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A Romantic Weekend Getaway in McKinney, Texas

Looking for the perfect romantic weekend getaway in Texas? Then you have found it. Whether you are traveling from afar or just need a little DFW staycation – enjoy a romantic weekend getaway in McKinney, Texas.

There is so much to discover during a romantic weekend getaway in McKinney, Texas. You can create art, play nostalgic video games, visit local breweries, or laugh your socks off at a comedy show – there is something special for every couple to enjoy in McKinney.

Moreover, the best part of a romantic weekend getaway in McKinney, Texas is the food. There are so many tasty things to eat in Texas and McKinney is no exception – this city is a foodie haven! From local grass-fed steaks to elevated Southern cuisine, crispy Belgian waffles, melt-in-your-mouth pies, boozy ice cream, and more. You will be booking your return visit to McKinney after just one bite at a local restaurant.

After my romantic weekend getaway in McKinney, Texas I have concluded that it is hands down one of the best cities to visit in Texas! Yes, I am not just talking about the DFW area, I am talking about the entire Lone Star State.

Surprised? You won’t be after you read my guide on how to have a romantic getaway weekend in McKinney, Texas. By the end of this guide, you will be planning and scheduling your weekend getaway here in no time! It includes where to sleep, where to eat, and the best things to do. Let’s get started!

Full disclaimer –  We were invited by Visit McKinney to feature the city. As always, our opinions are non-biased and our own. We want to thank everyone for following and supporting us on all of “Our Sweet Adventures.” 



Things to Do in McKinney for a Romantic Weekend Getaway

As previously stated, there are so many fun things to do for a romantic weekend getaway in McKinney. From Friday night to Sunday afternoon, there are exciting activities to keep you busy all weekend long. Based on our own personal experience, here are a few things we enjoyed the most and highly recommend.


Explore Historic Downtown McKinney

One of the best things to do is simply enjoying Historic Downtown McKinney. You can shop till you drop at local boutique shops, dine at amazing restaurants, play arcade games, watch comedy, and more. Needless to say, Historic Downtown McKinney is packed with FUN things to do!

Our romantic weekend was mostly spent in Historic Downtown McKinney which made our getaway more relaxing. In a city so big, it was reassuring to know that we never had to stray far to have a good time. Every turn we took on the square, there was something exciting to discover.

We found boozy ice cream, a giant backyard restaurant, the best Irish pub in Texas, and more. So we encourage you to take your date by the hand and explore Historic Downtown McKinney – you never know what you will discover!


Play Nostalgic Games at Arcade 92

Do you love Galaga, Ms. Pac-Man, Street Fighter, Atari, Rock Band, pinball, or Fortnite??!? Then you have to have a fun date night at Arcade 92!

Arcade 92 is one of the coolest places to visit in McKinney whether you are a kid or a kid at heart. For $12 per person, you can enjoy countless games all day long. You do not need to spend a quarter more; every game is included in the admission. The best part, if you visit in the morning and return at night, your admission is still valid!

Classic arcade games lines up against a brick wall from Arcade 92 in McKinney, Texas.

The arcade is open to all ages during the day, but after 9 p.m. the arcade is only open for ages 18 years and older. So consider planning your date night at Arcade 92 after 9 pm if you want it to be more adult-friendly.

The arcade is well-organized. As soon as you enter, there are several 80s fan-favorite games. Then as you walk further into the arcade, you enter 90s arcade games like Street Fighter and Area 91. There is also an area for true classic gamers featuring some of the very first consoles such as Atari.

In the backroom, there is a row of pinball machines, more arcade games, and a gaming lounge with comfy chairs where you can play Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. Gamers can play today’s favorite games such as Mario Kart, Call of Duty, Fortnite, and Apex all LIVE on the consoles.

Arcade 92's gaming lounge with comfy chairs and all the new consoles such as Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Nintendo Switch.

The fun does not end there – guests can also enjoy delicious food, craft beers, and cocktails all day and night. So when you break a sweat and burn calories gaming, you can quickly refuel to play more!


