Once considered a suburb of Dallas, Plano has become a destination in its own right. The city of 286,057 and counting is located 20 miles from downtown Dallas and is the ninth most populous city in Texas. Plano boasts excellent neighborhoods with wide streets and spacious homes plus a renowned school system. The affluent city is also home to an impressive job market paired with a surprisingly reasonable cost of living.
Whether you’re looking to relocate from somewhere else in Texas or you’re moving from across the country in order to call the Lone Star State your new state, here are seven things to know before packing your bags and setting up shop in Plano.
It’s Remarkably Safe
If you’re like most Americans, safety is a huge factor when moving somewhere new. Fortunately, if Plano is on your radar, you’ll be pleased to learn that when it comes to security and peace of mind, you can’t do much better than the Texas city. Forbes has repeatedly ranked Plano as one of the safest cities in the country. Incidences of violent crime and property crime are very low.
Many Plano locals believe that the reason for this is two-fold: Plano’s police department requires that all officers have four-year degrees, making them especially prepared for the job. Plus, Plano’s police force nurtures a strong community of volunteers who help keep the city safe. About 200 Plano citizens spend their time doing neighborhood watches and monitoring security cameras.
Need a Job? Move to Plano
Plano deserves serious bragging rights when it comes to the job market. Many corporations including six Fortune 500 companies call the city home. If you’ve ever dreamed of working in the corporate offices of JC Penney, Capital One, Toyota Motor North America or Frito Lay, Plano is the place to be.
As you might expect, the median household income in Plano is 60% above the national average at $79,234. Despite this, the cost of living isn’t astronomical (yet). The median home price in Plano is $332,600 and it’s still possible to find a one-bedroom apartment for $1,000 a month.
Urban areas have been trending more liberal for a long time now, but for politically-minded Texans who lean right, Plano is a great option. The city has been ranked as one of the most conservative places in the the United States. Plano has a republican mayor and many conservative political groups.
Heat and Humidity
Get ready for big Texas hair. The humidity in Plano will be sure to supersize your curls. The area is known for its hot and humid weather. Temperatures in July and August soar into the 90’s, but the humidity can make things feel much stickier. And speaking of moisture, get ready for one heck of a rainy season come May. If you’re a fan of frosty winters, you won’t find them in Plano, but you will find cooler temperatures in December and January, though snow and below-freezing weather are not common.
You Won’t Run Out of Parks to Visit
Plano offers an insane number of parks. Want to guess how many? If you guessed 84 parks, you were correct. No wonder the Plano Department of Parks and Recreation is nationally accredited. The agency oversees 70 miles of recreational trails ranging from the one mile Hoblitzelle Loop to the 8.3 mile Bluebonnet Trail. For parks, there’s the Arbor Hills Nature Preserve with 200 acres of trails and an observation tower, Big Lake Park with opportunities for paddling and wildlife viewing, Shawnee Park with its disc golf course and many, many more parks—80 more, to be exact.
Ride the Rails Through Time
If you’re a train lover or a history lover—or even better, both—you’ll be a huge fan of the Interurban Railway Museum. Located in downtown Plano, this museum features exhibits on electricity, science and history. You can tour a 107 year-old railroad car, see photographs of the Texas Electric Railway or bring your kids to a children’s storytime. Best of all, the museum is totally free.
Downtown Plano combines the look and feel of an old Texas main street with modern amenities. There’s always something to do. You can join in on a wine walk with live music, hit up a dog-friendly social hour, stroll the weekend farmers market or settle in for an outdoor movie. Downtown Plano is the place to browse for vintage home decor or have some award-winning Texas barbecue. And thanks to light rail, the area is more accessible than ever.
All aboard! Next stop, your new hometown of Plano.