Frisco A to Z: Get a Glimpse of the Places and Spaces that Make Our City UniqueJul 01, 2022 ● By Sydni Ellis
Welcome to Frisco, Texas.
If you’re new here (and chances of that are good given the city’s explosive population growth over the past decade), you may already know that our beloved city is a desirable place to live, work and play. However, you may be surprised to learn that Frisco offers some 1,600 acres of park land, 90 miles of hike-and-bike trails and plenty of shopping, dining and other recreational activities to enjoy. But all of this can be overwhelming for those wondering what to see and do (and eat and experience) first. To assist in getting you assimilated, Frisco STYLE has compiled this non-inclusive list of the essential spaces, places, events and activities that make Frisco so unique. Join us on an alphabetical tour and learn what this dynamic city has to offer.
A. Frisco Athletic Center
It goes without saying that Sports City USA is an active community and the Frisco Athletic Center is at the heart of it. This award-winning, 100,000 square-foot facility was designed to meet the recreational needs of the entire family. The first floor is all about fun, with two full-size gyms, a pair of racquetball courts, a playroom for young children, an indoor aquatic center and the outdoor Frisco Water Park, complete with a lagoon pool, waterslides, play structures and a lazy river. On the second floor, work out on one of the more than 240 exercise machines, take a fitness class in a private studio, or sign up for personal training.
There’s no shortage of spots in Frisco at which to enjoy libations. Bottled in Bond Cocktail Parlour & Kitchen has a reputation for serving some of tastiest cocktails around these parts, while City Works at The Star is fan favorite for its selection of North Texas-brewed beers. Concrete Cowboy (also at The Star) has flavorful seasonal cocktails. Head to First Round Draft Bar & Grill to play pool, darts and games, or The Revel Patio Grill for karaoke and live entertainment. Other local favorites include The Frisco Bar & Grill and Rare Books Bar, which is a speakeasy.
People from diverse backgrounds and cultures call Frisco home, and the city celebrates this diversity through the events and attractions held here. This includes the Frisco Festival of Colors (March), a color run honoring the spring Holi festival; the Otsukimi Moon Viewing Festival (November), the largest one-day celebration of Japanese culture in North Texas; and the Frisco StrEATS Gourmet Food Truck & Music Festival (May). There are also several ethnic markets and cultural districts here.
D. Dallas Cowboys
America’s Team may play its games in Arlington, but it practices in Frisco. The Star is a 91-acre campus that features the Dallas Cowboys World Headquarters and the team’s practice facility at the Ford Center. Check out The Huddle, a tin foil-like sculpture by Tom Friedman of football players in – what else? – a huddle. Get your blue-and-silver gear at the Dallas Cowboys Pro Shop (an outlet store is also located in Frisco.)
Education is key in Frisco. The Frisco Independent School District is highly rated with more than 65,000 students in grades K-12. It’s a top draw for new residents due to its reputation for academic excellence, innovative programs and extracurricular opportunities. Meanwhile, elementary-age kids can get safety lessons at Frisco Fire Safety Town, an educational facility with classrooms, an interactive fire engine, a safety house and a mini version of our beloved city. For those pursuing higher education, Collin College’s Frisco Campus is a great option. Also, the state-of-the-art Frisco campus of the University of North Texas is anticipated to open next year.
F. Farmers' Markets
Locally grown produce and other products is available at Frisco’s farmers markets. The Frisco Rotary Farmers Market has seasonal fruits and vegetables, family- friendly festivals and a variety of vendors. Meanwhile, the Frisco Fresh Market is a year-round destination for harvested and prepared foods, chef demonstrations, live music and other events.
G. Good Eats
Foodies gravitate to Frisco with good reason: The restaurants here are among the best in North Texas. Come hungry to the recently reopened La Hacienda Ranch, a Tex-Mex institution owned by the inventor of the first frozen margarita machine. For southern-style cooking, head to Babe’s Chicken Dinner House with its generous portions of fried chicken, potatoes and desserts. Barbecue fans fawn over Hutchins Barbecue, an authentic stop with delicious smoked meats and house-made sides. Burgers and milkshakes reign supreme at Kenny’s Burger Joint, where the meat is cooked on a hickory wood-burning grill. For date night, visit Randy’s Steakhouse, a family-owned chophouse inside of a historic Victorian home.
