Fort Worth Visitors Guide

Located on a bluff overlooking the Trinity River, Fort Worth is where cowboys, culture, and community join together to form an exceptional lifestyle. This cosmopolitan city, filled with internationally recognized museums such as the Kimbell Art Museum, The Modern and the Amon Carter Museum of American Art, began as a stop on the Chisholm Trail and has grown into an internationally recognized destination where people and art thrive together. It is an integral part of the Metroplex.

Fort Worth, Texas is about 30 miles from Dallas and the entire area is commonly referred to as the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington Metropolitan Area. The Fort Worth part of this complex metropolis was initially settled as a fort in 1849 to help protect settlers against Indian attacks. During the days when cattle drives were common, the fort became a favorite stopping point along the Chisholm Trail. Later, Fort Worth became an important holding place for cattle being shipped by rail.

Today, Fort Worth is everything you’d expect from a major metropolitan area though it manages to hold on to its reputation as a rough and tumble cow town. The people are generally thought to be more “laid back” than their Dallas counterparts. Fort Worth is a good example of the merging of country and city, rural and urban. Though heavily populated, the city offers such attractions as cowboy museums in an effort to keep that country’s image intact.

Fort Worth Fast Facts

  • Location: Fort Worth is located about 30 miles west of Dallas on the Trinity River in Tarrant County.
  • Population: 518,122
  • Housing units: 211,035
  • Land area: 293 square miles
  • Persons per square mile: 1,827.8
  • Average annual rainfall: 31.4 inches per year
  • Elevation: 612 feet above sea level

History

Fort Worth, Texas is the fifth most populated city in Texas and spans about 300 square miles.The city is the second-largest cultural and economic center of the Dallas–Fort Worth–Arlington metropolitan area, the fourth-largest metropolitan area in the U.S. with a population of 6 million in 12 counties.

It was founded as a military camp in 1849, named after General William Jenkins Worth. Today, the city is portrayed as more old-fashioned and laid-back than its neighbor, Dallas.

Its legendary “Western heritage” was made possible by settlers from the Old South looking to get a new start and can be called a “gateway” to a cultural region sometimes referred to as the “Western South.”

It located in the western half of the metroplex is exactly that: the gateway to the Wild West having stated out as Cowtown the main base for cattle drives.

It still reflects a laid-back and slightly cowpoke attitude, although surprisingly it has also developed into a cultural center with world-class museums and outstanding performing arts sector.

Dallas is certainly the place for visitors to enjoy a rich shopping experience and uptown market and dining, but Fort WorthTexas is the place for exciting and interesting attractions and a taste of western culture.

The area’s has many shops, restaurants, night clubs, rodeos, stock shows, historical landmarks and events all year long is filled with a unique mix of attractions for visitors — from cowboys to culture, from sports to shopping. Explore the legendary Stockyards, the world-class Cultural District, downtown’s dazzling Sundance Square, the top-ranked Zoo, Texas Motor Speedway, and so much more.

This is the best place in the world to explore the true West of cowboys and cattle drives. It consistently ranked among the top places in the nation to work, live and do business.

The home to the most spectacular downtown in Texas and one of the most exciting, diverse places to visit.It’s known as the city “Where the West Begins” and today the pioneering spirit remains, but attention has turned to the high-tech and service industries of an emerging western metropolis.

Cowtown

Fort Worth Texas is more of a Cow Town than its neighbor, Dallas. Its considered the cultural capital of the Southwest, with a thriving performing arts and three of the most impressive small art museums in the country is known as the “museum capital of the Southwest.

Best Place To Live

Although Fort Worth Texas is a great place to visit, it is also a great place to live, Fort Worth is one of America’s Most Livable Major Cities. it is a perfect place to get away from a hectic pace and enjoy a break, southern style. Even if you come to the Dallas area with little time to spare, enjoyable Fort WorthTexas is absolutely worth a visit.

Downtown Fort Worth

Downtown is visitor-friendly with sidewalks that invite strolling on the streets which are lit up like a Christmas tree at night. Downtown Fort Worth is can be accessed by the Trinity Railway Express (TRE) and is navigable by bus if you arrive via the TRE. The District also offers Wild West re-enactments and is conveniently located just north of the downtown area.

The downtown area offers more than 2,000 hotel rooms, and there are more than 11,000 rooms citywide that are convenient to downtown. In the midst of downtown, people still take the time to mosey, and you’re apt to see businessmen wearing cowboy hats. One part of this charming downtown of Fort Worth is the Sundance Square. However, the attractions in downtown Fort WorthTexas do extend beyond Sundance Square.

Founded as a lawless outpost, many visitors think Fort Worth only offers dusty cowboy boots and pastures dotted with cattle. It does offer this, mainly thanks to the Historic Stockyards housing the world’s only twice-daily cattle drive. But, Fort Worth has a different side: sophistication, modernization, and class. One of the largest cities in the country, Dallas’ neighbor, impresses with museums, attractions, and restaurants.

Here are ten must-see areas (in no particular order).

Cowboy Up

The Stockyards National Historic District is the section of the city that gives Fort Worth the “Cowtown” part of its identity. Take a guided tour through the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame; two-step in an authentic saloon; watch a live country concert at Billy Bob’s Texas “the world’s largest honky-tonk”; or shop for a 10-gallon cowboy hat in Stockyards Station. Here, the Fort Worth Stockyards Championship Rodeo takes place year-round (every Friday and Saturday night) and the world’s only cattle drive, twice daily at 11:30 a.m. and 4 p.m., herds 16-longhorn cattle down the bricks of Exchange Ave. Dine on cowboy cuisine at the famous Lonesome Dove Western Bistro or enjoy a hearty steak at Hunter Brothers’ H3 Ranch.

