If you are interested in visiting Fort Worth, Texas, then you are more than likely drawn to the historical cowboy origins of the city. While no visit to Fort Worth would be complete without experiencing some of this cowboy culture, take it from me, a Fort Worth local, when I tell you that Fort Worth has so much more to offer its visitors. Fort Worth allows you to experience beautiful green spaces, world-class museums, great shopping and entertainment venues, and fabulous restaurants. There are so many things to do in Ft. Worth that you could stay busy for a long time!
Whether you have a few days or a few weeks, I hope that this post inspires you to see all you can of our great city.
Where to Stay in Fort Worth
For the perfect place to stay in Fort Worth, I would recommend staying in the Sundance Square area. When we want a staycation here at home, we love staying at the Worthington Renaissance Hotel. The Worthington Renaissance is located right in the heart of downtown Fort Worth. You can easily access shopping, restaurants, and entertainment venues right outside of your hotel.
If you would prefer to stay in the heart of the cowboy cultural area, the Fort Worth Stockyards, then consider staying at the historic Stockyards Hotel. The Stockyards Hotel allows visitors to step back in time to a day where cattle barons ruled this area. This historic hotel offers guests a true country experience while not skimping on service and hospitality. If you’re so inclined, you can request to stay in the Bonnie and Clyde room-the actual room that the outlaws stayed in while visiting.
Getting Around Fort Worth
You’ve probably heard “everything is bigger in Texas” and that is definitely true for the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. While many of the attractions we are introducing you to are easily accessible from the downtown area, you will need a car to visit some of the farther away attractions.
While traveling between the downtown/Sundance Square area to the Stockyards, you can use Molly the Trolley. Molly the Trolley is a vintage-style trolley that makes travel in the downtown area easy. Molly runs 7 days a week from 10 am to 10 pm with stops near downtown hotels, landmarks, and attractions. Molly will also transport visitors to the central rail station where you can access the commuter rails of Amtrak, TRE, and TEXRail. The central rail station route will also transport you into the Fort Worth Stockyards.
Of course, the city is also serviced by ride sharing programs including Uber and Lyft.
A LOCAL’S GUIDE TO FORT WORTH ATTRACTIONS
Fort Worth Stockyards
Fort Worth is like stepping back in time to where the west began. Once a vital stop on the historic Chisholm Trail, the Fort Worth Stockyards are still steeped in western heritage. From the original brick streets to the wooden corrals, visitors are quickly transported into the cowboy culture. Be sure to plan your visit so that you get to catch the daily cattle drive, the Fort Worth Herd being led down the street by some authentic Texas Cowboys. The herd of longhorn are driven down Main Street twice daily, once at 11:30 am and then again at 4:00 pm.
After watching the cattle drive, take time to explore the shops and restaurants that are located in the old corral pens. We especially love grabbing some juicy ribs at Risky’s Bar-B-Que. If you’re more in the mood for Tex-Mex, then be sure and check out Los Vaqueros. They make a delicious jalapeno margarita that easily pairs with all of their Tex-Mex dishes.
Spend the evening in the Stockyards at one of the many bars dancing the night away. Of course, you will want to make sure that Billy Bob’s Texas is one of those stops. Billy Bob’s is known as the World’s Largest Honky Tonk. They have live music, several bars, a dance floor, and a rodeo!
Right in the heart of downtown Fort Worth you will find 35 blocks filled with shopping, dining, and entertainment all surrounding the Sundance Square Plaza, an outdoor area to see and be seen. Shoppers will love the many boutique shops that can be found in the area that range from Texas souvenirs to designer boutiques.
If it’s entertainment you are looking for, then you’re in the right place. Sundance Square has live theatre, a couple of comedy clubs, and multiple music venues. Jazz lovers will definitely want to visit Scat Jazz Lounge, a swanky lounge located in the basement of a building off of 4th Street.
