This Texas City Is Having a Moment — and It's Home to Universal's Upcoming Theme Park

The Dallas suburb of Frisco is already packed with fun things to do — what to know.

Aerial view of The Star entertainment complex in Frisco, Texas

Courtesy of Visit Frisco

With news that Universal Parks & Resorts is planning its first theme park outside of Florida or California in Frisco, Texas, many people are planning their first visit to this booming Dallas suburb. Even before Universal announced its latest project, Frisco was already among the fastest-growing cities in the U.S., serving as a commuter city for professionals in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex

But the city’s small railroad-town charm (Frisco was named for an 1800s rail line), combined with some major coups in attracting various sporting institutions and tech startups over the past decade, give Frisco a distinctly trendy and fun-loving vibe.

Here’s a primer on what to do, where to stay, and where to eat when you visit Frisco, Texas. 

Things to Do in Frisco, Texas

Large statue of figures in a huddle outside of The Star (Dallas Cowboys practice facility)

Courtesy of Visit Frisco

Experience life as a Dallas Cowboy.

Frisco won the hearts of Dallas Cowboys fans in 2016 with its stunning 91-acre practice facility called The Star, complete with Ford Center, which is shared by the Cowboys as well as local high schools, who get the chance to compete on the same hallowed field. Outside Ford Center, you’ll see Tostitos Championship Plaza, a place for the public to gather for special outdoor events like concerts, football game watch parties, and more. 

Guided tours of The Star, which give you a peek behind the scenes of Cowboys life, include stops at Ford Center; the “War Room” where owner Jerry Jones presides on Draft Day; and displays dedicated to history-making moments such as Roger Staubach’s original 1975 “Hail Mary” pass to win a playoff game.

Shop and dine in the "$5 Billion Mile."

The Star is the crown jewel of what’s called the “$5 Billion Mile,” a development that includes shopping, restaurants, and hotels throughout Frisco, including Snowbird Cocktail Lounge & Kitchen for creative bites and drinks and The Glen & The Monarch, a locally owned seafood restaurant with a neighboring scotch and cigar bar.

Get the kids employed at KidZania.

Kids line up in pretend firefighter gear and trying to put out a fake fire at KidZania

Courtesy of Visit Frisco

Less than two miles away at Stonebriar Centre shopping mall, you’ll find the Frisco branch of international children’s attraction KidZania, which opened its first (and to date, only) North American location in Frisco in late 2018. Filled with super interactive stations that aim to let kids experience different careers, earning money (and yes, even paying taxes) in their own kid-themed “city,” it’s a truly novel concept that is particularly well suited for elementary-age kids.

Play Frogger at the National Videogame Museum.

The National Videogame Museum is a trip through time for those old enough to remember wood-paneled rec rooms outfitted with Atari and Intellivision game systems (Burger Time, anyone?) as well as more modern-day Nintendo systems. An arcade stocked with vintage games is a fun way to spend a few hours steeped in nostalgia.

And then play video games at the table at Nerdvana.

Exhibit of older computer and video game consoles at the National Video Game Museum

Courtesy of Visit Frisco

Level up your visit by heading to Nerdvana, a casual restaurant with a game-themed menu of meals and cocktails. The best part is that you can select a console and play video games right at your booth, or select from a menu of board games.

Make your own soccer kit at the National Soccer Hall of Fame.

Interior exhibition room with soccer kits and foosball table at the National Soccer Hall of Fame

Courtesy of the National Soccer Hall of Fame

The National Soccer Hall of Fame opened its headquarters in Frisco in Toyota Stadium (home of FC Dallas) in 2018 and features inductees since its beginning in 1979. There are also interactive exhibits allowing you to create your own national soccer team, design your own uniform, and even create and take home a scarf.

Enjoy good old-fashioned Texas barbecue.

Hutchin's BBQ plate with brisket and mac and cheese

Courtesy of Hutchin's BBQ

If you’re new to Texas, you’ll have to make your way to the pit for a traditional Lone Star welcome. Luckily, you won’t have to venture far: Hutchins BBQ in Frisco earns high marks for its brisket, smoked turkey breast, and pork ribs, plus its signature dish, the Texas Twinkie: a jalapeño pepper filled with brisket and cream cheese, with a crisp slice of bacon wrapped around it.

Splash around in the outfield during a summer ballgame.

During baseball season, head to Riders Field (formerly known as Dr. Pepper Ballpark), a Minor League stadium that’s home to the Frisco RoughRiders, Double-A affiliate team of the Texas Raiders. The team celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. Strangely enough, the stadium boasts a 3,000-square-foot lazy river at the ballpark’s right field — a refreshing place to take in a game on a hot summer day.

Hotels in Frisco, Texas

Omni Frisco

Interior guestroom bed area of the Omni Frisco Hotel

Courtesy of Omni Frisco Hotel

If you want to stay near all the action at The Star, a great option is the Omni Frisco, which is connected to Ford Center and overlooks Tostitos Championship Plaza. The Charlotte Jones Collection gift shop offers items curated by the Cowboys’ executive vice president and chief brand officer (and Jerry Jones’ daughter).

Omni PGA Resort

Aerial rendering view of the Omni PGA resort that will be surrounded by golf courses in Frisco, Texas

Courtesy of Omni

Golf fans should tee up a stay at the brand-new Omni PGA Resort, which opens in May. This 660-acre resort will serve as the headquarters of PGA of America and will feature two 18-hole championship golf courses, a two-acre putting course, and a 10-hole short course, in addition to 500 hotel rooms and suites, 10 ranch houses, and an entertainment district.

Westin Stonebriar Golf Resort & Spa

An outdoor lounge seating area around a firepit

Courtesy of Visit Frisco

A great family-friendly option is the Westin Stonebriar Golf Resort & Spa, which was renovated in 2020 and includes an on-site spa, an outdoor pool with a waterslide and an outdoor bar, a Westin Family Kids Club, and a Topgolf Swing Suite.

Hyatt Regency Frisco

The Hyatt Regency Frisco opened in 2020 and is connected to the Stonebriar Centre mall. On-site restaurants include Copper & Steel Table & Bar, as well as poolside food and beverages. Because of its proximity to the mall, suite guests may choose to book a Nordstrom personal shopping experience inside their suite. 

How to Get to Frisco, Texas

If you’re flying to Texas, the closest major airport is Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW). Frisco is located about 30 minutes northeast of DFW. Car rental and shuttle services are available, as well as rideshare services, which average $50 for a one-way ride from the airport to downtown Frisco. The Trinity Metro TEXRail offers routes to nearby Grapevine, Irving, Dallas, and Fort Worth — not to Frisco, but occasionally travelers have had success hailing rides from Grapevine instead of waiting at the airport.

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