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Historic Downtown McKinney- A Quaint Town Full of Modern Fun

By November 27, 2021March 1st, 2023Judi's Blog
Historic Downtown McKinney | Judi Wright Team

Historic Downtown McKinney – Chock full of rich history

If you drive just 30 miles north of Dallas, you’ll find that the city of McKinney has made itself a cozy spot on the map, enticing visitors with its cultural attractions. McKinney’s roots began in the late 1840s, functioning as a small rest stop for settlers who had come far in search of fertile land. During the railroad boom, McKinney blossomed when farmers began to reap huge profits from their cotton crops.

This tiny settlement eventually grew into the bustling city of McKinney that has become known for its many historical sites, flourishing art scene, and a variety of mouthwatering restaurants from which to choose your next meal.

Here are some highlights of what makes Historic Downtown McKinney so special today:

Downtown McKinney Highlights


Chestnut Square Historic Village

Located right outside of downtown McKinney, Chestnut Square is a prime feature. It hosts six well-preserved historic settlement homes with antique pieces taken straight from the 1850s, a reception house, miniature models of schools, a chapel, and stores. No village is complete without a local blacksmith, and Chestnut Square Village does not disappoint. It’s well worth a visit to experience life as a settler and step into their shoes.

Arcade 92

What happens when an entrepreneur decides to combine their love for video games with their inner foodie? You get an interactive eating spot called Arcade 92! Owner Michael Lepsch has managed to turn his passion for gaming into an attraction for people of all ages that fit perfectly into downtown McKinney’s historical and cultural theme.

The Arcade hosts big old-time boxy games that would delight the 90’s kids in all of us. And while you’re sipping on a beer and reliving your high score glory days, the kids can scoot on over to the other side decked with modern consoles. The venue has been a booming success with locals and vacationers alike, attracting crowds to the perfect inter-generational entertainment spot that you can only find in McKinney.


McKinney downtown is home to all sorts of trinkets and shiny things. Furniture stores, home décor shops, apparel boutiques, and antique stores fill the streets and make downtown McKinney an experience you don’t want to miss. Its historic influence runs deep through the shopping district, with over 120 shops and more than two dozen restaurants.

The result? Dozens of rustic ware shops adorn McKinney square. Birds and Words is one such store, offering unique memorabilia. It is stocked floor to ceiling with eye-catching décor to elevate your interior design game to the next level.

If you’re looking to feed your thirst for an antique hunt, look no further than Miss Henny Penny’s Groovy Coop. It has you covered on all your nostalgia needs – vintage records, video games, and an endless assortment of novelty items. We all have that someone who loves vintage things in our lives, and this is the best place to stock up on their holiday gifts!

Art gallery

With a constant drive for historic preservation and cultural infusion, it’s no surprise that McKinney has a thriving art community. You can’t turn a street corner without bumping into an art gallery.

If you’re a general appreciatór of art, then the LAST art gallery is for you. It houses every art style you can imagine from budding artists in the local area. It was founded by the award-winning artist Gail Delger who made it her mission to promote the local art community. They even rent out studio spaces to the local artists, so if you’re lucky, you might get to sneak a peek at the next Picasso at work! Looking for a great couple’s activity? They offer a wide range of classes in many different art forms. But don’t just stop here; there’s an art store for your every mood and emotion. Go out there and explore!


Regardless of whether you’re a foodie or not, after a day spent exploring the busy streets of downtown McKinney, anyone would be hungry enough to eat a horse! Although horse isn’t actually on the menu, there really is no end to the restaurant options. If you’re feeling the need for a great cheese pull, Cadillac Pizza will not disappoint! They source their ingredients locally, and you can really taste the difference in their wood-fired pizzas. Pair that with a nice glass of wine and chat the night away to the live music.

The Mom and Pop Corn company has your snacking needs covered with their vast assortment of gourmet flavored popcorns. It’s a candy shop where the candy takes a side seat; the popcorn is just that good!

To wrap up the night, visit Cocktail Creamery. Full disclosure, this is an adults-only creamery… unlike any other! They create all sorts of concoctions from your favorite cocktails with the creamiest ice cream base to make a dessert you are likely never to forget.


If you are looking to buy or sell a home in McKinney, Texas, give us a call at 214-597-2985. We’d love to show you around!

About the Judi Wright Team

Judi Wright/The Judi Wright Team is a real estate group specializing in the suburbs of Frisco, Plano, and surrounding areas. Named the “Best Realtor in Dallas,” by D Magazine fifteen times and a Five Star Realtor with Texas Monthly ten timesJudi is also a Company-Wide Top Performer with Ebby Halliday, a Berkshire Hathaway affiliate.