Prime Time AT West 7th

Shopping reigns at West 7th, a growing urban community at the juncture of six major streets in the heart of Fort Worth’s Cultural District, on the stretch of Seventh Street between the Trinity River and University Drive. Thanks to its prime location, visitors can enjoy an array of shops, nightlife, bars, and restaurants, plus five distinct mixed-use developments: Foch Street Warehouses, Montgomery Plaza, Museum Place, So7, and West 7th.

All are Great in Downtown

Composed of 35-blocks of brick-paved streets, Sundance Square is lined with restaurants, bars, quaint coffee shops, and cute boutiques. Start with a visit to the Bass Performance Hall, which is an architectural delight “even if you are unable to enjoy a performance or concert inside” as well as a visit to the Sid Richardson Museum, the late oil patriarch’s gallery of Western artwork. Historic Burnett Park, bounded by Seventh, Cherry, and 10th streets and located near Interstate Highway 30, offers an outdoor escape situated in the middle of the city in Burnett Plaza, has been a dominant feature of the city skyline since 1983. And, be mesmerized by the Fort Worth Water Gardens, a fresh display designed by Phillip Johnson.

In the Southside

The Near Southside community is a 1,400- acre district just south of downtown. From neighborhood pubs and coffee shops to live music venues and local boutiques, this area is ideal for visitors who want to immerse themselves in the local and eclectic side of Fort Worth. Near Southside establishments include Rahr & Sons Brewery, a microbrewery that opened in 2004, and Firestone & Robertson Distillery, where guests can tour and learn about the distilling process. For a local secret and treasure, stop by the Justin Boot Outlet to score amazing deals on these iconic boots.

Historic Camp Bowie

A few minutes from downtown, visitors can explore more than 30 blocks of shops in the Camp Bowie District. This historic area, which is divided into three distinct zones, The Bricks, Ridglea, and Camp Bowie West, is considered one of the more up-and-coming hip areas of town due to much renovation and attention. The Bricks area is best known for its 1920s Texas Thurber brick roads and is home to some of the city’s most renowned and hip culture, including The Modern, which has been listed No. 2 on Travel + Leisure’s list of top museums. Ridglea boasts a 1940s Mediterranean style and houses upscale retail and casual dining, as well as the historic Ridglea Theater. Camp Bowie West, with primarily vintage neon signage, gives a feel of the 1950s era of the automobile.

A Cultural Treasure

Fort Worth is one of the most admired cities for its cultural achievements. The Arts District encompasses six museums: Kimbell Art Museum, Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame and Fort Worth Museum of Science and History, which includes the Cattle Raisers Museum. While what lies inside these structures shines, the architecture also has earned a name for itself. Designed by the architect Tadao Ando to house mid-20th century to contemporary art, the Modern celebrates masters such as Jackson Pollock and Andy Warhol. Opened in 1961, the Amon Carter is known for its collection of Western art, particularly that of Frederic Remington and Charles M. Russell; and, the Kimbell Museum is known for its small, but extraordinary, group and boasts a $125-million new building by Renzo Piano. Nearby, find the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History and the Cowgirl Museum.

Start Your Engines

For a real thrill, take a lap around NASCAR’s Texas Motor Speedway. Measuring 1.5 miles around, the track is banked 24 degrees in the turns and is oval where the front straightaway juts outward slightly. With the ability to seat over 190,000, Texas Motor Speedway is the nation’s second-largest sports and entertainment facility and the proud home of the world’s biggest HD video board nicknamed “Big Hoss.” For a somewhat more tame way of thrill-seeking, hop on one of 300 Trek Bicycles, available as part of Fort Worth B-Cycle program, the first bike-sharing system in North Texas.

A Waterfront Stage

Claiming 40 acres, this excellent outdoor music venue proves that size doesn’t always matter. Part of Fort Worth’s $909 million Trinity Uptown redevelopment project, the Panther Island Pavilion bills itself as the only waterfront stage in Texas. Sitting on the Trinity River and overlooking Fort Worth’s scenic downtown, the area houses multiple steps that you can walk between to watch a variety of performers. Aside from the many festivals, adventure runs, and concerts, the venue also offers a sand beach, which provides public access to the river seven days a week for paddling, tubing, fishing, and swimming.

A Musical Delight

Aside from being a treasure to see live performances, this cultural gem also features architecture that’s more art than just a building. Located in downtown near Sundance Square, the Nancy Lee and Perry R. Bass Performance Hall occupies a whole city block, is known for the two 48-foot-tall angels that grace its exterior, and seats 2,056 people. The Hall is the permanent home to the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, Texas Ballet Theater, Fort Worth Opera, and the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition and Cliburn Concerts and touring Broadway productions and musicals.

Animals Wild

The Fort Worth Zoo was founded in 1909 as a modest attraction housing one lion, two bear cubs, an alligator, a coyote, a peacock, and a few rabbits. Now, this family favorite boasts 5,000 native and exotic animals and has been named a top zoo in many magazines and media outlets, USA Today and Southern Living Magazine. Current zoo exhibits include Penguins, World of Primates, Asian Falls, Raptor Canyon, Cheetahs, Flamingo Bay, Meerkat Mounds, Australian Outback, African Savannah, Parrot Paradise, Texas Wild! and the Museum of Living Art. Other Fort Worth outdoor attractions you won’t want to miss include Trinity Park; Cowtown Waterpark; the 3,600-acre Fort Worth Nature Center and Refuge; and the Fort Worth Botanic Gardens.