Monthly Archives: May 2012

Fun Things to Do in Frisco – Shops at Starwood, Stonebriar Country Club and the Crossroads Winery

The summer is approaching and it seems like it’s going to be a hot one in Frisco, Texas. Not that that’s all that unusual, but chances are that either way you’re looking for some fun things to do this summer in Frisco. So, this article should walk you through a few different sources of entertainment.

First up is the Shops at Starwood. This commercial district right outside the Starwood gated community is where you’ll go to find many of Frisco’s most high-end shopping hotspots. You can also catch a bite to eat or stop by one of the nearby parks. If you’re in for some good eating, check out either Smashburger for something casual, or Bonnie Ruth’s Cafe Trottoir et Patisserie for something a little more exquisite.

When it comes to entertainment, you definitely won’t want to miss the Stonebriar Country Club. This center of relaxation is a great place for an afternoon of relaxation whether you are a man or woman. You can enjoy a round of golf on their championship golf course (which is also quite fairly priced), you can grab a bite to eat at the Stonebriar Clubhouse, or you can relax in the Stonebriar Spa. No matter who you are, you’ll definitely enjoy a trip to Stonebriar.

Lastly, for an exquisite sampling of some fine wines head over to the Crossroads Winery. There are few better ways to enjoy a Sunday afternoon than taking in the Flight of 13 Wines Sampling for only $10. This chic little wine bar is quite entertaining and has a great atmosphere; a great place to unwind with friends or a loved one.

Frisco may not be the biggest town in Texas, but that doesn’t mean you can’t stay entertained this summer. Start with any of the three options outlined here, and just see if you find yourself a new favorite pastime.

The Best Southern Barbecue in McKinney Texas – Hutchins BBQ & Grill

It would be hard to live in Texas and not love BBQ. After all, Southern style cooking is deeply rooted in Texas, and what you would eat here should set the bar for what you expect from BBQ anywhere in the country. But there’s a difference between good barbecue and great barbecue, and that’s what Hutchins BBQ & Grill is all about. It takes traditional Southern BBQ to a whole new level with a delicious assortment of homemade meals and dishes. You might think barbecue is simple, but after seeing the chefs at work in Hutchins you’ll never think so again.

It seems as if every item on the menu at Hutchins BBQ & Grill has been deliciously perfected to its full potential. From the simple jalapeno cornbread, to their fried catfish and country fried steak, to their highly acclaimed BBQ prime ribs, just about everything on the menu will have you double checking what you thought you expected from traditional barbecue. Beware that their home-baked rolls are borderline addicting!

However, despite absolutely delicious food and highly trained and professional waitstaff, perhaps the most alluring part of Hutchins BBQ & Grill is the prices. What you pay here will not only be less than what you would pay at one of the chain BBQ joints that riddle the Dallas Metroplex, but the quality of food is far superior. You can get an all you can eat special complete with a drink for only about $15. Considering the freshness of their ingredients and how much love and care goes into each mouthwatering meal, it would be hard to walk away from Hutchins anything less than completely satisfied. This hole in the wall BBQ gem is a must-taste if you live anywhere near McKinney, and perhaps is reason enough in and of itself to consider the McKinney area for your next home!

3 Fun Places for Kids Entertainment This Summer in Plano

School is out and your kids are home for the summer. It’s only been two or three weeks, but already they are starting to climb the walls and drive you crazy in the process. Thankfully, Plano has a lot to offer families looking for entertainment. Check out these fun summer activities that you can enjoy with your kids:

Planet Pizza – Your kids are bound to walk away exhausted after a day of fun at Planet Pizza. This sprawling indoor amusement park is home to some 50+ arcade games and a massive indoor playground. Adults can enjoy the bumper cars while the kids enjoy the games and other rides, all while chowing down on piping hot pizza. It’s entertainment and food all rolled into one, making it very easy for you as the parent or caretaker.

Hawaiian Falls  – One of the biggest and best water parks in all of Texas, this will be a great place to enjoy a day of fun for the whole family. You can find relaxation under the sun with typical waterpark attractions such as a wave pool and a lazy river, or for something more exciting you can opt for the brand-new torpedo ride. Best of all, a day at Hawaiian Falls will only cost you 25 bucks a head, making it one of the cheapest amusement parks in all of Texas.

