The old joke was, “How do you get to Fort Worth?” “Go west until you smell it, go south until you step in it.”
Fort Worth has long been affectionately referred to as “Cow Town”, but things have really changed. The cattle are mostly gone, except for the small herd that is displayed twice a day in the stockyard district. The city is now a thriving business and tourism center. Cow town is now “Wow” town.
Downtown Fort Worth is highly walkable. You can leave your car in the parking garage and walk just about anywhere you want to go. There are many restaurants, clubs and great hotels. One of our favorites is the historic Ashton Hotel on Main Street. It’s a little pricey, but perfect for a special occasion getaway.
There are good restaurants throughout the downtown area that offer everything from Tex-Mex to seafood to steaks and burgers. Check out the dining guide on the Visitor’s Bureau website.
A short drive from downtown is the Fort Worth Cultural District, home to world-class museums. The Amon Carter Museum of American Art is free. The Kimball and Modern Art museums are nearby, and make this area of the city a ‘must see” for a full day.
No trip to Fort Worth is complete without a visit to the stockyard district. A small herd of 15 longhorns is driven down Exchange Avenue everyday at 11:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. Bring your camera. The world famous Billy Bob’s bills itself as the “world largest honky tonk” and features country music everyday. Many of country’s top bands perform there. Their 4th of July bash is the bomb.
There’s a number of good clubs right downtown. We enjoyed the Scat Jazz Lounge in an alley off Main Street. They have live music every night, except Monday, when they are closed.
The newly renovated Sundance Square area is the city’s main downtown attraction. There are special events all the time, and plenty of restaurants nearby. Fort Worth’s downtown parking garages are free on the weekends, so you can leave your car and walk anywhere you want to go.
A great time to visit is in April for the Main Street Art Festival. This nationally acclaimed show attracts fine art artists from across the country. It draws big crowds; so if you plan to spend the weekend, make hotel reservations well in advance.
From the Frisco-Plano-McKinney-Allen area you can take the 121 toll road all the way to Fort Worth. Much of the construction on the Tarrant County section of the road has been finished, and the trip takes about an hour, depending on traffic.
Summary & Recommendation
This is a great weekend getaway destination. Just a short drive from home in Far North Dallas brings you to a totally different western experience. You can visit museums Saturday, Sundance Square and restaurants Saturday night, and see the stockyard district on Sunday. I highly recommend Fort Worth, and rate it a 10.
Originally posted 4/22/15