H. Hall Park
Hall Park is home to 2.2 million square feet of office space. One-third of the area is green space, with three miles of walking and jogging trails on which to stretch your legs during lunch breaks. Also here is the Texas Sculpture Garden, where more than 200 works are displayed as part of the largest private collection of contemporary Texas sculpture. In fall 2023, the first phase of a new development at Hall Park is set to open, including a boutique hotel, a luxury residential high rise, a food hall and a community park. A performing arts center is also in the works.
Chic home decor, functional organization and affordable furniture makes IKEA a top destination in Frisco. The retailer opened its doors here in 2005, with 50 different room settings, 10,000 exclusively designed items and Swedish eats. Products change often, making each trip to the 310,000-square-foot store different. IKEA also hosts arts and crafts events throughout the year.
J. Jam Out
Music soothes the soul and in Frisco, jamming out is one of the highlights of the week. Listen to live music at Didi’s Downtown, which offers performances Wednesdays through Sundays. At the Frisco Rail Yard, score happy hour specials while dancing to the music of local bands. Big-name entertainers frequently perform at Toyota Stadium while area artists often play as part of the city’s annual Music in the Square series staged at Simpson Plaza. Melody of Hope’s Music on Main offers seven blocks of live music at 10 different locations. At School of Rock, kids ages 8-13 can learn to play a variety of instruments and practice performing onstage.
K. Karya Siddhi Hanuman Temple
The beauty of the Karya Siddhi Hanuman Temple, a place of worship for the Hindu community, can be enjoyed by all. The temple serves the entire Frisco community in a variety of ways, including through its cafeteria that serves freshly prepared items at reasonable prices as well as by hosting health fairs, community food drives, cultural events and performances.
L. Live Sports
Frisco is home to several sports teams, practice arenas and championships. Minor League Baseball’s Frisco RoughRiders (Double A affiliate of the Texas Rangers) play at Riders Field while Major League Soccer’s FC Dallas have the home field advantage at Toyota Stadium. The Indoor Football League’s Frisco Fighters play at Comerica Center, which is also home to NBA G League team the Texas Legends. It’s also where the NHL’s Dallas Stars practice. And, of course, the Dallas Cowboys practice at the Ford Center at The Star. Frisco also hosts college football’s FCS Championship and the Conference USA Basketball Championships each year.
Frisco’s many museums play an integral role in preserving local history. The Frisco Heritage Museum houses the antique collection of the Bolin family. Other exhibits include a turn-of-the-century printing press and a vehicle from 1915. Take a trip back in time at the Frisco Heritage Center by walking through replicas of a blacksmith shop, church and log cabin. Railroad enthusiasts will enjoy the Museum of the American Railroad filled with artifacts and the TrainTopia model train exhibit. Meanwhile, the Museum of Neon Lights is set up for snapping selfies in its shoe- and butterfly-themed room, among others.
This unique spot is designed with gamers in mind, with free-play setups, two-player co-ops, board games and Esports tournaments. Another cool perk: You can get a custom image printed on your locally roasted coffee, custom cocktails or beer. Don’t forget to order Shenron’s Mac & Cheese Ballz, L33T Loaded Fries or Tiny Tinas Brownie Rampage from the scratch kitchen.
Soak up the sun at one of Frisco’s many parks. Hope Park was created for kids of all abilities with rubberized footing, sensory activities and adaptive playground equipment. It’s part of Frisco Commons Park, which is home to Veterans Memorial Plaza. There are miles of trails to explore in Frisco, including Caddo Trail along Stewart Creek, and Taychas Trail along West Rowlett Creek. Bring your clubs to one of the city’s public golf courses such as the 18-hole Frisco Lakes Golf Club, a luxury course with stunning water views.
P. PGA of America
In less than a year, PGA Frisco’s pair of 18-hole courses as well as a 10-hole short course and 75,000 square-foot putting green are slated to open. The 665-acre site is home to PGA of America’s headquarters and will soon house the Omni PGA Frisco Resort. It is scheduled to host 26 championships during its first dozen years.
