McKinney Texas at a Glance
Location: 30 miles northeast of Dallas
Access: State highways 75, 121 and 380; Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport; McKinney National Airport
Major Meeting Spaces: Sheraton McKinney Hotel and Conference Center, Holiday Inn and Suites McKinney-Fairview, Grand Hotel and Ballroom
Hotel Rooms: 1,564
Off-Site Venues: McKinney Cotton Mill, Adriatica Village, Heritage Village at Chestnut Square
McKinney Convention and Visitors Bureau
History is everywhere you look in McKinney, Texas.
Founded in 1848, McKinney didn’t come into its own until the railroad arrived in 1872. After that, settlers flocked to the area where cotton, farming and milling were king. Fast-forward to 2021 and many of the city’s original buildings have been repurposed as the Historic Downtown McKinney Cultural District, one of the best-known historic districts in Texas, with 120 unique shops, an extensive and diverse culinary scene, two wineries, bars, and live music on the weekends.
“Our downtown cultural district is the true gem of McKinney that draws so many people here,” said Dee-Dee Guerra, executive director of Visit McKinney. “Its authentic charm enhances the experience, from the exceptional dining and shopping, walking tours of the historic retail district, murals and public art.”
Just a 30-minute drive from Dallas, McKinney has all the amenities of a larger destination but caters to groups that prefer a more intimate setting. At the crossroads of Texas state highways 75, 121 and 380, McKinney is easy to get to for those close enough to drive, and state Hwy. 121 takes visitors directly there from Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. For corporate and private jets, McKinney National Airport is a full-service north Texas general aviation hub.
The city’s main full-service meeting facility is the Sheraton McKinney Hotel and Conference Center, which has 187 guest rooms and 23,761 square feet of meeting space. The facility plays host to events of all sizes. Its 7,665-square-foot Throckmorton Ballroom can hold up to 824 people theater style or 610 for a banquet. The city also has plenty of distinctive venues — from a historic cotton mill to the city’s performing arts center.
Top Meeting Hotels
Though it doesn’t have a standalone convention center, McKinney has four convention hotels. The Sheraton is the largest, followed by the Holiday Inn and Suites McKinney-Fairview, with 99 rooms and 2,614 square feet of meeting space, and the Grand Hotel and Ballroom, a historic downtown boutique property with 44 rooms, a 2,500-square-foot ballroom and three small meeting spaces. Fairfield Inn and Suites-Dallas McKinney is set to open this month, with 964 square feet of meeting space and 85 guest rooms, adding hotel space to an area of the city that didn’t have that amenity before.
The Heard Natural Science Museum and Wildlife Sanctuary not only makes a great off-site venue, but with its ropes course, guided trails hikes through the Heard Sanctuary and many wildlife, nature and science exhibits, the museum is also a wonderful spot to spend the day or complete teambuilding activities. Groups can rent space in the museum’s Science Resource Center, Laughlin Hall or the outdoor native plant garden. The McKinney Performing Arts Center, which is housed in the historic 1872 Collin County Courthouse, features theater productions, concerts and juried art shows. Meeting groups can rent out the courtroom theater, gallery and three smaller rooms there.
Meeting groups can sign up for the Bad Boys and Desperados of Old McKinney Trolley tour, a one-hour tour of famous outlaw sites and hangouts around old McKinney that leaves from Chestnut Square. They can also take self-guided residential or downtown historic walking tours using downloadable maps from the Visit McKinney website. The website also has an interactive Historic Building Walking Tour map. Free guided tours, which leave from the visitors center, give visitors a peek into McKinney’s history, telling stories of the events and people that shaped the city.