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Deep in the The Heart of McKINNEY TEXAS 

Explore a Village within a Community…





Explore Downtown

Discover Downtown McKinney 

McKinney has one of the oldest thriving historic downtowns in Texas. The downtown commercial district offers more than 120 unique shops and over two dozen restaurants. Art galleries, furniture stores, antique, gift and home décor shops and apparel boutiques offer treasures for your shopping pleasure.

Historic Downtown McKinney is a true destination. Stroll the square and see a show, taste a new wine and enjoy the live entertainment. Discover Downtown McKinney with eclectic shopping from independently owned stores and rising culinary scene. This coming together of new and old, historic and trend-setting, daytime festivals and nightlife activities embodies the spirit of McKinney and what makes it unique. 

McKinney Texas

Ranked by Money magazine as the #1 best place to live in America, McKinney — along with neighboring Allen — prominently feature as two of the best suburbs in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Charming landscaping and architectural details, well-kept public areas and incredible schools make up just a few of the attractions that attract so many residents year after year.

Both Allen and McKinney combine small town Texas charm, complete with a strong sense of community, with the comforts of contemporary city life. Other factors such as a growing focus on green living and sustainability within these two cities’ borders add to the attraction for many individuals considering the Allen or McKinney area for their next home.

Allen and McKinney’s locations 30 and 40 minutes to the north of Downtown Dallas by way of US-75 and their proximity to other major corporate areas such as Plano make them a feasible suburban option for those working in the city.


While cars represent the main source of travel in the Allen and McKinney area, residents have access to other options. The TAPS bus system allows for transport through the main parts of both Allen and McKinney. Those in need of a ride can also call one of the taxi companies that serve the area or search for a ride via the Uber app. Complimentary parking can be found in both McKinney and Allen around the downtown areas. Easy access to major roadways such as US-75 provides another convenience to drivers. While McKinney does not tend to be as walkable, some areas in Allen do cater to pedestrians. Some bike lanes can be found in both cities, and cyclists generally find the area safe for riding.



Bargain hunters in the Allen area head to Allen Premium Outlets on a regular basis to browse the deals at dozens of name-brand shops featuring an array of merchandise. Other favorites for shoppers include McKinney Marketplace and Eldorado Ridge Shopping Center. In addition to retailers such as Neiman Marcus and Kate Spade at the outlet mall, shopping opportunities abound throughout the area. Many great boutiques and specialty shops await shoppers in the downtown areas of both McKinney and Allen. Cotton Hearts in McKinney features numerous stylish and fashionable clothing items and accessories crafted entirely from cotton, making them cozy as well as attractive to wear. At BeDazzled Baby & Kids, shoppers can find everything from beautiful baby clothes to lighting, custom bedding and furniture pieces. Shoppers have the option to work with designers to craft the ideal items for their infants and children and to bring their dreams for their child’s room to life. For groceries, residents head to Tom Thumb, Albertsons, WinCo Foods or Sprouts Farmers Market. Local shoppers also find natural and organic items just outside the neighborhood at Whole Foods Market on Stacy Road. At the Historic McKinney Farmers Market, locals pick up farm fresh produce along with meats, dairy products, honey and more.

Restaurants & Nightlife

From high-end dining to down-home cooking in a casual setting, the cities of Allen and McKinney have it all. Foodies can check out the larger shopping centers in the area and around the major highways for plenty of great places to sit back, relax and enjoy a great meal. For nightlife options, which generally tend toward laid-back atmospheres with great drinks and food, residents often head to downtown areas of either city. Plenty of fine French cuisine items sit on the menu at Gregory’s Bistro in McKinney. The intimate atmosphere and casual setting make for the perfect spot to enjoy ahi tuna served up with a savory goat cheese risotto or the juicy roasted rack of lamb. For classic Tex-Mex with a bit of modern flair, foodies can find no better stop than La Finca Chiquita in Allen. The Mexican shrimp cocktail in a classic cocktail sauce – with a tangy citrus twist – makes for the perfect starter. Pair that with the spicy tortilla soup and perfectly seasoned chicken chimichanga for the ultimate Tex-Mex meal. Rick’s Chophouse at the Grand Hotel provides area diners with an upscale, elegant dining option perfect for a night out on the town. The perfectly crispy buttermilk fried chicken comes paired with bacon and sour cream smashed redskin potatoes, Creole-style corn and black-pepper gravy for a gourmet twist on a classic favorite. Those seeking live music most often head to bars and restaurants in the area, many of which host local and regional acts. For country music, enjoy an evening at Hank’s Texas Grill. Spoons Cafe hosts contemporary singers and songwriters in a mellow atmosphere. For evening entertainment, visit Cadillac Pizza Pub, which has plenty of great food, drinks and music. Those who live in the area also love bars such as The Celt and The Dirty Rooster.

Parks & Recreation

City of McKinney Parks & Recreation

The Parks and Recreation Department is dedicated to creating a solid sense of community for McKinney residents. We strive to enhance the quality of life in McKinney by offering unique parks, memorable special events and diverse recreational programs.

Take a look through the rest of our website. We schedule classes, camps and special events that appeal to a wide range of tastes. Check out the Activity Guide below for complete information.