Support Local Vendors at Saturday Farmer’s Market

Wake up early with your loved one and head to McKinney’s Saturday Farmer’s Market! The farmer’s market is located at Chestnut Square in Historic Downtown McKinney and features several different local vendors. Here you will find farm-fresh produce to fruit jams, cheese spreads, baked loaves of bread, flowers, tamales, ginger beer, toffee, pastries, and more.

I recommend arriving hungry because everywhere you look there will be local vendors offering free samples. Moreover, you are going to want to buy everything you come across! All of the local vendors are friendly and offer great products to bring home. There are also food trucks and pop-up restaurants to dine at.

One pop-up restaurant that we really love and support is Fresh Mex. Fresh Mex serves traditional (and of course, fresh) Mexican food. Some of the most popular dishes offered include ceviche, tacos, stuffed avocados, and handcrafted drinks. You can enjoy tacos and stuffed avocado filled with either chicken, carnitas, or portobello mushroom. All are delicious, but the portobello mushroom is amazing!

Stuffed avocados and tacos from Fresh Mex in McKinney, Texas.


Jump into an Art Class

Bring out your creative mind during an open studio art class at Jump Into Art Studios held every Saturday. Take it from us, even if you think you are not creative, just “JUMP” right into a class and you will surprise yourself.

Today, everyone is enjoying the trendy painting classes, but Jump Into Art Studios takes art to the next level. Visitors can pick from a large selection of art projects or come up with their own. From pottery and clay to watercolor painting, making soap, art journaling, creating collages, knitting, and more – there is something for everyone to start creating a masterpiece.

Anyone can drop in during the day on Saturday for a small fee that provides access to art materials and supplies needed for any project. This is what we experienced and found it to be a great way to enjoy a lovely afternoon date. It was fun to discover our creative minds and see what we could make.

A couple showing their art canvas from Jump Into Art Studios during a romantic weekend getaway in McKinney, Texas.

You can also book an art class with one of the many teachers on staff for a wonderful date night. One of the most popular date-night classes is the Sip and Throw Pottery Party. Guests can get their Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore on by learning how to make pottery on the clay wheel. Talk about the perfect date night, right?


Laugh Your Socks Off at a Comedy Show

Find your loved one’s sense of humor during a live show at The Comedy Arena. The Comedy Arena specializes in making people laugh with improv. They offer a variety of shows year-round but two of the most popular shows include ComedySportz Match and The Humor Games.

We went to The Humor Games show for our date night and had a great time! The Humor Games has the improv comedians compete in round-robin style, participating in different skits to make the audience laugh. As the audience, we got to be included by clapping and cheering for our favorite comedians to win against their opponents. We loved the creativity of the comedians, the different types of games they played, and our involvement in The Humor Games.

The improv comedians do a fantastic job with their skits, involving the audiences, and making everyone laugh. By the end of the show, your face might be hurting from smiling and laughing all night long. You might even walk away with some great inside jokes with your loved one!


Drink Local Beer on a Brewery Tour

The DFW metroplex is full of incredible craft breweries and two of the best breweries in Dallas happen to be in McKinney. The two breweries we highly recommend you visit for a romantic weekend getaway in McKinney are TUPPS and Franconia. Whether you visit one or both, you cannot miss out on great beer and good times at these breweries.

Both breweries offer guided tours of the facility and the brewing process. The main difference between the two breweries is their own unique experience.


Franconia Brewing Company

A glass of beer from Franconia Brewing Company.

If you enjoy German-style beers then you are really going to enjoy Franconia Brewery Company. All of their beers are naturally brewed using the authentic German Style brewing process.

Franconia Brewing Company offers guests an awesome and intimate experience! After you enjoy the brewery tour, you can purchase three pints of any Franconia beer on draft for $10. Then you can either explore the brewery more on your own or take your beer outside and drink it on the patio.


TUPPS Brewery

A cup of beer from TUPPS Brewery.