Paint ‘N Party – For your creatively oriented youngsters, you can get out of the house and encourage some artistic expression by visiting the Paint ‘N Party ceramics studio. With a wide array of ceramic and plaster pre-fired designs to choose from, you can let your kids create their own idea of fun, literally. All supplies you or your kids could possibly need to paint and create your own ceramic pieces are provided by Paint ‘N Party so that you can show up and get to work without any prior preparation.

The Road to Luxury at Eldorado Country Club in McKinney

Despite being one of the most rapidly developing communities in the country, McKinney maintains itself with a distinct small-town atmosphere with the accompanying natural charm. This elegant and historic community is easily considered luxurious no matter where or who you are, but for the crème de la crème of a laid back lifestyle you’ll want to turn to one of McKinney’s country clubs. The Eldorado Country Club in McKinney, Texas is representative of the vibrance seen throughout the rest of the town, and is truly a delightful place to live.

So, what sets Eldorado Country Club apart? For one, it is a private members-only club which means that you have to be sponsored/invited by a current member to become a member yourself. Don’t worry if you are new in the area and have no way of knowing anyone beforehand… If you meet with their special Membership Committee they can help you figure out how and if you belong in the club, as well as answer many of your other questions. In addition to the exclusive nature of the club, you will enjoy many of the typical club amenities such as a pool, restaurant and clubhouse, but you’ll also enjoy a 18-hole championship golf course and lots of other sporting opportunities. Being in Texas, Eldorado country club takes it one step further… There is a huge emphasis placed on providing the community with social events for members of all walks of life, but especially for families. Eldorado Country Club is 100% dedicated to making each day better than the one before, so that every hour is a unique experience.

In addition to a premium country club living experience, you will be placed right in the heart of Southern living at its best in McKinney, Texas. Even if Eldorado Country Club isn’t for you, the community of McKinney very likely could be. Why not start off your search by looking in El Dorado, and then if you don’t see anything you like or if selection is limited then you can search some of McKinney’s other communities.

Enjoy the Texas Outdoors at Plano’s Perfect Nature Preserves

Much of what calls prospective home buyers to Texas real estate in the first place is the adjacency to some of the countries most expansive natural scenery. It seems like no matter where you go, there is more space in Texas… Probably because there really is! The Texas outdoors are wondrous to behold no matter where you live, as long as it’s not inner-city Dallas. But still, it’s probably true that Plano offers a little something special, if nothing else because it isn’t as jam-packed full of pesky buildings…There’s simply more space for nature. In fact, Plano has a few different nature preserves dedicated to preserving thriving Texas ecosystems.

Arbor Hills Nature Preserve is a an excellent conglomeration of several different ecosystems… You can enjoy a walk on a well-kept paved pathway through wide-open prairie land and densely wooded forest alike. For the explorers out there, there are quite a few unpaved trails that offer an afternoon of good times and full absorption into nature. There are several pavilions and observation towers throughout the preserve, each of which can be reserved by residents for a special discount…Arbor Hills would be a gorgeous place for a wedding!

Another deep breath of fresh air can be found at the Oak Point Park & Nature Preserve. Especially since Arbor Hills has become more well known to non-Plano residents, Oak Point is a great place to go to enjoy consistent seclusion away from crowds of people and, even worse, the endless streams of cyclists. There are so many opportunities to view wildlife and beautiful flora; walkers/joggers along the trail can enjoy an undisturbed work out fully enthralled by Texas’ beauty. And whatever you do, keep this precious little sanctuary a secret so that it doesn’t get ruined by popularity!

How to Celebrate Memorial Day in North Dallas

Are you looking for some fun activities to mark this Memorial Day weekend? If you are living in Dallas, you won’t have to want for entertainment as there are a plethora of options available to you. Whether you are looking for a somber remembrance of this country’s fallen or an honorific celebration of the gifts and blessings you enjoy every day thanks to your freedom, you’re sure to find an event or two in Dallas to satiate your patriotic desires. Here are 4 great events for you to enjoy this Memorial Day weekend:

Fireworks Over Lake Grapevine - Memorial Day weekend marks the beginning of this weekly fireworks display which is free for you to enjoy every Friday night at 9:30 PM until Labor Day weekend later in 2012. Stop by one of the nearby parks for a visual treat!

