With news that Universal Parks & Resorts is planning its first theme park outside of Florida or California in Frisco, Texas, many people are planning their first visit to this booming Dallas suburb. Even before Universal announced its latest project, Frisco was already among the fastest-growing cities in the US, serving as a commuter city for professionals in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex.
But the city’s small railroad-town charm (Frisco was named for an 1800s rail line), combined with some major coups in attracting various sporting institutions and tech startups over the past decade, give Frisco a distinctly trendy and fun-loving vibe.
Here’s a primer on what to do, where to stay, and where to eat when you visit
Things to do in
Experience life as a Dallas Cowboy
Frisco won the hearts of Dallas Cowboys fans in 2016 with its stunning 91-acre practice facility called The Star, complete with Ford Center, which is shared by the Cowboys as well as local high schools, who get the chance to compete on the same hallowed field. Outside Ford Center, you’ll see Tostitos Championship Plaza, a place for the public to gather for special outdoor events like concerts, football game watch parties, and more.
Guided tours of The Star, which give you a peek behind the scenes of Cowboys life, include stops at Ford Center; the “War Room” where owner Jerry Jones presides on Draft Day; and displays dedicated to history-making moments such as Roger Staubach’s original 1975 “Hail Mary” pass to win a playoff game.
Shop and dine in the “$5 Billion Mile”
The Star is the crown jewel of what’s called the “$5 Billion Mile,” a development that includes shopping, restaurants, and hotels throughout Frisco, including Snowbird Cocktail Lounge & Kitchen for creative bites and drinks and The Glen & The Monarch, a locally owned seafood restaurant with a neighbouring scotch and cigar bar.
Get the kids employed at KidZania
Less than two miles (3.2 km) away at Stonebriar Centre shopping mall, you’ll find the Frisco branch of international children’s attraction KidZania, which opened its first (and to date, only) North American location in Frisco in late 2018. Filled with super interactive stations that aim to let kids experience different careers, earning money (and yes, even paying taxes) in their own kid-themed “city,” it’s a truly novel concept that is particularly well suited for elementary-age kids.
Play Frogger at the National Videogame Museum
The National Videogame Museum is a trip through time for those old enough to remember wood-panelled rec rooms outfitted with Atari and Intellivision game systems (Burger Time, anyone?) as well as more modern-day Nintendo systems. An arcade stocked with vintage games is a fun way to spend a few hours steeped in nostalgia.
And then play video games at the table at Nerdvana
Level up your visit by heading to Nerdvana, a casual restaurant with a game-themed menu of meals and cocktails. The best part is that you can select a console and play video games right at your booth, or select from a menu of board games.
Make your own soccer kit at the National Soccer Hall of Fame
The National Soccer Hall of Fame opened its headquarters in Frisco in Toyota Stadium (home of FC Dallas) in 2018 and features inductees since its beginning in 1979. There are also interactive exhibits allowing you to create your own national soccer team, design your own uniform, and even create and take home a scarf.
Enjoy a good old-fashioned Texas barbecue
If you’re new to Texas, you’ll have to make your way to the pit for a traditional Lone Star welcome. Luckily, you won’t have to venture far: Hutchins BBQ in Frisco earns high marks for its brisket, smoked turkey breast, and pork ribs, plus its signature dish, the Texas Twinkie: a jalapeño pepper filled with brisket and cream cheese, with a crisp slice of bacon wrapped around it.
Splash around in the outfield during a summer ballgame
During baseball season, head to Riders Field (formerly known as Dr. Pepper Ballpark), a Minor League stadium that’s home to the Frisco RoughRiders, Double-A affiliate team of the Texas Raiders. The team celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. Strangely enough, the stadium boasts a 3,000-square-foot lazy river at the ballpark’s right field — a refreshing place to take in a game on a hot summer day.
Hotels in Frisco, Texas
If you want to stay near all the action at The Star, a great option is the Omni Frisco, which is connected to Ford Center and overlooks Tostitos Championship Plaza. The Charlotte Jones Collection gift shop offers items curated by the Cowboys’ executive vice president and chief brand officer (and Jerry Jones’ daughter).
Omni PGA Resort
Golf fans should tee up a stay at the brand-new Omni PGA Resort, which opens in May. This 660-acre resort will serve as the headquarters of PGA of America and will feature two 18-hole championship golf courses, a two-acre putting course, and a 10-hole short course, in addition to 500 hotel rooms and suites, 10 ranch houses, and an entertainment district.
Westin Stonebriar Golf Resort & Spa
A great family-friendly option is the Westin Stonebriar Golf Resort & Spa, which was renovated in 2020 and includes an on-site spa, an outdoor pool with a waterslide and an outdoor bar, a Westin Family Kids Club, and a Topgolf Swing Suite.
Hyatt Regency Frisco
The Hyatt Regency Frisco opened in 2020 and is connected to the Stonebriar Centre mall. On-site restaurants include Copper & Steel Table & Bar, as well as poolside food and beverages. Because of its proximity to the mall, suite guests may choose to book a Nordstrom personal shopping experience inside their suite.
How to get to Frisco, Texas
If you’re flying to Texas, the closest major airport is Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW). Frisco is located about 30 minutes northeast of DFW. Car rental and shuttle services are available, as well as rideshare services, which average USD 50 (INR 4,138) for a one-way ride from the airport to downtown Frisco. The Trinity Metro TEXRail offers routes to nearby Grapevine, Irving, Dallas, and Fort Worth — not to Frisco, but occasionally travellers have had success hailing rides from Grapevine instead of waiting at the airport.
This story first appeared on www.travelandleisure.com
Main and Feature Image Credit: Courtesy of Visit Frisco
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