TUPPS Brewery is located in the historic Cotton Mill, which provides the brewery a very cool facility to brew beer and welcome guests. The brewery tour is always free and enjoyable, but it’s the taproom and atmosphere that make this brewery stand out.

The taproom offers guests a vast selection of all the beers on tap – typically around 18. From IPAs to pale ales, sour beers, stouts, and even hard seltzers – TUPPS Brewery has a beer for everyone’s palate. So you are going to want to keep a tab open to try the vast variety of beers.

The atmosphere at TUPPS Brewery is awesome – you feel like you are hanging out at a friend’s garage. There are funky art pieces, round wooden spool tables – from their neighboring McKinney company, Encore Wire – and antique stools in the large seating area with a stage for live music. Then on the weekends, there are also food trucks on-site so you can eat and drink all day long.



Best Places to Eat in McKinney

It is no secret that Dallas/Ft. Worth has some of the best restaurants in the country and some of the VERY BEST restaurants happen to all be within walking distance from each other in Historic Downtown McKinney. Until our romantic weekend getaway, we had no idea that McKinney, Texas is a foodie paradise.

There are SO MANY fantastic places to eat in McKinney as you can see from my recommended list below. From unbelievable coffee to authentic Irish cuisine, American fare, elevated Southern cuisine, boozy ice cream, decadent chocolate, and more – McKinney is where you want to be for great food and good times.


Where to Eat for Breakfast


Layered

I fell in love with Layered so much, I visited multiple times during our romantic weekend getaway in McKinney. They have the BEST coffee! The coffee beans are imported from fair trade family farms all over the world. Then the coffee beans are roasted fresh in-house.

A coffee mug filled with a latte with a pretty foam flower on top from Layered in McKinney, Texas.

The end result is amazing and honestly some of the best coffee I have ever had. Guests can find a variety of excellent coffee beverages such as a classic latte, macchiato, cappuccino, cortado, espresso, mocha, and more.

In addition to coffee, Layered also serves a delicious breakfast that is all made fresh and in-house to start your day. The menu has a variety of entrees to enjoy that feature different parts of the world including classic American breakfast options, Tex-Mex, Belgian, and even Middle Eastern.

A man pouring maple syrup over Belgian waffles with fresh blueberries and strawberries from Layered in McKinney, Texas.

Must order: Dolce, a specialty coffee beverage, and crispy Belgium waffles (regular or chicken & waffles).


The Celt Irish Pub

As soon as you walk through the doors of The Celt Irish Pub, you immediately feel like you have stepped into a pub in Dublin, Ireland. We would know, we spent 7 days in Ireland and The Celt Irish Pub made us feel like we were back on the Emerald Isle. So it came as no surprise when we learned The Celt Irish Pub has been voted as the best Irish pub in the Americas by Irish Pubs Global Federation based in Dublin – and we don’t mean Dublin, Texas!

Though we dined here for a classic Irish breakfast, it is also highly recommended to dine here for lunch or dinner. Better yet, you can just come in to sit, drink, watch live Irish music, and mingle with friends.

For brunch, we can highly recommend the Full Irish Fry Up. This dish alone is amazing and the most authentic Irish breakfast you will find in DFW. It includes the classic egg, tomatoes, mushrooms, beans, toast, and of course, blood sausage all on one plate. The brunch menu (served only on the weekends) also includes other delicious entrees to enjoy that cater to both European and American fare.

Birdseye view of a classic Irish breakfast from The Celt Pub in McKinney, Texas.

Must order: for brunch, you have to get the classic Full Irish Fry Up. It is Ireland on a plate!


Where to Eat for Lunch or Dinner


E.J. Wills Gastropub

E.J. Wills Gastropub is a fantastic restaurant for both food and drinks. As a locally owned and operated restaurant, E.J. Wills Gastropub offers guests American cuisine using only the best locally sourced ingredients.