If you’re hungry while in Sundance Square, then you are definitely in the right place. For a delicious meal with a view of the plaza, consider eating at Del Frisco’s Grille. I highly recommend getting one of their delicious prime steaks that will literally melt in your mouth. If you’re looking for something more casual, Five Guys Burgers and Fries or Uno Chicago Grill are both great options. To satisfy your sweet tooth, choose a custom made chocolate at Schakolad Chocolate Factory or a gourmet donut from Funkytown Donuts.
Fort Worth Botanical Gardens
The Fort Worth Botanical Gardens are a treat to visit no matter what the season. Visitors are treated to beautiful foliage spread out over the 2100 acres that comprise the gardens. You can take a walk down the boardwalk to see native Texas species before heading to the Conservatory to see the beautiful butterflies that call this area home. At time of print, admission to the gardens is free, hence the reason it made the list of 50 free things to do in Dallas-Ft. Worth. However, if you would like to visit the beautiful Japanese Gardens that are on site, then there is a small fee but it is well worth it.
Fort Worth Water Gardens
The Fort Worth Water Gardens is an oasis within the city. Located right in the heart of downtown, visitors should definitely take the time to walk down the main waterfall where you will find yourself surrounded by the sound of the water rushing all around you. The beautiful big oak trees will help to provide shade from the Texas sun as you enjoy the meditation pool and water fountains.
Kimbell Art Museum
Art lovers will enjoy visiting the Kimbell Art Museum. Not only is the building beautiful, but the collection of art is as well. The intimate size of the museum makes it easily approachable and a great way to spend part of your day while visiting Fort Worth.
Fort Worth Zoo
The Fort Worth Zoo makes for a great day of entertainment while visiting Fort Worth. Visitors love the world-class enclosures that house the primates here at the zoo. You can also get up close and personal with some of the most endangered species of reptiles and amphibians at the Museum of Living Art (MOLA).
Where to Eat and Drink in Fort Worth
Just outside of downtown Ft. Worth is the trendy area known as West 7th. This vibrant neighborhood is home to some of the trendiest places to eat and drink while visiting Cowtown. For a great burger, you have to head to Rodeo Goat. We love their variety of fun burgers paired with their loaded fries and a good moontang cocktail.
Another fun favorite in this area is Mash’d. Here you can enjoy some a fun take on southern comfort food including meatloaf and chicken and biscuits. While their food is good, most people come here to get a delicious moonshine flight.
For dessert in West 7th, you have to head to Hurt’s Donuts. This trendy donut shop boasts designer donuts of all flavors. My personal favorite is the chocolate sea salted caramel. Other popular flavors are blueberry crumble, the Homer, and the peanut butter cup. Really, you can’t go wrong with any of them!
Another super trendy area that is up and coming in Fort Worth is Magnolia Street. Located right in the hospital district of Fort Worth, Magnolia Street is now the hipster scene of the city.
Vegans and vegetarians love eating the southern comfort food at the Spiral Diner. Nonna Tata’s serves up delicious Italian food while coffee lovers will definitely want to visit Avoca Coffee Shop.
Mexican Food is like a religion in Texas and of course, we have to put our own spin on it. For a true Tex-Mex experience, you have to head to Joe T. Garcia’s. Joe T’s has been a Ft. Worth staple since 1935. Here you will find a fabulous outdoor patio to sit and sip a delicious margarita while enjoying some authentic Tex-Mex.
As you can see, there are numerous attractions right in the heart of Fort Worth. Whether you are coming to enjoy the cowboy culture or the fun attractions, you will be welcomed with the charm and hospitality that only Texans can provide.
About the Author
Michelle Snell is one half of the dynamic duo that make up “That Texas Couple”– a travel blog that focuses on the fact that couples who travel together stay together. While Michelle tackles the writing, her husband Marty captures the essence of the places they visit with his striking photography. That Texas Couple brings practical tips and suggestions that will make your trip affordable while immersing you in the history, culture, food and (Michelle’s favorite) the wine of the area. Follow That Texas Couple on:
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