Carry the Load - Definitely one of the more meaningful ways you can celebrate the sacrifice of this nations’ war heroes, Carry the Load is a 20-hour long haul in which you’ll take a physical perspective on remembrance. Basically, at 4 PM Sunday night (May 27) you’ll begin walking, and you won’t stop until 12:12 PM on Monday – 20 hours and 12 minutes later. This will surely give you a new perspective on life, the gift of freedom and the burden carried by fallen soldiers. Donations and fund raising are optional, but encouraged.

CityArts Festival - If not for freedom you might not be able to enjoy this sort of festival in celebration of the fine arts. Enjoy delicious food, flowing drinks, good times and great music at the annual CityArts Festival at Fair Park…It’s free and runs from May 25 to May 27.

Memorial Day Car Show – You can either take it easy or show off this Memorial Day at the Memorial Day Car Show depending on whether or not you are an attendee or a registrant. This family-friendly event is free to attend and only $10 to register, and there is sure to be an excess of food and fun for you to enjoy all day from noon till 4 PM on Monday, May 28.

Real Estate Professionals in Plano – Don’t Miss the Hear It Direct Conference on May 21

It is no secret that there are many real estate opportunities in the North Dallas area, not at all excluding those in the Plano area. With great bang for your buck, buyers all over the country are flocking to Texas for spacious properties at prices unavailable anywhere else. Similarly, there are more than a few unfamiliar sellers seeking an agent to work through to assist in their relocation. But you can always make more of your real estate business, and that is exactly the opportunity that Hear It Direct offers to brokers, realtors and other professionals in the Plano, Texas area this year on May 21st at the Plano Marriott.

The point of this seminar is to help you reinvent your business and forcefully insert yourself into the mind of your target client, whether that be a buyer or seller. Hear It Direct is a series of conferences held all over the country in different local real estate markets to give area professionals a better idea of how they could improve their business. The specific focus of these conferences is to understand the consumer mindset when it comes to real estate; it should be very beneficial for any real estate professional of any experience level. In fact, casual home buyers and sellers in the area seeking extra education may wish to attend, although the focus will be on the pros.

The Hear It Direct event in Plano Texas will begin at 8:30 AM and tickets are limited, so you will definitely want to go ahead and buy ahead of time if you haven’t already. The entire conference will be recorded for your purchase afterward, so that you can keep the lessons with you for the extent of your career (and you’ll definitely want to!). In addition to being extremely educational and helpful to seasoned and amateur real estate professionals alike, you can also expect a great networking opportunity…In fact, the event wraps up with an hour for attendees to interact with each other, sharing notes, stories and experiences in an effort to get as much out of the conference as possible. Who knows the next time this national panel of experts will grace the Plano area, so if it’s something you’re interested in, you really won’t want to miss the Hear It Direct conference next weekend!

It’s a Great Time for Buyers in Frisco – Why Not Check Out Starwood Village?

Frisco is an explosively growing area in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex forecast to dramatically increase in size over the next 20 years. For this reason, it’s definitely a good place to buy in as a prospective homeowner…You’re home values aren’t going down anytime soon, and even if they do the long term forecast is nothing but optimistic. For the time being, you can expect a homey atmosphere with great opportunities for anyone looking for a home in  the $300K to $700K range. Of course, there’ll always be those outliers upwards of 1 million, but for the most part you can find very reasonably priced homes in Frisco, Texas.

Within Frisco, one of the fastest growing subdivisions located in the Southwestern portion of the city is the Starwood Village master-planned community. This comparatively higher end community averages homes around $600K, and is expected to work his way up to 880 properties by the time the community has finished construction. Once again the pattern continues that now is a good time to buy in Frisco…Prices in Starwood Village in particular are lower than they should be because of upcoming construction, but that won’t be the case forever.

