|Inviting Stores in downtown McKinney|
|Dining Al Fresco in Downtown McKinney|
The map of the historic square area resembles that of a large shopping mall, except everything is on one level. Listed are 20 restaurants, 11 apparel shops, 12 health and beauty salons and studios, one hotel, and 34 specialty stores such as the Lone Star Wine Cellar, The Cake Stand, Cadence Cyclery, Walls of Clay, Kitchenware on the Square, and a surprisingly well stocked skip shop.
Doug and Lynda’s Ski Shop began the move to central McKinney in the 1970's. Back then, the square hosted primarily antique stores and the few elderly visitors arrived by bus from nearby assisted living homes, according to a longtime employee. The shop is now in its second generation of family owners and continues to surprise tourists with its low costs and large selection of ski equipment, coats, pants, hats, sunglasses, and all necessary protective gear. Across the street, four store fronts were being restored for as many new restaurants.
|Arrow to Main Street Magic & Fun Show|
Next door was another hidden gem - a bookstore specializing in old and rare books and especially first editions. It, obviously, has much more as the books in the front window ranged from a Stephen King novel to one on musical instruments through the ages. Take your time in this one.
|Interior of Gregory's Bistro|
|Old District Courtroom now used for performances and weddings|
Unlike most smaller Texas communities, McKinney’s downtown does not die after 9 p.m. More sidewalk placards advertised “awesome” live music at One Lazy Lizard and Cadillac Pizza Pub. Louisiana Street Grill also often hosts solo performers.
While anytime is a good time to visit downtown McKinney, you can enhance your visit by attending one of the many events scheduled through the year as listed on their Main Street website. I also discovered this blog by Beth, a local resident who wants to keep all apprised of what is new in her hood -
Downtown McKinney Blog
After only a few hours exploring downtown and the nearby Chestnut Square filled with historic homes, it was easy to understand why McKinney was selected as the second best place to live in the United States by Money Magazine in 2012. I don’t know about living there but it’s certainly worth a visit.