By Patrick Galvan, Storage.com

With its educated population, healthy economy, lovely architecture, and beautiful climate, Plano easily stands out as a buried treasure in the state of Texas. Whether you’re moving to Plano or you’re a proud Plano resident, you’re sure to love this list of things that are great about living in Plano!

1. EDUCATION IS A PRIORITY.

Photo by US Department of Education
Photo by US Department of Education

In 2014, the city was ranked by Movoto.com as one of the 10 best suburbs for education in the nation due to its student-teacher ratio of 14:1 and graduation rate of 94%. Not to mention, three of Plano’s high schools (Plano West, Plano Senior, and Plano East) were ranked by Newsweek as America’s 63rd, 108th, and 243rd best high schools respectively in 2012. How about higher education? No problem! Plano has local campuses for Collin College, Strayer University, and Southern Methodist University!

2. CRIME IS SCARCE.

Photo by VisitPlano
Photo by VisitPlano

In both 2010 and 2011, Forbes named Plano the safest city in America with a population exceeding 250,000, and it’s no mystery why. The city’s well-trained police force, community watch program, and friendly neighborhoods make sure the crime rate remains low (and the good education helps, too!).

3. A STRONG JOB MARKET.

Photo by VisitPlano
Photo by VisitPlano

Since Plano is on the outskirts of the Dallas area, it’s home to a number of nationwide brand headquarters, so it’s no wonder why many of these companies rank among the city’s top employers: JCPenney (3,100), Ericsson (2,650), and Dell (2,200). The Plano area also has a strong market for financial services. Bank of America Home Loans leads all employers with 5,400 staff members, and Capital One ranks third with 3,175. Of course, those in health care will be pleased to know that Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Plano (1,670) and Medical Center of Plano (1,300) also rank among the top ten employers.

4. HELLO, SUNSHINE.

Photo by ruthleonart
Photo by ruthleonart

Because Plano is located in northern Texas, the city has a subtropical climate: hot summers, mild winters, cool springs, and pleasant autumns. The skies remain mostly clear throughout the year, as rainfall mainly occurs in the spring. Nights in Plano are also cool and pleasant—all the better when watching the sunset!

5. INVEST IN NATURE.

Photo by Robert Nunnally
Photo by Robert Nunnally

Although its name would suggest endless stretches of flat terrain, Plano actually has trees, lakes, and other natural wonders contained within its parks and preserves. In fact, two of these—Oak Point Park and Nature Preserve and Bob Woodruff Park—combine to form an area larger than New York’s Central Park. You’ll find trails for hiking and biking, lakes, and the city’s oldest resident: the Quincentennial Bur Oak!

6. BALLOON FESTIVAL.

Photo by Billy Bob Bain
Photo by Billy Bob Bain

Hot-air balloons are sporadically flown all over the country, but in Plano, it’s a yearly ritual! Every autumn, a three-day event called the Plano Balloon Festival is held, during which hot-air balloons are flown and displayed. At night, the balloons remain grounded, but they’re heated from within and slowly inflated, producing a spectacular glowing effect known as the “Balloon Glow.” Between balloon rides, you can also enjoy live music, games, fireworks, and even watch some skydivers!

7. HOME TO RETIREES AND SNOWBIRDS.

Photo by VisitPlano
Photo by VisitPlano

Because of its low crime rate and regular sunshine, Plano is a good location for winter homes or retirement. In fact, it was one of four Texas cities to make Marketwatch’s 2013 list of the Best Cities for Snowbirds and Retirees. After all, a city where two-bedroom apartments average $1,195/month is pretty irresistible.

8. ALWAYS SOMETHING TO DO.

Photo by Jim Bowen
Photo by Jim Bowen

You’ll never be bored in Plano because there’s always somewhere to go and something to do! Check out Heritage Farmstead Museum, a 360-acre Blackland Prairie farm with a Victorian home and 12 outbuildings that was built and operated during the 1900s, when agriculture was prosperous. Or stop by the Interurban Railway Museum, which served as a stop on the electric railway between Denison and Dallas from 1908 to 1948. Fans of the TV series Dallas will definitely want to pay a visit to the legendary Southfork Ranch in Parker (which is only a few minutes away from Plano), where you can take tours of the Ewing Mansion and see memorabilia from the show. If you’re looking for shopping, you can always swing by Collin Creek Mall, Lakeside Market, or Allen Premium Outlets. And you’ll definitely want to head to Downtown Plano for the amazing restaurants and bars, boutiques, and art venues.

9. GOOD TEXAS GRUB.

Photo by VisitPlano
Photo by VisitPlano

For some Texas eatin’, swing over to Kenny’s Smoke House for brisket, ribs, cornbread, and potato salad (How can you resist?). More of a steak and potatoes person? Look no further than Bob’s Steak & Chop House! How about sushi? Densetsu is an authentic Japanese restaurant where the chefs prepare sushi on the counter before you. Of course, if you’re in Texas, you’re going to need some good Mexican food! Hit up Salsa Tex Mex or Rusty Taco, both of which are usually pretty busy (because they’re that good).

What did you think of our list? Is there anything about Plano you would add?

All images have either been provided by a listed organization or are licensed under the Creative Commons.
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