Outside Magazine, an online publication that specializes in the outdoors, recently named Plano as one of the happiest places to live in America.
In its report, titled “The 15 Happiest Places to Live in the U.S.,” Outside Magazine consulted internal researchers and experts across the country to determine the best towns that people could move to to just feel better overall.
Plano was included on the list for several reasons, including its abundance of parks, which earned the North Texas city the honorable distinction of ranking first statewide in the Trust for Public Land’s annual ParkScore report.
Plano’s 85 parks and pair of nature preserves caught the attention of the publication, with a whopping 67% of residents living within a 10-minute walk to a park, offering locals the chance to enjoy a variety of outdoor activities like biking and fishing, to name a few.
For active-minded folks, Outside Magazine says that Plano is the perfect place to get a sweat on, providing dozens of sports fields that are used for everything from soccer to cricket, along with a downtown skatepark and spaces for fitness classes such as Pilates and boxing.
In addition to its offerings of fun-filled activities, Outside Magazine also referred to Plano as a “leader in forward-thinking suburban living,” paying reference to the city’s new composting initiative, its environmental education in schools, along with its master plan for preserving parklands as examples.
Finally, heterogeneity was a highlight of Plano in the eyes of the publication, noting the city’s ethnically diverse populace — which includes a large Chinese community — as well its LGBTQIA+ population, a community that the city celebrates each year with its annual North Texas Pride Come As You Are Festival.
“What constitutes a happy town? It comes down to things like ample outdoor access for all, affordability, a safe environment, diversity, and freedom for residents to be who they are,” said Outside Magazine associate managing editor Tasha Zemke and deputy editor and travel director Mary Turner.