Secret Croatian Village In Texas

Under a gauze of wind, my heartbeat slogs through my ears. As the dried grass beneath my feet blurs, I’m only in tune with familiar sounds – the thump of my shoes against the cobbled stone, the thump in my chest as my legs pull forward, and the thump of my eyes fighting the cold.

“We could have come another day,” you say, checking the weather. “It’s 34 degrees outside.”

I shake my head. When I first heard of Adriatica, a quiet, Croatian-style neighborhood in McKinney, I rushed out of the house, leaving behind stacks of half-opened moving boxes.

After days of packing (and loading things in-and-out of my car), I needed the escape.

Where Is Adriatica?

Nestled amongst sweeping parks and residential neighborhoods, Adriatica is roughly fifteen minutes from most major Mckinney attractions.

It’s a quiet community getaway. On a chilly morning, like today, the paths are bare and the water still. I huddle under my clothes, nose tucked into my jacket collar.

The sky is dull, rolling in a flat gray. In coarse weather, the architecture looks classic old-world European – worn, aged, and faded.

The Clock Tower

The village is modeled after Supetar, a tiny seaside town in northern Bra─Ź.

The highlight is the bell tower, a close-copy of St. Peter’s Church Bell Tower in Croatia. Peaking far above red-tiled roofs, Adriatica’s icon is easy to see from most nearby roads.

Best On-Site Restaurants

We park near the tower and explore on foot. A hub of shops, offices, and restaurants, Adriatica is an all-in-one community.

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Actually a dentist’s office…shhhhhh

Most of the eateries here are all-American – a jam-packed Starbuck’s, a fine-dining bistro (Zin Zen), a sports bar (Harry’s At The Harbor), and several fast food chains.

While I would have loved to see the Croatian theme extend beyond the architecture and into the food (I will never say no to Fritule), Adriatica, at the end of the day, is a residential community in Texas and the fare caters to local tastes.

I did end up falling in love with one cafe though – Starwood, a locally operated chain. 

We stop by to warm up with a few drinks and order two hot chocolates to-go.

The cafe is buzzing. Servers rush from table to table, dishes clang, and chatter spills through the booths.

But despite the rush, the staff is still sweet and calm and puts forth 100% effort into their dishes.

Everything is served hot and on-time.

Smooth and thick, the whipped cream melts into the liquid, adding the perfect kick of sweetness to a milky drink. I love the touch of chocolate drizzle on top.

More chocolate? Always (read in an Alan Rickman voice).

Bella Donna Chapel

Our last stop is Bella Donna Chapel, a romantic wedding venue separated by a stretch of high-rise apartments.

With a plain exterior, small bell, and rounded cross, Bella Donna Chapel transports us to Split. Much like the Church of St. Jerome near Marjan Hill, the chapel is elegant and traditional in style.

Bella Donna Chapel is a fairytale. I skip past the gates (which are partially closed), lean my hand on the rail, and swoon.

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“Is that organ music?” you ask, nudging me, but I’m lost in a daydream.

Adriatica is so pretty. 

As I glance back, I notice a sign at the gate: “Private Event: Wedding of Ana and Greg.”


The organ stops. The tune is replaced with laughter, heavy footsteps, cheering, and the click of a knob.


Under a gauze of wind, our heartbeats slog through our ears. As the dried grass beneath our feet blurs, we’re only in tune with familiar sounds – the thump of our shoes against the cobbled stone, the thump in our chests as our legs pull forward, and the thump of our eyes fighting the cold.

In the distance, we see a floor-length white gown trailing across the concrete and two thick cheery smiles.

sincerely anshula

Did you enjoy this post on Adriatica? Have you ever been? Would you like to visit? Let me know in the comments below!


  • Maya
    January 14, 2019 at 1:53 PM

    Never heard of this place before. Thanks for putting this on my Texas radar!

    • anshula.varma
      January 14, 2019 at 2:14 PM

      Hope you get a chance to visit, dear! xx – Anshula

  • Tasya nandya
    January 16, 2019 at 5:05 AM

    woow glad i found this post! thank you for putting this destination on my radar!

  • anshula.varma
    January 16, 2019 at 10:45 AM

    I’m glad you enjoyed the post, dear! xx – Anshula


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