With options like the 104-acre Celebration Park in Allen and Towne Lake Recreation Area in McKinney, which features a 22-acre lake, residents of these two cities have plenty of opportunity to enjoy the Texas weather. No entry fee and plenty of things to do, from use of athletics facilities to fishing, grills and more, draw patrons out year-round. Kids can enjoy the safe playgrounds that feature at most area parks. While furry friends must remain leashed at most parks, dog parks in both Allen and McKinney make for great off-leash playtime. Events such as dances, trout fishing tournaments, and barbecues take place at the parks regularly, which gives patrons even more to do. Lighted tennis, baseball and soccer fields along with miles of hiking and biking trails also make the parks perfect for those seeking a safe spot to stay fit.



McKinney's History

McKinney’s Rich History

McKinney has a unique, rich and diverse spirit in part because of the history that shaped it. Over the years, the city leadership’s vision in preserving our history has intentionally crafted a town that offers the best of the old with a vibrant present and a very promising future.

McKinney’s history includes many stories about the people who lived here, the work they did and the places they called home. This page offers a short overview of our beginnings. There are many additional resources available through the McKinney Public Library, and our resource list offers some suggestions. We encourage you to research and learn more about the history that makes McKinney truly unique by nature.

Pioneer Spirit

The area we now call Collin County was originally settled by pioneers offered free land by colonizers like William S. Peters and associates. Colonizers were hired by the state of Texas to introduce settlers into this area, which was at first was called Peter’s Colony. The offer typically included up to 640 acres of land, a gun and help building a cabin. The Peter’s Colony settlers came in 1841.

Settlers arrived in wagons pulled by oxen or horses and braved the threats of weather, wild animals and native Indians for the promise of free land and a better life. They found that life here in the fertile land was rich but hard. Some left, abandoning their claims, but many stayed on and still more came, establishing farms, communities and commerce.

McKinney’s Roots

Fannin County originally encompassed most of northeast Texas. In 1846, Collin County and several other counties were created out of the original area, and each was about 30 miles square. The Texas legislature decreed that a county seat had to be within three miles of the center of the county so a rider could get from the edge of the county to the county seat and back home in one day. Collin County was named for Collin McKinney who was a pioneer and land surveyor who helped draft and signed the Texas Declaration of Independence from Mexico in 1836.

The original county seat of Collin County was a town called Buckner, but the legislature’s decision that the county seat needed to be within three miles of the geographic center of the county meant it had to be in a different location. Two locations were put to a vote: what is now McKinney and a location near Sloan’s Grove which is in Fairview today. Heavy rains and swollen creeks prevented Sloan’s Grove voters from reaching the polls on voting day, and McKinney was voted to become the county seat. Although residents believed the new county seat would be named Buckner, the Texas Legislature named the town McKinney for Collin McKinney. The state legislature passed an act establishing McKinney as the county seat for Collin County on March 16, 1848.

The first thing other than a home established in McKinney was a church in the Wilmeth home in April, 1848, and the first non-residential building was the Lovejoy Store that was moved from Buckner to the new town on May 3, 1848, and placed on what would eventually be the northwest corner of the square. On March 24, 1849, 120 acres from the William and Margaret Davis holdings were conveyed for the new town. The town was incorporated in 1849 and re-incorporated in 1859.

McKinney Settlers  Cotton on Virginia Street

Prosperity on Rails

The area’s population grew slowly at first. Settlers found that the native grasses would only feed grazing animals well when it was green, and the soil, though fertile, was a quagmire when it rained, so transportation of agricultural goods was nearly impossible. Enter the Houston and Texas Central Railroad in 1872. With reliable transportation, people and goods could move in and out of McKinney, and this development stimulated a time of unprecedented growth in the town.

Over the next 50 years, cotton became a major source of revenue in Collin County. In 1860, the yield was 16 bales, and in 1870 it was 4,371 bales. In 1870, there was one cotton gin in McKinney, but by 1876, there were four. A cotton compress began operation in 1892, and was still in operation until the mid-1980s. The first textile mill – The Texas Cotton Mill Company – was opened in McKinney in 1910. It was one of only two mills west of the Mississippi that manufactured color-print cloth. It later became a major manufacturer of denim.

The region also produced large amounts of corn, wheat and oats. The high yields placed Collin County among the top producers in the state. This stimulated the growth of the grain processing industry here. One of the earliest mills was established in 1892 and operated until the 1970s. Another was established in 1894, and in 1906 built new facilities that are still in use today.

Building a City

The growing prosperity meant that bigger and better facilities were needed for the county seat. In 1866, the Commissioner’s Court imposed a special courthouse and jail tax, and in 1874 building on the new courthouse began. When it was completed in 1875, it was the tallest building in Texas north of San Antonio.

The booming economy meant better infrastructure and larger homes for many of the leading citizens. Many of McKinney’s most impressive historic homes were built in the 1890s. By 1885, the city had newspapers, banks, flour mills, an opera house, churches and two thousand residents. The first telephone exchange arrived in 1883, a volunteer fire department organized in 1887 and electric lights first lit up the town in 1889.

Creating Our Future

From these seeds grew the McKinney we know today: a town that is growing quickly and was chosen by Money Magazine in 2014 as the #1 Best Place to Live in the country. A diverse and thriving economy, a quality way of life and leadership and citizens dedicated to celebrating our roots serve us today and are paving the way for continued growth into the future.

This website contains a list of materials used as resources for this page, along with additional historical references.