Q. Quintessential Frisco
Understand Frisco a bit better by exploring such quintessential places as the water tower downtown with its iconic red Frisco logo. While you’re in the area, wander in and out of the shops that fill adorable Frisco Square. Don’t forget to pass Brinkmann Ranch, known for breeding award-winning halter horses and world champion paint horses. Check out the skeleton of its once-stately ranch house that was featured on the TV series Dallas before it burned down in 1987.
R. Rail District
The railroad was instrumental in Frisco’s development and success, so it’s no surprise that the Rail District is one of the most popular areas of the city. Dine at a variety of restaurants, shop at local boutiques and attend fun community events here. Grab lunch at The Depot Café or a coffee at Karmic Grounds or La Finca Coffee & Bakery. Browse the fashions and accessories at stores including Twisted Simplicity and Tumbleweed TexStyles. Gather your friends for an evening of fun walking around this bustling area.
From a world-class mall to high-end retailers, you could spend days shopping in Frisco. Stonebriar Centre is a staple with premier stores and experiences including Michael Kors, Lush Cosmetics, Williams-Sonoma, The Cheesecake Factory, The LEGO Store and Dave & Buster’s. Visit The Star District, the ultimate shopping, dining and entertainment area, with more than 35 restaurants, shops and services. Grab dinner at Wahlburgers and fuel up for shopping at Lucchese at The Star, Flea Style and Charlotte Jones Collection.
T. Toyota Stadium and The National Soccer Hall of Fame
Professional soccer is honored in Frisco at the iconic National Soccer Hall of Fame, located at Toyota Stadium. It offers an interactive experience complete with memorabilia and more. Hall of Fame induction ceremonies are hosted here annually. From February through October, FC Dallas plays its home games at the stadium.
U. University of North Texas
Currently under construction at Preston Road and Panther Creek Parkway, the University of North Texas’ 100-acre Frisco campus will include state-of-the-art buildings with conference and study rooms, practice-presentation rooms and more. It is expected to open in spring 2023 and offer 27 masters and PhD programs.
V. Video Games
Video games play a big part in Frisco’s culture. The city is home to the National Video Game Museum, which strives to chronicle and preserve the history of video games. Get lost playing nostalgic games or create your own video game there. Gearbox Software, an award-winning video game development company with a mission “to entertain the world,” is also headquartered here.
Relax with a glass of red, white or rose’ at one of Frisco’s many eclectic wine bars. Eight 11 Place is an intimate venue with live music and hand-selected wines that will please even the pickiest connoisseur. J. Theodore Restaurant & Bar serves fresh cuisine with its extensive wine menu featuring varietals from California, Italy and France. At TruFire Kitchen, order wine by the bottle or glass to enjoy with its American-Mediterranean-Italian fusion cuisine. In April, Frisco residents and visitors can unwind at Frisco Uncorked, with more than 100 award-winning wines available for the tasting.
X. X-treme Experiences
Adventure awaits in Frisco courtesy of X-treme experiences that are sure to excite. At iFLY indoor skydiving, fly high in vertical wind tunnels. Meanwhile, at 47,000 square feet, the Skate Park at Northeast Community Park is the largest such facility in North Texas and plays host to the Frisco Comp Series (scheduled July 29).
Y. Youth Sports
Sports-loving kids will have a blast learning about healthy competition during youth sports experiences in Frisco. Head to Frisco Family YMCA for basketball, flag football, cheerleading, soccer, volleyball, baseball and more. PIT+ Frisco is the largest indoor soccer facility in Texas. Kids can participate with the Frisco Baseball & Softball Association or i9 Sports. The Frisco Football League offers competitive football and cheer for kids ages 5-12; and the Frisco Lacrosse Association has opportunities for kids in grades K-12.
KidZania is not your average indoor play structure. It’s a realistic-looking city, complete with paved streets and kid-size buildings designed to empower children and teach them about 100 different professions. Work in a TV studio, fly an airplane, perform surgery or create a workout plan at the fitness studio. The Stonebriar Centre location of KidZania is the only one in the nation.
Sydni Ellis loves shopping, getting lost in a good thriller and taking way too many pictures of her two wild toddlers when she should be at her computer.