The Downtown Plano Station allows others to see what East Planoites have known for years: downtown Plano is cool. Within a two-block radius is a growing number of hotspot bars and restaurants, including Vickery Park, Fillmore Pub, Urban Crust and Urban Rio; Haggard Park, an understated gem in the Plano parks system; and Courtyard Theater of Plano/Cox Building Playhouse, home to the Rover Dramawerks theater company.
Anyone who's ridden DART anytime in the past 10 years knows all about this stop. Redeveloped in 2001 to take advantage of the next-door light-rail line, Mockingbird Station is home to Angelika Film Center Dallas, one of the few theaters in Dallas to feature independent films, plus restaurants, bars and shops. Plus, within walking distance are things like the always hilarious Pocket Sandwich Theatre, trendy Hotel Palomar and Southern Methodist University, home to McFarlin Auditorium, an intimate venue for live music, literary events and more.
There is a lot to admire about the Fair Park Station: the art deco design, the way it seamlessly integrates with both the street and the entrance to Fair Park. But its biggest selling point is that it enables you to ditch your car (and therefore save on parking) to get to the multiple big events there, most notably the State Fair of Texas. Although the State Fair is undoubtedly the biggest happening at Fair Park, venues and museums such as the Music Hall at Fair Park, Gexa Energy Pavilion and the African American Museum are open year-round.
It's only three blocks from this station to Flora Street, the Dallas Arts District's main drag. Once you get there, the (arts) world is your oyster: the Dallas Museum of Art, Crow Collection of Asian Art, Nasher Sculpture Center, and the AT&T Performing Arts Center – including the Meyerson Symphony Center, Winspear Opera House, Wyly Theatre and new Dallas City Performance Hall – all reside along Flora. Also, the Plaza of the Americas, which houses shopping, an ice rink and Dallas Marriott City Center Hotel, is literally right next door the DART station, making it an ideal spot for tourists to stay.
One of the newest stations in the entire DART system, the Irving Convention Center Station is – for now – the terminus of the orange line. It also puts you within walking distance of – whaddya know? – the architecturally striking Irving Convention Center at Las Colinas, which has become a hot destination for a variety of conventions. Savor Dallas, Dallas Comic-Con and ZestFest are among the events that have fallen for the ICC’s charms.