The vast menu includes favorite American dishes such as buttermilk fried chicken and Maryland crab cakes to juicy burgers, sandwiches, pasta, steak, and more. In addition, the restaurant is also a part of the PlantPure Community, so they offer a delicious vegan menu, too. Essentially, there is something for everyone to enjoy at E.J. Wills Gastropub and that is why we love this restaurant!

Though you cannot go wrong with anything you order, E.J. Wills Gastropub is known for its award-winning burgers. Every burger is 8 ounces and hand-crafted using a beautiful mix of locally sourced prime ground brisket, short-rib, and choice chuck. From a classic hamburger to a chili mac burger, their famous Garbage Burger, and more – your mouth will water just reading about the burger menu.

The famous and award-winning Garbage Burger with French fries from E.J. Wells Gastropub in McKinney, Texas.

Must order: it would definitely have to be the award-winning Garbage Burger! The famous burger is stacked with Jack cheese, sliced turkey, candied jalapeno bacon, mac & cheese, fried onion, lettuce, tomato, red cabbage slaw, and a jalapeno mix – phew!


Local Yocal BBQ & Grill

Deep in the heart of Texas is Local Yocal BBQ & Grill, creating sophisticated Texas cuisine for all. Local Yocal BBQ & Grill is a chef-driven restaurant focused on quality, sustainability, and locally-sourced ingredients. Moreover, Local Yocal has several unique aspects that make this restaurant very special.

One is its farm-to-table approach. The owner has a grass-fed farm 20 miles away from the restaurant and (if available) provides Local Yocal with his own meat! Talk about a true Texas farm to table restaurant!

Another unique aspect is the Texas-made smoker on-site. Many of the dishes offered at Local Yocal are smoked in some capacity. Examples include the brisket, sausage, red pepper pimento cheese, garlic mashed potatoes, chicken-fried steak, and even chocolate. Local Yocal is all about elevating dishes with the smoker to enhance flavor and texture.

The last piece of Local Yocal’s uniqueness is its cocktail program and sexy bar. The bar is filled with a premium whiskey collection, craft beers on tap, house-made cocktail mixers, and more. However, it’s the single barrel-aged cocktails made in house that are truly special. Yes, the mixologists create cocktails and age them in single barrels for future consumption – now that is cool!

A beautiful bar with single-aged barrels, whiskey, and more at Local Yocal in McKinney, Texas.

Must order: hands down the LOYO Mac n’Cheese (best I have ever had) with brisket. Pair it with a juicy and cooked to perfection 6 oz. Waygu sirloin. You will walk away asking for a reservation for next week.

And a bonus: Owner and rancher Matt Hamilton also has an organic butcher shop, Local Yocal Farm-to-Market, a few blocks from the restaurant. Here you can buy the steak cuts and other meat cooked at the restaurant as well as offerings like bread, dairy, granola, seasonings, and more, all from area growers and bakers.  


Sugarbacon Proper Kitchen

If you love southern cuisine, then you are going to LOVE Sugarbacon Proper Kitchen because they take Southern cuisine and elevate it to a whole new level! From crawfish pot pie to pork belly with fresh watermelon, spaghetti squash hush puppies, roasted chicken, shrimp & grits, butterscotch banana pudding, and more.

Is your mouth watering yet?

In addition to delicious food, Sugarbacon Proper Kitchen also brings a burst of energy into its modern-style restaurant. We felt so alive during our date night because the craft cocktails were flowing, the music was grooving, and the people surrounding us were so warm and welcoming. Whether you dine inside or on the outdoor patio, you will love the vibrant atmosphere of Sugarbacon Proper Kitchen.

Speaking of craft cocktails flowing, Sugarbacon Proper Kitchen also has a great cocktail program that utilizes its small herb garden located along the sidewalk in front of the restaurant. Their signature Sugarbacon Old Fashioned is both unique and delicious by adding an ice sphere with an orange rind inside it. Furthermore, the drink menu also includes local breweries on draft and a wonderful wine selection.

A flight of delicious hand-crafted cocktails from Sugarbacon in McKinney, Texas.

