Plano, TX waterfront

2021 Top 100 Best Places to Live In America Sponsored by: See homes for sale on Movoto by OJO

liv score
How We Calculate Our Data
Civics 75
Demographics 66
Economy 61
Education 47
Health 57
Housing 51
Infrastructure 42

#17. Plano, TX

Plano, TX has everything you need in one city. It’s a shopping destination all on its own with two huge upscale shopping centers, The Shops at Legacy and Legacy West, along with a downtown full of local boutiques. Art lovers can spend days exploring the Downtown Plano Arts District with its community of performing arts events, galleries, boutiques and concert halls. Nature lovers can enjoy more than 4,000 acres of parks, while foodies can choose from more than a thousand dining options. 

Top Colleges/Universities: Collin County Community College  

Top Industries & Employers: Pizza Hut is Plano’s largest employer with 300,000 employees. Additionally, The Electronic Data System and J.C. Penney have a strong presence here, and Plano is widely regarded for its corporate headquarters, numerous manufacturers, small businesses, and startups from a variety of industries.

Weekend Plans: Wrap your own crayon, create melted wax spin-art and learn how crayons are made at the Crayola Experience

Favorite Place to Feast: The no-frills Country Burger has been a fan favorite since 1973 when Plano was just a far-off Dallas-area outpost. Order fries like the locals with chili, cheddar cheese and a side of homemade ranch. 

Beloved Beverage: Margaritas are a dime a dozen in this part of Texas. For a good introduction, head to Mexican Sugar. The La Dona Margarita is made with single-barrel tequila, pear puree, allspice and honey. 

Outdoorsy Activity: Get a quick dose of the outdoors at the 200-acre wooded Arbor Hills Nature Preserve. The park has miles of hiking, biking, and running trails; and an observation tower with an excellent city view.

Rooftop Bar: Not only does the 32 Degree Bar have a great rooftop view, but it is also the place to be on a hot summer night. Draft beers are poured at a temperature of 32 degrees, liquor taps (think Patron, Fireball and Deep Eddy Vodka) pour at negative 5 degrees and a layer of ice runs the length of the bar for patrons to place drinks to keep them cool.

Why Your Pet Will Love It, Too: Dogs do not have to miss out on all the shopping fun. Dog-friendly retailers at the Shops at Legacy display a “Pup Stop” sticker on their windows, letting dog owners know Rover is welcomed. 

Remote Work Perk: This tech-savvy city has plenty of coworking spaces to choose from when you need time away from your home office. 

One More Thing … Plano’s most beloved festival is a three-day event called the Plano Balloon Festival, where every September, dozens of colorful hot air balloons fill the sky. 

– Brittany Anas

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