Collin McKinney was a signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence, and a wildly interesting character in a wild period of Texas history. Today, his name is carried on by the city of McKinney, one of Dallas' tidiest suburban locations.
Nearby Lakes. In the heat of these Texas summers, our saving grace is found in the cool waters of nearby lakes. Just outside the city limits, you can go boating on Lake Dallas, or find a nice picnic area along the shores. However, a 45-minute drive north on 121 will take you to Lake Tacoma, which has much less traffic and great fishing. Lavon Lake is located along the southeastern border of McKinney, however boating and swimming here are not recommended... mainly just good for a nice view during a fall/spring picnic.
Belt of Green. A massive greenbelt traverses the city from Tucker Hill Dog Park in the northwestern corner, down to the most southeastern point within in the city limits, and then continues on all the way down to Lavon Lake. So, those of you in need of a home near nature, hiking, and beautiful woodsy views with running creeks and wildlife, just draw a line from the northwest to the southeast to begin your search for an apartment on the greenbelt.
The Near Future. The future of McKinney certainly looks promising. Plans are in the works for existing railways to be used for the DART (Dallas Area Transit) light rail, which will be a huge relief from the traffic on Highway 75.
McKinney is divided down the middle by Highway 75. The Eastside of this highway is older, more affordable.The Westside of the highway is much newer.
The eastside of Highway 75 is reminiscent of old Texas. These neighborhoods have been allowed to age gracefully under untamed tree growth and charming farm-land character. The rolling terrain goes from tree-lined urban and residential areas, to thick woods and creeks, and then wide open prairie land. A large portion of the eastside greenbelt is run by the Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary, where you can hike six different nature trails, as well as enjoy snake feedings, art exhibits, a ropes course, the Butterfly House and Garden, Halloween night hikes, and the Holiday Trail of Lights. And, barbecue snobs can get their fix at Hutchins BBQ, where you can carefully watch and make sure that the man with the knife is cutting only the most tender, fatty brisket for your refined mesquite-smoked taste. Historical downtown is also located on the east side. This area has blossomed into its own cultural shopping/dining/entertainment Mecca. Stores and boutiques of the quaint and quirky kind are everywhere. It's not unlikely to go shopping for a t-shirt and come home with a car full of high-octane heels, decorative tin birds, organic flax curtains, jars of glass glitter, chocolate-covered gummy bears, and some leftover lamb lollipop chops. You can dine on eats from around the world, as well as chow down on some of the fanciest barbecue in Texas. And, to top it off, most of these restaurants feature live music and are walking distance to nearby pubs.
If you prefer a newly painted and polished kind of suburb, then you may want to look west of Highway 75. This enclave is full of apartments, golf course views, windy, shaded roads, and tons of parks and shopping centers for your evening stroll. It's pedestrian-friendly with narrow streets and wide walkways. The northern portion of the west side is home to Stonebridge. Look to the southern portion of the west side for the master planned community of Craig Ranch. This area was created with the vision of "urban walkability" in mind. An expansive hiking trail system connects all residential areas to parks, retail, and the bustling Town Center. The community also operates its own public trolley. It's a throwback to the good old days, when communities came together in public squares and enjoyed walking or catching the trolley to local hoe downs. Of course, these days you can replace hoe down with shopping, sushi, or a round of golf. Either way, it sure does beat guzzling gas and sitting in traffic.
Welcome to McKinney!