Once the quiet commercial center of a farming community, Downtown Plano has now grown into a fascinating mix of the future and the past. Buildings dating back all the way to the 1890s line the streets, renovated into a quaint, 80-acre collection of shops, restaurants, and museums.
That growth was encouraged by the creation of the light rail transit service, which started offering passage to Downtown Dallas in 2002. With easy access to Dallas and the rest of Plano, people have flocked to the area, spurring the development of some 1,100 new apartments.
Whether looking for a home or a place to visit for a day, Downtown Plano offers something for everyone.
On East 15th Street, the restaurant and bar Urban Crust can be found for those looking for a meal. Started by longtime Plano residents Bonnie and Nathan Shea, the restaurant offers patrons a chance to experience the cooking of Italian World Master Chef Salvatore Gisellu, himself a native of Italy.
The menu offers everything from wood-fired pizzas to steak and seafood. The mozzarella is made in-house and the herbs are all locally and organically grown. Other ingredients are imported directly from Italy. Visitors can have no doubt they will have a unique eating experience.
For historically-inclined individuals, the Interurban Railway Museum, located a short walk from Urban Crust, is worth a visit. The museum is housed in what used to be a main stop on the Texas Electric Railway, which ran from 1908 until 1948.
During that time, the railway carried mail while bringing people and goods across Texas. From the hub in Dallas, trains travelled from Denison to Waco. This revolutionized life for formerly isolated farming communities. Today, all kinds of historic artifacts and photos from this time can be viewed at the museum.
For those looking to shop, multiple boutiques, antique stores, and hand-crafted jewelry vendors are also within walking distance.