Plano is located in the northeast portion of Texas, about 20 miles north of Dallas. The 2015 U.S. Census estimates the population at 283,558. The city occupies 71.6 square miles, primarily in Collin County and partially in Denton County. The city is home to the headquarters for several well-known corporate brands, e.g., J.C. Penney, Pizza Hut, and Toyota Motors USA.
Plano traces its origin to a small settlement in the 1840s. Founders took the name “Plano,” Spanish for “flat,” because of the local terrain. Growth was slow; by 1960 the population was fewer than 4,000. Public works projects in the 1960s helped the city to quadruple in number twice between 1960 and 1980.
Plano’s climate is classified as humid subtropical, with hot, humid summers and mild to cool winters. Spring and fall tend to be comfortable. Rainfall amounts vary between 33 and 40 inches a year.
Plano gives you plenty of options for transportation, including air, light rail, and public transit. The city is only a half hour from Dallas and from the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport (DFW). Public mass transit is provided via Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART), which operates light rail and bus systems. As well, three class one railroads provide freight rail service. An excellent system of highways facilitates motor vehicle traffic throughout the Dallas metroplex.
Cost of Living in Plano
Plano is a relatively affluent community and, consequently, the cost of living carries about a 15 percent premium compared to averages across the U.S. The most significant expense, housing, is rated 147 (100 is the national average) according to Sperling’s Best Places. On the bright side, neither the city nor county adds levies to to the state’s 6.25 percent sales tax. Use the links below to assess your buying power in Plano, Texas.
Plano Independent School District is responsible for public education, provided via 72 schools and specialized education programs for pre-K, K-5, 6-8, 9-10, and 11-12. More than 150 private schools, including religiously affiliated and Montessori institutions, serve students. For higher education, Collin County Community College in Plano offers a substantial curriculum for associate degrees and certificates. In all, 40 colleges and universities operate within 40 miles of Plano.
An online search finds 80 hospitals within 30 miles of Plano. The two highest-rated local hospitals are Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas (nationally ranked in three adult specialties) and UT Southwestern Medical Center (nationally ranked in two adult specialties).
The Medical Center of Plano (362 beds), a general medical and surgical hospital, is rated as “high performing” for COPD and heart failure.
Plano Real Estate
As of the 2010 U.S. Census, Plano had 103,672 housing units with owner-occupancy of 63 percent. The median value of owner-occupied homes was $222,800, with mortgage holders paying monthly costs of $1926 (median value). The median gross rent cost was $752.
You’ll see several familiar lodging signs along I-75 through Plano, including Super 8, Days Inn, and Comfort Inn. You’ll also find nice lodging choices in nearby Richardson and Garland. One such establishment is the Hyatt Place Dallas/Garland/Richardson. It’s located near Firewheel Town Center, a popular destination for leisure travelers, and offers a complimentary local shuttle.
What are you hungry for? Sushi? Barbecue? Steaks? You’ll find these and more. If your appetite is hearty, get your fingers on a slab of ribs at Kenny’s Smoke House. Or meander into Whiskey Cake for farm-to-table rotisserie chicken served with a plateful of veggies. And if you crave sushi, darken the door of Densetsu where the rolls are “reliably fresh.”
Things to Do in Plano
Remember the TV show Dallas? See where the notorious JR took a bullet at the scenic Southfork Ranch. The Arbor Hills Nature Preserve, a 200-acre park, offers paved paths amid breathtaking natural beauty, ideal for walking, jogging and hiking. Plano is also a fabulous place for shopping with store after store of bargains waiting to be found. If you enjoy hunting antiques, go to the historic downtown area and explore its many antique malls, specialty shops, and art galleries.