In 1836, Collin McKinney became one of 59 delegates to sign the Texas Declaration of Independence. Those settling North Texas honored him twice over. Collin County came to be in 1846, and McKinney, TX, followed just three years later.

Today, it ranks as one of the most livable places in the United States. In fact, when Money Magazine ranked the nation’s best cities in which to live, McKinney was #1. The City of McKinney’s motto is “Unique by Nature,” a reference to both its natural assets and distinctive quality of life. McKinney’s 19th-century charm, seen in the historic buildings along Main Street, draws visitors from all over. And yet, McKinney is only 30 minutes from downtown Dallas. Think of it as a sanctuary within the hustle and bustle of the metroplex.

Downtown McKinney

McKinney is small enough to deliver a sense of place, yet large enough to offer pleasures commonly associated with urban living. For example, the McKinney Performing Arts Center is inside of the historic Collin County Courthouse. The center features a 427-seat venue perfect for off-Broadway plays, concerts, and comedy shows. Nearby is the Heard-Craig Center for the Arts.

Historic downtown McKinney is also home to specialty shops, boutiques, art galleries, antique shops, and book stores. There are more than a hundred establishments in all. A couple of blocks south of downtown McKinney is the Chestnut Square Historic Village. Explore the restored buildings dating back as early as 1854, such as the general store, blacksmith shop, schoolhouse, and the chapel. Visitors can even watch volunteers clad in period costumes bring 19th-century Collin County to life.

Wineries and breweries

At Mitas Hill Vineyard & Winery, you can tour the grounds and enjoy a wine tasting afterward. Landon Winery is right in downtown McKinney. The Landon Bistro serves up lunch, dinner, and Sunday brunch. Lone Star Wine Cellars delivers a down-home, Texas-style experience including live music on weekends.

Franconia Brewing Company is the brainchild of Dennis Wehrmann. His family’s heritage of brewmasters traces back to early 19th-century Bavaria. During your visit, experience an entertaining brewery tour and beer tasting. Tupps Brewery is at the old Cotton Mill. It’s a casual, welcoming place where you can kick back and relax. Write your name on the wall, or contribute to the brewery’s bottle tree farm.


Hank’s Texas Grill is conveniently located just off the South Central Expressway. It is the place for slow-cooked brisket, pulled pork, and delicious burgers in McKinney. For those who enjoy live music, Hank’s books some of the state’s best singer-songwriters to play its stage. At the sports bar, grab a beer and watch your favorite team.

Harry’s at the Harbor is a popular destination at Adriatica Village. You’ll find it near the bell tower on Riva Harbor. The Zin Zen Wine Bar & Bistro offers more than 80 wines from around the world. Made-from-scratch entrees fill the menu at the Italian Garden Restaurant, just west of Adriatica at Stonebridge Ranch.Looking down a sidewalk in downtown McKinney with shops lining down the left and a quote on the right that reads: "McKinney is a sanctuary within the hustle and bustle of the metroplex."

Exercise and the Outdoors

The Towne Lake Recreation Area is near McKinney High School. Enjoy everything from sand volleyball and disc golf to lighted trails and ball fields. The 22-acre lake offers fishing and paddle boating. Looking for a splash pad for dogs? You’ll find one at the Dog Park at Bonnie Wenk. This fenced, off-leash facility offers separate areas for large and small dogs. It’s a well-lit location with a shaded pavilion.

There are also more than 30 miles of bike trails in McKinney. For example, you’ll find a challenging mountain bike trail at Erwin Park. There are two bike repair stations in case you need to do any maintenance while on the trail. Oak Hollow is an 18-hole public golf course near historic downtown McKinney. The par-70 layout plays anywhere from 5,147 to 6,736 yards. The driving range accommodates up to 30 golfers.

The Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary delights visitors of any age. Kids love the interactive Living Lab and the seasonal dinosaur exhibit. Or, enjoy a relaxing stroll with the whole family through the 289-acre nature preserve.

The 80,000 square-foot Apex Centre is a state-of-the-art aquatics and fitness facility. It features an indoor competition pool as well as leisure waters both indoors and out. The fitness area includes LifeFitness, Precor, and Hammer Strength equipment. There’s also a gym with basketball courts and an elevated track.

Do you enjoy boating, skiing, fishing, or other water activities? Check out this map which highlights the many watersports destinations near McKinney and throughout the metroplex. Lake Lavon is about 15 minutes away and just a half-hour drive takes you to Lake Lewisville, one of the largest lakes in the state.


The McKinney Independent School District (ISD) serves more than 24,000 students. The district has five high schools, six middle schools, and 20 elementary schools. Many of these schools are highly rated. For example, Dowell Middle School ranks in the 95th percentile of Texas middle schools. McKinney North High School and McKinney Boyd High School outrank about nine in 10 public high schools in the state.

Top Employers

The Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex attracts dozens of major corporations. One reason is the easy access to domestic and international destinations. Both Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) and Dallas Love Field Airport (DAL) are only about a half-hour drive from McKinney. Many corporate flight departments operate out of McKinney National Airport (TKI).

Raytheon’s Space and Airborne Systems headquarters is located right in McKinney. A new 200,000 square-foot manufacturing complex is expected to add 500 jobs to thousands of existing Raytheon positions.

The area has one of the great concentrations of corporate headquarters in the country. They include three of the nation’s top ten companies: Exxon Mobil, McKesson, and AT&T. The headquarters of American Airlines is at DFW airport. Other companies with a major presence in the area include JP Morgan Chase, State Farm, and Toyota. In 2019, Charles Schwab announced its intention to move its headquarters from San Francisco to the Dallas area. It already employs more than 2,500 workers at its Westlake location.

Luxury Apartment Living in McKinney

St. Paul’s Square offers an assortment of large one-, two-, and three-bedroom luxury apartments. St. Paul’s Square is part of Adriatica Village, a mixed-use development modeled after a Croatian fishing village. It’s a walkable area offering dining, entertainment, and shopping options nearby.

Residents enjoy a full suite of upscale amenities, including an oversized swimming pool and a spa. Do your outdoor lounging under the sun or in a cabana. The clubhouse combines old-world architectural style with a state-of-the-art fitness center, coffee bar, and business center.

About Draper and Kramer

Draper and Kramer is a family-owned real estate firm founded in 1893. Browse Draper and Kramer’s portfolio of luxury properties in McKinney and the greater Dallas-Fort Worth area and schedule a virtual apartment tour today.

An aerial view of McKinney, Texas at near dusk.

McKinney’s 19th-century charm, seen in the historic buildings along Main Street, draws visitors from all over. And yet, McKinney is only 30 minutes from downtown Dallas. Think of it as a sanctuary within the hustle and bustle of the metroplex.

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