Don’t let the words ‘coffee company’ fool you at XO Coffee Co. I stopped for a latte but stayed for Nutella Stuffed Brioche French Toast and Steak and Eggs. XO Coffee Co. is a full-fledged restaurant serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner with even a beer and wine menu.
Set aside about 1.5 hours at the Interurban Railway Museum. The museum is free and self-guided, but do request for a docent-led tour of the Texas Electric Railway Car 360, parked outside. The train which ran from 1911 to 1948 includes a mailroom, bathroom, water fountain and carried 28 passengers. There are hands-on exhibits aplenty at the main gallery and the electrical room where you can experiment with voltage and circuitry, try out your strength at the weigh station, and have a quick lesson on how an AC/DC converter works.
For some selfie fun, search for the newly launched Downtown Plano Mural Project. The murals celebrate Plano’s history through visual art and can be found on the exteriors of Georgia’s Farmers Market and Vickery Park. The third mural, Echowave on the corner of 15th Street and Avenue K, incorporates audio components where visitors can listen to a soundbite of Plano’s history narrated by Mayor Harry LaRosiliere, Fire Chief Sam Grief, Curator of Interurban Railway Museum Robert Haynes and Jamee Jolly, Executive Director of the Plano Chamber of Commerce. For more photo inspiration, find all of the best Insta-worthy spots in Plano here.
Downtown Plano Arts District offers an eclectic mix of shops. There are farm-fresh goods at family-owned Georgia’s Farmers Market. Choose from seasonal produce from local Texas farms to jams, salsas, cheeses, eggs, and honey from makers and artisans.
Pipe & Palette hosts high-end artisans and makers of furniture, jewelry, and décor. Sign up for one of their art classes or workshops if you fancy. Those looking for something bohemian, Magaly Designs sells jewelry crafted in the in-house jewelry studios. If the neon lights at the flamboyantly named La Foofaraw caught your eye, take a peek inside at their beauty and bath products, stationery, and home furnishings.
Whether you’re a coin collector or not, Lone Star Mint is still an interesting place to poke around in. The store houses collectors’ items from coins that predate the 19th century like an Indian one cent to pristine bullion silver sets.
WINE AND DINE
For a good night out, Hub Streat combines food and entertainment under one complex. Share a fig and gorgonzola pizza and a craft beer in the main dining hall, or buy a bottle of wine and cheese platter and head upstairs to the intimate ‘living room’ for board games and fun. Outside, listen to live music in the beer garden or the rooftop garden while chowing down on a cheesy burger. The “Beehive” center with arcade games and a pool table provides entertainment on rainy days.
If you’re visiting for the weekend, get an early start at the Downtown Plano Art & Wine Walk. On the second Thursday of each month April through December, sip selected wines at local shops while listening to live music, enjoy curated art exhibits and take advantage of store discounts. For information and tickets, click here.