Starwood Village sets itself apart from the rest of Frisco with extra high quality schools and an overall sense of convenience compared to the surrounding community, which can by times become tedious to navigate and commute. Living in Starwood Village you will have easy access to great schools with top-notch athletic programs for your kids and a wide range of dining, entertainment and shopping options nearby. Starwood Village is also home to the Superdome, which is an internationally recognized facility that was host to the 2000 Olympic trials.

Commute to inner Dallas from Starwood Village is a little on the lengthy side (something worth knowing if you’re moving for a job), but on the whole it is more than tolerable and the benefits of living in such a nice community far outweigh the cons of such a commute. With a median age of around 30 years old, Starwood Village (and indeed the whole of Frisco, Texas in general) make a great place for young families aspiring towards a comfortable lifestyle for their kids.

The Square Burger in McKinney – Tasty Food So Good it Needs 4 Corners

One of the freshest and tasty burger joints in all of Texas, The Square Burger is the perfect place to grab a casual bite to eat that will have you coming back for more, even over some of McKinney’s more typical fine dining options. Their namesake square burgers are made from the juiciest beef, picked up fresh daily from the Local Yocal, and served on a crispy brioche bun from the local Empire Bakery; you won’t find anything but organic ingredients at this simultaneously healthy and delicious restaurant.

Many burger joints may leave you frustrated because they will be unable to fix your burger to your specifications… For example asking for a medium rare burger will yield you meat that is either to cooked or not cooked enough. Not so at The Square Burger…The head chef and co-owner, Craig Brundege, is a culinary artist with a degree from the California Culinary Academy, and he’s cooked at some of the best high end eateries in big cities such as LA and San Francisco; that alone should tell you this isn’t your run of the mill burger joint. If not, just peruse their diverse menu of unique burgers, such as the salmon burger or the lamb burger!

In addition to delicious burgers, you will have your pick from a vibrant international beers and ales to complement your meal. Altogether this generous restaurant is a delicious place to stop and grab a bite, whether you’re entertaining a client or looking for something your family would enjoy. It does get a little bit busy, so plan about a 20 min. wait into your schedule if you’re coming on the weekends, but it shouldn’t need to be said at this point that the food is more than worth the wait. This is one of the few places in the Dallas-Fort Worth area that will make you legitimately sad to leave; once you take the last bite of your burger you will find yourself longing for more, maybe even to the point that you’d be willing to sneak one last bite from your friend’s!

Will You Find Your Dream Home in Gleneagles – A Plano, Texas Subdivision?

If you’re looking for a home in a beautiful high-end neighborhood in the North Dallas metro area, look no further than Plano. Plano, Texas real estate, particularly in the master planned community of Gleneagles in West Plano, introduces you to carefree Texan living at its finest. The Gleneagles subdivision even provides you with access to your very own Country Club – Gleneagles.

The 300 homes that make up the Gleneagles subdivision of West Plano are divided roughly into 6 major neighborhoods:

Construction is fairly recent in all of the neighborhoods, with the oldest homes being built in the mid-80s. Housing in Gleneagles is representative of what you’d expect from high-end Texan real estate… You’ll enjoy surprisingly reasonable prices for an enormous amount of space. Even the smaller homes are still well over 2,000 square feet, but the average is closer to 5,000 square feet with 8,000+ not being at all uncommon.

As a resident in the Gleneagles community you’ll enjoy more than your fair share of amenities included with your HOA dues – in addition to the aforementioned Gleneagles Country Club, there is also a Gleneagles Athletic Club, several well-kept neighborhood swimming pools, a bustling community clubhouse, a meticulously maintained landscape with an excess of verdant walking trails. There’s also gated access to the communities in Cliffs of Glen Eagles, Greens of Gleneagles and Villas of Gleneagles if you want extra safety and privacy.

As long as you’re in the market for something over $300K there is sure to be a home with your name on it in one of the neighborhoods of Gleneagles in Plano, Texas. This is one area where you really want to plan a visit because you really can’t get the full feeling of openness and tranquility without actually being in Gleaneagles for yourself.