McKinney, Texas

Home of the Lions

Looklyloo Score: 85

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The Area

McKinney is on the north side of the Dallas Fort Worth Metroplex, more commonly known as DFW Metroplex. It’s farther north than other suburban cities like Plano or Frisco but not by much. All of DFW is easily accessible by car and there is a train but it doesn’t reach McKinney so not practical for commuting.

Many people think of DFW as a great big giant city (with 7.2 million people) with borders among the cities, suburbs and towns as largely irrelevant given the lack of natural borders from things like rivers or lakes. While there can be plenty of traffic in DFW for the most part the freeway system/turnpike gets everyone around in very short drives (or train rides) relative to most of the other large metroplexes. DFW is extremely new compared to the other big developed metroplexes and that means it is just more convenient. You’re 15-35 minutes into downtown Dallas or Fort Worth from a great majority of the suburbs which means if you choose to live that rolling lawn lifestyle it’s not far to hit the big cities. Most of the popular suburbs are directly north Dallas: Plano, McKinney, Frisco among others but there are also plenty in between the two cities: Irving, Arlington and Grand Prairie that draw a lot of attention as well.

If you’re looking for the most “developed” of the north suburbs in terms of a commercial district then Plano is a good option. Frisco is the fastest growing with the most development happening and McKinney as the farthest north tends to be a bit better on pricing. It also tends to be the most conservative if that is to your liking.

None of this means you have to live close to one of the big cities. The Metroplex is nearly 9,300 square miles, which means it is larger than the land areas of six U.S. states. If you want rural you can find it here.

Historic Downtown

Young Professionals

McKinney has a notable Historic Downtown district and while it will in no way replace being in downtown Dallas it can make do in a pinch for a local beer or meal. If you’re trying to save some bucks and live away from the big city, perhaps also for a shorter commute than this is a good neighborhood option. There are some casual eating and drinking options when you feel like hanging local and want to just walk to the bar or restaurant of your choosing.

  • Historic Downtown

Auburn Hills


Family life is where McKinney shines. Master-planned communities like Auburn Hills are ideal if you want life to be easy and awesome for the kiddos. The Gray Branch Park has cycling and hiking trails, an amphitheater, lacrosse, soccer, baseball fields and both indoor and outdoor recreation spaces for all sorts of other sports and play options. This is all in addition to great newer homes and excellent schools. Master-planned communities like Auburn Hills dominate the neighborhoods here, all with plenty of amenities, outdoor play, and plenty of water to cool off in during the summer months.

  • Auburn Hills
  • Craig Ranch
  • Hardin Lake
  • Isleworth
  • Trinity Falls

The Retreat at Craig Ranch

Empty Nesters/Retirees

McKinney has a combination of appealing neighborhoods and 55+ communities to choose from. The weather, amenity-filled options and reasonable prices are appealing for empty nesters and retirees. Any of the master-planned communities have a lot of the great homes and nearby amenities retirees appreciate. There are several highly-rated 55+ communities in McKinney, like The Retreat at Craig Ranch. The Retreat has a 9,000 square foot, two-story clubhouse with amazing activity options for residents. It also offers access to the Cooper Aerobics and Fitness Center, and indoor and outdoor fitness and spa facility. This place is nice.

  • The Retreat at Craig Ranch
  • Villas at Willow Grove
  • Fireside Village