major championship events ranging from Olympic sports such as gymnastics, fencing and judo to the NCAA at world-class venues.

4. Cowboy culture and commerce intersect at the Fort Worth Stockyards. Between meetings and brainstorming sessions, catch a glimpse into the history of the American West. This national historic district has 350,000+ square feet of versatile indoor/outdoor event space, five hotels, and enough dining and retail options to satisfy any group.

5. Centrally located in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex, Grapevine provides Texas-sized fun in a small-town setting and all you need to plan a first-class meeting or event. The outstanding Gaylord Texas Resort and Convention Center is surrounded by rolling pastures and Lake Grapevine and boasts 490,000+ square feet of meeting space and 1,800+ rooms.

6. Grapevine’s walkable Historic Downtown is home to charming restaurants, shops, and winery tasting rooms, and it’s only 15 minutes away from a variety of meeting options, services and amenities offered by top hotel brands. For an authentic blast from the past, take a ride on the Grapevine Vintage Railroad.

7. McKinney, just 30 miles from Dallas, makes a perfect getaway destination with its blend of urban accessibility, authentic small-town vibe and natural areas. Enjoy a board retreat or corporate event of up to 85 guests away from the hustle and bustle of the big city at La Quinta by Wyndham, located in the center of the area’s top attractions, businesses and entertainment.

8. Commune with nature at the 289-acre Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary in the southeast corner of McKinney. Get a breath of fresh air on the nature trails that wind through the woods and wetlands, through an exotic animal exhibit and, in the spring and summer, a butterfly house.

9. Enjoy hospitality and state-of-the-art meeting spaces when you hold an event in Plano, the “least-stressed city in Texas.” Attendees staying within the Legacy District have fabulous dining options within walking distance, such as The Boardwalk at Granite Park, a unique restaurant park that overlooks a water feature and stage for live music.

10. Opportunities to take a breather outdoors abound in Plano. Oak Point Park and Nature Preserve is the city’s largest park. The 800-acre park includes 3.5 miles of concrete trails and 5 miles of soft surface trails along a creek. In addition to many hiking trails, there are also scenic picnic spots and kayaking.

Sources: Visit Dallas, Visit Fort Worth, Grapevine Convention & Visitors Bureau, Visit McKinney, Visit Plano

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