Must order: Seriously, if you can only order two things on the menu, it MUST be the Brussel sprouts and crawfish pot pie – we cannot stop raving about those two dishes. However, we also really enjoyed the giant short rib and their signature dish, Sugarbacon – house-smoked pork belly with fresh grilled watermelon, ancho BBQ, and B&B pickles.


The Yard

The Yard is one of the coolest restaurants in all of DFW. It is essentially a giant backyard that is beautifully landscaped and makes you feel like you have escaped the city. The moment you step into The Yard, you immediately walk into a green paradise and feel happy.

Tall pecan and oak trees tower over the backyard providing natural shade and an amazing ambiance. There is lush greenery everywhere you look, firepits to gather around, picnic tables to sit, drink, and eat at, an outdoor bar to order craft cocktails, and more. It is an amazing outdoor restaurant to bring your friends, family, pets (yes, it is pet-friendly), and of course, your date.

Guests can enjoy American fare cuisine that you can find at your neighborhood BBQ but with an elevated twist. Some menu options include Frito chili pie, chicken wings, taco turkey queso, buffalo shrimp, pulled pork sandwiches, taco galore, and more. Add a cold beer or margarita in your hand and you will feel right at home at The Yard.

American cuisine from The Yard - pictured fresh watermelon and pineapple, a cocktail. loaded Southwest salad, and a fried chicken burger with fries.

In addition to great food and drinks, one of the most unique experiences at The Yard are the games. As I said, this restaurant is a giant backyard, so you can find plenty of fun yard games for both children and adults to enjoy. Little children have their own designated area while the older children and adults can play corn hole, ping pong, and foosball.

Must order: The Caddy Sedona Salad is very refreshing, but also packed with flavor and filling. For something with a little kick, try the Sissy’s Chicken Sandwich and cool it down with The Yard’s signature cocktail, Well Water.


Where to Eat for Something Sweet

Of course, you know us….always looking for a sweet adventure and McKinney certainly gave us one! Here are a few of the best places to get something sweet whether it is for a midday snack or an after-dinner dessert.


Cocktail Creamery

Did someone say, boozy ice cream?!?! Yes, please! Cocktail Creamery is the perfect date spot in McKinney to enjoy a scoop of ice cream or sorbet (it’s vegan). The menu has over 45 unique flavors all with their own specific alcohol. So with 45 flavors, Cocktail Creamery utilizes at least 45 different types of alcohol!

Someone holding a waffle bowl with three scoops of boozy ice cream from Cocktail Creamery.

Now you might be thinking that this ice cream is all about getting a buzz. That is not the case at all because a serving of ice cream almost has the same alcohol content as a serving of beer. Cocktail Creamery is not trying to make you drunk; they are just striving to make the best ice cream possible…it just so happens that it includes alcohol.

The alcohol changes the consistency and flavor of the ice cream. In fact, the texture of the ice cream is some of the creamiest you will ever indulge in. Of course, the flavor of every ice cream is amazing too! We would know; we tried just about half the menu.

Speaking of the menu, here are a few ice cream and sorbet flavors you can find: Mango Margarita, Moscow Mule, Pina Colada, Cream O’Whiskey, Salted Butter Caramel Crazy, Butter Bourbon Pecanator, Chocolate Cookies-n-Booze, and much more!

Must order: You cannot go wrong with any flavor but a few favorites of ours include Cream O’Whiskey, Chocolate Cookies-n-Booze, and Orange Blossom Special.


Emporium Pies

Emporium Pies has been a beloved place in the DFW area since 2011. The first location opened in the Bishop Arts District and after years of popularity, it has opened two more locations – one in Deep Ellum and the other in Historic Downtown McKinney.

Emporium Pies in Historic Downtown McKinney offers pies by the slice and whole. Every pie is made from scratch in-house and baked to perfection daily. The pies have no artificial preservatives, hydrogenated oils, dyes, or corn syrup – only fresh and high-quality ingredients. It is no wonder why Emporium Pies just melt in your mouth!

