Don’t be fooled by the fact that Frisco stands in the shadow of the behemoth city of Dallas. Frisco is one of America’s fastest growing and most progressive little cities and offers many attractions to visitors. Sam Houston State Bearkat fans heading to Frisco for the NCAA Division I Football Championship Game on January 7, 2012 will find ample accommodations, plenty of eating options, unique shopping venues in addition to outstanding athletic facilities. Pizza Hut Park, with its 21,000-seat capacity, is conveniently located on Frisco’s Main Street, easily accessible from the Dallas North Tollway. Across the street is Frisco Square with a variety of restaurants and interesting shops, a seasonal outdoor skating rink, their City Hall and public library. Frisco’s amazing Christmas in the Square lights display, coordinated with holiday music, will remain on through the game weekend. Close-by, the Frisco Heritage Museum highlights the town’s history. Two of the main exhibit areas feature the importance of the railroad to the town’s development and the cotton industry. Outdoor exhibits showcase several historic buildings including a one-room school, a log cabin and a church. Just east of Frisco Square is Frisco’s historic downtown area. Main Street is lined with shops and restaurants including Randy’s Steakhouse, a perennial favorite with locals. Enjoy hand-cut steaks and other specialties in a century-old home. For more casual fare, try a coney dog at Double Dip topped off with one of owner Lloyd Sheets’ ice cream creations like his best-selling Gizmo – vanilla custard ice cream (Sheets’ own recipe) with extra hot fudge and caramel covered with pecans and cherries. Several hundred eateries guarantee you won’t go hungry in Frisco. They range from drive-ins to the most elegant establishments. If you’re hankering for Tex-Mex, Mattito’s is right across from the stadium in Frisco Square. A few door down is family-owned Josephine’s, specializing in Italian cuisine. Or check out Best Thai or Sake Toro sushi on the other side of the street. Other options I’ve tried and can recommend include: TruFire Kitchen & Bar, a cozy Italian bistro with imaginative takes on Italian, Mediterranean and American entrees and Bonnie Ruth’s Café et Patisserie, a great spot for weekend brunch, both at the Shops at Starwood. One2One, located at Stonebriar Commons, is a sleek, chic eatery with an open kitchen and wood-fired pizza oven. Their ginger beef tenderloin is outstanding. You’ll also find a variety of lodging options. The Comfort Suites at Frisco Square is within walking distance and most convenient to the stadium. Other choices include Hampton Inn, Homewood Suites, Holiday Inn Frisco Stonebriar, Holiday Inn Express, Hilton Garden Inn, Wingate by Wyndham, and Sheraton Stonebriar Hotel. Aloft and Embassy Suites are also good choices. For an upscale stay, the Westin Stonebriar sets the bar high with its first-class accommodations and Tom Fazio golf course. Visitors can shop until they drop at one of the local malls – Stonebriar Centre is one of the region’s largest malls with over 160 stores; it even has a carousel. The Centre at Preston Ridge with 115 stores and the Shops at Starwood are other possibilities. People come long distances to shop in specialty stores like gigantic IKEA and Sam Moon Trading Company. Sam Moon carries accessories, purses, luggage, etc. at big bargain prices. The store gets so crowded that summer visitors are advised not to wear sandals! The newest addition to Frisco’s entertainment menu is Pole Position Raceway, an indoor speedway featuring Italian-made electric racecars which can reach speeds of 45 miles per hour. Children have to be at least 48 inches tall to participate. Fourteen laps around the convoluted track equal three and a half miles. It’s a bit pricey and there can be waits, so check in advance for prices and reservations – polepositionraceway.com. Strikz has 32 lanes for bowling, laser tag and an arcade while Dave & Busters, in the Stonebriar Centre, has over 200 arcade games, billiards and shuffleboard. The arts aren’t neglected in Frisco. With a city ordinance mandating arts investment with development, the city has a growing display of public art. The privately- owned Hall Collection, made up of over 160 works by both Texas and international artists, is on display throughout the grounds and building lobbies of the Hall Office Park. Part of the collection comprises the outdoor Texas Sculpture Garden with 20 sculptures on four beautifully landscaped acres – and it’s all free. The longest continuous-themed bronze sculpture collection in the United States, featuring cowboys and longhorns – an homage to the Shawnee Trail which ran through the area – is an attraction at the Centre at Preston Ridge. Frisco, with its population of 124,000, may not be the biggest Texas town, but it can hold its own with the best for the variety of amenities available. And they know how to throw a party. So get your game on and head for Frisco. For more information: visitfrisco.com or call 877GOFRISCO

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