The pies rotate seasonally but you can find flavors such as apple, peach, blackberry, chocolate, lemon chiffon, Bourbon pecan, and more. Order a pie by the slice and enjoy it inside the shop with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Or take an entire pie home and enjoy it with your family and friends.

Two beautiful slices of pie from Emporium Pies. Pictured on the left is a chocolate pie and on the right is a lemon chiffon pie.

Must order: if available, the Smooth Operator (chocolate) and Mellow Yellow (lemon chiffon) are amazing!


Goodies Texas

As a previous chocolatier, I have a huge LOVE for chocolate. So I am happy to say, Goodies Texas definitely has some of the best chocolate in Dallas! Goodies Texas is located in downtown McKinney inside the historic Smith Drug building. When you visit, you are definitely going to be able to satisfy your sweet tooth because Goodies Chocolates offers a wide range of handmade chocolates and sweets.

Once you walk through the doors, you are going to get a beautiful whiff of chocolate in the air. Then your eyes will open wide when you see the display cases filled with chocolate truffles, fudge, caramels, praline, brittle, and more. Whether you enjoy a simple chocolate covered Oreo or a unique ganache-filled truffle, Goodies Texas has something delicious for you.

I love chocolate truffles more than anything, so I truly enjoyed all the unique flavors and creative artwork. From banana caramel to Texas honey, strawberry cheesecake, and spicy peanut butter and jelly – Goodies Texas excels in creating fantastic truffles. I recommend picking at least one chocolate truffle to try when you purchase your assortment of goodies.

A box full of colorful chocolate truffles from Goodies Texas.

Must order: toffee, chocolate dipped Oreo, and an assortment of truffles – Texas honey, caramel apple, banana caramel, key lime pie, and dark salted caramel.



Where to Sleep for a Romantic Weekend Getaway in McKinney

There are plenty of great accommodation options to choose from for your romantic weekend getaway in McKinney. There are luxurious hotels, small boutique hotels, and B&Bs. Based on our personal experience, we found the Sheraton McKinney Hotel to be absolutely perfect for our romantic weekend getaway.


Sheraton McKinney Hotel

The Sheraton McKinney Hotel is a lovely hotel with friendly staff members, clean facilities, fantastic dining options, and spacious rooms. It is also only a short 10-minute drive away from all the fun activities and restaurants in Historic Downtown McKinney.

As soon as you walk through the lobby doors, you will be blown away by the warm aesthetics welcoming you into the hotel. The lobby has a beautiful seating area with a contemporary design that makes you feel luxurious. The contemporary design flows throughout the hotel from the lobby to the dining room, conference rooms, and hotel rooms.

The Sheraton McKinney Hotel offers guests six different room categories – all spacious, comfortable, and beautiful. The options include a traditional king, traditional two doubles, club level king, club level two doubles, junior suite, and executive suite.


Traditional King Guest Room

We had the pleasure of staying in a traditional king guest room for our romantic weekend getaway in McKinney and found this room to be perfect! The room is very spacious with a desk, a small sitting area with armchairs, a mini-fridge, closet, drawer, and nightstands with a connectivity panel.

Moreover, the bathroom itself is surprisingly huge! The walk-in shower is about the size of a twin-sized bed with perfect overhead water flow. The single sink is also large with plenty of storage capacity and has a personal make-up mirror, which I found very useful when getting ready for all the date nights.

A large bathroom from Sheraton McKinney of the shower and sink.

Overall, we would stay at the Sheraton McKinney Hotel again in a heartbeat and highly recommend the hotel for anyone. Whether you are spending your weekend in McKinney for a romantic getaway, sports tournament, business trip, or family vacation – this is the perfect hotel in McKinney.

So what do you think? Are you ready to book your romantic weekend getaway to McKinney, Texas yet? Are you ready to explore the city and enjoy all of the fun things to do? Are you ready to eat delicious food and drink local craft beers? I hope you said yes because if not, you are truly missing out on a great trip to one of the best cities in Texas.

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